Summer programmes to help students catch up after Covid disruption
A raft of government summer programmes have been put in place to help students make up for lost school hours owing to classroom disruption caused by Covid-19.
Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education, outlined the opportunities during Friday’s House of Assembly sitting.
He said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has affected educational systems worldwide, with one of the major impacts being the loss of learning time.
“Although we could not make up days lost during this school year, students will be given opportunities to engage in online learning programmes and activities; and in some cases, in-person summer programmes, ranging from the preschool to the senior school level.”
The preschool I-Play Summer Boost Programme (Interactive Phonological Literacy Activities for Youngsters) is a joint venture between the Department of Education and The Reading Clinic for preschoolers transitioning into primary school.
Seven public preschools have signed up for the programme which focuses on ability to listen and decipher sounds to provide an indicator of later reading success.
The programme will be offered at Port Royal Primary in Southampton, St Paul’s Preschool in Paget, Lyceum Preschool in Hamilton and St George’s Preschool, from 8.30am to 3pm during July.
Primary and middle school students will have access to online reading and math programmes. Students attending schools in the west of the island can participate in the online Achieve3000 reading programme which can be accessed at all times on most devices.
“These programmes will enable students to continue to read e-books and take quizzes,” Mr Rabain said.
Mr Rabain said there is a drive to improve students’ math results and that the department will offer an eight-week online tutoring programme from July 6 to August 24 for primary and middle school students.
The programme will focus on gaps in students’ learning and “international math experts” will deliver sessions thanks to the department’s partnership with UK-based Primal Academic Innovations. Students will also have access to online math programme Dream Box.
Mr Rabain said plans were in place for those with limited or no internet access who will be provided with “subject-specific learning packets” for reading, writing and mathematics.
“The parents of those students can contact the Department of Education and collect from the offices learning packets that children from P1 to M1 can complete during each week of the summer break,” Mr Rabain said.
“The packets that will be provided to students will have answer keys and this will enable students and parents to get immediate feedback on student progress with the learning activities they have completed.”
There will also be some in-person learning opportunities.
The department will offer its annual Summer School Programme at the Dame Marjorie Bean Hope Academy in July with sessions running from 8.30am to 3pm as well as an after-school programme running from 3.30pm to 5.30pm.
“The programme's primary goal is for students to continue to work on their current Individualised Education Plan goals and reinforce the skills they have mastered during the school year,“ the minister said.
The virtual STEAM Academy delivered by the Gifted and Talented Education Programme will be offered to students from P1 to M3 level with the theme “Pandemic Vibes – Making the Shift”. It runs from July 5 to July 28 and costs $65 per week with sessions taking place from 10am to 2.15pm.
Mr Rabain said: “Students will create a collaborative motion picture, from script to screen, reflecting their Covid-19 experience. They will be writing scripts, composing music, creating visual animations in 2D and 3D, and ultimately, producing a collaborative motion picture.”
Parents can register online at: http://www.steamacademybermuda.com
There will also be a summer school for students in primary and middle school functional skills classes and middle school functional academies. It runs from July 5 to July 28 from 8.30am to 3pm.
Mr Rabain said that Chromebooks were being used by about 200 students across five primary schools and one middle school as part of a pilot programme using the devices.