School News

Thriving during quarantine

Published by SchoolAdvisor on Jul 02, 2020, 12:13 PM

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar (KTJ) moved their teaching and learning online to ensure that students continued to receive the best quality education possible during the quarantine.

KTJ Principal, Dr Glenn Moodie, says there are positives to be taken from this experience, “Our aim is to ensure that students make the same progress as they would when they are in school. While there are some things we cannot do because we cannot meet, there are other, new skills which we are all learning because of this new way of working.” KTJ’s academic study and extra-curricular activities were transferred to online platforms, using a mixture of tools such as Zoom and Google Classroom in the Secondary classes, as well as Seesaw at the Primary school .

CAPTION: KTJ moved their teaching and learning online during the quarantine period.

There were, of course, challenges along the way but Moodie believes these were welcomed steps towards development and further improvement.

Moodie explains the increase in time teachers put into planning, making resources and marking as they adapt to a new way of working. Besides that, he says “We are also conscious of Zoom fatigue and so have started to reduce lesson time on this and moved to more asynchronous learning.”

Adapting to the changes

Online learning does differ from learning within a classroom, as students miss out on vital interactions between their peers and teachers. However, teachers at KTJ have been encouraged to try new digital platforms and teaching methods to make online learning more exciting for the students. Moodie explains: “All teachers have different experiences and different strengths and we try to give them the freedom to utilise these.”

He goes on to share that when KTJ first moved online, a lot of secondary lessons were taught in a similar manner to that of classroom teaching. However, the teachers soon modified their teaching styles, experimenting with different approaches and shared ideas. They now find that an effective teaching method is a blend of various approaches.

CAPTION: KTJ Principal, Dr Glenn Moodie

Moodie explains, “A variety of learning methods is what is needed in any school and this is what we always aim for. We embrace new ideas, but we don’t reject traditional methods when they work.”

“Among the challenges faced by teachers were to think about different ways of doing things, while some had to learn a lot about IT in a short space of time. Other teachers were of course already very tech-savvy, but they have had the chance to experiment and try some new things.”

“KTJ has always been open to different approaches to learning and teachers spend time sharing their practices,” says Moodie. For this very reason, he goes on to share that the transition to online learning was easier and smoother than expected.

Moodie shares that parents have also become more involved and supportive of their children’s learning during this experience, especially among the younger groups and primary school children.

CAPTION: KTJ teachers were encouraged to try new digital platforms and teaching methods to make online learning more exciting.

Keeping active with extracurricular activities

Aside from studies, KTJ continues to run extra-curricular programmes which include everything from preparation for highly competitive university courses to chess, yoga and radio drama. KTJ is running a series of enrichment talks in the evenings for older students on a vast range of topics such as artificial intelligence and the significance of the Parthenon.

KTJ students are also getting involved in charitable work. The student-led KTJ COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund raised RM58716 for charities and organisations involved in COVID-19 and MCO relief. “KTJ students are also creating a website containing online learning resources and educational videos, so that under privileged children at the Little Flower Learning Centre can continue to learn during this crisis”, said Moodie.

CAPTION:  KTJ continues to deliver their programme of extra-curricular activities.

Through this new method of learning, teachers and students have learnt new things about themselves as well as new skills. However, he also shares, “It has also reminded us all on why we should meet face-to-face in a school each day. Online learning has its place, but human contact is so important in building character and those soft skills so sought after by employers.”

Established by the Negeri Sembilan Royal Family in 1989, KTJ is the region's premier International School. For the last 3 decades, KTJ has maintained a reputation as being one of the leading British-style, co-education day and boarding schools in Malaysia. Its Primary School is a day school for pupils between the ages of three and 11, whilst its Secondary School offers high quality day and boarding education for students aged of 11 to 19.

To learn more about Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar (KTJ), visit www.ktj.edu.my

CAPTION:  KTJ Primary School

About Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar (KTJ)

Founded in 1991, Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar (KTJ) is a premier British International school which provides high-quality day and boarding education for children aged 3 – 19 years. Based on an impressive 80-acre site, KTJ has established a reputation as one of the best co-educational schools in the region. Students are empowered to develop their unique characters and talents through KTJ’s holistic approach to teaching and learning.

Contact

Jane Wong, Registrar

+606 -758 2561

[email protected]

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