Academic Blogs

Surval's E-ssential E-Learning

01 April 2020

Vice-Principal Mr Smale explores how Surval’s community has met the challenges of e-learning from homes across the globe.

One real positive arising from the current pandemic has been how education has responded: an exciting opportunity for this innovative profession, driven forwards by dedicated staff. Amongst all the other ‘key workers’ delivering at this unprecedented global time of need, teachers can, must and are playing their part.

Schools in Switzerland closed their classroom doors mid-March. The Surval teaching team found itself abruptly shifted from classroom-based to online teaching. We quickly set about exploring and utilising the incredible functionality of Google.  Using a combination of Google Meet and Google Classroom, we have upheld a 360-degree approach to our lesson delivery. With girls spread across all continents, we ensured teachers would be available for our girls at their normal timetable hours. Maintaining our in-school timetable online has meant that those important community links, when girls could well be isolated at home, are maintained, developed and further improved. All our lessons are recorded so time zones don`t hamper the learning experience for any girl, it gives them the chance to understand their learning, hear explanations about the work and appreciate any questions being asked. All of our resources, videos and content are uploaded into a Google Classroom and are easily accessible and incredibly valuable.

How this innovative approach impacts other learners beyond Surval, only time will tell. However, at Surval we are determined our girls will receive the best possible E-learning experience.  In one of my lessons, I had students from Ukraine, England and Ireland discussing different business concepts as if there were no screens, no barriers. I am in awe of the power of technology to connect us all.

I have been so impressed with our girls who are, despite the distances, engaging in all that we do: joining our online assemblies, throwing themselves into debate and discussion, engaging in Cookery and Modern Foreign Language lessons whilst also completing assignments, producing essays and delivering presentations. 

I also feel very proud of the Surval team; of their certainty in the face of uncertainty, their offering structure, focus and consistency to our girls. I am impressed by the creativity and ideas they invest in their online lessons and I am proud of their commitment.  I applaud our staff for all of the work they are doing and for how much they care about the Surval learning experience of you, our girls.