When pupils left for the Easter break, we weren't sure how the Coronavirus pandemic would affect teaching over the summer term. As things have progressed, the Government has advised that schools should be closed. But what does this mean for the pupils at King's and how has the School been able to support them?
When pupils left for the Easter break, we weren't sure how the Coronavirus pandemic would affect teaching over the summer term. As things have progressed, the Government has advised that schools should be closed. But what does this mean for the pupils at King's and how has the School been able to support them?1. Relying on technology
All pupils at King's are required to have a personal device, such as an iPad or laptop. Before pupils broke up for Easter Holidays, the IT Department were busy making sure that all pupils could access the Microsoft Teams programme. Lessons are held virtually, with teachers presenting to pupils via video to video conferencing. Pupils can send through work using email or the Teams programme, so there is no getting away from school work!2. Business as usual
Pupils are asked to stick to their timetable, wherever possible. For those pupils living in a different time zone, this has meant either working more unusual hours or watching video recordings of lessons at a more reasonable time. Saturday school lessons have been moved to earlier in the week (filling in lessons that would have otherwise been games). In the first few days back at term, over 500 lessons were delivered to pupils in over 20 countries!3. Tutor time and assembly
It isn't just lessons that are being delivered remotely, assemblies, weekly church services and tutor time are also being delivered via video. This has helped keep the School spirit alive and allow pupils to get a sense of a whole school community. Boarding Houses have been running House Nights, with activities including 'TikTok' dances and quizzes. This too allows pupils to regain a sense of togetherness.4. Keeping the Spirit Alive
Even before we entered lockdown, the School was planning how it would help support it's pupils. Alison Grant (Deputy Head), Naomi Warren (Marketing Administrator) and a team of others have worked tirelessly to produce regular 'King's Spirit Newsletters'
, packed to the brim with fun quizzes, birthday wishes, links to online cultural events, recordings of teachers reading aloud Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca
and much, much more. These have been a huge source of information, but also cheer when so many of us find ourselves perhaps a little lost without the routines and friendly faces we have grown accustomed to.
So what is next? Well, the School is following Government guidelines closely. GCSE and A-Level pupils won't be sitting their exams this summer, instead King's has designed and implemented enrichment programmes and lessons to help pupils make the most of their time and fill some of the void that a lack of exams has left. The School is listening to feedback from teachers, parents and pupils and making changes accordingly to how lessons are being delivered. Houseparents and tutors are working tirelessly to support their Houses, making sure no one gets lost along the way.
As a parent of a 3rd Form pupil, I can honestly say I have been so impressed with all the incredible work that has gone on in the background. Apart from my daughter craving face to face social interaction with her friends, she is happy, feels supported and is being academically challenged. The School has provided both her and me with continuity and the comfort that no matter what the challenges are at the moment, King's Bruton is there for all the families within it's community.
Emilie Head - OBA Assistant Secretary