Farlington's Virtual School closes its doors after four successful months

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20 July 2020

On 23 March, Farlington's Virtual School first opened its doors, and thanks to the hard work and dedication of students, parents and staff alike, we have successfully been able to deliver lessons online for almost four months.

Throughout this period, students' timetables have remained almost unchanged, with normal Form Times taking place each day as well as sports classes and lessons in creative subjects, enabling pupils and staff to have regular screen breaks.

When schools were closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Farlington teachers rose to the challenge, with many gaining new technical expertise in order to conduct lessons virtually. As a Google School, we were already well equipped to provide remote learning, but thanks to our Virtual School, our well-developed IT agenda has been advanced yet further.

"It is reassuring to know that, should we need it again for any reason in the future, the school has a proven, comprehensive online structure," says David Walker-Smith, Head of IT. "Not only that, but it has been exciting to explore and develop our online learning platforms and much of what has been learnt can be taken forward and used once things return to 'normal'."

With lessons continuing throughout lockdown, Farlington was able to he school to maintain its sense of community. Our Virtual School provided much-needed structure to the lives of pupils, parents and teachers during these most difficult times, and we are very proud to say that our remote-learning provision was extremely well received by our students and their parents, who can be confident that not even a pandemic can get in the way of a Farlington education!

Here are just a few comments from our parents:

"I just wanted to drop you a line to say how brilliant virtual school is and how blessed we all feel to have this facility. Huge well done to you and all the team for having the foresight to organise it so well"

"We are so impressed with the transition Farlington has made to online learning. Farlington is far exceeding the global standard on remote learning"

"Who knows how long it will be before there is a return to what we once called 'normal' and before we get there we have no doubt that the team at Farlington will do your utmost to deliver an excellent ‘virtual education’"

"I catch snippets of the lessons and all the teachers sound happy and upbeat whilst being 100% committed to delivering the lesson. There does appear to be individual interaction between teacher and student as they chat, with students addressed by name"

"May we both say congratulations to you and ALL your staff. You have helped make a stressful time for the pupils very easy and the pastoral care has been exceptional"

"Thank you from both my husband and I for the fabulous schooling our daughter is receiving at the moment at home. She is really enjoying it and we are enjoying not having to worry about what she is doing"

Thank you to our wonderful pupils who embraced this new way of learning so willingly, and to their parents and families for supporting them and the school so wholeheartedly.

We take pride in the achievements of the whole Farlington community during these unprecedented times and look forward to having everyone back at Strood Park in September. 

Keep safe, keep well, and see you in September!