When lockdown was implemented in late March 2020, we went from teaching and learning in physical schoolrooms to fully online lessons overnight. This abrupt transition was far from seamless and, for masters and pupils alike, it brought with it a great deal of disruption, stress, anxiety and the need for rapid upskilling.

By the end of few weeks of improvised remote teaching, it was clear that the existing lesson planning didn’t offer the flexibility or additional time needed to make a success of online-only learning. However a fresh system of imparting education was inventively engineered and extensive plans were put in place to maximise the opportunities to provide the students with a high-quality, rich and expansive experience in the days to come.

Students in exam year needed to regain a sense of direction and purpose given the opportunity to show their potential in the exam room had been abruptly taken away from them by the pandemic. Teachers went to great lengths to provide compelling live lessons and asynchronous learning tasks. Despite the many challenges that remote learning presented, platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco Webex, etc were successfully used to ensure pupils remained actively engaged and supported in their learning. Teachers boldly seized the opportunity to explore the potential of digital learning tools and steadily gained skills and confidence as a result.

Regular classes continued to take place via online platforms providing important breathing space to check in on mental and physical wellbeing and give mutual support.

Thankfully, the considerable efforts of teachers to get to grips with online teaching has meant many of the benefits of digital education are becoming increasingly embedded as part of routine practice. With the final cohorts of students soon to be equipped with the broad implementation of digitally enhanced teaching and learning which is possibly one of the few silver linings of these tremendously challenging times.