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Crawley’s The Gatwick School celebrates as their online teaching is a huge success



It has only been a week and a half since schools across the country were instructed to close their doors, but in that time one Crawley school has not just coped with online learning, but has excelled.

With an incredible 97% attendance The Gatwick School has found their elearning strategy has not just been a success, it has motivated both students and teachers in ways they never expected.

The online platform from TGS Online

TGS Online was launched with year 10 starting initially. The students do 3 periods a day of their entire GCSE curriculum which has been condensed into less classes. Incredibly the students have been asking for more which the school is now looking at providing.

Now the school has brought year 9 onboard and already the reaction from the students has been a welcome surprise with students ‘enjoying’ and ‘impressed’ with the experience and even reporting their friends from other schools are jealous.

While years 7 and 8 are not yet part of TGS Online as yet, the students are still able to participate in online Spanish and it is hoped to roll out to them soon.

Year 1’s learning online with their teacher.

But the whole elearning is about to take a new leap with year 1’s joining now and starting with Phonics classes. The youngest students found the lessons fun and were excited about being able to join in.

So how is it all working?

Each teacher and subject chooses their own interactive style of working. For example, Art makes use of cameras to showcase work while Maths and Spanish uses a mix of audio and video. English used powerpoints and chat functions to elicit written responses and Science ises flipped learning sessions. It all depends on how the teacher of their particular subject wants to interact with their students.

Whatever the method used, students are able to interact with their tutor by chat, audio and video.

“The reaction has been phenomenal,” said Mr Pickett who has made all of this possible and who mans the online help desk for both the students and teachers.

“99% of staff and all but a single digit of students are very supportive of the platform, and I am actively working on bringing both numbers to 100% by running extra training sessions or helping out during live lessons.”

But it’s not just the students and teachers who are noticing the success, parents have as well with one saying:

“thank you for the tremendous work you have done to get the year 9 students working online.

I have been super impressed with the work you and your colleagues are doing to enable the children to continue their education in these most exceptional times.  We owe you a debt of gratitude. You are all a credit to the Gatwick School, to your profession and to the country.”

Having put in 18 – 20 hours a day for the last 3 weeks to make all this possible, Mr Picketts hard work is really paying dividends to both the students and staff. He said: “My silent hope is that other schools pick up the success of what we are doing and come to us for guidance and help so we can show them how to do it.

Head of School Mark Roessler said:

“Mr Pickett has very quickly and effectively set up online interactive live teaching platform whch has both engaged students and parents in home learning during this difficult time.

“Staff at The Gatwick School have adapted very quickly to this new way of teaching while juggling their own home learning and caring responsibilites. I’m extremely happy with current home learning provision and we will continue to explore possibilities of supporting our children.”


Elf Day at Crawley College helps raise money for Alzheimer’s society



Staff and students at Crawley College Group joined other colleges across their group including Chichester, Brinsbury, Haywards Heath and Worthing Colleges – as they dressed as elves earlier this month in support of Elf Day, a festive themed fundraising event for Alzheimer’s Society.

The days helped to raise nearly £1,500 for the group’s charity of the year.

Lisa Humphries, Director of Student Services and Pastoral Support for the Chichester College Group, said:

“Everyone out-elved themselves in support of Alzheimer’s Support.

“We were overwhelmed by the support everyone gave us, raising an incredible amount to kick-off our fundraising efforts for our chosen charity of the year.

“The elves really were out in force on all campuses, from making treats to sell to walking many memory miles and attending virtual workshops to find out more about dementia.

“The support our students and staff gave us was phenomenal, especially our student experience team who organised events at all of our colleges.”

The Chichester College Group will be fundraising for Alzheimer’s Society throughout the remainder of the academic year, with more events planned over the coming months/

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