How Covid is Changing the Way Lessons Look

Many UAE schools are now back in action and we've heard great reports of how happy everyone is to be back and learning! Social distancing has meant that our teachers need to be more innovative than ever in their lesson planning and classroom logistics. For this special feature, we asked several schools to share their very best classroom innovations with us.
This article is part of an editorial series on Covid-19
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This article is part of an editorial series on Covid-19

With social distancing now a must in UAE schools, teachers have had to rapidly change how their classrooms look and lessons are implemented.  No longer can children sit side by side to work through a task or take part in physical activities which involve close contact.  Much as we all hope that these measures will be for the short term only, necessity has always been the mother of invention and UAE teachers have worked hard to ensure that right from the get-go lessons are just as effective and engaging as they always were.  Here we share with you some of our favourite classroom innovations...

Sporting Life

If ever an area of school life was going to change under the current restrictions, it was sport and PE.  We were therefore delighted to see that teachers at Fairgreen International School have been delivering exciting PE lessons from week 1.  Here, students take part in a orienteering lesson right from their school gymnasium...

An orienteering lesson at Fairgreen International School

At Kent College Dubai, 5 and 6 year old Year 1 students were able to maintain social distancing from their teacher from and each other during this fun looking lesson...

An active and safe lesson at Kent College Dubai

At Dunecrest American School, students of all ages have been challenged to climb the height of the Burj Khalifa in order to stay fit and active.

Two young Dunecrest students, ready to take on the Burj challenge!

Performing Arts

Keeping the energy and creativity going in Performing Arts lessons was always going to be a challenge, however it's clear that the teachers at JESS Arabian Ranches have thought of ways to make sure their students can express themselves and develop their acting skills. In our cover photo and below, Year 13 students at JESS Arabian Ranches convey the emotions of conflict with incredible power, even while remaining distant from one another.  

All the drama at JESS Arabian Ranches

Dunecrest American School has seen the arrival of a significant number of new students this terms.  Music lessons have therefore become a fun way of getting to know each other.  Below, Music teacher Mari-Carmen uses a “body percussion game” for students of all ages to get learn new classmates’ names. Students follow a steady beat and a gesture pattern- e.g. pat twice, clap, snap and say “I’m Michael, what’s your name?”

Getting to know one another during a music lesson at Dunecrest American School

Staying Social

Probably the most missed aspect of school life during the school closures, just being social and hanging out with friends is so very vital to the well-being of students of all ages.  Back at Dunecrest American School, the staff have come up with ways to theme break times to keep things feeling fresh and exciting.  From “campfire-style” bubble breaks to an open mic lunches and crazy cardboard cutaways (modelled by below by Director Bill Debrugge!), there is a lot going on in the school.

Director Bill Debrugge is in on the fun at Dunecrest American School

Being social isn't just about interacting with students, of course, and at JESS Arabian Ranches online assemblies have ensured that all new teachers are introduced to the student body.

Students at JESS meet their new teachers

Early Years

Young school students are kept in 'stable groups of 10' (or less) in all schools.  In the photo below, we see these groups (or bubbles) work together while apart.

An Early Years class at Fairgreen International School. Furniture has been placed to separate the two bubbles

We would love to see more exciting classroom innovations.  Send your best photos to [email protected] and we will share them in this feature.

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