Autumn arrivals is the largest event on the calendar for The Bright World Guardianship team, with this year the biggest since the company was founded in 2000.
Every year we welcome hundreds of overseas students, travelling from countries far and wide, with many arriving in the UK for the very first time. Some will go straight to school from the airport, others will travel to stay with a host family for a day or two before the school term officially begins. Within the first week or two of their arrival, each student will be visited at school by their Bright World Buddy. Their Buddy will check how they are settling in at their new school, go through Bright World's Student Charter, and discuss the role they will play throughout the year.
Arrival visits make up one of the two guaranteed visits each student receives each school year. The second will usually come after a student's first host family stay, or during their first parents' evening.
Pictured is Bright World Buddy, Lisa McGowan, with Thai student Poon and his mother, at Bromsgrove School.
An important part of our role as educational guardians is to plan for the unexpected events that can happen during the school year. We know how effective planning can help to avoid potentially stressful situations.
The benefits of future planning can however go much further than just helping us to feel organised. We like to talk to our students about the plans they have for the year ahead, including their host family stay. during holiday times. We know the positive impact this can have on their wellbeing and so our Bright World Buddies will spend time during their meetings with students showing their interest and helping students who may need support as they adjust their new surroundings.
Our Bright World Buddies can provide an independent ear for their students. Someone they can trust and confide in out of school who will feedback any concerns to us at Bright World. This is an important element of the safeguarding work we do as educational guardians and helps schools to meet their National Minimum Standards for Boarding.