Over the last 18 months we have learnt a lot about how we can provide Virtual School for younger children. When we first started to plan for Virtual School we wanted it to reflect our pedagogy and philosophy of how children learn best. We believe strongly in the Seven Features of Effective Practice as referred to in ‘Working with the revised Early Years Foundation Stage Principles into Practice’ by Julian Grenier:
- The best for EVERY child
- High-Quality care
- The Curriculum: What we want children to learn
- Pedagogy: helping children to learn
- Assessment: checking what children have learnt
- Self-regulation and executive function
- Partnership with parents
Partnership with parents is vital and our Stay, Play and Learn All Together (SPLAT) sessions at school focus on working with parents to show how their child uses the classroom environment to learn. We know children in EYFS learn best with hands-on practical activities, and when they are supported by an adult who can talk about what the child is doing, learning takes place. That is why we created SPLAT@Home Boxes and refill bags. In each bag, there were 5 different age-appropriate activities aimed at F1, F2 and F3 children. The bag contained all the resources needed to complete those activities. The cards were in English and Vietnamese to explain what to do and the learning behind the activity.
On Monday we distributed our 'SPLAT@Home' refills to 4 different locations around HCMC. Parents could choose to collect outside the Early Years and Infant Campus, Starbucks Landmark 81 Tower, the InterContinental Hotel or Imperia An Phú. By having various times and locations we wanted to make it easier for families. Class teachers took turns to sit outside the campus and let parents know when they would be there, which allowed some children to come and talk with their teacher or teaching assistant face to face.
This week it was not just our EYFS children who had resources to help them at home. As part of Year 2’s IPC unit ‘All Dressed Up’, the children need to design, make and evaluate their own bag/purse/wallet. We did not want the children to miss out on these valuable skills, because they are not in school, so our teachers found a way to facilitate this whilst the children were at home. The activity was then explained on a Google Meet call and the IPC task introduced.
Year 1 children also had resources in the form of a “busy bag”. Their Talk 4 Write task required images to cut and sort. These were printed and other resources that would help them with the week's learning were included.
It was a whole team effort and thank you to all staff, from marketing, resources, guards, teachers and teaching assistants that made it possible for these resources to be ready. We could tell by the uptake and feedback that these resources have helped this week. We are unsure what will happen over the next few weeks and really hope we will be able to see children back in school. In case this is not possible we have got another resource delivery planned for the 31st May.