1. bookVolume 14 (2022): Issue 1 (June 2022)
Journal Details
First Published
16 Apr 2015
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
access type Open Access

Developing a pastoral response to the complexities and challenges faced by disadvantaged students in the digital classroom

Published Online: 08 Jun 2022
Volume & Issue: Volume 14 (2022) - Issue 1 (June 2022)
Page range: 102 - 111
Journal Details
First Published
16 Apr 2015
Publication timeframe
2 times per year

Online education was the exception rather than the norm of the English school system prior to March 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in two periods of government-directed school closure from March to July 2020 and again from January to March 2021. These closures necessitated a transformation to online education almost overnight. Although much of the work set for students was a transfer of tasks appropriate for a physical classroom uploaded onto digital platforms, some adjustments had to be made to ensure it remained appropriate and effective. As time went on and colleagues developed their techno-pedagogical maturity, so too did the interactive nature of lessons improve. Yet, these elements were enhanced on a broader scale not merely by colleagues’ successful adaptation to the digital classroom, but also by their development of pastoral approaches to teaching beyond the physical classroom. Teachers who invested pastorally in their digital communities created, fostered and were able to shape the culture of online education more purposefully and effectively for their students, increased a sense of inclusion, and thus better provided for equity amongst their student bodies, aiming to limit and narrow the academic and pastoral gap between students from low socio-economic backgrounds and their peers.


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