We look forward to seeing all ISP students (except for our graduates) back onsite next week! In talking with some of those on campus this week, they shared what they’ve enjoyed about learning onsite and what they missed from Distance Learning. We will continue to get input from across the system as we shift back to fully onsite learning. Meanwhile, please read and view the reflections below.
ISC’s March 2021 report on Wellbeing in International Schools shared their findings about the following impacts of COVID-19 on students:
- 61% of respondents considered distance learning to be the most challenging for students
- 58% of respondents considered limitations of extra-curricular activities to be particularly challenging for students
- 57% of respondents considered campus closures to be particularly challenging for students
Not surprisingly one of the biggest shifts for students back onsite was how they were able to engage in their hands-on learning in areas such as visual arts, music, physical education, as well as some of their extracurricular activities. Students mentioned how helpful it is to have the teacher and peers with whom to collaborate and discuss in person as they develop their skills. In the words of one student, “I am very excited about classes like Drama, PE and Band, where it is more fun to do a task when you can actually see your classmates.”
Obviously access to the necessary materials in science when onsite affords a very different learning possibilities. This week Grade 7 students, as part of building their understanding of food webs, were reconstructing skeletons of animals found in owl pellets.
Comparing Onsite to Distance Learning
When asked the questions, “What are you enjoying the most about onsite learning, “ and “What do you miss about distant learning,” Grade 7 & 8 students highlighted the following:
- Enjoying seeing, playing, talking, and eating lunch with friends;
- Teachers helping me in the moment;
- Going into the library to get books
- Socializing before school and during the breaks;
- Surprised because school actually isn’t that boring;
- I am much more productive and motivated; It is easier to work well;
- Doing our extra activities – clubs, sports, etc.; and
- Surprised that school is running so smoothly even though there was a big break. I am grateful that the staff are working hard to make school as normal as possible.
Missing from Distance Learning
- Shorter classes and longer breaks;
- Sometimes easier to focus with just me and the screen;
- Waking up later, sleeping more;
- Not spending so much time getting to and from school;
- Managing time for myself rather than following class schedule;
- Doing things at your own pace and how you approach the tasks; and
- Pursuing some areas of interest
Here are a few video clips to hear Grade 7 students’ reflections in their own voices:
Here are a few video clips to hear Grade 8 students’ reflections in their own voices
Friends, Familiarity, and Focus
Not surprising to anyone in the world after having lived through COVID lockdowns and restrictions, our MS students have greatly appreciated reconnecting through physical activity, friendship and active learning as we all rebuild the sense of safety and belonging at ISP, the foundation to great learning and wellbeing.