While stories of home-schooling nightmares have become legion during the latest lockdown, none have been told by parents of pupils at Papplewick School.
Instead, staff at the Ascot-based prep have been utilising online communication to deliver a full timetable of live lessons for the whole school, comprising boys aged six to 13. The cohort lives across 13 different time zones around the world.
“With a very simple mantra – ‘If it is to be, it is up to me’ – the boys have launched back into school life with huge enthusiasm and have been delighted to ‘meet’ with their friends, including foreign correspondents reporting in from all over the world in whole-school assemblies on [Microsoft] Teams,” said the school.
“Building on [experience from the first lockdown], it has been remarkably easy to resume the normal rhythm of school life with staff teaching.”
In June, Papplewick pupils took part in a ‘race around the world’ fitness challenge to keep active and stay engaged with the school.
Learning from home, they discovered, wasn’t quite so remote after all. “In these isolated times for children, I can honestly say that we have never felt quite as connected as a school as we do now,” said Papplewick headmaster, Tom Bunbury, as he explained how the school initially put together its remote learning programme for the summer term.
“This time,” said Bunbury, “although bitterly disappointing not to see the boys in person, the staff have worked incredibly hard in building on the remote programme delivered last year, and parents can be relieved that the full school day – albeit virtual, but including art, music, DT, PE and ICT, plus extracurricular activities – requires no input from their side!”
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