While living in unprecedented times the College remains at the forefront of innovation as it strives to provide as full a Bradfield educational experience as possible, albeit remotely. No pupil, parent or staff member has lived through an experience such as this before and the speed with which they have risen to the challenge is proof of the resilience and adaptability of the entire Bradfield community.

“We realise that pupils and staff miss the dynamic element of the classroom, boarding house, music room or sports pitch,” says Second Master Andy Logan, who has been part of the driving force to harness the power of technology to deliver the College’s Education for Life. “We are trying to ensure that our remote education is as interactive as possible.”

The best classroom experiences, where the best learning happens, are where there is interaction between pupils and the teacher and between pupils and their peers. That is what Microsoft Teams offers, it really brings our remote learning to life.

Neil Burch, Deputy Head (Academic)

Staff worked rigorously at the end of the Lent Term to reshape the timetable in order to deliver a varied daily structure for pupils; no mean feat.

While the majority of each day is reserved for interactive academic sessions, a diverse co-curricular programme alongside weekly Wellbeing sessions, ‘screen-free’ time and guidance through daily Chapel or assemblies give structure, balance and direction to our new educational experience.

The current climate has required pupils and staff to upskill in their technical appreciation of various platforms and applications and the community has met the challenge head on. A suite of superb communication and collaboration software is at the heart of this including Firefly and Microsoft Teams. The former, the College’s pupil, parent and staff portal, acts as a hub for the collation of a growing number of remote learning materials while Microsoft Teams and OneNote have become the gateway to the classroom, no matter where our pupils are learning from.

Neil Burch, Deputy Head (Academic), is a firm believer in utilising the best technology to ensure the remote experience is as good as being in the classroom. “The best classroom experiences, where the best learning happens, are where there is interaction between pupils and the teacher and between pupils and their peers. That is what  Teams offers; it really brings our remote learning to life.”

Our hope is that pupils will strive to achieve a semblance of normality by engaging in a programme which is inspiring, enjoyable and, most of all, fun.

Roger Wall, Deputy Head (Co-Curricular)

It is important to recognise that the provision is bespoke for each year group and not generic across the College, providing different opportunities, work and expectations.

As much as it is remote, our education is real. Those in Faulkner’s going into the Shell have begun their GCSE courses; Fifth Form and Lower Sixth pupils are embarking on or continuing studies on A Level courses or the IBDP. Those in the Lower Sixth have sat their Trial Examinations, the results of which will go some way to creating the evidence base for university predicted grades.

Following the cancellation of A Level and IBDP exams, Upper Sixth pupil can access university bridging courses and a life skills programme including learning How to Design a Successful Business Model, Finance Essentials, Create a Social Media Marketing Campaign and Journalism, the future, and you. This offering will allow our pupils to answer the all-important question ‘What did you do that made a difference in the 2020 pandemic?’ with confidence and enthusiasm.

Echoing the bespoke nature of the academic programme, the College’s remote co-curricular offering ensures each year group has its own distinct programme that mirrors many of the wider areas of life they would have been engaged with on site.

“It is essential that pupils have an opportunity to be creative, take physical exercise and experience as much as possible away from the daily academic focus,” says Roger Wall, Deputy Head (Co-Curricular). “Good mental health and wellbeing are closely linked to engaging in co-curricular activity and this should not be discouraged whilst learning remotely.”

The College continues to offer a range of regular opportunities for sports, Music, LAMDA, CCF, Drama, Art and Design and the Bradfield Diploma. Learning to be flexible and adaptable to our new environmental circumstances is already a key life skill for all of us at this difficult moment. Roger is also adding inspirational content to the platform in the form of interviews with OBs and former staff about their own co-curricular experiences and how those have played a part in their lives in the world beyond Bradfield. The WallTalk series has featured professional sports people, television stars and environmental and sustainability experts with many more episodes planned.

“Our hope is that pupils will strive to achieve a semblance of normality by engaging in a programme which is inspiring, enjoyable and, most of all, fun.”

The pastoral support we continue to offer has a simple aim: to help our pupils to thrive in a remote learning environment.

Sarah Davies, Deputy Head (Pastoral)

Currently, the wellbeing of pupils is more important than ever. That is why we have dedicated part of the timetable to weekly Wellbeing sessions and ‘screen-free’ time to try and ensure pupils keep both a healthy mind and body.

“We appreciate that this is a difficult time for our children and that they will inevitably take some time to adapt to the different learning environment,” says Sarah Davies, Deputy Head (Pastoral). “However, we are committed to continuing our excellent pastoral care during these unusual circumstances and the support we continue to offer has a simple aim: to help our pupils to thrive in a remote learning environment.”

Our pupils are continuing to receive individual tutoring via a weekly Tutorial either through Microsoft Teams or via the telephone.

Housemasters and Housemistresses (HsMs) are regularly connecting with the pupils in their boarding house in groups and individually to encourage and monitor progress as well as offer support and advice.

The normal boarding house routines are still being delivered despite the lack of physical presence on campus.

House Calls are now posted regularly via OneNote or held in Teams as are other activities for tutor groups to engage in. This platform also gives the opportunity for pupils to communicate and collaborate with each other as HsMs continue to foster a strong sense of a House identity and community, albeit online.

Pupils also continue to have access to a professional, fully qualified counselling support service remotely, through Microsoft Teams, Skype or Zoom.

The College and its staff are genuinely excited by this programme and continue to review its delivery as the term progresses.

Our response to Covid-19

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