With the method of education delivery changing dramatically during the Covid-19 pandemic, Nexus International School (Nexus) Principal David Griffiths gives SchoolAdvisor.my a peek at how it has implemented new strategies to ensure students can still learn despite not being physically present in school.
According to Griffiths, Nexus has adapted to the new norm by running a successful ‘Continuation of Learning’ programme for all their learners from Early Years to Year 13. The programme is designed to engage its learners with a combination of practical, paper-based learning as well as online tasks and activities. Nexus teachers are available for face-to-face video calls or via chat to provide instruction and feedback, as well as to assist students with their learning.
Nexus Principal David Griffiths discussing learning with Nexus Primary Learners
Griffiths shares that the new norm has brought with it its own share of unique challenges. “The expectation of time spent on screens has to be managed carefully for both teachers and learners. A balanced approach is important. Another important aspect is providing regular, on-time feedback and student assessment.”
He goes on to explain that the prolonged period of online learning has meant that teachers have had to innovate in order to maintain student interest and motivation.
“Nexus teachers have implemented activities such as virtual field trips and finding new ways to share and highlight learning in online assemblies and activities,” says Griffiths.
The already-tech-savvy Nexus teachers underwent specialised training by the school’s learning and technology specialists to complement the online learning method across all year groups.
As well as these challenges, there have been many benefits of the new normal. Griffiths says, “What we have found from our biweekly surveys with parents, learners and teachers is that learners are becoming far more independent in their learning and are honing their organisation and time management skills. This enables learners to continue to make progress in their education despite the challenges of the Covid-19 situation.”
Griffiths highlights that parents of younger children are playing a more active role in their children’s education.
“I feel that this, in the long run, will be advantageous to all. It has been suggested in many educational studies and research that when parents are actively involved and interested in their children’s education, learning outcomes are better achieved,” he says.
Nexus Principal David Griffiths
To this end, Nexus continues to offer parent workshops and community events such as ‘Nexus Families Have Talent’ and ‘The Nexus Lockdown House-Team Challenge’.
While the Nexus ‘Continuation of Learning’ programme has mirrored classroom learning as closely as possible, Griffiths believes that, for many, the collaboration between learners and the teacher cannot be quite as good as in the physical classroom.
He says, “I think we can learn a lot from online learning, but I think that, especially for primary age and younger children, the classroom environment is still the best.”
As part of the Taylor's Education Group, Nexus International school was established in 2008 and is a private international school with boarding facilities based in Putrajaya, Malaysia. Its education levels comprise Early Years, Primary, Secondary and Pre-University.