In the early stages of the current pandemic the entire world is facing, Barney devised an engaging, balanced and sustainable Learning@Home provision for ALL pupils and the wider Barney Community for the final months of the 2019/2020 academic year.

It goes without saying that we hoped not to be producing another Learning@Home brochure, following its initial success in Spring 2020. However, it is with great pride to introduce the 2021 version of our exciting programme.

The foundations of last year’s successful programme remain in place; namely the focus on engagement, balance and sustainability, as we embark upon this new period of online learning.

Our thanks to the many parents who provided honest feedback via the ISC questionnaire, which was extremely positive, in particular when compared to other independent schools nationwide. Still, we strive to improve and have subsequently made adjustments, specifically focused on the online timetable. The key lessons from the first lockdown highlighted the importance of a balance between screen time and online engagement, with assignments set to complete between a structured timetable of live lessons.

Furthermore, this time around, both the teaching staff and the students have experience of online learning, coupled with an increased technological competency and literacy. Within School, since the start of the academic year, all classes in every department, in every year group, have been established on MS Teams. This has been supplemented further by the investment in an upgraded infrastructure and devices for each member of teaching staff. We have done all we can to prepare for this eventuality so as to ensure our children continue to benefit from the breadth of a Barney education.

On the topic of breadth, Learning@Home features a long list of opportunities that are available via the enrichment, sporting and music activities. We hope our pupils approach these with an open mind and a desire to really engage and take advantage of such a varied programme.

For a downloadable version of either our Prep School or Senior School Learning@Home brochures, please visit the ‘Resources’ section of our website. Here, you can also access other useful Barney documents.

“Barnard Castle School have been very organised in the transition arrangements from school to remote learning.” Current parent