Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, UK boarding schools and colleges have been working hard to deliver high-quality remote education. From virtual classrooms to online assessments, our overseas students have become accustomed to a whole new way of learning and our partner boarding schools have provided outstanding support.
Despite the best efforts of schools and colleges, the negative effect on pupils remains undeniable but the closure of schools has presented additional challenges for British parents, as they juggle work commitments with homeschooling. As guardians, acting on behalf of overseas parents, in some cases, travel restrictions have meant students are wholly under our care, where they normally would be in their school boarding house or with their parents at home. So how have we been helping our students to adapt to online learning?
Host families have been instrumental in the transition to online learning. With some boarding houses closed and with travel bans in place, overseas students have needed to stay here in their boarding houses or with their UK guardian host family. A large proportion of hosts have children of their own, in need of their parents' support and so we must express our gratitude to all our host families. By extending a helping hand to our students, they have shown their clear commitment to the education and welfare of our students.
Whilst continuing of learning is vital for the continuity of education, it is a difficult time for parents and of course host families at the moment and we don't underestimate that at Bright World. That is why our focus has been on protecting the mental health of our students by helping them to deal with the emotional pressures that come with not being at school. We have also been mindful of the extra pressures on our host families during these exceptional times.
The UK government provides information and support for parents and carers of children who are learning at home. In addition to this guidance, Boris Johnson recently sent an open letter to parents across the United Kingdom, thanking them by saying he was "in awe of the way the parents, carers and guardians of children have risen to the unique challenges with which they have faced".
With students learning online for so long, we feel they may be out of practise and will need a refresher on classroom-based learning. Next week we will be revealing the carefully designed workshops we are putting in place for all Bright World students. The sessions are included for students attending our Relax & Revise @ Easter residential programmme and will be delivered in the classroom there, but we are delighted to be able to extend a virtual invitation to all Bright World students - wherever their 'home' may be right now. Watch this space.