ACSTogether: Learning Update Newsletter
Blended learning, explains Kim Elms, Curriculum and Assessment Strategist at ACS, "blends where and how learning happens: online at home, and through...
Inspiring education in uncertain times.
Exactly What is blended learning ?
The latest buzzword explained.
Blended learning, explains Kim Elms, Curriculum and Assessment Strategist at ACS, "blends where and how learning happens: online at home, and through guided practice in class at school. Blended learning models offer students and teachers opportunities to personalise highly-efficient learning, and they focus on mastery of the content and skills that students need to be ready for the future."
One of the more common course designs for blended learning is the 'flipped classroom'. Lessons are ‘flipped’ so that students are introduced to a concept at home (for example, by watching an instructional video or problem-based scenario). Then in the classroom, they explore the idea with other students, ask questions, solve problems, and practice applying their developing understanding to unfamiliar situations.
Home begins to look like a traditional classroom, where information is transmitted from teachers to students. And school is the place where students undertake deeper learning - which traditionally was expected to take place - unsupported and inefficiently - alone at home.
Blended learning relies heavily on contemporary educational technologies as well as teaching practices that are rooted in modern cognitive psychology (current understandings about how people learn). It’s part of broader educational trends recognised in ACS’s Education Strategy: a recognition that learning happens all the time, in many places, within and beyond the classroom. Blended learning models support other expected school-wide learning results, too.
Students strengthen their abilities to work independently and manage their own learning. Teachers design flexible, responsive courses and classrooms that help students learn at their own pace, and challenge every learner to grow. Contemporary educational research validates the blending learning approaches that feature self-paced, competency-based, reflective education.
ACS Egham product design teacher, Derek Wiggins, has used blended learning principles to advance his approach to teaching and learning. With students locked down from learning on campus last spring, Derek re-imagined his course based on what he learned from The Modern Classroom Project. He has freed up in-school learning time by creating an extended series of personalised video lessons that his students can access at home. Derek’s work successfully blends what, where and how students learn across time and geography as they master IB Middle Years Programme objectives.
Problem solving and collaboration within families increased greatly and the removal of classroom distractions enabled the majority to learn better
Derek Wiggins, Product Design teacher, ACS Egham
A student design project made at home.
It’s a great example of innovation spurred on by the coronavirus pandemic. At home and at school, Derek’s classes are using blended learning to meet challenging goals—creating fun and sophisticated evidence of student achievement that range from trebuchets to toy planes to ‘logo cakes’ to home renovations.
The course’s structure synthesises assessment criteria and enables teachers to identify learning goals that students must, should, or may aspire to accomplish.
Quick Guide to ‘Blended Learning’ Benefits
ACS Doha also report how blended learning has brought the community closer and built student confidence in new ways.
"We found parents to be more involved with at-home learning for their child. From reading a book, to learning numbers, parents can note where their children are most engaged and be involved in the skill-building first-hand. Most importantly with this approach we can create more opportunities for learning in new ways. We have found shy students speak up more during class. With this approach, everyone has a voice.
Caroline Rennie, Deputy Head, ACS Doha.
A dynamic and fluid approach
Concludes Kim, "We continue to explore how blended learning can ensure maximum flexibility of our education delivery, and maximum agility in being able to shift learning from fully on campus to fully at home - and everything in between. Teaching and learning must remain dynamic, flexible and able to meet the needs of teachers and students whether they are together in school or not. At ACS, wherever we are, we are always learning."
THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION AT ACS
Robert Harrison talks about our education strategy and opportunities for growth
Over the next five years the ACS Education Strategy intends to deliver significant change.
It aims to deepen an already solid foundation, drive key innovations and deliver impact long into the future. At its heart is our commitment to provide the right personal challenge within a culture of high expectations for the personal and academic success of every student. Led by Education Strategy Director, Dr. Robert Harrison, the strategy sets out to achieve four overarching objectives :
- Promoting personal and academic excellence
- Recognising personal and workplace skills
- Prioritising health, safety and wellbeing
- Celebrating diversity and a culture of inclusion
These objectives will be delivered through ten challenging projects to be undertaken between now and 2024, some with a longer horizon than others. We’ll be sharing more detail on each in due course. The ultimate goal is to not only ensure academic and personal success for each student, but also ensure they are ready for an unpredictable future: Ready to take their place in the world as caring contributors, confident individuals and effective learners. Find More detail on the key projects Here
Health, Safety and Wellbeing is a priority.
In recent months wellbeing, health and safety has taken on a greater level of focus across our campuses and this drive will continue. High levels of health and wellbeing (for staff, students, and parents) is essential for effective education, and as such, one of the key objectives of our education strategy above. As the pandemic has disrupted our lives, it has also created a greater urgency for a strategic approach to wellbeing. We are living in a time when our mental health is being challenged every day, and there’s a bright spotlight on the health of individuals and communities.
Over the past year we have been designing the ACS Health and Wellbeing Strategy as a holistic approach that can inform and serve our international school communities. The strategy will not only set out our commitment to the maintenance, and improvement, of wellbeing; it will help us to assess wellbeing, so that we can keep developing and improving in response to new challenges as they emerge.
The implementation of these principles is already well under way. Susan Jackson, ACS Trustee has taken on the role of health, safety and wellbeing champion. In August, we held a WELLcome back event – a full day conference for all ACS staff, with a range of panels and presentations on wellbeing and diversity in the context of our international community. Over the coming months our priority for finalising our Health and Wellbeing Strategy will be consultation with parents, staff and students, to ensure this long-term approach will benefit all for many years to come.
THE POWER OF COMMUNITY
Alka Maher and Holly Fairbrother share how ACS Doha have been supporting students in the pandemic
The pandemic has heightened the need to pay attention to issues of emotional well-being.
With social distancing, working/studying from home and uncertainty of what the future holds comes, feelings of isolation, anxiety and fear. ACS has always put health and wellbeing at the top of its agenda. More than ever now, a focus is to keep educational continuity while keeping students’ mental health afloat.
ACS Doha Middle and High School counsellor, Alka Maher explains what more the school did to safeguard the emotional wellbeing of its students.
From the practices followed before the pandemic to the additional programmes we have incorporated in response to it, we are guided by a fluid, comprehensive and adaptive attitude which aspires to educate and care for the whole person"
Alka Maher , Middle and High School Counsellor
In the face of COVID-19, Alka and the Doha team doubled their efforts in providing support to the students, parents and staff. From welcoming parent drop ins at the ‘Wellness Centre’, to one-on-one sessions where they encouraged students to ‘Rate your mood’ in online conversations, they maintained open and honest communication channels to better understand the wellbeing of the entire community.
The open communication within the community gave them the foresight needed to tailor programmes like the ACS Doha ‘Advisory Programme’. Run once a week, the Advisory Programme seeks to address issues that directly or indirectly cause mental and physical health issues by incorporating various themes each week ranging from bullying to managing stress.
ACS Doha’s focus on wellness is complimented by teacher training and awareness workshops run in cooperation with Sidra Medicine, one of Qatar’s leading medical research and healthcare providers, for the benefit of the community.
Through frequent feedback from our student body and parents, we learn how effective our programmes are, and how we can improve them. Student Voice, ACS Doha’s student-run advocacy club, alongside surveys, and conversations with parents have fostered a close relationship between caregivers, students and the community at large, allowing us to gauge the real impact of our practices. The results of our quarterly surveys have shown a positive trend in student sentiment and overall alleviation of pandemic stress through our comprehensive COVID response policies.
Another fruitful collaboration between teachers, parents, and students was the successful trial/launch of the Middle Years Programme (MYP) eAssessment. Recognising the barriers students were facing in taking online exams, the MYP eAssessment was specifically designed to give students a space to experience an online examination ahead of scheduled exams and become equipped with the skills needed to succeed in online learning.
Educators had to rethink their modus operandi in the midst of an unprecedented crisis as schools closed and exams for all IB programmes were cancelled. As tasks go, this was akin to building the plane while flying it.
The pandemic is certainly the greatest crisis Middle Years Programme (MYP) coordinator Holly Fairbrother has faced since she began working at ACS International School Doha, in Qatar, five years ago. What stood Holly—and the school—in good stead was how she had already developed an approach to e-examinations for ACS Middle School students by way of an ‘eAssessment’ after consulting with teachers, parents and students.
“One of the first things I noticed when I joined ACS was that we were running the exam assessments at the end of grade 10 only with no practice for the students”, she says. 'We realised that a huge barrier to success was that the children didn’t know what to do in the exams—not because they couldn’t but because the exams are all skills-based. I realised the issue: this generation of digital natives are really familiar with being online but not in a formal academic situation, like sitting in a room and taking a formal examination on-screen”.
Feeling this was putting students at a disadvantage, she began to introduce trial eAssessments for on-screen exams to help grade 10 students understand exam etiquette; adhere to the rules around academic integrity; and become familiar with the pressure of sitting in an e-exam room.
The trial exams were soon extended to grade 9 and, as a teacher of language and literature in grade 6, she began introducing digital assessments using Google Forms to mimic, albeit in a scaled back way, the questions students will be asked in grade 10.
Drawing on her master’s degree in integrating technology in education and her knowledge as a registered Google trainer, Holly has given students a much better insight into the experience of taking on-screen examinations for the MYP.
"So, when the IB was forced to cancel the exams, We were ready ! "
Holly Fairbrother, MYP Co-ordinator
'It wasn’t just a bit of exam practice, because we also gave them the feedback they needed to develop and improve”, says Holly. The trail convinced teachers that these assessments helped students prepare for the real world, feel more confident in exams and, because the communication between teachers, students and families is continuous, stay focused and motivated.
The pandemic exponentially increased the staff workload at the school—and massively increased the need to communicate with families and students, particularly during lockdown.
“We updated everyone regularly even if we were just checking in" says Holly. Our virtual meetings became, 'family meetings', because a majority of children understand Zoom - much more than their parents do - so they were always there.'
For the younger students, a key emphasis has been on ensuring each child is supported and normality is maintained as much as possible. Mr Alan (pictured on the cover), still plays his ukulele to the delight of his classes showing that not everything has to change when times get tough.
safety remains paramount for all on campus
ACS Doha’s comprehensive 360-approach to wellbeing accounts for activities spanning mind, body, and soul. Their understanding of mental health has increased exponentially over the last couple of years says Alka.
Creating awareness around mental health as part of school can help equip future generations with the right emotional tools and coping mechanisms needed to navigate an increasingly complex world. At the same time ACS staff are supported by the central staff health, well being and safety agenda, so no one is left behind.
Learning in the great outdoors
Barnaby Sandow envisions the natural world as a precious resource.
Lower School vegetable patch
Barny Sandow has just celebrated his first year as Head of School at ACS Cobham. And what a year it has been !
Not only has Barny moved across the world with his family back to the UK he has also had to lead a school of 1200 students through an unparalleled lockdown without a rule book. Undeterred by the size of the task still ahead, however Barny looks to the positives. “The challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic threw at us allowed us to accelerate some of our development ideas, stress test our systems and forge real bonds within our community in a way that would not have happened otherwise”
One silver lining for Barny during this new ‘Covid world’ is the opportunity to use the extensive campus grounds, facilities and surroundings at Cobham as an integral part of the curriculum. With no school trips one might think the options for outdoor learning are limited but Barny believes there is ample potential for this right on the doorstep.
“A huge amount of work and thinking has already gone into how we bring the outside into the classroom, but now we can look at our curriculum again, particularly in the STEM subject area, and let the campus environment inform new thinking and lesson design."
Such outdoor learning projects at Cobham include; the Lower School vegetable garden, designed by the students and started last year which teaches them about eco-systems, permacultures and sustainability. Explains Barny "Recently seeing the gardening club utterly engrossed in collecting their harvest was a brilliant moment. There was real, live, actual, tangible fruits of their labours that could be seen, touched and brought home to be shared. The feelings of achievement were clearly evident; lots of big smiles."
While some of the carrots were not enormous the levels of focus were huge.
Barnaby Sandow, Head of School ACS Cobham
Having also planted 500 trees last year Lower School will next take part in National Forest “Plant a tree from seed” scheme'; and the Lower School pond has also been given a new lease of life. The Woodlands continue to offer endless opportunities for STEM from the youngest students right up to grade 12s; and the ‘Tom Tent’, an ACS Cobham landmark, has been renovated by the Cobham PSO, Scouts BSA and the Girl Scouts of America, making this a fantastic outdoor classroom for all ages and provides a valuable additional weather proof outside environment.
Faculty are also being trained in the ways of Forest school, with Chris Hupp now trained to deliver forest school training across Cobham, Egham and Hillingdon.
Wildlife and open space at Cobham
These projects and increased emphasis on outdoor learning help us and the students shape our view of sustainability, and importantly ensure that, with our guidance, we are creating a generation who are aware of their footprints and are ready to leave each environment better than they found it
Learning outside grounds students and opens their eyes to the awesome nature that we have on our doorstep
The advantages of outdoor learning, in addition to promoting a wider understanding of sustainability, are clear: natural ventilation from fresh air; the children learn to manage risk and build up their resilience; it boosts wellbeing and makes that important practical link back to the classroom and particularly STEM. "
At ACS Hillingdon there have also been a number of initiatives to encourage working more outdoors where possible. A number of forest school organisations ran workshops for students and teachers in Lower School, with some Lower School staff undergoing official qualifications to run the courses in-house. This is a large undertaking and investment with accreditation taking up to 2 years to achieve. Weather is not a factor with all-weather clothing being kept at school to ensure the outdoors is accessible as often as possible.With 13 acres of the school and a further 14 acre fields and woodlands in Iver Fields not 10 minutes away, there is plenty of opportunity for outdoor learning. Music lessons, biology, drama, reading as well as the more expected sports programmes can all make use of the world around the campus. Kindergarten class recently came up with a new initiative to create a special garden made from recycled objects and reached out to the community for old boots, shoes, teapots, teacups, watering cans, colanders or jugs to act as plant pots. A number of shelters are also planned to provide more outdoor cover around campus for this Autumn.
At ACS Egham, outdoor learning is an integral part of the curriculum. From Forest School throughout the Lower School, to Drama, English, Science and even Maths lessons making use of the 20 acres of grounds where possible. The outdoors is not just for PE and sports !
ACS Egham has a designated forest school space with all of the lower school teachers qualified to run the programme. There are woodlands, ponds and grounds to explore, wildlife including deer, squirrels, rabbits and birds. Not to mention the school's very own chickens hatched from eggs in the classroom that are now laying their own eggs for the next intake of students' learning.
Forest School Trainer
Why school sports are having to reset
Interview with Jamie Johnston, Athletic Director, ACS International School Egham
John Wooden, the late and great American basketball coach, once said: “A coach’s primary function should be not to make better players, but to make better people”. Now, more than ever, I believe this rings true – particularly when it comes to school sports.
There can often be a tyranny within competitive school sports programmes where the results of the team are the most important thing. It tends to be all consuming, and, despite the best intentions, students end up going from the pressure of academia to another pressure, which is the school sports team. While there is much research pointing to the important benefits of exercise and sports for young people’s wellbeing, there is also evidence to suggest that overly competitive sports programmes can have a detrimental impact on a young athlete’s mental health, including low self-esteem, anxiety and stress. I am not in any way opposed to competitive sport, but balance is important - competition should be healthy and instil positive values, as opposed to the unhealthy win-at-costs behaviours sadly exhibited often by professional sports stars. In a world disrupted by a global pandemic causing uncertainty and anxiety every single day, performance in sports is not a stress that young people and need. Teachers and parents must avoid piling on.
In 2020, while the pandemic has resulted in an awful lot of tragedy and hardship, it has, in a strange way, also presented us with a valuable opportunity for a reset. In the absence of upcoming tournaments and fixtures, we now have a rare moment to step back, go back to basics, and think what it is we really should be doing with the sports programme. This is the moment to realign our extra-curricular offering, putting students well and truly at the centre of the programme and asking what is it we are trying to achieve?
One thing that we can be certain of, in this uncertain world, is that sports for young people should be approached in a way that is fun and enjoyable. When this happens, sports not only support physical health, but mental health too, and also offer important opportunities for students to grow as individuals. Not just as athletes, but as people. At ACS Egham, since last year, and now in an accelerated fashion, we’ve being making a culture shift to more ‘transformational’ coaching, where ‘courage’ has become the key word. For us, participation is the number one priority. We want students to be courageous and to try out whatever sports they wish.
"Failure doesn’t exist, no one is ‘good’ or ‘bad’, it’s just sports"
Jamie Johnson, Athletics Director, ACS Egham
Once we’ve got everyone involved and having fun, we can then look to develop what they can do, building on their athletic ability but also championing key skills like team work, gratitude and empathy.
Healthy competition is still valid, but performance only comes into the equation for those students who choose this path and have a real drive for it. What we find is that the majority, at a school level, take part because they love it and because they can have fun with their friends outside the classroom. Particularly in 2020, sports and exercise are providing an escape for all of us in more ways than ever! In reality, for most it’s not really about winning games and results, it’s about having fun and enjoying the activity and this is exactly what we want to encourage.
With this approach, what we have seen so far is a surge in uptake right across the board. Two years ago, for example, as a relatively small school, we didn’t have a girls’ varsity team for football, now we’ve got 21 girls coming along to training. Again, three years ago we couldn’t raise a third team for High School boys’ football, now we are recruiting another coach because we’re inundated; we’ve got over 60 boys coming along. In our Middle School we’re seeing the same thing.
There isn’t so much pressure now because we’ve said “what we’re looking at is you and developing your skills, just come along. There are no matches to play, so let’s just have fun and focus on what you can achieve”. This has really encouraged young people out of the wood work who would never normally play and I have never felt prouder.
Though I feel a pause in formal competition is positive for the wellbeing of our school community, I did anticipate that our top tier players who ultimately play to win may lose interest but this just hasn’t been the case. Many are still coming along and are revelling in the opportunity to play without pressure.
Sports are an incredible thing. For young people, they can offer a new way of connecting with friends inside and outside of school.
For adults it can be a way to get out and about and gain a sense of freedom, when it feels life is restricted in so many other ways. At a time when things are upside down, sports and exercise can provide us with some degree of positivity so, as parents, students and teachers continue to navigate this unusual ‘back to school’ period, I hope we can all take solace in the fact that the very basics of what make school great are still there and we want everyone to get involved.
After school activities continue
Despite the pandemic ACS schools have managed to keep many after school activities going, ensuring that students can continue to enjoy both a healthy curriculum and extra-curricular activities. Some sports have been replaced by others but all schools have developed creative ways of ensuring some school activities continue. Local competitions were happening before the second lockdown and will hopefully be re-arranged in future so that student athletes can continue to enjoy a full experience of school sport.
ASPIRING TO CAREERS IN VISUAL AND DRAMATIC ARTS
ACS Hillingdon is preparing students for the world of work.
ACS Hillingdon has been authorised to offer the International Baccalaureate’s (IB) Career-related Programme (CP), an alternative education pathway for learners aged 16-19. It blends academic and industry-based courses to help students prepare for future careers in related areas.
Lisa Blair, Upper School Principal at Hillingdon explains "Supporting the thriving drama and arts offering at ACS Hillingdon, as part of the CP, students will be able to engage in study focussing on theatre and/or film. Students who are passionate about the stage will have an unmissable opportunity to gain qualifications from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), the oldest drama school in the UK, and will develop a wide range of performance skills. In addition or as an alternative to the LAMDA qualifications, students have the option to take an a level 3 qualification in theatre, focusing on acting or directing.
ACS Hillingdon will also introduce a Level 3 photography qualification as a CP option enhancing the current film studies offering. As an additional opportunity, ACS Hillingdon has established a unique partnership with Creative Media Skills Group (CMS), a training partner based at Pinewood Studios. Recently students attended a one-week course where they completed skills-focussed work with industry experts. Students currently studying Greek theatre as part of the theatre course worked on mask-making with a prop-maker or costume designer whose previous work included Star Wars and Jurassic Park. Through the CP, students develop skills that are genuinely valued by employers and gain real-life work experience."
"AT CMS, TOP UK SCREEN PROFESSIONALS ARE ABLE TO PASS ON THEIR EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE TO THE NEXT GENERATION OF CREW, FUTURE-PROOFING THE UK FILM INDUSTRY.
Creative Media Skills Group, CEO, Ailie Smith,
While the LAMDA qualifications are designed to support the skills of students with performance-based university courses in mind, such as theatre or performing arts, the skills gained are also valuable for students wishing to pursue other careers in the public arena. Students gain experience in public speaking, providing an important self-confidence boost for future high pressure moments, such as job interviews, negotiations or debate.
Martin Hall, Head of School, ACS Hillingdon, comments: “We’re extremely excited to be able to offer the CP as another educational pathway for our students. We must recognise there is no 'one size fits all' approach that will prepare for their lives after school. The CP combines academic and practical learning to set students up for whatever pathway suits them best - whether that be higher education, pursuing an apprenticeship, or entering the world of work. ACS Doha is now a CP Candidate School, and will welcome its first new CP cohort in 2021, focusing on entrepreneurship.
Greek tragedy masks at Pinewood
How to strengthen your child's resilience
Anneke Theron shares advice for parents.
CHANGE IS A PART OF LIFE: FIVE WAYS COVID-19 HAS PROVIDED OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUR CHILD TO BUILD RESILIENCE
Anneke Theron, Lower School Counsellor at ACS International School Cobham
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to cope with major changes in everyday life. Physical distancing, home confinement and uncertainty are difficult for us all to manage - research shows that even children as young as two are aware of changes around them.
Understandably, it is a balancing act for many working from home with family and trying to create a structure and some sense of normality. We are also aware of the importance for parents and caregivers to take care of their own mental health and wellbeing. Children take their cues from parents and seeing them respond to a situation calmly and confidently, can provide great comfort.
Building resilience centres on a philosophy that empowers children to talk about their feelings and problem solve, rather than always being given the answers. It's important that children learn to deal with difficult situations or feelings, rather than adults protecting them.
We believe that, as educators, we have a responsibility to build and enhance students’ resilience in practical, accessible ways – no matter what their age. It’s about learning to be comfortable in that uncomfortable zone. Most children (and adults!) have their comfort zones and too often we haven’t built up the resilience to move into the uncomfortable zone.
Dr Yvonne Skipper, a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Glasgow, emphasises: "While there have been studies of how adults cope in isolation, should they have to, such as in space or in polar exploration, there has been little research into how children would cope in such circumstances." However, Dr Skipper goes on to say that children are "typically resilient" and "are likely to come out of the experience with no ill-effects”.
Initial findings from a University of Oxford study when the pandemic first happened tracked the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of children and young people, and showed that one in five primary age children were afraid to leave their homes.
Children will, undoubtedly, be aware of what is happening - whether they are older and have read or heard the news themselves or talked about it with their family and friends or, if they are younger, have noticed a change in routine because their parents are social distancing or they are no longer going to nursery or seeing grandparents. Ensuring that children have coping mechanisms, such as resilience, within their arsenal to deal with these life changes is essential - never more so than at times like these.
With our younger students, for example, we explore ‘bounce-ability’ by bouncing different balls off the floor – a ping pong ball, a tennis ball and a clay ball – and align this to the different levels of effort required to bounce back, just as people bounce back from difficult life experiences.
This serves as a good analogy – we are all different and all have different levels of ‘bounce-ability’. Students can see that different balls have to work harder to bounce back and that different people have different levels of resilience.
The important message to children is that perseverance and resilience can improve with exposure and effort and that we all can become stronger.
Ultimately, challenges only increase as we get older and so, we need to develop key life skills, like resilience, at a young age, to help guide us through these challenges. In practical terms, the enforced lockdown has provided many opportunities for children to build resilience – this is to be encouraged!
Parents and caregivers may be busy working, homeschooling or caring for other members of the family; giving children jobs at home to help them learn responsibility. This period can provide an opportunity to identify together how children can help through taking on age-appropriate chores that will help them take ownership, for example laying the table for a family meal or making their own beds, can take some of the pressure off the parents.
2. Educated risk
It might be colder and darker now ( in the UK) but the outdoors still beckons. Parents can use this time outside with their children to consider some physical freedoms where children learn to take measured risks, for example when climbing trees. Of course, parents should always keep an eye on their children for safety, but at the same time allow them to make judgements on their physical surroundings that will help them build confidence.
In our instant-gratification world, children are often used to a lot of attention and having their needs met instantly. Children need to learn that waiting is sometimes necessary and with parents juggling different responsibilities at home, it could be a good time to help children learn to wait for help, a snack or solve that problem of “boredom” by working through their frustrations.
Children may be in a habit of going to parents to solve their problems, whether it's with school work or a quibble with a sibling. The natural response can be to explain, but a better strategy may be to ask questions, such as 'how could we fix…?'. If parents resist the temptation to “save” every situation, it can encourage children to be independent and think through the issue and come up with solutions.
ACS Doha young student coping well !
We are all exposed to a lot of information during this time, including our children - this can cause feelings of anxiety, as the University of Oxford study reveals. Communicating with children in an open and honest way about what is happening, can encourage them to deal with their feelings. Helping them understand what other people might be going through, can help them develop empathy and appreciation.
The ability to cope with change and tough situations (no one could have predicted one as hard-hitting as COVID-19) will certainly stand children in good stead for the future. Change is a part of life and we will all deal with it in our own way; having said that, building resilience from a young age can positively affect how children adapt to whatever adversities they may face in their futures.
EVERYONE IS WELCOME HERE
How ACS Schools supported 'Show Racism the Red Card'
Each October a movement called ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ holds its annual Wear Red Day in the UK. The 6th annual Wear Red Day will take place across England, Wales and Scotland on Friday 16th October 2020. Wear Red Day is a national day of action which encourages schools, businesses and individuals to wear red and donate £1 to help fund anti-racism education for young people and adults across the UK. Show Racism the Red Card is the UK’s largest anti-racism educational charity. It was established in January 1996, thanks in part to a donation by then Newcastle United goalkeeper Shaka Hislop, and has grown from strength to strength delivering educational workshops to young people and adults in schools, workplaces and at events held in football stadiums.
Every penny raised during Wear Red Day goes towards enabling education about racism and supporting campaign workers to work with more young people and adults across the UK to challenge racism in society.
ACS Cobham, Egham and Hillingdon all took an enthusiastic part in the campaign on the day with many students and teachers wearing red to show their support. It was the students themselves who initiated many of the ideas to support the campaign. These initiatives included students who participated paying a donation to wear red, a raffle, football matches and a card tree featuring students’ thoughts on “I am fighting racism by….' at Hillingdon. In total over £2,000 was raised across the 3 UK schools.
“Diversity and inclusion are a really important part of our story and I am delighted to see so many students seize this opportunity to make their voices heard by supporting such a great campaign. “
Dr Shea, Personal Counsellor , ACS Cobham
Focus on Diversity and Inclusion.
Celebrating diversity and a culture of Inclusion is a key priority for ACS education strategy and there are a number of initiatives now ongoing around the schools aimed at building engagement in these subjects across our communities: One of these initiatives, the staff Diversity and Inclusion Council, recently held its first meeting, another offered staff the opportunity to participate in several workshops with a group of recent ACS Cobham Alumni.
Around the schools the student councils are also working on their own diversity and inclusion initiatives. These are subjects that concern us all and more on this will follow in future issues.
Dr Shea, Personal Counsellor ACS Cobham, centre in red