When the pandemic hit and disrupted life as we knew it, international schools had to act fast.
Teachers rapidly implemented new and innovative lesson plans to keep students engaged. Parents introduced their children to a whole range of digital learning tools, from Zoom to Google Classroom.
When done right, it makes for engaging education, despite being conducted through a screen.
Tools matter; equally as important, however, are the educators behind them.
Enthusiastic, supportive staff are necessary to cheer their distant learners along. So are out-of-the-box online lesson ideas that would motivate students to crawl out of bed every morning and switch on the laptop.
International schools also needed to prioritise the safety of their communities through regular updates about the pandemic and information about the social distancing procedures that the campus plan to implement.
Connectivity, safety and innovation — these are the features that define the international schools ensuring student success despite COVID-19. Here are four international schools that stand out in this aspect:
Once borders reopen and COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, students and staff will return to the comfort of their vast, tropical British International School, Phuket (BISP) campus.
There are over 300 activity sessions per week for students to get to know each other, make full use of living on a tropical island and just generally be happy children.
They can play tennis, swim, join community events, and even practise circus arts, pantomime and more. For example, Year 12 students made handmade toys to gift to local children in Phuket Town on Valentine’s Day.
And earlier this year, a few BISP IB students built a prosthetic arm for a five-year-old girl living in Bangkok born with amniotic band syndrome, a condition that caused the loss of her left arm.
These two activities are just two examples of BISP’s many meaningful, real-world projects that are made possible because 1) It’s BISP and 2) It’s located in Phuket, Thailand.
Holistic curriculum and comprehensive support for every pupil in an exciting location – it’s one unique approach to education you don’t want your child to miss. Click here to find out more.
With 80 percent of the world’s ecosystems in their backyard, Hawaiʻi Preparatory Academy (HPA) takes innovative learning to another level.
At Hawaiʻi, students have access to an abundance of nature and practical learning experiences that most young students around the world can only dream of.
For instance, in Lower School, the fifth-grade capstone experience focuses on honey bees and pollination. Students begin with immersion into concepts around the form, function, and human impact of Apis mellifera (honey bees) and their role in the reproductive system of angiosperms (flowering plants).
This island is also home to 11 of the world’s 13 climate zones, a rich cultural history and an internationally-renowned sea turtle research programme.
And when students join the HPA ‘ohana’ (family), they enjoy strong relationships with their teachers, coaches, and staff, who are always ready to support them through difficult times.
HPA is currently following the recommendations from the CDC to practise social distancing. All face-to-face K-12 classes are suspended and moved to its Continuous Learning Plan for the remainder of the school year. HPA teachers ensure a high-level routine of daily learning to keep students’ growth and aspirations on track.
Indian Springs School is set on 350 wooded acres and home to a 12-acre lake — as you can see from this drone footage, it’s a pretty sweet place for teenagers to be.
Due to COVID-19, however, the international school had to take swift action to keep its community safe and decided to roll out distance learning schedules.
This summer, students will attend a range of online classes to reinforce what they learned this school year and prepare for upcoming classes and testing in the fall.
These summer classes will be held in two-week sessions between June 22 and July 31.
And once students return to campus, nature hikes and community-run concerts will continue, but with social distancing in mind.
Attend a school that believes in the “learn by doing” approach and has plenty of practical outdoors activities on offer. Check out Indian Springs School’s website for further information.
Whitsunday Anglican also has an Outdoor Education Programme that focuses on the growth and development of students as individuals.
An integral component of the school’s curriculum, all students from kindergarten to Year 12 take part in this programme, learning all sorts of practical skills while they are away from their parents. They learn how to interact with others as well as function within their environment.
Once a year, there is a whole school camp week where students head to places like Brisbane, Gold Coast, Seaforth and Newbry Island, for adventures and to acquire skills like teamwork and cooking in camp.
During the pandemic, The Whitsunday Anglican School is sending regular COVID-19 updates and taking preventative measures such as social distancing on campus. Safety and wellbeing are always the school’s top priorities.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International