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5 things the so-called ‘lost generation’ have learnt in the pandemic

Worried your child has missed out academically over the last year? How about we flip the narrative...

Kimberley Wyatt, Warwick Senior School’s Deputy Head Teaching and Learning, looks at what pupils have gained since the first lockdown in March 2020. Over to you Kimberley…

Kimberley Wyatt

If you believe the papers then we should be worrying about this new generation more than ever: they are the ‘lost generation’ who will take decades to regain what they have lost. I believe the opposite. Let’s flip this: what have young people gained in this last year?

Creativity

It’s well-documented that routine is the enemy of creativity. We have tried very hard to keep the usual routines of school to make sure that boys feel secure and motivated but it is also true that, as Benedict Carey, author of the new book How We Learn says, our routines limit our brain’s ability to build skills and knowledge.

Staff and pupils have been inspired by the change in routine to approach their learning in a new way. Watching the creativity of the staff in thinking up science experiments that can be done in the home or seeing boys decide to write a play which can be performed on Zoom has been an extraordinary testament to what can be achieved by looking afresh. 

Independence

To truly know something then we need to find it out for ourselves. Before lockdown, we had already invested much thought into how to incorporate flipped learning into our curriculum so that boys were discovering for themselves in preparatory tasks and lessons could be about the teacher shaping and honing that knowledge.

Aspects of our curriculum such as the extended essay projects in Year 9 and Year 12 work confirm our belief in this style of learning and lockdown has given us more opportunity to experiment with this style of approach.

Technical flexibility

In lockdown, boys have become even more adept at seamlessly moving between different systems – using Office products such as One Note, Sway and Forms alongside Teams for the majority of their learning but also using Google Classroom and other add-ons for where these platforms suit the subject matter. Their flexibility and resilience in learning new systems will prepare them well for working life.

Kindness and Community

The boys recognise the importance of their community more than ever, despite being physically apart. Whether this has been the many volunteer schemes that the school has organised or our boarding community donating PPE from China and Hong Kong during the worst of the first lockdown, the boys have recognised the need to be part of something bigger than themselves.

No one denies that the last year has been tough and we can’t wait to get them back but do so with optimism. They have lived with the greatest uncertainty, but this has given them strength. They are not a lost generation but a resilient, flexible and kind one.

Warwick Senior School is an independent day and boarding school for boys aged 11-18. It is holding an Open Evening on Fri July 2, 6pm – 8pm with tours led by prefects including an opportunity to see the new Sixth Form Centre, plus talks from the Head Master in Warwick Hall (times to be confirmed). To book your place register online here.

Warwick School, Myton Road, Warwick CV34 6PP, Tel: 01926 776400. Email: enquiries@warwickschool.org

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