Learning the lessons from remote and flexible learning

Learn about how the return of the children has put the heart back into Golden Square Primary School

When Victoria moved to remote and flexible learning for the start of Term 2, teachers were quick to adjust and try new approaches – with great success.

Now, as most students and teachers settle back into on-site schooling, we asked Golden Square Primary School Principal Leanne Miller about how the school community is adjusting to the latest change and their experience of remote and flexible learning.

Golden Square Primary School

The transition to remote and flexible learning strengthened partnerships between teachers and the parents and carers of students at Golden Square Primary School.

Principal Leanne Miller says this was instrumental to the successful move back to on-site learning.

'There is a lot of respect from parents towards teachers and respect for the processes we have put in place to keep our staff safe,' she says.

'They have been delivering gifts and food, which has been really lovely.'

Ms Miller says everyone was very excited to be back together.

'Having the children back in the school put the heart back into the school,' she says.

The transition to remote and flexible learning came as the Bendigo school began implementing a new instructional model for reading.

Teachers keen to maintain the program's momentum pivoted quickly to deliver the model online, alongside all their other lessons.

'One thing we would have really learned was the value of partnership with families and carers,' Ms Miller, says.

'We really realised how important they were in this process and we really had to consider the capacity of parents and carers — it certainly made them more aware of their children's learning and they have been more involved.

'We will be trying to maintain that really strong connection and understanding of teaching and learning.'

Ms Miller says families could see that teachers maintained good quality teaching and learning and high expectations throughout remote and flexible learning.

'Families could see that, so they have remained engaged with the reading program,' she says.

'We had 91 per cent attendance a day on average, which was pretty fantastic.'

Teachers and families regularly spoke online about the progress of students.

'Engaging families and considering how we can support them to support their children in their learning has been really key,' Ms Miller says.

She says teachers are looking forward to parent and teacher interviews to cement the closer working relationships with families and to get a clearer understanding of how students and families are transitioning back to on-site learning.

Ms Miller says the key to the success of remote and flexible learning were the weekly one-on-one, online catch ups with every family.

The school is considering more regular one-on-one meetings with families with the return to school.

She says she hopes teachers will look back on this time with pride in their demonstrated resilience, resolve and commitment.

'It was a self-affirming experience in lots of ways and really lifted their belief in themselves and their collective efficacy,' she says.

Learning from home success stories

Over the past few months, principals, teachers, parents and students from schools across Victoria have shared their experiences of remote and flexible learning as part of a series of articles.

This includes stories about teachers embracing new technology to keep their students learning, engaged and motivated. Teachers have been dancing, students have been singing, and school communities have been connecting in ways we've never seen before.

Survey and summit on remote and flexible learning

Teachers are invited to complete the Department's Lessons from Remote and Flexible Learning survey

Feedback will help to further strengthen the Victorian education system as we transition back to on-site schooling.

The survey complements an independent analysis being undertaken across the government, independent and Catholic school sectors, and a summit to be held during July with students, school leaders and peak associations.