Online Learning

Online Learning during Lockdown

Lockdown, Zoom and Blended Learning may now be familiar terms, but back in March 2020 few of us had ever heard of them. There was no template or model for creating a successful online school and schools had a ridiculously short time to make it happen.  Thankfully, Campbell had a well-established virtual learning system called Firefly in place and we were able to benefit from the expertise and advice from the team at Firefly. But even more importantly, Campbell has had a Digital Learning Team (DLT) in place for several years, regularly leading staff training and developing expertise in digital learning. It was this foundation coupled with our long term experience of the supportive nature of the wider Campbell community that gave us the confidence that we could make CCB Online a successful reality.

With all the technical pieces of the puzzle in place, our thoughts turned to how best create a sense of community online. This sense of belonging at Campbell proved not only to be a vital feature of our physical school, but as we witnessed over the coming months, an essential element for successful online learning. The Community section on Firefly was born and a schedule created including Weekly Year Head Assemblies and House Challenges, Cooking, Art and Music Challenges, Mr McKee’s Story-time, Mr Brown’s Brainteasers, Ron’s Fitness Workout, Dr Breen’s Countryfile and Miss Skipper’s Library Readings. You can watch some of the videos below.

This was not the first time in its history that Campbell College has had to find a way to meet the challenge of keeping learning going beyond the walls of our majestic buildings and grounds. In 1940 the College was evacuated to Portrush and I have often wondered over the years about the experience of those boys and teachers in the most trying of times. I am sure many lessons were learnt during their time on the North Coast, and I suspect that some were not dissimilar to those that I learnt during our enforced online learning experiment.

I was immensely proud to be able to end the year with a final word of encouragement of my own when I was able to report that Campbell had beaten over 500 schools in the UK to win two from four of Firefly’s Heroes of Home Learning awards - a fitting recognition for all those who went above and beyond to keep learning going in the most difficult of circumstances.

Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, while CCB Online was much more than I could ever have hoped for, I was reminded that the College without its people is nothing. Whether we meet on the Belmont Road, Portrush or somewhere in cyberspace, if Lockdown has taught us nothing else, it is that the school is much more than its buildings - it is in our pupils, our staff and our parents where the real Campbell College is to be found. Ne Obliviscaris.

Mr Darren Walker, Head of Digital Learning.


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Workouts with Ron

CCB Countryfile

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