The Impact of Distance Learning on Student Well-Being

Student total well-being.  In a vibrant and engaging learning environment, student well-being is fundamental to successful student learning and socio-emotional development.

It’s at our core. Whether on school grounds or through Al Durrah’s unique blended distance learning program, our vision to nurture, empower and inspire our youth to become leaders within their communities is at the core of what we do.

Foundations come first.  Though no one ever anticipated that schools around the world would be catapulted into the world of distance learning within a matter of days, Al Durrah International School was able to surpass all expectations due to our strategic planning that resulted in the installation of a superior fibre-optic IT infrastructure designed to be the foundation of an eLearning (digital-based learning) platform to support over 3,000 students in simultaneous live sessions.

What matters most.  Having such a strong foundation enables us to focus on what matters most – the learning and wellbeing of our students.  Through distance learning, a world of resources is virtually at the fingertips of our students through the guidance of our highly trained teachers.

It takes character.  Such resources and experiential opportunities stimulate the love of learning and promote students’ responsibility in their own character development as they experience new dimensions of respect and accountability which become basic necessities to manage their learning engagement in live streaming while managing assignments, readings, projects and a myriad of online activities all designed to support their learning, social development and ultimately, their career goals as successful global citizens.

Al Durrah International School –bringing the world closer through distance education

Overview

As part of the governmental precautionary and preventive measures taken to reduce the possibility of transmission of the COVD-19 virus infection (the new coronavirus), Al Durrah International School has developed a comprehensive and rigorous distance learning plan to join thousands of teachers, parents, and students who already engaged in distance learning all over the world.

Some of what you will experience will be new and unfamiliar, particularly the idea of completing the school day while you are at home!!! There will be other parts that you will recognize and know from activities and learning experiences that you have already taken part in it at school.

We are aware that during this critical time, the technical issues, isolation, and social distancing may affect the learning of our beloved students. Therefore, as a community, we ask all students, parents and the teachers to demonstrate adaptability, flexibility, and fortitude as we move forward in this new journey.

Early Years (KG section)

We are fully aware that these years for our little ones are very critical, as their brains develop faster than at any other time in their lives, The foundations for their social skills, self-esteem, perception of the world and moral outlook are established during these years, as well as the development of cognitive skills.

Therefore, the teacher-parents partnership will be vital for our little ones to really be motivated and to be engaged in the distance learning tasks assigned by their teachers via ClassDojo.

During distance learning, all students and parents in the KG section are requested to refer to the school’s portal for updates and guidelines. Parents of kindergarten students shall also refer to ClassDojo for the daily tasks and the stories posted by the teachers.

All the designed learning tasks and activities will provide clear instructions and support to our families with the understanding that task completion depends on each individual families’ circumstances, especially for families with more than one child to guide.

Primary school (Grades 1-4)

We believe that everyone should have access to learning, whether in their classrooms or in their homes. These uncertain times have caused schools across the country to move incredibly fast. This could be a time to fall behind or it can be a time to advance.

Our beloved students in grades 1-4 will be guided through lessons and learning activities via Google Classroom live with their teachers, according to the shared schedules, on a daily basis starting 03:00 pm for almost 3 hours, using Google Meet, all the materials will be uploaded to their Classwork tap in their Google Classrooms as well.

Students will continue working on Raz Kids, reading the assigned stories and trying to level up as usual.

Middle & high school (5-12)

Secondary students are generally more independent learners and we very much encourage them to be so when they are in school. However, we also know they need the support, guidance, and encouragement to learn at their very best.

To this end, our distance learning program will be very interactive – with significant levels of contact from teachers on a daily basis including live interaction sessions with their teachers via Google Meet, and Google classroom. Multiple online resources are provided including Raz Kids, Achieve3000, Gizmos and McGraw-Hill online resources for core subjects.

The School’s Commitment

The teachers will:

  • Prepare the lessons according to the announced weekly schedule.
  • Post lessons on the assigned learning platform.
  • Ensure that each lesson is titled clearly with the name of the lesson and the date on which students are supposed to open and take.
  • Ensure that each lesson includes videos, recorded teacher’s explanation using any of the available tools, related PowerPoint, classwork assignments, and timed assessment or reflection.
  • Include the subject online platforms such as Acieve3000, RAZ Kids, MAP Skills, McGraw-Hill resources, Nahla wa Nahil, Gizmos… etc in the uploaded lessons.
  • Ensure that clear instructions are given to students on how to access the components of the lesson.
  • Ensure a proper follow up on students’ online performance through live chat and/or any means of communication with parents for full engagement.

Expectation of Students

(with the support of parents and teachers)

Distance learning will create some opportunities, as well as some challenges, and for all of us to gain the maximum benefits, we have put some recommendations that we hope will help you.

  •  Create a routine: this means setting up a place in your home for your child, where you know he/she can work quietly, and not be disturbed. It means setting an alarm and making sure that your child is up and ready for school at the right time. Some of you might find it useful to wear the school uniform, while you are doing your schoolwork, and then to change out of your uniform at the end of the school day.
  • Manage your workspace: make sure that everybody in the house knows that when you are in your working space, that you are not to be disturbed. Make sure that little brothers and sisters know that when you are working, you are not to be disturbed.
  • Give it your best effort: working from home can be a little bit challenging than working from school. You will not have the immediate support of other people at your table, or your teacher right there looking off your shoulder. So, do the best you can. If there is a task that you find tricky to do exactly as the teacher has described, try to do your best. Your teacher will understand, support, and guide you through any revisions or developments you need to make at that particular task.
  • Take regular breaks: make sure that between activities and lessons, you get up, do some stretches, have a glass of water or something to drink and just refresh and reenergize your mind.
  • Follow the teacher’s feedback: follow the regular teacher’s feedback carefully, your teacher will be looking very closely at any work that you submit and will be giving you positive and encouraging feedback. Listen, or read what they have to say and act upon it as well as you possibly can. That will help to maintain your learning journey.
  • Be creative: you may not have the resources or the materials you need for all activities immediately available at home. So, be resource full. Find things you can use or adapt so you can do your best possible job for the activities that your teacher has recommended.

Support

    • Academic inquiries–Should you require any further clarifications, please don’t hesitate to contact the Head of Academics on academic@aldurrahint.ae
    • IT/Technical issues– Please contact IT@aldurrahint.ae for any issues arising with logins, software or other technical elements during the distance learning period.
    • Learning experience feedback – Provide feedback on the quality of the learning experience for your son/daughter via feedback@aldurrahint.ae.