Matt Hood is Principal at Oak National Academy
A text message here led to a whatsapp group there. Followed by a call to this person and then another call to that person. The whatsapp group got a bit bigger. It got a name, and then another name, and then ‘name tbc’.
Fast forward 10 days and we’re launching Oak National Academy. For those who grew up in the same era as me, think Challenge Anneka but with more elbow patches, glue sticks and board markers.
Our online classroom has been created by 40 state school teachers from across the country, for their colleagues, in response to current coronavirus lockdown. And they have done it in less than two weeks over their Easter holiday. Watching them work, alongside our volunteer technology, communication and operations experts, has been an absolute joy and privilege.
From tomorrow at www.thenational.academy teachers will be able to access a sequenced plan of video lessons and curricular resources to use as they wish. This online collection of video lessons and linked curricular resources is available for any teacher in the country to use for free to complement their own work or to stand alone.
Specifically, Oak National Academy provides a plan of video lessons and resources for three hours of learning a day for primary, and four hours a day for secondary students. This will total 180 videoed lessons each week, across every year group from Reception through to Year 10.
The online classroom has been designed to be as accessible as possible, and to enable all students, including those from more disadvantaged backgrounds, to be able to use it.
Supported by various education organisations, including leading schools and school trusts and backed by the Department for Education, teachers anywhere are free to use our resources to support their own lesson planning, remote teaching or to signpost students to lessons. And we’ll keep this online classroom going until schools re-open.
I’m pretty sure Anneka would be as proud of all these teachers as we are. We can’t wait to see what you think!