Spain went into a full lockdown on 15 March. This meant that students and teachers were not allowed to leave their home, see loved ones or other students for a substantial amount of time. The state of alarm expired on 21 June, and Spain entered a “new normality” phase.
Spain had some of the world’s strictest confinement measures during lockdown and these triggered in some of our Sixth Formers considerable distress.
Provision that we made for students
Face to face teaching ended on Friday 13 March and on Monday 23 March students moved to on-line teaching.
Caxton started an unprecedented stage where all of our teaching team, supported by professionals from the different areas of the school, were absolutely at the service of our students and their families to succeed in this new period of distance learning.
“Teaching during Covid, an educational challenge.”
This was a unique situation which was emotionally and technologically challenging. The amount of independence that students needed to demonstrate at this time was admirable. Sixth Formers should have taken this as a good preparation for university. All teachers and students had access to an ipad at home. Regular daily contact was maintained in every subject either via email, video call or an online platform.
The school was committed to ensuring nurturing support and we did have excellent communication with students; however many found this a challenge as wi-fi connections in Spain can be very unreliable especially in the countryside. Equally some staff were unavailable to teach during this time which had an impact on some classes. Provision was made to leave cover work for students but obviously this could have an impact on student progress.
Current Year 13 students experience of Covid in Spain
Many pupils found this experience made it emotionally challenging to focus on their studies. This was particularly important for our students who are generally a year younger than their British counterparts, so many struggled in dealing with such a unique situation. There were considerable differences in the levels of pupil engagement in remote learning, particularly amongst the most disadvantaged pupils. Overall, pupils spent on average 5.5 hours a day doing schoolwork since school closed in March as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As a school we were still assessing students’ work. This is because we have January modular exams in Sciences and Maths subjects. This meant that students in some subjects had completed an external exam in one unit, but had not studied much of a second or third unit. So, continuous assessment was important to assess these students. The school established measures to ensure that these assessments were supervised on-line by teachers to ensure that there was fairness. Our students had to be hugely resilient and independent in order to keep producing assessments for teachers to grade without the stimulus of a teacher in the classroom.