Students at Northampton College have been praised for showing “amazing adaptability” by working from home during the enforced COVID-19 lockdown.
Government guidelines put in place because of the coronavirus crisis mean students at Booth Lane, Lower Mounts and Daventry have been continuing their studies remotely for almost a month, with tutors delighted at how easily they have made the switch to a new way of working.
Interactive lessons have been delivered using a variety of digital platforms, including Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, YouTube and even social media sites such as Instagram and TikTok.
Principal of Northampton College, Pat Brennan-Barrett, said: “It would have been easy for staff and students to use this global pandemic as an excuse to down tools and do nothing, but that’s simply not the way we do things here. They have rolled up their sleeves, got on with it and risen to the challenge in style.
“I’m extremely proud of everything they have achieved so far and it has been inspiring to see how learning has carried on, using innovation and ingenuity to ensure students get the very best education they can in what are obviously incredibly difficult circumstances.
“The students have really embraced this change and have displayed amazing adaptability to take a completely new way of working in their stride. Many students are now ahead of where we expected them to be. There’s a long way to go but the early signs are extremely encouraging.”
Examples of how students are embracing the switch include performing arts students who have created a series of dance videos on TikTok, engineering students following YouTube tutorials to hone their skills, construction students upcycling garden furniture and painting fences and hairdressing students creating a series of NHS-themed hairstyles.
A number of students have also started work on creating a ‘COVID-19 time capsule’ chronicling their time during lockdown while music students get involved with a live, interactive session with an industry expert every Friday on Instagram.
Business Studies student Nadia Trkulja said: “The live online classes are helping me and they are supporting my course work. They are keeping us all on track and ensuring we can ask any questions we need. The sessions are interactive and ensure I am updated about the due dates for work.
“It gives me a new voice to listen to and a fresh setting as we have all been stuck inside for a while now. It’s helping with my mental health.”
Level 3 Art & Design (Fashion) student Flo Baverstock said: “Working remotely has been really interesting and thankfully the teachers at college have been really supportive. They are there whenever you need them, replying to emails within seconds.
“They are giving us tutorials every day on Instagram, setting work on Google Classroom and sending us all messages to keep us motivated which is brilliant. It’s been a weird few weeks for everyone but I’m enjoying the challenge.”