On the 18th of March 2020, Boris Johnson announced that all schools across England would have to close indefinitely to stop the spread of coronavirus. This decision affected almost 8 million students and meant that summer exams were cancelled with many missing out on their end-of-year celebrations. The curriculum and usual teaching, the schedule was thrown into disrepute, and schools were forced to adapt quickly to the unique circumstances and find a way to communicate with their staff, pupils and parents who were stuck at home.
Because of this, many schools’ online presence and social media accounts took centre stage as parents and pupils constantly checked online for updates on the rapidly changing situation. Communication was key, and the schools that developed an effective strategy to communicate clearly came out the other side more organized and better functioning than most. One way in which these schools dealt with the challenges of delivering mass information was via video. Pre-recorded messages of support and the latest school updates via zoom became the norm of lockdown life as kids and parents across the UK welcomed the benefits of video into their new lives.
Although schools have now gone back and the country is once again learning inside classrooms, not everything is the same and an open and clear line of communication remains supremely important for these teaching establishments. With the country heading into a potential second lockdown, the shadow of coronavirus is still lurking and schools must find of way of dealing with the issues it creates. Finding the perfect solution to these problems is tough, but the video is the best option right now.
The reason why video works so well in this current climate is that it is the quickest and easiest way to disseminate information and the preferred way for people to consume it. This year has been unprecedented – pupils and parents quite rightly have questions about the new school life and they will have thousands more as this situation develops. To combat the stress of answering all these questions over the phone or via email, schools should consider producing a short explanatory video going through the measures they have implemented to keep children and staff safe from the virus.
Choosing to inform families of these measures through video rather than via a long-worded written document is a modern approach and one which will be well-received by both parents and students. Parents will appreciate the quick and easy-to-digest updates, and the children are more likely to pay attention to the video and retain the necessary information than if they read along with and potentially boring documents.
This benefit extends to teaching too. With cases rising across the country, it is extremely likely that every school will have to confront the fact that the virus is going to infect someone in the building at some time. If a number of individuals become infected and certain groups are sent home, schools are expected to have a home working plan in place.
In this plan, incorporating pre-recorded video lessons to teach those unfortunate kids who have been forced home is a fantastic idea. Doing this ensures that children won’t fall behind in the curriculum and it helps them learn like they usually would in the classroom, which has proven to be three times more effective than leaving them to learn independently out of a textbook. These video lessons are incredibly easy to make and also provide teachers with an extra revision resource when it comes to end-of-year exams.
At this time of year, however, pupils might be thinking more about their next step in the education ladder if they happen to be in Year 6 or Year 11. With the changeover into either high school or college fast approaching, decisions on where to take that next step need to be made. Usually, schools have the chance to showcase what they can offer during ‘open nights’ where families can take a look around the premises and chat with some current teachers.
However, this is 2020, and nothing is usual. Practically every school in the UK has cancelled these open nights for obvious reasons, leaving many families to make less informed choices than they would have liked. This doesn’t have to be the case, however, as schools and colleges could offer online video tours and post them on their website for all prospective students to see. Using video to provide a walkthrough of the grounds containing brief discussions from the heads of departments, pupils will see what the school looks like, giving them a feel for the type of atmosphere they can expect if they were to join. Producing video tours is a no-brainer and is probably the only viable way to provide a similar experience to the standard open night’s many families are used to.
Staying in touch with pupils, parents and staff is crucial at a time like this and finding a way to keep everyone in the loop is one of the highest priorities for schools right now. Increased, clear communication equals a more inclusive and supportive atmosphere, which in today’s world can go a long way in helping people cope with this crisis. Video is the key to this, and the quicker schools take notice the better the COVID-hit education system will become.
School video to watch from Title Productions:
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