James Thomas is a Food Preparation & Nutrition teacher at Coombeshead Academy in Newton Abbot.
Recently, I asked James some questions about coping with COVID as a teacher and the lessons he will take forward from distance learning into the next school year.
RB: Firstly, what was the biggest lesson you learned from distance learning over the past few months?
JT: Students can find the work set to be confusing if it is not fully broken down into small manageable tasks.
RB: How did you make use of Seneca during this time?
JT: Seneca has really helped to check and confirm both knowledge learned and easily identify any gaps.
RB: What is your approach for setting work over the summer?
JT: Over the summer we will be setting all of the Seneca assignments for our GCSE Food and Nutrition students to check their understanding. We will be looking to use the new smart homework function to help us track student progress but also, reassign assignments where improvements are needed. The new function will provide students with work to complete but at a manageable pace that they can dictate plus, it will be easy to track!
RB: How will you be identifying and addressing learning gaps come September?
JT: We will be using the new smart assignments function in Seneca to track progress and automatically reassign assignments if students get below 80% on a particular topic.
RB: Will you change anything about how you use digital learning tools next school year?
JT: The whole experience has taught us many different lessons that we can learn from for the coming year. The biggest change that we will make from September is to provide work in a centralised location for all students to access if they are in school or not. This could be used in the event of school closure i.e. COVID or to provide support to a student with low attendance.