16 Mar, 2022
10 : 00
In response to the most recent outbreaks and to ensure the safety of all students and community members, YCIS Shanghai observed the instructions from the Education Bureau of Shanghai to move to online learning.
Over the past two years, all five YCIS Shanghai campuses developed contingency plans should we need to start e-Learning again. We learned from past unprecedented challenges, technological and pedagogical alike, and have spent time refining and improving our online teaching methods and strategies to meet the needs of our students and community through communication with teachers and parents. We have full confidence that we will keep providing a high-quality education experience for all of our students. Our Mission, Principles and Practices, as well as our Learning Principles, guide everything we do at YCIS, and this will continue to be the case for our online learning.
Online learning empowers students through technology that allows them to learn and progress at their own pace. While [adults] can monitor their growth and strategically support in the most needed areas making education and learning experiences personalised. More specifically, online learning requires teachers to constantly adapt to the individual needs of their students using different learning materials or methods.
— Ms Linda Li Asher, YCIS Puxi Co-Principal
This Monday, teachers helped prepare students for online learning through assemblies and independent preparation work. By Tuesday, the online programme was in full force. Platforms such as ManageBac and Seesaw already form part of our day-to-day digital interaction when we are on campus, and Teams and Classin have been deployed for live lessons to ensure we keep up the continued face-to-face interaction that we know is so crucial for our students’ wellbeing and learning.
Our YCIS e-Learning Handbook was sent to all faculty and parents as a resource to understand and monitor the online learning process. The handbook contains tips and suggestions to help encourage parents to support their children by being monitors, participants, and recorders of e-Learning.
Although students are not physically on campus, there are still guidelines to ensure a productive learning experience. Students are required to wear school uniforms, go for scheduled breaks, and participate in discussions for their online classes. All these routines are in place to remind us that school is continuing as normal, despite being online.
YCIS Pudong Assistant Co-Principal Mr Andy Clapperton explains that "'e-Learning' is electronic in the sense that the communication element happens online. However, this does not mean students are working solely on their devices." He continues to add, "wellbeing is central to YCIS Shanghai school culture and we have several policies and practices to ensure that use of devices is safe and healthy." In particular, physical activity is planned for all our students because we know it is fundamental to effective learning.
We understand that parents can have a conflicted mindset. Some feel worried that online classes will be too long and affect a child's eyesight. Others may be afraid that online classes will be too short and children will have a hard time focusing. As we begin round two of online learning, we noted previous feedback from parents and implemented practices to boost student engagement, provide effective learning tools and resources, and balance time dedicated to offline activities.
Our school counsellors are equipped to provide personalised services to students, just as we do on campus. Parents are also encouraged to maintain close contact with their child’s classroom and subject teachers.
The YCIS community showed great strength and resilience during the initial lockdown a few years ago, and we are confident we can band together to prevail again. Our best hopes and wishes go to our students and their families during this time. In particular, our thoughts are with the families and staff members who are currently in lockdown. We hope you all stay safe and healthy, and we look forward to seeing you all back on campus again soon.