Since the Learning and Skills Measure of 2009 schools in rural areas and Welsh medium schools have found it difficult to provide a menu of 30 subjects for their learners. The e-sgol project provides a solution to this problem for schools and local authorities as a whole. Subjects taught through e-sgol follow a blended approach. In general, this means the following:
1. At the beginning of each half term, the learners will travel to the host school for a face to face session. In some regions, learners will travel more often than that; this needs to be set out at the start of each year.
The purpose of these sessions is that the learners get to know the teacher and also the other learners. This is important and will ensure that learners feel confident to ask questions in their virtual classroom.
2. When not travelling for face to face lessons learners will receive virtual lessons through Microsoft Teams and OneNote. Staff and learners will use their Hwb accounts to process these.
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, and to ensure that the project is implemented successfully, the e-sgol team:
- work with the 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/region to ensure that learner travel time is minimised while maximising the number of subjects open to learners
- provide guidance to particular schools and clusters on the best choice of subjects to offer through e-sgol
- 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
- provide training and support to IT technicians, in conjunction with the LA ICT Services, 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
- provide support to identify and remedy issues as quickly as possible, throughout the academic year and in conjunction with LA ICT Services and/or IT Technicians, and collaborating with LA ICT Services to ensure the technology stays at the cutting edge of technology available to education in Wales
- provide ongoing pedagogical and technical training to staff to ensure that they are confident and able to provide a positive learning experience when delivering their course through e-sgol
- 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 hold awareness sessions for parents to ensure they understand the e-sgol approach.
“e-sgol is the future for minority subjects. Flexibility and communication with e-sgol staff are the two key elements to ensure that this project can be successful in your school”