School shares edtech for seamless remote learning

Worksop College and Ranby house

A broad-ability, non-academically selective school educating children aged 2-18, Worksop College and Ranby house is situated across 400 acres of North Notts woodland. The school’s focus is firmly on progress, recognising that every child has his or her own set of skills and abilities - whether academic, sporting, musical or otherwise. In 2016 the school opened a brand new 60 bed boarding house, catering for students from across the globe. It prides itself on its small class sizes and the fact that staff know every student by name.

Website: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A Worksop school that is home to international students is setting the bar high when it comes to remote learning, having carried out more than 4,000 online lessons across four different time zones during lockdown and beyond.

Worksop College, set in 330 acres of woodland just outside the town centre on the A57 in north Notts, is an independent, broad-ability school with a rich 125 year history educating students from year 7-13, while its feeder school, Ranby House, provides wrap-around education for children aged 2-11. The school was embracing online learning across the board before the pandemic struck, which meant it was a seamless transition for the students to learn from home when lockdown started - even for one of its pupils in Cyprus who hasn’t missed a single lesson despite his teachers being more than 2,000 miles away.

15-year-old Colin Worthen is a full-time boarder at the school, so when lockdown happened in March he flew home to Cyprus to be with his parents. He said:

“I’ve really enjoyed all of my lessons throughout lockdown and the fact they’re being done online doesn’t affect how much I’ve learn at all.

"I’ve carried on with my GCSE syllabus for all my subjects, even practical ones like science, and I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on anything at all. The only difference is that my day starts a little later as there is a 2-hour time difference with the UK – but I don’t mind that!”

Headmaster at Worksop College and Ranby House, Dr. John Price, said the fact that the school, which offers boarding as well as day places, is home to several international students meant it was prepared for a remote learning scenario well before other schools and academies. He said:

“We could see what was coming in the early months of this year, so we very swiftly ensured that all of our students from year 4 upwards were trained in how to use Microsoft Teams and we introduced our youngest pupils to Zoom as it allowed them to see lots of their friends’ faces on the screen.

“When lockdown was announced, we were ready. That very Monday all lessons went live online, all feedback and mark books were accessible online and of course all resources too, many of which we already used digitally, such as text books.

“It wasn’t just a case of making do. We were and still are using the technology at our fingertips innovatively to ensure each and every one of our students gets the individual, tailored education they deserve. For example, during one practical Biology lesson I was teaching recently, our pupil in Cyprus, Colin, could momentarily see the experiment better via Teams than the students at the back of the classroom, so they logged on to Teams too in order to have as good a vantage point as Colin!”

Dr. Price added that his overarching concern once remote learning become the temporary ‘norm’ was for every student and parent to feel that they had structure in their day. He said:

“I keenly wanted structure for all of our pupils and parents, because we all immediately, overnight, found ourselves in a situation we’ve never experienced or expected – and I knew that structure was vital to everyone’s sense of wellbeing. The timetable was maintained, the lessons weren’t at all disrupted and our assemblies brought everyone together once a week. I’m extremely proud of how the teachers and pupils have worked together throughout this very unsettling time to ensure our sense of community was never lost.”

COVID: Google releases new info hub for distance learning

Reception teacher at Ranby House, Adam Newton, brought his creative skills to the fore to keep his very young class engaged during lockdown, making his own YouTube clips and kinesthetic lessons from scratch. He said:

“Reception is perhaps the hardest year group to teach remotely, purely because of how young the children are. They didn’t associate home with school and so I had to think of ways to bring the lessons to life through the screen.

“I made short YouTube clips for phonics and maths lessons which they could watch any time and basically got into the character of a CBBC presenter in order to bring as much fun and energy to the children as possible! Thinking creatively was key – for example I did a video where there were two of me, throwing a 3D object back and forth and in others I used puppets.”

Adam also held a weekly parent-pupil quiz via Zoom during lockdown and sent suggestions for tactile learning such as having a star gazing session at home and coming to the Zoom call the next day with observations. Dr Price added:

“As the pandemic continues, with no guarantee that schools won’t have to shut again, we feel fully prepared for all eventualities at Worksop College and Ranby House. It’s a credit to our teachers, parents and students that we’ve navigated such a chaotic and unsettling time so smoothly and I’m incredibly proud of the entire school community.”

 Looking for more resources to support your teaching and learning? Check out the best education technology resources on our sister platform EdTech Impact.

Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support us.
When you register, you'll join a grassroots community where you can:
• Enjoy unlimited access to articles
• Get recommendations tailored to your interests
• Attend virtual events with our leading contributors
Register Now

Latest stories

  • How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country
    How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country

    Teaching English in a foreign country is likely to be one of the most demanding experiences you'll ever have. It entails relocating to a new country, relocating to a new home, and beginning a new career, all of which are stressful in and of themselves, but now you're doing it all at once. And you'll have to converse in a strange language you may not understand.

  • Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?
    Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?

    Over the weekend, my family of five went to an Orlando theme park, and I decided we should really enjoy ourselves by purchasing an Unlimited Quick Queue pass. It was so worth the money! We rode every ride in the park at least twice, but one ride required us to ride down a rapidly flowing river, which quenched us with water. It was incredible that my two-year-old was laughing as well. We rode the Infinity Falls ride four times in one day—BEST DAY EVER for FAMILY FUN in the Sun! The entire experience was epic, full of energizing emotions and, most importantly, lots of smiles. What made this ride so cool was that the whole family could experience it together, the motions were on point, and the water was the icing on the cake. It had been a while since I had that type of fun, and I will never forget it.

  • Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2
    Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2

    The Action Pack is back for the start of the brand new school year, just in time for Recycle Week 2021 on 20 - 26 September, to empower pupils to make the world a better and more sustainable place. The free recycling-themed resources are designed for KS1 and KS2 and cover the topics of Art, English, PSHE, Science and Maths and have been created to easily fit into day-to-day lesson planning.

  • Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu
    Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu

    Following the exceptional performance from British breakthrough star Emma Raducanu, who captured her first Grand Slam at the US Open recently, Emmamania is already inspiring pupils aged 4 - 11 to get more involved in tennis - and LTA Youth, the flagship
    programme from The LTA, the governing body of tennis in Britain, has teachers across the country covered.

  • 5 ways to boost your school's eSafety
    5 ways to boost your school's eSafety

    eSafety is a term that constantly comes up in school communities, and with good reason. Students across the world are engaging with technology in ways that have never been seen before. This article addresses 5 beginning tips to help you boost your school’s eSafety. 

  • Tackling inequality in EdTech
    Tackling inequality in EdTech

    We have all been devastated by this pandemic that has swept the world in a matter of weeks. Schools have rapidly had to change the way they operate and be available for key workers' children. The inequalities that have long existed in communities and schools are now being amplified by the virus.

  • EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab
    EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab

    The world is catching up with a truth that we’ve championed at Learning Ladders for the last 5 years - that children’s learning outcomes are greatly improved by teachers, parents and learners working in partnership. 

  • Reducing primary to secondary transition stress
    Reducing primary to secondary transition stress

    As school leaders grapple with the near impossible mission to start bringing more students into schools from 1st June, there are hundreds of thousands of Year 6 pupils thinking anxiously about their move to secondary school.

  • Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?
    Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?

    The K-12 online tutoring market is booming around the world, with recent research estimating it to grow by 12% per year over the next five years, a USD $60bn increase. By breaking down geographic barriers and moving beyond the limits of local teaching expertise, online tutoring platforms are an especially valuable tool for those looking to supplement their studies in the developing world, and students globally are increasingly signing up to online tuition early on in their secondary education schooling. 

  • Employable young people or human robots?
    Employable young people or human robots?

    STEM skills have been a major focus in education for over a decade and more young people are taking science, technology, engineering, and maths subjects at university than ever before, according to statistics published by UCAS. The downside of this is that the UK is now facing a soft skills crisis and the modern world will also require children to develop strong social skills as the workplaces are transformed by technology. 

In order to make our website better for you, we use cookies!

Some firefox users may experience missing content, to fix this, click the shield in the top left and "disable tracking protection"