At Australian International School of Malaysia, the Continuity of Learning programme ensures that students’ learning continues, even during a crisis when schools have to close their doors. Have a look here at their article to learn how the school manages to do so.
There’s a famous saying that “It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but it’s the one that’s most adaptable to change”. Whilst historians can’t agree on who said it, I think we can all agree that students and their schools this year had to adapt to change quicker than any other generation in recent history.
In just over a year, schools in KL had to close their doors because of haze and of course who could forget the pandemic. So when choosing a school for your child, you should make sure you find out about its virtual learning programme and whether it would work for your family. Michelle Chaplin, Head of Junior School at the Australian International School in Kuala Lumpur (AISM) shares with us some helpful questions to ask a potential school.
What questions should you ask a school about its online learning programme?
- How do teachers deliver lessons? Are they conducting live lessons or is work sent home to be completed at their own pace?
- How long does a typical school day last?
- Do the teachers ask for and respond to feedback?
- How do students contact their teacher if they have questions?
- How does the school communicate with parents and how often?
- How do the teachers help children that need extra support with their home learning?
What method did AISM students and parents find worked best for them during online learning?
Ms Chaplin explains that the AISM ‘Continuity of Learning programme’ is constantly evolving according to feedback from students, their parents and teachers. Ms Chaplin added that they were delighted with the immense amount of support and positive feedback they’ve received so far from its community.
At AISM they found that Middle School students are capable of dealing with a close to normal timetable delivered using Google Meets. Whereas the learners in the Junior School need a different approach that is more appropriate for their age group, concentration span and development. Teachers use Seesaw, videos, google meets and email to deliver lessons to younger students.
But they also realise that no two students are the same. So even during online schooling they design lessons to meet each child’s needs interests and abilities. They are also offering extra sessions for those needing extra support or stretching further.
If you have already chosen your school, how can you help your child with their online learning?
Ms Chaplin says that no matter what your child’s age, you can help them firstly by creating a calm and suitable environment for them to learn in. You can also help them to establish and maintain a daily routine. She adds that secondly parents should let their children know that it’s ok to not know everything. They should also encourage them to ask for help from a teacher, using whichever method they are most comfortable with.
Will not being in school have a long term effect on my child?
Ms Chaplin offers parents reassurance: “No one can say for sure what the long term impact will be. Different people will be affected differently. However, what is important is to choose a school that adapts quickly to its students needs, in whatever situation is thrown at them.”
University of Melbourne’s Professor Hattie has looked at other times when children have experienced breaks from school to access its impact. He found that even with extended breaks from learning like in Christchurch after the earthquake, the impact was surprisingly low because teachers were good at tailoring learning to students’ needs.
Ms Chaplin adds: “We’ve used online testing, quizzes and other tools to continuously collect information about how students are doing. This way, we can adapt the teaching programmes when necessary.”
Professor Hattie, like the team at AISM, is a big believer in the fact that students will continue to thrive no matter what the circumstances if leaders, teachers, students and parents don’t panic but instead continue to adapt and work closely together.
Virtual Open Month
If you would like to know more about the Continuity of Learning programme at AISM or even just to learn about life in general, join their Virtual Open Month this November and chat live with its Principal – Liam King and Heads of Schools. If you like what you see and hear, you can register your child and benefit from an application fee rebate* plus 50% admissions fee waiver*. Visit the AISM website here for more details. Alternatively, you could contact a member of the friendly Admissions team on 03-8949 5000 or email them.
*terms and conditions apply
Australian International School Malaysia
AISM has been offering an outstanding Australian curriculum in Malaysia for more than 20 years. AISM employs predominantly Australian trained teachers, and caters for children from age 3 (Pre-school) to age 18 (Pre-University). Located in a secure gated community in Seri Kembangan, AISM overlooks the picturesque South Lake of The Mines Resort City, a short drive from Kuala Lumpur City Centre.