Edgecliff ingenuity

Miss Julia Wilson shares some stories of how Edgecliff boys and their teachers creatively adapted to lockdown challenges.


Staying Connected

Staff collegiality and mutual support was a consistent feature of Term III. In what could have potentially been a lonely environment, staff at Edgecliff connected through Zoom in many ways: weekly whole-School staff briefings, daily and weekly stage or grade meetings, weekly online trivia quizzes, and Friday virtual drinks with nibbles. Class teachers made sure that boys were also given opportunities to connect with each other – not only with boys in their class, but across their grade cohort. This was done through afternoon ‘checkout’ sessions, with games, challenges, quizzes, and opportunities to use breakout rooms for a general hello and catch up. Some grades indulged in themed checkouts with ‘bring your pet’, ‘dress up’, ‘snack and chat’ to break up the ‘sameness’ of the routine and to refresh smiles! Specialist Teachers rotated through all classes K-6 during our first morning Zoom session, joining the Class Teacher with their first lesson. Their input was a welcome addition of knowledge, personality and variety for classes!

Sharing of Ideas

From the outset, there was a culture of sharing and helping among colleagues. Collectively managing technical challenges and upskilling each other in the use of technology became a daily routine. Being able to adapt quickly and display flexibility and patience with each other, recognising each other’s strengths and weaknesses, was something we did really well. Grade teams met frequently during each week, sharing lessons and ideas that were planned for the following week. This allowed them to look closely at programmes and think creatively about how to engage the boys online. The sharing of interactive tools, interesting websites, virtual excursions, guest speakers and Zoom tips meant that the experience (for both boys and Teachers!) was improving each week.

The Show Must Go On

COVID-19 caused many frustrating limitations to be placed on the Creative Arts and Sport Departments. However, where there’s a will there’s a way! The Infants Theatre Evening took a new twist and was presented online. Kindergarten entertained us with ‘The Bunyips of Berkley’s Creek’ with wonderful confidence and charisma, Year One expertly performed ‘Oi! Get off our Train’ dressed in highly creative costumes and Year Two presented ‘The Enormous Crocodile’ displaying teamwork and maturity. The Music department, unable to facilitate the large number of recitals and concerts that was the norm, ran wonderful lunchtime concerts which boys, staff and parents could all tune in to and enjoy. Although team sports were on hold, boys were able to join online morning fitness sessions, and many took up the ‘trick-shot’ challenge proving their hand-eye coordination and ball skills were still there!

Below is a video montage of some highlights from these online interactions

Attitudes to Learning

Throughout the online learning period, staff recognised the importance of keeping boys engaged and motivated. Along with the variety of learning experiences that teachers planned, reference to our core School values and Attitudes to Learning was integral to helping boys understand both how to learn and how to help themselves. Online learning brought about a greater need for working independently, but also an ability to engage positively in the learning environment (albeit a tricky one at times). Boys were recognised for developing their learning skills, given opportunities for self-reflection and given time to respond to feedback from their Teachers. Effort and achievement were celebrated through Merit awards, Headmaster awards, class ‘shout-outs’ and being featured in Edgecliff’s weekly digital snapshot of learning.

The below video shows some examples from the weekly digital snapshot of learning

Edgecliff's "Attitudes to Learning" are summarised on posters that are sprinkled throughout classrooms