Barton Peveril Sixth Form College’s 3,600 students have continued to attend each of their timetabled lessons from home, throughout the current closure of the country’s educational institutions. As well as attending lessons taught by the College’s teachers (over 140) the students have continued access to the College’s Counsellors, Student Progress Advisers, Nurse, and Careers Department.
This continued provision was made possible through the College’s adoption of G Suite for Education. Google Classroom is already used college-wide to empower learners, support independent learning and deliver flipped classrooms. Through it, teachers communicate, post resources and prework, manage assignments, and mark and offer written or audio feedback. The library also offers 50 Google subject sites with 24/7 access to e-resources and academic social media and apps.
Barton Peveril have received, and are currently shortlisted for, awards as a result of their outstanding level of digital learning capabilities:
In June 2019, the College was awarded the Sixth Form College’s Association (SFCA) Award for Independent Learning. The Award recognised the College’s ability to facilitate independent learning among all students, regardless of ability, using the latest technology.
This year, Barton Peveril have been shortlisted for a prestigious Times Education Supplement (Tes) Award for Outstanding Use of Technology for Improving Teaching, Learning and Assessment and shortlisted to become a Department for Education (DfE) EdTech Demonstrator College. Additionally, Learning Support Tutor Laura Stephens has been shortlisted for the Pearson Digital Innovator of the Year Award in the Pearson National Teaching Awards 2020.
Enrichment at Home
In addition to continuing lessons as normal online, the College has also set up a digital enrichment provision that enables all students to learn and grow from home. The Digital Q-XTRA programme is an extension of the regular Q-XTRA provision that aims to develop students both inside and outside of the classroom; students pursue activities that support their futures, community, health, and skills to facilitate their immediate growth and their longer term transition to University, Apprenticeships, and employment.
Student Rebecca Robson, who is in her second year of study at Barton Peveril and is due to be progressing to University in the summer, commented on the transition to online learning:
“I’ve found the change to online lessons really smooth. My teachers have continued to offer myself and my classmates fun and interesting lessons from home and have worked with us to set and mark work as they normally would, each week. I’m so glad the structure of timetabled lessons has continued, a total shift to independently working from home, without the support of my teachers, would have added to the stress of this situation. Although I won’t be sitting exams, I still feel supported and ready to bring my A Level studies to a close and to make the jump to University.
Megan Roberts, formerly of Wildern School and in her first year of study at the College, also commented:
‘The wonderful efforts of the college have made the transition to remote learning surprisingly easy. They have provided so much support in this difficult time, and have offered us an abundance of online resources and opportunities to aid our progress. I am so grateful to still be receiving education and encouragement from the amazing staff.’
Speaking on the work of students and staff, Principal Jonathan Prest said:
‘It has been remarkable to see teachers and support staff’s willingness to rise to the challenge of distance learning. At Barton we have not simply posted work for students to get on with, we have taught each class at the regular time and students can ask questions of their teachers, or collaborate with other students on a task. This has made it a much more structured and engaging experience, not dissimilar to normal lessons. Not only have staff adapted well to an extremely different way of teaching but so too have our students, who have continued their high level of commitment to learning albeit online. Like workers in the health and care services and in deliveries and supermarkets, there is much heroism out there in the virtual classroom.’