Barton Peveril Sixth Form College’s 4,000 students will continue to attend each of their timetabled lessons from home, throughout the closure of the country’s educational institutions. As well as attending lessons taught by the College’s teachers (over 140) students have continued access to the College’s Counsellors, Student Progress Advisers, Nurse, and Careers Department.
This comes after a strong transition to online learning during the first national lockdown of 2020 and a switch to a blended timetable of on campus and online learning at the beginning of the 2020/21 academic year.
Use of technology
This continued provision is made possible through the College’s adoption of G Suite for Education, headed by Barton Peveril’s IT Manager and Google Certified Innovator Peter Horner.
Google Classroom is already used college-wide to empower learners, support independent learning and deliver flipped classrooms. Through it, teachers communicate, post resources and pre-work, manage assignments, and mark and offer written or audio feedback. The library also offers 50 Google subject sites with 24/7 access to e-resources and academic social media and apps.
Barton Peveril have received, and was shortlisted for, numerous awards as a result of its outstanding level of digital learning capabilities:
In June 2019, the College was awarded the Sixth Form College’s Association (SFCA) Award for Independent Learning. The Award recognised the College’s ability to facilitate independent learning among all students, regardless of ability, using the latest technology.
In 2020, Barton Peveril was named College of the Year in the Edufuturists Awards for its use of technology to enable a high quality of learning online. The College was also shortlisted for a prestigious Times Education Supplement (Tes) Award for Outstanding Use of Technology for Improving Teaching, Learning and Assessment and shortlisted to become a Department for Education (DfE) EdTech Demonstrator College. Additionally, Subject Leader for Learning Support, Laura Stephens, won the Pearson Digital Innovator of the Year Award (Silver) in the Pearson National Teaching Awards 2020.
In addition to continuing lessons as normal online, the College has also set up a digital enrichment provision that enables all students to learn and grow from home. The Digital Q-XTRA programme is an extension of the regular Q-XTRA provision that aims to develop students both inside and outside of the classroom; students pursue activities that support their futures, community, health, and skills to facilitate their immediate growth and their longer term transition to University, Apprenticeships, and employment.
Positive Student Experiences
Megan Roberts, formerly of Wildern School and in her first year of study at the College, also commented:
‘The wonderful efforts of the college have made the transition to remote learning surprisingly easy. They have provided so much support in this difficult time, and have offered us an abundance of online resources and opportunities to aid our progress. I am so grateful to still be receiving education and encouragement from the amazing staff.’
Student Rebecca Robson, who recently graduated from Barton Peveril and is now studying Psychology at the University of Southampton, commented on the transition to online learning:
‘I’ve found the change to online lessons really smooth. My teachers continued to offer myself and my classmates fun and interesting lessons from home and worked with us to set and mark work as they normally would, each week. I’m so glad the structure of timetabled lessons has continued, a total shift to independently working from home, without the support of my teachers, would have added to the stress of this situation. All of this has made my progression to University seamless, especially in the current climate where online learning is the norm; I am completely confident learning independently, as part of a group, and in seminars with my lecturers.’
Speaking on the work of students and staff, Principal Jonathan Prest said:
‘It has been remarkable to see teachers and support staff’s willingness to rise to the challenge of distance learning. At Barton we have not simply posted work for students to get on with, we have taught each class at the regular time and students can ask questions of their teachers, or collaborate with other students on a task. This has made it a much more structured and engaging experience, not dissimilar to normal lessons. Not only have staff adapted well to an extremely different way of teaching but so too have our students, who have continued their high level of commitment to learning albeit online. Like workers in the health and care services and in deliveries and supermarkets, there is much heroism out there in the virtual classroom.’