Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Forward thinking college all set for life’s great challenges

Forward thinking college all set for life’s great challenges

BEFORE the pandemic, Pangbourne College had spent the last few years investing in IT infrastructure.

Originally intended to cater for the increasing use of technology in education, it turned out to be ideal preparation for a forced transition to online learning in March.

College students and teachers quickly adapted to a normal timetable of lessons conducted via the Google suite for education.

“We were surprised by how well nearly everyone adapted,” says Thomas Garnier, headmaster. “We quickly realised that maintaining our excellent academic standards, quality pastoral care and regular communication with parents were key, as they were more involved in the day to day education of their children. As a result, we had excellent feedback from parents.”

A key part of Pangbourne’s ethos is its strong pastoral care. The move to a completely virtual environment made this challenging, but again the college reaped the benefits of previous investment in adaptable positive mental health initiatives.

For example, the college uses the AS tracking system, an online assessment tool which monitors mental health and which can proactively identify when a pupil needs extra support. Combined with weekly online staff pastoral meetings, this ensured that all staff able to provide support when needed.

After consultation with the parent community, the main message about the return to school was “back to normal, please”, and Pangbourne will be providing that in slightly modified ways this year.

And, for times when pupils are unable to be in school — due to illness or quarantine — the college has invested in technology which will enable hybrid live and online learning.

For more information, call 01189 842101 or email


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