Some Top Tips for home learning; Credit: St George's International School

Having been closed for over a week, schools in Luxembourg have been getting creative in order to continue to provide students with an education during the coronavirus crisis.

St George’s International and the International School of Luxembourg (ISL) are among the schools in the Grand Duchy to have opted for virtual teaching and remote learning during this period. Both schools have now shared their initial experiences one week into the school closure with, including which tools they have been using and which have proven most successful to date.

St George’s International School

Both St George’s and ISL have been making extensive use of Seesaw for their primary school pupils. Seesaw is a platform for sharing work, videos, teaching, doing / displaying homework and sharing voice recordings, among others.

Having already used Seesaw among its primary classes prior to the school closure, St George’s decided that this was the best platform for home learning for its students.  More specifically, the school's educators have been assigning MP1, 2 and 3 work and activities on Seesaw everyday between 08:00 and 08:30. The pupils’ work is monitored and marked daily through the platform with comments or voice comments and/or instructions. This covers the following subjects: Daily English; Daily Mathematics; Curriculum / Science work; and an optional project. Specialist teachers have also been providing the pupils with work, including a range of activities to try at home. All student work can be uploaded on Seesaw and marked by teachers. Children can record or film themselves reading, which will then be heard by teaching assistants who will leave comments and/or feedback. St George's has also encouraged the children to be active during this time by providing a list of activities to try at home. 

In EYFS, students are set activities and games to try at home with Seesaw. This can also be uploaded by the parents and commented on by staff.

Meanwhile, secondary school students have Office 365 Teams where they can access and submit work. In addition to Office 365, they have been using other online platforms such as Doddle Learn, IMaths and Dynamic Learning.

In addition, teachers have been launching live classes on YouTube and interactive sessions, such as exercise and dance videos, music and cooking activities and art and meditation classes.

Zoom is also used for meetings throughout the school, which held its first virtual weekly assembly on Friday, with the Primary Headteacher being filmed from her home.

In terms of statistics, the first week of virtual learning at St George’s (17-23 March) saw a total of 13,756 posts added to Seesaw, accompanied by 15,361 comments, 16,265 “likes” of student work and 987 visits by family members.

St George’s also recently shared its top tips for home learning via its website and social media. These include: finding the right platform; establishing a daily routine; being creative; keeping in contact through voice messages, video tutorials and live lessons, encouraging students to upload photos and videos; listening to parents; taking care of school staff; keeping in touch; sharing resources; thinking outside the box; encouraging daily exercise; and remembering you are not alone.

International School of Luxembourg

Similarly, at ISL, virtual learning is being supported in Preschool to Grade 2 by Seesaw and in Grades 3 to 12 by Schoology during the school closure. 

Schoology and Seesaw are both examples of learning management systems (LMS), which create a digital learning experience that supports teachers in their teaching and students in their learning as well as allowing parents to access and see only what their children generate and create. The LMS connects the ISL community to a central collection of resources and provides asynchronous, remote learning opportunities. 

More specifically, Seesaw and Schoology offer a digital space for everything from classroom references to the delivery of virtual learning. Both platforms help build a strong school-home community, according to ISL, offering a multimedia digital medium to enhance classroom interaction and a platform to showcase student learning.

The ISL added that students and teachers had already been using Seesaw and Schoology throughout the school year and were thus already familiar with their functionality as the school phased into its virtual learning last week.

At present, schools and childcare facilities in Luxembourg are closed until 19 April 2020. The resumption of normal classes is scheduled for the Monday (20 April) after the Easter holidays, although the school closure may be prolonged according to the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic.