Agile is the word at Antonio Park Primary School

Scrum meetings and an agile framework are concepts often associated with projects in the private sector, but in the case of Antonio Park Primary School, they describe the work  of teachers rolling out remote and flexible learning.

Principal Richard Lambert says the school is taking an iterative approach to Term 3 remote and flexible learning and continually improving online learning for its 525 students.

Remote learning was set up with little notice in Term 2, Mr Lambert says,  and teaching staff expected it would  be a one-off experience. However, this time, Mr Lambert says it seems that remote and flexible learning will take up a good proportion Term 3, and so the stakes were higher in delivering a rich learning program aimed at achieving meaningful learning growth for all students.

'Teams have short meetings two to three times a day to update on how they are going. We've adapted the approach from 'scrum meetings' in the corporate world,' he says.

'We're planning, reviewing and putting up the next day's lessons by 5pm daily and meeting regularly, which means we're keeping on top of any issues that may arise and responding or pivoting quickly.'

'We take that approach with professional learning too – regular staff meetings mean continual sharing of expertise across the teaching staff.

'It is vital that the quality of education a child gets isn't a raffle based on the tech expertise of their teacher. Whatever we do, we do consistently across each class, so, for example, a more tech-savvy teacher helps and shares their expertise with other colleagues so we're all levelling up together.'

A key component of the new approach for this period of remote and flexible learning, Mr Lambert says, was setting key design principles for the academic program – focusing more on differentiation, student-to-student interaction and collaboration, and meaningful digital learning design.

Teachers have introduced smaller group video conferences – whether it be targeted reading groups or small-size wellbeing classes in Grades 3 and 4, which aim to facilitate social interaction between classmates – the latter of which was not as present during Learning from Home in Term 2.

'The student-to-student communication and interaction is a key part of wellbeing,' Mr Lambert says.

Also different to the remote and flexible learning experience in Term 2 is the inclusion of challenge sections on each year level webpage and rich open-ended activities at each year level, particularly targeting students who need an extra challenge.

But framing all of this work, he says, was a greater emphasis on digital learning design.

Building on the Term 2 remote and flexible learning program, this time teaching staff at Antonio Park Primary School were seeing themselves as learning designers: designing each task as a learning experience based on the outcomes they wanted to achieve for the students.

It's based on a philosophy, he says, of flipping the negative mindset of only seeing remote learning in terms of restrictions compared to face-to-face learning and instead thinking about the potential opportunities it presents.

'In some ways, there are advantages when you look at it as a pure pedagogy, and to maximize this time  – that's where our focus needs to be' Mr Lambert says.

Access a suite of advice about how schools can ensure learning continuity for their students during periods of disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19).