Due to the recent coronavirus outbreak across the world, the International British School of Bucharest has had to fully implement the Google School membership that we have been using as an online communication platform for homework and lessons. Whilst being a Google School is an important development for the future, currently, it is a great online platform for communicating with students interactively through Google Meet, enabling a natural learning environment online. Online education is on the rise throughout the world, especially since it has the power to ensure access to education in places that are difficult to access or have limited resources. Due to recent circumstances, online education has completely replaced the usual activities at the International British School of Bucharest, and with the use of cameras, microphones, file sharing and other resources, our classes from Early Years to Year 13 are able to do their normal lessons online through Google Classrooms whilst following the British curriculum.
The good news is that technological development in the online environment has allowed us to carry out our daily activities without hindrances. Living in the advent of the digital revolution means we have an excellent internet connection and a lot of programs and applications that allow us to connect through virtual classes to deliver the curriculum our school follows.
Our teachers use a lot of applications and programs that can be helpful in carrying out certain lessons online, employing diverse methods of presenting information for students to understand, either through live Powerpoints, interactive pens or even live videos with object presentations. Teachers in both Primary and Secondary school are able to teach a full range of subjects online: Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Drama, English, Modern Foreign Languages, Business, Economics, EAL Support, Psychology, Sociology, Geography, History, Cross-Curricular, Music and even Physical Education.
*Most classes have their lessons recorded so if the students wish to view the lessons again at a later date, they are able to.
The president of the Parents Committee, Daria Dietrich, said the success of the school’s online learning programme has a lot to do with the way the school community works closely together. “The moment you enrol your children at IBSB, the school talks to you about the importance of partnership, working together for a common goal. Communication is excellent, with our children joining the parent-teacher meetings to discuss their progress and agree on new targets that we all work together to achieve”.
With the help of our teachers, parents and students and the use of interactive resources, in the past two weeks we were able to roll out an online programme to fit all ages with an appropriate timetable from 8:30 - 16:00, allowing students to complete a full school day following the British curriculum. This includes video workshops and online lessons provided by our Early Years teachers for our youngest students and their parents; Modern Foreign Language lessons for Primary School students so they can keep practising their skills; and Music sessions to raise the spirits of students who have to socialise from a distance for the time being. We have even provided Physical Education to help our students keep fit and healthy, while platforms like RAZ KIDZ allow our students to access extensive reading materials to exercise their minds when they are not participating in lessons.
“I usually have to travel an hour to school each day, and some days longer. It’s so much easier being able to wake up, eat breakfast, and then just witch on a computer to begin your lessons. I can see the teacher and all the other students in the Google Meet Classroom, the teacher says good morning, takes the register, and then starts the lesson. I can see why they say online learning is the future. It really makes sense in so many ways”. Maria, Y10.
Our Distance Online Programme does not only focus on our Academic Curriculum but also on our wellbeing. Each year group has timetabled lessons with our school counselor, when students can interact with each other and ask any question relating to their wellbeing. Form tutors have also continued to teach Life Skills and communicate with all students about their week. During Life Skills lessons, form tutors also offer appreciation and hand out virtual certificates. We are also looking to use online learning to enrich our curriculum delivery by offering students “virtual class trips” to museums and other places around the world from the comfort of their own homes.
“At first we were honestly quite worried about the school closing because we have important exams coming up. Everyone was really nervous thinking about our grades and university applications. I think now everyone is feeling much more confident, as the lessons are going really well and many of us save time travelling, so we have more time to study for our exams.” Victor Popa, Head Boy.
Being in the situation we are in the world today, all we can do as educators is be creative in the way we teach online and offer our students a correct and effective way of gaining all information that they would have in a normal classroom environment. Judging by the positive vibes we have been getting from our whole community, the International British School of Bucharest has achieved this goal in spectacular fashion!
To learn more about the International British School of Bucharest and the curriculum our school follows please visit our website.
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