d'Overbroeck's courses go digital

In March 2020, we responded to the Covid-19 outbreak by launching our online programmes which we ran temporarily until the end of the school year in July 2020. In response to the latest government announcement that all schools must teach remotely until at least half-term, we are once again teaching the full curriculum to all students online until February 2021.

Throughout our history, d’Overbroeck’s has shown that we are leaders in developing innovative ways of learning and have always delivered high educational outcomes for our students. Online learning ensures our students continue to learn effectively during this time and provides them with the skills they need in today’s world of work. We learned a lot by teaching online in 2020 and will take our new found skills and approaches to learning, assessment and feedback forward as we continue teaching online at the start of 2021. We are grateful to have you join us as we continue our online learning journey and teaching in a time of coronavirus.

The below information gives a summary of how we have transitioned our programmes online and FAQs about online learning. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Andrew Gillespie, Academic Director  (andrew.gillespie@doverbroecks.com).


What will students do in a lesson?

Students will be given instructions on what to do in their lessons by each of their teachers. Typically, it may be that they are instructed to go to our e-learning platform, Firefly, to access resources then submit it after a given period of time. Alternatively, students may be online in a Teams Meeting where the teacher is explaining a topic for some of the lesson time.  Given that some students are in different time zones we understand that some work may be completed at different times from the actual lesson. As usual, the work may involve a range of tasks including researching, reading, note-taking worksheets and essay writing.

What if a student cannot attend a lesson because he/she is abroad and there is a significant time difference?

All the key tasks and resources for a lesson will be available on-line for students to work through. They will be able to study and send in work for comment. They will be able to email (or use the Microsoft Teams discussion forum). Students can also collaborate with each other via Teams.

How do students access the resources they need and get feedback?

Students will be able to access work and the resources they need via doverbroecks.fireflycloud.net/dashboard

Teachers will provide :

  • a clear outline of the week’s learning objectives
  • work for the week including reading and homework to be submitted online
  • the resources students should use to complete the work set

Wherever possible teachers will be available in their usual timetable sessions to answer questions or support.

Communication will either be via e-mail or teachers may use Microsoft Teams to communicate with students.

If, for any reason, a student cannot access resources they should e-mail their teacher. All communications should be via a student’s d’Overbroeck’s e-mail. If, in exceptional circumstances this is blocked in a country, students can use their personal e-mails.

How will the timetable work?

  • We will operate the study timetable that students currently have during term time but will do as much as is practically possible on-line.
  • Students are expected to work on a given subject in the usual lesson slot. This will mean they should be, if possible, able to access to a computer to contact their teacher.
  • In many cases this will mean the teacher is on-line to respond to questions via e-mail whilst work is set and submitted via Firefly.  As you know Firefly is our Virtual Learning Environment and all students should be familiar with this.  However, many teachers will also use Microsoft Teams to contact their classes, have discussions online and in some case run “on-line meetings” for some of the lesson. Students have been briefed about this and will receive further information via e- mail.
  • In any given lesson slot, therefore, students will have work to do and, in most cases, there will be in on-line contact of some form with their teachers.

(Note: We will not be running additional workshops or study programmes (such as the Plus Programme in the Sixth Form.)


What if we are having technical problems?

If students are having technical issues they can contact the specialist support we have put in place by e-mailing digitallearning@doverbroecks.com. 

What about students with examinations this summer?

The government has cancelled exams for the summer, but we will work to ensure that students are prepared for the next phase of their academic journey.

What if my son or daughter is struggling to access the work?

He or she should e-mail the teacher in the first instance and then we will try and support as best we can.

What if I have any questions?

Please contact your head of school, or Andrew Gillespie, our Academic Director at andrew.gillespie@doverbroecks.com.


We appreciate there are likely to be challenges as we move online again but would like to thank you in advance for your support and help.

We will be monitoring how the teaching and learning is going and will keep you and students up to date with advice and guidance about on-line learning where needed. We will be sending students and parents guidance on on-line learning on a regular basis.