It has been said many times but 2020 is a year we will not forget no matter how much we may want to. The pandemic has caused stress, anxiety, confusion and uncertainty for adults and children alike. Children have been caught up in a constantly changing schedule in which one of the main constants in their lives – going to school – has not featured. They have had to adapt to a completely new schooling experience.
Educational establishments worldwide have had to adapt just as quickly as students, turning to websites and apps that had only really been utilised by large global businesses prior to March. It was a bumpy road initially, but it is safe to say that most schools now have a slick homeschooling set-up in place. At HKILA, we noticed that children and families quickly fell into a routine of Zoom sessions and working online. Indeed, for many students, the online environment has proved beneficial – making them more productive and engaged than they had been in a classroom.
For this reason, we decided to develop [email protected], a new programme that combines a thematic curriculum written by Dimensions Curriculum (UK) with adapted plans for English and Maths that can be delivered at home.
The rationale behind expanding our provision was threefold – to accommodate students who find working at home a less stressful experience than school, to provide a continued education for students who have moved away from Hong Kong or are in quarantine, and to offer an alternative schooling option for families whose future may be
uncertain – those for whom paying school fees and debentures etc is not feasible in the current climate.
The [email protected] programme delivers a full online learning experience, and a wealth of materials, resources and support from teachers, while also allowing families to be flexible. While the [email protected] learning schedule follows what would be happening within the HKILA classroom, it does not have to be followed to the letter.
Home schooling your child, long term, can seem like a daunting prospect but this is really not the case. With [email protected], teachers Zoom with each child on a weekly basis with the option for more sessions if required. We are also running regular workshops to give parents and helpers the tools they need to be, to quote from alternativetoschool.com, “the guide on the side, not the sage on the stage.”
As the pandemic continues, having a consistent learning setup will help children to develop, thrive and grow. Whether they are based at home or in school, we aim to provide HKILA students with a programme that is clear and rigorous yet creative and fun.
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