Overview – what is e-sgol?
E-sgol is a blended learning initiative to deliver online teaching and learning opportunities using direct; real-time and interactive learning approaches. Using the range of tools and services available through Hwb, e-sgol provides support to schools around the skillsets and the range of pedagogical approaches needed to maximise learner’s experiences.
E-sgol currently provides support to learners for post-14 learning, however the principles and approach can be replicated for a broader audience. The approach recognises that the way young people learn is evolving and changing at an unprecedented rate.
The initiative initially focussed on enabling rural schools to maintain the options of subjects where there were non-sustainable learner numbers in post-14 and post-16 learning. Schools generally work across a cluster of approximately six schools, who are within travelling distance of each other. The lesson is delivered using a blended learning approach, while learners are encouraged to travel to the teacher’s host school every half term, at the very least. Otherwise, the lessons use Microsoft Teams, through Hwb, to ensure there are no unnecessary costs to the school(s).
Increase the number of subjects available through the medium of Welsh in schools across Wales at post-14 level.
Increase the number of learners studying low intake subjects in Schools across Wales at post-14 level.
Increase the number of learners studying higher-level subjects in schools across Wales through the medium of Welsh.
Provide an equity for post-14 learners across Wales regardless of location or language choice.
In an educational environment, especially in light of Covid-19, the way in which learners receive their lessons is ever changing. E-sgol is at the heart of this change in Wales. The benefits of the project are as follows:
- Allow schools to be able to offer Welsh medium, as opposed to bilingual, options at Post-14
- Enable schools and local authorities to retain learners at post-16 level, by supporting them to study the subject of their choice at Key Stage 5.
- Enable staff to continue teaching at Key Stage 5, through sharing practitioners within given clusters and further afield.
- Develop the skills of independent learning of the learners.
- Support the Welsh Government’s aim of 1million Welsh speakers by 2050, by enabling learners to continue their learning in their chosen language.
- To ensure learners, regardless of location, receive the same experience when the teacher provides the lesson from a bespoke teaching room.
- Use the Hwb programme to provide a consistent and standardised model(s) for blended learning across Wales.
- Upskill the educational IT skills of the learners/staff and help to embed the digital competence framework.
- To reduce the costs and carbon emissions created through unnecessary travel between schools for post-14 learning.
- To increase the collaboration between schools at post-14 level.
The e-sgol project has developed a framework to support a diverse education offer/experience, through Welsh and English, for learners at Key Stage 4 and 5. To support prospective regions, local authorities and school leaders, the e-sgol team offer the following elements to ensure a successful implementation with the project:
- Work with the regional education consortia, local authority (LA) or school leader(s) to provide a model that is suitable for that cluster, local authority or region.
- Provide guidance on the most suitable choice of cluster(s) for the school/local authority/consortia to ensure that pupil travel time is minimised, but maximise the number of subjects open to learners.
- Provide guidance on the best choice of subjects to offer through e-sgol for that given school and cluster.
- Offer training and guidance to senior management teams to ensure the most effective implementation of the e-sgol project in the local authority or school.
- In conjunction with the LA ICT Services, provide training and support to IT technicians to ensure that required equipment is available and utilised in the most effective ways to provide a positive learning experience for learners and staff alike.
- Throughout the academic year, the e-sgol team, in conjunction with LA ICT Services and/or IT Technicians will provide support to identify and remedy issues as quickly as possible. The e-sgol team will collaborate with LA ICT Services to ensure the technology stays at the cutting edge available to education in Wales.
- Provide ongoing pedagogical and technical training to staff to ensure they are confident and able to provide a positive learning experience when delivering their course(s) through e-sgol.
- E-sgol will coordinate the subjects across all schools to minimise burden for staff within the schools and/or the LAs.
E-sgol coordinators will provide training and support for learners to ensure they receive the best experience. To ensure the learner’s experience is maximised, the e-sgol team will also provide awareness sessions to parents to ensure they understand the e-sgol approach.
E-sgol is constantly evolving, and the team has already started to support schools and local authorities to explore new opportunities, while ensuring the success of the above core principles. The e-sgol team have started/are supporting the following opportunities:
- E-sgol has supported the delivery of peripatetic music lessons for over 800 learners, from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 5, across Ceredigion schools. Six LAs have also received training, with lessons to commence imminently. In addition, specific projects are being trialled at Key Stage 2.
- Working with the Coleg Cymraeg e-sgol are providing a Welsh language Mathematics Challenge at Key Stage 5 across Wales and Master Sessions by Cardiff University for learners studying Religious Studies also at Key Stage 5.
To read more about e-sgol please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org