Distance Learning Programme

In the second semester of 2019-2020, Stonehill moved to online instruction. It was a success but there were areas for improvement. These steps for 2020-2021 are designed to move our Distance Learning model from ‘good’ to ‘great’.

Primary School

Streamlined communication

One tool will be chosen as the parent-teacher communication tool. Only this tool will be used.

Individual Zoom sessions

We will ensure smaller zoom sessions in every grade. When there is a need from the student, the parent or the teacher, additional sessions will be added.

Physical workout everyday

The PE department will provide a workout everyday. It will be a video format that is shared at the beginning of the week on the planner.

Government Regulations

Zoom lessons for…
P1 and P2 – one session not exceeding 30 minutes daily. P3 – P8 – two sessions not exceeding 45 minutes each daily.

Teaching skills

Students will explicitly learn the skills associated with the key tools of learning online. Tutorials will be created as reminders, allowing students to watch and re-watch as necessary. Smaller groups/one-on-one sessions between teachers and students will be offered to ensure they have the skills they need.

Clearer instructions

P1 through to P5 and P6 through to P8 will focus on clarity and being succinct. There will be additional video explanations which students can refer to. We will be getting feedback from the parents in order to refine the process further.

More offline work

Project-based learning will have greater focus. The outcome will be shared along with the learning experiences that take time to develop and have a process to it. Fewer“worksheets”; more thinking, more doing.

Mindfullness everyday

The Mindfulness Team will provide an activity everyday. It will either be a video, audio or a printable that is shared at the beginning of the week on the planner.

Parent help desk

The School Counsellor will be available to guide parents through social and emotional issues at home. At this time, a Parent Helpdesk email will be set up. This Helpdesk will be monitored by the Principal and the Head of ICT. They will enlist others to help solve parent concerns and feedback. Regular grade-level and Primary level workshops will be offered to parents in all realms of learning – social, emotional, academic, physical and creative. We will include regular “check-ins” as a part of the learning process.

Skills of learning

Learning to learn is the first unit of our school year. This unit is completed by all the students in all subject areas. At this time, the focus will be on remote and distance learning. This unit is where the students will learn the skills associated with online learning. Additional Zoom sessions will assist in skill development. The personalisation of learning will ensure the growth of these skills.

Personalisation of learning

Remote and distance learning offers opportunities to take this one step further. The students take on more responsibility as to what and when they will choose to interact with learning engagements (Developing their skills of agency).

Units of Inquiry will be more open so that student passions can be accessed and developed. That does not mean we won’t give them access to new material and ways of knowing…becoming risk-takers and inquirers is our mandate. We will provide the students with a menu of choices for learning, have them discover what motivates them and reflect on why. The students will take on more responsibility by being a part of the assessment process.

Secondary School


In 2020-2021, the M1-M3 students will be divided into 6 homerooms instead of 3. Each homeroom teacher will be responsible for monitoring and supporting 7-10 students only. Homeroom teachers are expected to monitor and follow up with student progress.


The first units in M1-M3 will focus on developing AtL skills that are vital for students to succeed during the months of distance learning. These include organization strategies, technology competence, communication expectations, and health and wellbeing.


Students will have four 90-minute lessons every day. Student schedules will be available on their ManageBac page (under timetable). The simplified and regular schedule will allow for more sustained focus on subjects on given days.


Zoom sessions should not be used for teachers to lecture at passive students. Within a 90-minute lesson, there will be time for short instructional segments, collaborative work in break-out rooms, small group discussions, etc.  More frequent, shortened zoom sessions will be encouraged to allow the students time to work asynchronously as well.


In the new schedule, each class alternates between one early lesson and one late lesson every four days. The teachers will be encouraged to run synchronous zoom sessions during the later lessons every week. We will continue to use the shared spreadsheet to ensure that there are not too many scheduled zoom sessions in one day.


Teachers are being asked to run more frequent, smaller assessments. For every assessment, feedback on performance should be provided on ManageBac. The final grades will take all of these assessments into account rather than relying on infrequent summative tasks.


For every class (once every two days on the new schedule), updates and instructions will be posted on ManageBac, either as tasks or messages. ManageBac has now also integrated zoom, padlet and other iframe platforms, which will allow us to centralize communication further.


Teachers will use fewer ‘knowledge-based tests’ as assessments. Instead, the students will be asked to apply knowledge and skills to new (previously unseen) contexts. This is a far better method of assessing student understanding.


Wherever possible, units in practical subjects will be reorganized to ensure that more theoretical units take place early in the year. Product requirements (e.g. art work, music, drama performances, design products) can also be altered to focus on digital skills early in the year. Any practical work assigned will require easily available materials.


The Principal and Coordinators will set up grade-level parent zoom meetings on a monthly basis to discuss progress, share news , ideas, and listen to feedback. These meetings will begin before school officially starts.


Physical & Health Education lessons will work on a 3-lesson cycle. In each cycle, students will (1) work on a project-based activity (choreographing movement and updating journals), (2) engage in 30-45 minutes of physical activity (documented or recorded), and (3) work on a self-selected project based fitness challenge.


Personal and Social Development sessions will run on a monthly basis for all homerooms. Individual sessions with counselors and learning support teachers will still be available on a regular basis. Counselors will also run sessions with new students and families early in the academic year.


We now have a wealth of material and resources on best practices for online learning. During orientation in August, teachers were engaged in PD sessions, working with these resources. During the first semester, weekly PD sessions will continue to run with compulsory attendance.

International Baccalaureate

Council of International Schools

New England Association of Schools and Colleges

Australian boarding schools association

International School Activities Conference India

International Schools Theatre Association