Virtual learning for Secondary Students: What, Why and How

Virtual learning for Secondary Students: What, Why and How
MCO Online Learning counselling
Malaysia will be in lockdown for at least two weeks from 1st June, possibly longer. At this time, it is unclear if we will be able to return to campus for face-to-face learning this term. We hope that the lockdown will significantly reduce the transmission of Covid-19 and that this, along with the accelerating vaccination programme, will enable us to re-open to students as soon as possible. 

A virtual diet is a varied one

KLASS Times 20.3.2020 - Virtual Learning @ EP Keeping learning on-track, online
Although we would prefer to be in the classroom with our students, we are now adept at supporting students virtually. We bring into our online lessons all of our learning about the nuances of effective online teaching, assessment and feedback that we have gained and sought out over the last 12 months and more. Our teachers use Zoom and GMeet as their main interactive platforms to see and speak with students. However, they also incorporate a range  of learning  technology to support students,  their learning and assessment.  Google Classroom, Quizlet, Peardeck, Seesaw, Flipgrid, Padlet and more.
Lessons are often blended and include instructional, discursive and collaborative learning. We use breakout rooms to facilitate group work and conversations amongst students and we incorporate hooks, challenges, games and competitive elements. We also encourage some lessons or parts of lessons to be off-screen. The teacher will always be available to students to ask questions, clarify or discuss, but we are mindful that not all learning needs to be, nor should be, screen-based and instructional. We encourage a healthy balance of on-screen and off-screen learning, interaction and independence, discussion and instruction, research and application. For this reason of balance and self-care, we do not set independent study (homework) for our Key Stage 3 students whilst in virtual learning. 

Cameras and connection


A teaching episode is both an act of learning and an act of socialisation and interaction. Children construct meaning from what is being taught; peer and student-teacher discussions help them to process and make sense of that learning. We understand the importance of connection and interaction in virtual teaching, which is why you will find that much of your child’s virtual learning has interactive elements - discussions, group and paired learning, presentations and debate. It is also why we ask students to keep their cameras on during virtual lessons - the wellbeing benefits of seeing faces, smiles and connecting on a human level - albeit through a camera - are huge. Students are not always keen to keep their cameras on though and we appreciate your support in encouraging them to do so. 

Find some more tips for creating a positive virtual learning environment here.

Wellbeing and pastoral support

During this time, all of us experience a mix of emotions. Indeed, from day to day, we might struggle to be our best selves. Routine and consistency are great supports in these situations. Being ready to start the day in an environment that supports engagement in learning helps students to feel a sense of accomplishment. During this time, teachers will reach out to students to check in with the pace of learning and level of understanding. Student communication and engagement is vital here. If students feel themselves falling behind, then they should reach out to their subject teacher directly through the chat function or privately through school email.

Rise and shine poster-3

Wellbeing support will continue through the medium of daily tutor check-ins and weekly student surveys. More complex concerns - individual or family - can be supported and explored through the school counselling service. A wealth of resources and help is available here. The virtual ECA programme offers students time away from screens in a variety of activities, some can be completed as a family, so take a look and build them into your day together.  

Why not join us for our "RISE and SHINE motivation" every Tuesday and Thursday morning? 

if you have any concerns or questions please contact your child's teacher or email the school leadership teams on (Primary) or (Secondary).

Authors: Dr Maria Osowiecki, Secondary Principal, and David Slade, Vice Principal (Our Students)