Gef’s Guide to Lockdown Schooling

Remote learning, hub schools, uni students and exams, all you need to know if you’re impacted by the closure of schools.

Remote Learning

Teachers will be asked to facilitate online lessons and maintain contact with pupils in line with the strategic plan at their school. Extra support will also be provided to those without suitable devices and internet access and those in examination year groups.

A review after the last lockdown showed a difference between how well teachers and parents believed remote learning had worked as 86.7% of staff said they were satisfied or very satisfied compared to just 44.1% of parents, carers and students.

Education Minister Dr Alex Allinson said: ‘I know this is an unsettling time for children, parents and teachers and we will do everything we can to offer advice and practical support. 

‘The review established a consistent set of standards that will help to build resilience and ensure the volume and quality of remote lessons is consistent. Heads will be organising remote learning for pupils and again, teachers will play an essential role, not just educating children, but helping maintain their wellbeing.’

Tip: The BBC is also broadcasting educational shows based around the UK curriculum on CBBC and BBC2 starting Monday. There will be three hours a day on CBBC aimed at primary school and two hours a day on BBC2 for older kids.

School closures

All schools will close from tomorrow with the exception of the Hub schools which will open for key workers children and vulnerable children. The nine primary schools that will open are:

  • Ballacottier

  • Bunscoill Rhumsaa

  • Cronk Y Berry

  • Henry Bloom Noble

  • Onchan

  • Peel Clothworkers

  • Scoill Phurt le Moirrey

  • Rushen

  • St John’s

All secondary schools will open their doors for key worker and vulnerable children.

University College Isle of Man will also stop all face-to-face classes from Thursday, but all exams scheduled for this week will go ahead as planned.

Any pupils who are currently home educated and may be impacted by the recent changes are invited to contact DESC for advice and support.

There will be NO school bus service from tomorrow, students are asked to either make their own way to Hub schools or to get the regular bus.

Uni students

University students who were planning on returning to colleges in the UK are advised to speak to their faculties. Many courses have now been made available online and colleges are dissuading students from returning in January.

Some subjects which include practical assessments such as medicine and health related courses, nursing and education will be re-starting as planned.

Should any students require further advice on perhaps changing their higher education course, practical support or pastoral care they are invited to contact UCM which has made some of their staff available to support Isle of Man students studying in the UK.

Exams

Since the UK gov confirmed that GCSE and A-level exams are cancelled for this summer the Manx gov has been in regular contact with head teachers regarding the evolving situation and has been asking the Cambridge International Assessment board whether it too will be moving to teacher assessed grades.

Dr Allinson added: ‘I apologise that students and their families are again facing a degree of uncertainty around exams this summer. We will be working with schools and teachers to ensure that all our students get the grades they deserve and can progress with their future plans.’