Curriculum and Instruction
Advice on Reintegrating Non-Core Subjects into Distance Learning
Schools may deliver reduced face-to-face hours of instruction due to social distancing requirements, with a focus placed on core subjects (Arabic, Islamic studies, English, Math, and sciences), ADEK strongly recommends that schools also offer non-core subjects in distance learning mode to support students’ emotional wellbeing if these topics cannot be taught face-to-face.
Advice on Additional Topics to be Included in the Curriculum
The pandemic may have had detrimental effects on the financial, physical and mental wellbeing of students and their families in multiple ways. Many children may have experienced the loss of a parent or guardian’s job and its accompanying financial security, the loss of a relative or friend to COVID-19 or have had difficulties coping in distressful family situations during lockdowns.
Moreover, the increased usage of digital media for delivering distance learning has posed multiple challenges of online safety for students.
In line with Abu Dhabi’s vision of fostering transversal skills in students, schools may consider including instruction, or age-appropriate programs related to digital literacy (defined as the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills) and building self-management behaviours such as resilience, flexibility and adaptability, empathy, coping with stress and loss, etc.
Identifying Areas of Learning Loss and Developing Interventions
Schools shall carry out evaluations of student learning to identify learning gaps and make necessary adjustments. This evaluation can be based on assessments administered during distance learning, but schools are encouraged to assess students’ learning face-to-face as well to determine any areas that must be revised or re-taught and integrate these into the program of the new Academic Year.
Spiral learning, where the focus is on moving ahead and revisiting and relearning topics as they arise, is recommended, particularly for Cycle 3 students.
Schools are encouraged to develop and deliver extra interventions to students who have experienced severe learning loss due to online learning or have performed poorly on assessments of content learned during distance learning. Schools are recommended to teach these lessons in a tutorial-style setting, only for students that need the additional learning support.