Posted on Apr 29, 2020
Remote working has quickly become the new normal and for us, we’ve brought our learners on the journey with us and moved as much of our teaching and learning online, too.
Our apprenticeship employers have positively engaged with the flexibility that learning remotely brings and continue to book their staff in for inductions from home and are confident in our abilities and quick implementation. This has resulted in us conducting more enrolments this April compared to April 2019.
Our delivery staff have been fantastic in adapting to new ways of working to ensure that their sessions are delivered. By using online platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Skype, they have been able to communicate with their learners effectively and their support has been overwhelming - our Beauty Tutors are even filming tutorials to post on Youtube for learners to access.
Here’s how our tutors and trainers have been supporting their learners:
Nicola Jackson, Functional Skills Tutor, said: "I have been teaching Functional Skills - English in the workplace to a group of learners at Tesco, Peterborough, until Covid 19 hit and I had to think about interacting with and teaching my learners remotely.
"I immediately sent a text, rather than an email to all my learners, as I wanted the first contact to be a more personal message to communicate the fact that I was thinking about them all. I reassured them that I would contact them every week on a Friday.
"I looked at Google Classrooms and how it could help me remotely engage with my learners. I noticed that the learners could access the online classroom through an App on their mobile phones if they didn’t have access to a laptop. I also noted that the online platform allows you to send messages, post work and provide effective feedback.
"I then posted work within the Google platform and invited each learner to download a reading task which was specific to their individual levels. 18 students signed up to Google Classrooms within 24 hours and they have been emailing me their work. I have been downloading their work and emailing them back with individual feedback.
"I have had some great responses from learners who were excited to continue learning, have engaged and started using Google Classroom as an online learning tool which is great news.
"I also post regular messages of encouragement to keep the learners going."
Charlie Stokes, Childcare Tutor, said: "Many of my learners have children, so I have had to adapt my working hours so that I can support them. For example, I have held a group Zoom sessions with learners at 8pm when all of their little bundles of joy are all safely snuggled up in bed. This means that their Mam’s can carry on gaining the qualifications that they need to better themselves and progress further in their careers.
"I was also on the phone to a learner when their child burst in and asked for help on their homework, my learner didn’t know the answer, so I spent some time explaining to her son exactly what he needed to do to complete his homework and explained it all through to him. My learner was so grateful, I have since been able to access old work from my school teaching days and send it over to that learner as a way of easily occupying her child whilst she does some of her own work.
"This has become our new reality and thanks to an amazing team, phenomenal technology and learning to adapt our teaching styles, we can still carry on transforming people’s lives through learning."
If you’d like to read more of these great recounts, you can view our teaching and learning showcase document, here.
Learners are at the centre of everything we do and that hasn’t changed. We’ve also seen staggering numbers of enquiries - 22,000 in just one month - from people who want to spend their time at home wisely and gain a new qualification - many from would be key workers who want to upskills and help them in their volunteering efforts on the front line. Our vision to transform lives through learning remains the same and we won’t let anything get in our way.