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Head of Primary Message Week 21

This message marks 21 weeks of Virtual School, something I never imagined I would write. 21 weeks of online schooling has, and continues to have, a significant impact on all aspects of life. Children not engaging in face-to-face interactions, in-person collaborations not taking place, independence from family not being nurtured. We are all aware of the huge and long-lasting impact this has had, and I would like to thank the entire ISB community for the huge amount of support and cooperation. Not a single member of staff trained for and then joined the education profession to teach online. We all thrive on the live interactions with children of all ages, guiding them as they grow and progress, this is the essence of what we do.

I know that our Virtual School continues to be phenomenal, ensuring the learning journey continues uninterrupted and I also acknowledge the huge amount of parental support required to make this work. At this time, we have no further update on the return of Primary to on-campus learning but we certainly hope that it won’t be long. We hope it won’t be long until children are once again playing, laughing and learning together.

Our Virtual School provision is designed to allow as many opportunities as possible for children to engage in learning and continue to grow. However, the last thing we want is to cause any stress amongst children or families. Children can only learn if happy and therefore we have never insisted on a certain level of engagement or amount of work to be completed, as parents and/or teaching professionals we know that this just isn’t realistic.

Over the last few months, we have continued to ensure we have a good understanding of the enormity of the impact Virtual School will have on children of all ages. We have continued to redesign our curriculum to ensure no child is left behind. Please be assured we have a full programme in place to guarantee a meaningful return to campus for all. We have updated our entire school curriculum to ensure each child continues to progress from their current level of attainment when they return. These changes to our curriculum are massive and will have an impact for a number of years to come.

Upon returning to campus, our priorities will be to ensure we nurture children and provide opportunities to do all the things they have not been able to do over the last few months, to play, negotiate, collaborate and just be children. We know how important academic excellence is and will never accept anything less, however, we also understand that only happy and secure children can learn.

It is therefore really important not to be anxious about perceived lost learning, this will only create more stress. We have a very robust system for assessing children as they return to school and our absolute priority will be to fill the gaps to ensure solid foundations in all areas of the curriculum.

I hope the House and Wellbeing Days provided some welcome respite and a degree of variation to the working week. The posts we received in Seesaw and the feedback left by students was excellent. We have created three short overviews of just some of the work and play which took place: Part 1 is available here, Part 2 is available here and Part 3 is available here. Please also remember to take a look at the House and Wellbeing Blogs, they are a great way to connect with others.

This week, we were delighted to begin our celebrations relating to National Day. Our very own Brunei History time traveller once again took us on an adventure. Miss Honey’s trilogy of travels is available on the Primary Newsfeed here, with the third in the series focussing on National Day.

Our PE team were joined by Mr Davidson this week and things took a turn for the chilly in these videos. Once Mr Davidson thaws out, he will be back in action!

A special thank you to Hazel in Year 4 for providing us with the inspiration for the next House Challenge. It’s certainly a good one. We have also been incredibly impressed with Year 2 writers this week, much of their work has been posted here on the Primary Newsfeed. Some wonderful dragon adventures.

Our delightful Pre Kindy and Kindy continue to enjoy magical learning experiences, this week enjoying building, reading, writing, climbing, sliding and playing together. We have shared their experiences here on the Primary Newsfeed.

Mr Michael Everett | Head of Primary

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