Necessity is the mother of invention. That’s what the Greek philosophers believed all those centuries ago – and it’s proving to be particularly true across Shropshire right now.
Ever since the Government began to impose social mobility restrictions to tackle Covid-19, schools and colleges have been challenged to work differently.
We’ve had to adapt the ways in which we deliver our curriculum, methods for keeping in touch with students, and the rules by which they are going to be assessed in place of their all-important exams this summer.
But despite the many challenges that this all brings, it has been heartening to see communities come together, determined to find a way.
We’re seeing innovation, invention and imagination from those who – often for the first time – are having to turn part of their homes into a study or makeshift workspace.
Right now, we are in touch with Telford College students through a plethora of interactive learning services, including the Discord and Moodle teaching platforms. We’ve also set up private college Youtube channels which are allowing staff to share interactive tutorials, and we have secure chatroom facilities too – so students can communicate with each other, just as they would do in college.
We asked one of our current student council members Lindsey Ellis, a level five computing student from Hadley, how she felt things were working.
She said: “We can still get in touch with our tutors for help, and they can show us visually where we are going wrong which is useful because it accommodates visual learners and auditory learners. I think that this should continue to be used after the virus pandemic is over!”
Elsewhere, we’re seeing other heart-warming examples of Telford College students adapting their days, including Ryan James-Nield, one of our public services students, who is combining his studies with a creative fitness regime . . . and taking the opportunity to learn Japanese at the same time.
Ryan lives at The Rock, and explained how he maintains health and wellbeing alongside studying from home: “To keep fit I go on a 5k run around my local area and in the town park – keeping to social distancing rules.
“I also do some weight training where I shuffle a pack of 10 playing cards, and do three sets of 10 repetitions of a certain exercise the card corresponds to, like bicep curls, or shoulder presses.
“After lunch, if I feel I have done everything to the required standard, I will brush up on my Japanese skills – I am currently learning the Hiragana alphabet, and it’s coming along quite well.”
I would wholeheartedly echo Ryan’s concluding comments, when he offers this advice to students: “Don’t worry too much – just work the same as you would in college or school. Stay focused, and talk to some friends when you can – you never know what one simple ‘hello’ can do for someone.”