“Testing times cannot hinder positive transformation. Shemford management was among the first to read the signs of the times and to respond effectively with an innovative “Bringing the School Home through Online classes” initiative in this part of the country. Witnessing the transformation in the lives of the educators as well as learners, who were deeply engaged in e-learning, has been a joy to cherish. Being part of this groundbreaking online teaching-learning initiative has definitely transformed me as a principal. I am looking forward to ideating many more innovative ways to respond to the changing times.”
-Stephan Raj, principal of Shemford Futuristic School, Burdwan.
Promoted with the mission to provide quality education to children and empower them to embrace lifelong learning, Shemford Futuristic School (SFS), Burdwan was in the midst of declaring its annual results when the nationwide lockdown was announced. However, the SFS management and staff were determined to transform the seemingly daunting challenge into an opportunity to improve their pedagogical processes and provide uninterrupted learning to students by deploying the latest digital technologies.
SFS devised a four pronged approach to keep the learning going in collaboration with its strategy and communication partner – Rite Angles. SFS’ innovative “School At Home” initiative was implemented in the following ways.
Technology Training – Shemford teachers acquired the skills required to conduct engaging online classes through a series of interactive and informative training sessions on Zoom. They learnt about screen sharing, white boarding, annotating, meeting chat and various other controls required to conduct an effective and efficient online class. Moreover, SFS teachers are provided regular training by experts to enhance their technical skills and manage online classrooms.
Structured Learning – The school has been conducting 30-minute online/live classes through Zoom and WhatsApp platforms. A weekly routine has been chalked out incorporating the core subjects into the curriculum whereby each class follows a regular time table of five periods per day, five days a week. Students post their homework on the WhatsApp groups which is periodically assessed. All the academic content such as e-books, assignments, worksheets, videos are regularly shared by the class teachers in the Whatsapp groups for future reference.
Online Assessments – Online assessments to track students’ progress are conducted using Google Forms. Teachers also conduct regular assignments as a part of the continuous assessment system by the school.
Student-Teacher Connect – Students have one-to-one interaction with their teachers over Whatsapp to clarify their doubts and coordinate for daily assignments and home works. All the classes have their dedicated Whatsapp group for seamless communication with the faculty. Class teachers take note of the absentees on a regular basis, the reason of absence is recorded and the child is sent the necessary study materials.
Sports & Co-curricular Education
SFS’ online learning curriculum places equal emphasis on sports and co-curricular education with health and fitness, yoga, performing arts, music and dance classes conducted virtually by the school faculty. Celebrations such as World Earth Day, Pohela Boishakh, and English Week were also encouraged to keep the students active and engaged in socio-cultural activities aside from academics.
Management Motivation – Teachers have been provided with eBooks and all the requisite resources for conducting online classes. The school management has been ensuring that the teachers are conducting effective and seamless online classes.
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“The online class arranged by Shemford Futuristic School, Burdwan is really an impressive approach for the students. The programmes are well structured, balanced and managed by the school administration very methodically. My daughter finds the classes very interesting and does not miss any class.” – Arindam Niyogi, father of Abhilasa Niyogi, student of Class 2.
“Shemford is trying their best to keep education rolling even during the lockdown with technology. Arranging online classes even for the LKG/UKG students every morning in this COVID19 lockdown is just showing their commitment towards education and the students. The teachers had to spend hours learning, planning and then developing e-learning modules. All these efforts should be highly appreciated.” – Dr. Sandip Mukhopadhyay, father Gaurab Mukhopadhyay student of LKG.
“We highly appreciate the online classes started by the school and it was just in time. Our daughter is enjoying and learning with her wonderful teachers. It feels good to see her happy in this time of uncertainty and anxiety. Perhaps, this experience will prepare her to face and overcome any crisis.” – Dr Jayati Kumar, parents of Rupkatha Mukherjee student of Class 3.