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    Supporting Secondary Students during eLearning


    19 Feb, 2020

    10 : 00

    • For senior students and teachers in Secondary school, the lockdown period has amplified the use of technology in all areas of learning and teaching; be it in more technical subjects or the arts. Platforms such as Teams, Managebac and Flipgrid have permitted for creative, engaging and innovative learning to continue, notwithstanding location.

      Farah Sun, Head of Secondary shares with us the technology her division has been taking full advantage of and how this period is also preparing students for a life beyond Secondary school.

      During this period of eLearning how are we making sure our graduating students are preparing for their upcoming exams?

      Our graduating students are actively involved in e-learning on Teams and Managebac. They are given a variety of assignments that use exam-style questions to practice perfecting their analytical and critical thinking skills.

      For teachers, like Ms Hayley Edge, who has many exam groups, they are coming up with creative approaches for exam preparation. She is using a flipped classroom approach to ensure students recap and review specific units of work and make revision notes. Students are also assigned exam style questions twice a week to check understanding and give feedback that builds on their exam technique. Even though Ms Edge is in England, she schedules several live sessions per week for each class to address any questions, concerns or queries her students may have.What kind of support is available for students to prepare for assessments while learning virtually?

      Our IB students are being exposed to a number of revision tools such as “Kognity”, which is an online database of IB exam questions that can be set as formative quizzes and “Quizlet”, in which teachers can create lists of keys terms and their meanings for each IB topic, which the students can use in different ways as memory aid games. Our teachers are also introducing our students to “nearpod”, which is a platform that engages students in the classroom with interactive learning experiences.

      Our IGCSE students are being introduced to a new AI powered platform from Century Tech (, covering the core IGCSE subjects of English, Maths and Science. It is an exciting new intelligent intervention tool that combines learning science, AI and neuroscience. Beginning with a diagnostic task, Century can assess each students prior knowledge and grasp of individual skills to create pathways for learning a topic. It uses learning speed and studying patterns, such as whether a student prefers watching a video or reading a presentation and their time spent on each question, to work out the optimum learning pathways through a topic for mastery.

      How do we keep preparing them for their life beyond Secondary School?

      During the period of e-learning, our students are developing their self-regulation and independent study skills though for instance, logging in on time for a Live lesson, checking for resources and assignments, completing research tasks, mastering new technologies and submitting work to meet deadlines.

      Our IB students are still being supported by our University Guidance Officer, Mr Jonathan Mellen, with their university applications using the platform “Cialfo”. Cialfo integrates directly with the “Common Application and Parchment” so that you can send transcripts, school profiles, and letters of recommendation directly to the US colleges. Teachers can upload letters of recommendations for individual students, which are then used to support to their applications.

      How are teachers in Secondary using resources available (online courses) to them to ensure a conducive learning environment for Secondary students? 

      All of our Secondary teachers have been using Microsoft Teams and the “Meet Me” video function for lessons. For instance, Ms Gillian Wong, one of our Character Education teachers, shared that in one of her Live lessons with Year 8, there were 17 students present out of a total of 20. As Ms. Wong is back in England at the moment, she started the Live lesson at 4am UK time, which was 12 noon China time. There were students joining in from locations all over the world such as Korea, USA and New Zealand.

      Her students are working on the unit Identity and have been exploring their own personal identities. They are now finding out about other people in the world, as well as exploring Celebrations and the reason for or how people celebrate. This will lead them to find out about other people and their cultures, way of life, festivals and ceremonies. They have been assigned the task of creating a collage for “Celebrating Diversity”.

      In Lower Secondary English, Maths, Science and PE lessons, teachers and students are interacting through a platform called “Education Perfect”. It is an online teaching and learning programme used by students across the world designed to work within your existing Learning Management System. Students can continue their learning through a personalised library of scaffolded, curriculum-aligned lessons, designed for everyday learning, revision, consolidation, and extension.

      Ms Freda Humber, our Drama teacher, has had to be creative in her use of new technologies for teaching drama. For instance, Ms Humber has been tasking her students to experiment with a platform called Flipgrid, described as where social learning happens. Flipgrid allows learners of all ages to find their voices and share their experiences. Ms Humber asked the students to use Flipgrid to introduce themselves. They had to take on multiple roles as the writer, producer, director, and performer. Their task was to create a short film that you introduce yourself. Students were also asked to be creative and consider lighting, music, props, and costuming.

      Patrick Liu in Year 7 shared some fun facts about himself! He also shared that he is attending the Saturday school at the Tianjin Juilliard School of Music to further his practice of the clarinet. He included pictures of mealtime for Chinese New Year and got into character.

      Which innovative platforms are teachers using to teach their respective subjects? Please share examples relevant to 3-4 subjects.

      In addition to Kognity, Quizlet, Century, and Nearpod, our Year 12 IB students are beginning preparations to start their Extended Essays (EE) using a platform called “Callido”. Following an initial meeting last November with one of the company’s founders, Mr. Yuvraj Lehr, we brought in this tool to assist our IB students to frame focused Research Questions, organise their research and demonstrate critical thinking. Callido is a digital companion for each stage of the EE. It provides a clear roadmap for every step of the EE, with subject-specific and criteria-aligned guidance at each stage, to enable students to develop and demonstrate the skills needed. EE Supervisors can track progress, especially interim milestones between the RQ and first draft.

      In addition to supporting our students on their EEs, Callido have another tool called Caliber, which is the world's only adaptive diagnostic for critical thinking, research and communication skills. It will help teachers to assess how are students are developing their Appriaches to Learning skills (AtLs).

      Are there activities for students to reinforce collaboration and continue with the CAS programme during this period? 

      In their CAS classes, IB students are working on completing their reflections of CAS activities and projects completed throughout the academic year. They need to upload evidence such as photos, videos and reviews to support their reflections.

      Some of our students have also decided to work on a project to raise awareness of Covid-2019. They are coming up with ideas such as different exercise routines that people could follow in their homes or other activities to do as a family. Other students are creating videos on how to stay safe and reduce the risk of contracting the virus.