Since 16th March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Brillantmont International School has continued its commitment to learning by providing an engaging distance learning programme for all our students. Using various methods, our teachers continue to meet their small classes, share knowledge and develop competences.
Our students miss the physical and social interactions with their peers. Yet, they have embraced this new, connected BM learning experience, with many saying “it feels just the same.” The same level of support, the same personalisation, the same attention to individual needs – that is the hallmark of a Brillantmont education and we thank our teachers, who are doing their very best at this challenging time.
Despite long distances and several time zones, the learning continues here at Brillantmont and we thank all members of our community for their confidence in the school.
Distance learning: how it works
Distance Learning is defined as teaching and learning through Information Communication Technology (ICT). Online communication replaces the human contact and interaction of the traditional classroom experience. The teacher and students learn in different learning environments and even in different time zones but they continue to enjoy individualised support, albeit in a digital form.
Distance Learning does not attempt to replicate the regular learning experiences but instead focuses on more narrowly defined skills and attributes. Thus, meaningful learning continues; it simply entails a different focus which accepts the limitations of not having access to the natural social interactions between students and their teachers.
Our primary learning goals through Distance Learning are to reinforce the essential knowledge and understandings of our curriculum. Skills developed include communication, with greater emphasis on communicating digitally and through written text, video and video conferencing. Students also have to take greater responsibility for their learning, developing their confidence in their independent problem solving and ability to reflect on their learning needs and take appropriate steps to find solutions independently. Engagement in learning looks different, students and teachers are encouraged to be innovative and courageous in the challenges. Our learning partnership continues but in a distance format.
Distance learning: top tips for parents everywhere
For many of you across the world, your child is currently distance learning. This is a new scenario, for which you are perhaps not prepared. We’re looking forward to having all our BM students back in their Swiss home., but wherever you are in the world, these tips below are designed to help you support your child in the best manner, as you adapt to this new way of living.
School’s not out yet! The teaching and learning continues until the end of the school year and there are many learning objectives to be completed before then. Make sure you are aware of the school’s expectations.
Students will be interacting with the teacher and with other students in the virtual classroom. We suggest that once a day, you ask your child what he / she is doing, which classes are taking place, what topics are being studied etc. It is a way of not only offering support, if needed, but also of making sure that your child is keeping up with the work set. Please ensure that your child has a quiet place where she / he can study without being disturbed. A tidy, organised workspace promotes tidy, organised work habits. Remember though, all work must be the student’s own!
Keep a routine
Most people function best when there is a routine. It helps give a sense of structure and normality, which is particularly important right now. It is very important for your child to continue with a daily routine, just as would be expected at school. Sleeping late during the week is not encouraged and we recommend having meals at regular times. It is important to schedule in some daily relaxation time, to enjoy sports and to pursue a leisure activity where possible – for example, music, reading or something creative.
Keeping fit and healthy!
Within the daily routine, if you can get out and enjoy fresh air, it is important to do so. This may be impossible because of restrictions or simply your location, but don’t worry; there are many other fitness workouts that can be done from your own living room. Our Sports Department have lots of advice about what you can do to keep in shape.
The learning continues but the social interactions of school life are missing. This is hard for your child, who is used to living and growing alongside others. Nobody expected the school year to turn out like this and it is completely normal that your child may feel lost without the physical proximity of their friends. He / she child may be upset, frustrated, angry and frightened by the situation. It is important to be able to talk about these emotions openly and to acknowledge them. Maintaining online connections with friends and staff is important for your child’s well-being.
Your child’s life resolves around school. The friendships he/she has are precious and should be maintained. It is very easy to do this through different social networking apps. Please allow your child to keep in touch with his / her friends. It is important however, to not be constantly connected to technology. Encourage a balanced approach, between learning, friendship time and leisure time but also with “time off.”