As we start to move towards a post-pandemic or at least coronavirus-aware world, we’re continuing to think about what changes in schools will be permanent and what are just transitory.
Last week, I was lucky enough to be in a group with Joanne Caddy from OECD at an online A4LE event. She talked about stop/start education probably being part of our lives for potentially the next 12-18 months. It might not be global, or even national as it has been over the last 3 to 4 months, but could well be regional, local or even single schools.
We also talked about the fact that we felt that enhanced hygiene would probably be one of the things that stuck long term. It’ll take a long time for us to forget that the person we’re sitting next to could be infected with a deadly disease.
One of the ways we see helping solve this is a leap-frog curriculum – one where 15 students have direct instruction whilst the other 15 carry out independent, collaborative work … and then they swap.
It’s an approach used by a Multi Academy Trust with whom we’re working (hopefully more about them later). And it’s an approach that coincidentally came out of an online design conference we had with Professor Stephen Heppell and his teacher-daughter, Juliette, with whom we collaborate on the development of our product collection.
It works phenomenally well with our Studio – an outdoor learning space that, at less than a term’s hire of a marquee, creates a fantastic, covered learning space outdoors (where it’s much safer to be whilst coronavirus remains in circulation). What this means, is that when you are together, indoors, there are half as many people. Twice as further apart. And a lot, lot safer.
We know that change is difficult. We know that a lot of people just want to get ‘back’ to normal. However that ‘normal’ might never exist again. And it’s our duty to make sure that the new normal is better. Better connected to nature. Better in tune with our health and wellbeing. And better for the next generation.