It is during exceptional times like these that test all types of organisations on how they treat their customers and clients. Although extraordinary steps might have to be taken behind the scenes, the most important factor is how best to overcome those external influences which cannot be controlled, so to cause at least disruption as possible to their clients.
Although the current crises will have differing impact from one business to another, schools in-particular have a problem due to the loss of their physical environment, not only in respect of learning but also the loss of community which is so important to children.
Similar to other schools around the world where the coronavirus has taken hold, Marbella Montessori only had a few days to organise themselves into becoming a virtual online learning environment. This required the teachers to come to grips with technology that they had either none or very limited previous experience and how to manage an online classroom so different to which they are accustomed as part of their training and normal school life.
Through the use of class timetabling, every child from nursery to year 6 receives daily online tuition with their teacher with particular emphasis on literacy and mathematics. There is also the facility to arrange one-on-one personalised sessions on a daily basis. Spanish and reading groups are provided online by their usual specialist teachers. In addition, work is sent and returned through the Class Dojo app and which is used by the teachers to keep in regular contact with parents. There is a regular exchange of email between parents and school management together with issue of weekly newsletters and posts on social media. All these functions are managed by an exceptional young lady in the school office.
In respect of personal, emotional and social development, the children are invited to participate in circle time every morning with their teachers and the daily classes provides essential social contact with their school friends. An all school online assembly with singing is held every Friday afternoon to finish the week on a fun and positive note.
As we fully appreciate the difficult circumstances that we are all currently finding ourselves in and to uphold a sense of community that our school prides itself in having, we have recently announced a raft of measures to support our families. This has included extending the spring term for those parents who are interested, discounting tuition fees and providing an online Easter club free of charge.
It is through the continued support of the whole of our school community that we will continue to flourish for the benefit of all our children and to ride this storm out for better things to come in early 2021.