A Less Remote Education
In response to the government coordinated closure of schools, Bradfield developed ‘Remote Education’, the College’s answer to the challenge of remote learning. In the October edition of the Bradfieldian, Savannah shares her experience of Remote Education.
So, we thought that we would also look at this but from a different perspective. We catch–up with Iyayi, known to his friends as Karlos, a Stevens Academic Scholar and Royal Springboard Bursary recipient in the Upper Sixth, for his take on online learning, returning to College and what the future holds. Luke Field, Iyayi’s Maths Tutor and Head of the Maths Department also presents a case for the benefits of having the Royal Springboard programme active in the College.
Luke sets the scene, ‘Before we mention online learning I would like to say that Iyayi has been a wonderful addition to our A level maths cohort. He is an exceptionally talented mathematician, but more importantly he brings a wonderful energy and enthusiasm to the classroom. He is also one of the most confident and outgoing students I’ve taught in recent years and rest of the class benefit from his presence; he’s willing to ask questions, give solutions and help other students.’
‘During lockdown he was back home off the Queen’s road in Peckham, and I was able to chat with him via Microsoft teams on a few occasions. In usual laidback style, he was taking it all in his stride and keeping up with his maths without issue, the fact that his older sister studied maths to A level was obviously not a hinderance either’
Iyayi: ‘Thanks for sparing my blushes!? In honesty I wasn’t a massive fan of online learning, it wasn’t horrible or anything, it had to be done and the teachers did their best in terms of sharing the information and making it as engaging as possible, but it wasn’t anything like as much fun as being at College.’
‘There were major frustrations about working from home, poor wifi strength and trying to work in the same room as my siblings – one of whom who was also doing online lectures for her degree course in Medicine and the other who didn’t have to take her A Levels due to the pandemic so was just lounging around. I did do all the required study, but it was hard not being able to chat with my friends.’
‘I really like my maths group, we have a friendly competition between us, so whilst we always want to do the best that we can, we are always willing help each other out when we find things tough. I missed this with online learning. I did however develop the ability to work in a distracting environment, which I suppose is a positive.’
‘My motivation has massively increased since returning to College with proper interactive lessons and being back with my friends. We’re now in ‘form bubbles’ and whilst I used to spend time with the year below, I’ve now become closer with boys in my own year, although I do get to see the others from time to time.
‘Returning to a structured environment has also really helped, during lockdown I started off being really motivated about taking time to do exercise, but this wore off after a few weeks, so it’s great to have access to all the Bradfield facilities again. I also know people are really positive about returning to the school food, but I can’t say that, because although it is good, that wouldn’t go down well with my Mum!’
Luke: ‘On the surface he may appear permanently nonchalant, but Iyayi is highly driven and highly motivated. He expects the best of himself and when he’s falling short, he holds himself to account. He’s not a happy man unless he’s getting the top grades, whether that’s in class assessments, Interim Grades or anything else. He’s much more competitive than he lets on…’
Iyayi: ‘It is true, I am really looking forward to university, but I know that I need to work hard to make sure that I get there. So, this year I’ve made the conscious decision to step back from lots of the co-curricular activities that I enjoyed – or was enjoying until lockdown got in the way – so that I can focus on my academic studies.’
‘I’m a bit frustrated that I didn’t get to do events like the Steeplechase and other Bradfield rites of passage, but so be it. Going to the gym is my focus co-curricular activity wise but also this year I need to factor in all the time needed for the UCAS process as well as working out how I am going to fund myself through university. So, I need to work hard in the hope that I can get my grades and be eligible for any scholarships that might be on offer.’
Luke: ‘As a recent joiner it is clear to me how quickly you become accustomed to living in the ‘Bradfield bubble’, a beautiful, rural microcosm, which is removed from the experience of many families in the country. It it therefore important to welcome different experiences and personalities within the staff and pupil bodies to challenge the status-quo and broaden minds.’
‘The Royal Springboard scholarship programme provides not only a fantastic opportunity for the scholars but gives existing students a chance to get some perspective on their own situations.’
Bright Futures – The Bradfield Bursary Campaign raises funds to enable pupils to attend Bradfield via the Royal National Childrens Springboard Foundation Scheme. If you would like to know more, or make a donation please do contact Katie Green-Armytage at the Development Office firstname.lastname@example.org 01189644840