Letter to BSB Parents

Dear Parents,

As the second full week of distance learning is ending, we would like to provide you with some updates relevant to the upcoming period.

Online Learning Programme

Our main priority at this time is ensuring that our children’s learning and progress continues. Online learning presents different challenges for different sections of the school community. Many of our students are still developing the skills for effective independent learning whilst our youngest will require parental support to access learning activities. Families throughout the community are often operating under difficult circumstances with varying obligations, support networks and English language levels. We know that the demands on parents are massive and exhausting during this period. We hugely appreciate the ongoing support from you all for your children and their learning – you are doing a remarkable job.

We recognise that the children’s anxieties about the situation are increased further by missing their normal routine and interactions. There is significant additional stress too for families in external examination year groups. We know that our teachers are also working well beyond normal hours as we seek to ensure that the children receive the best possible learning experience and pastoral care. We are certainly concerned about the wellness and well-being of the staff alongside many of our parents and children under these circumstances.

Against this backdrop, our online learning programme is tailored to each section of the school. Children will not be disadvantaged by having to re-take a year’s study; the curriculum is being covered. The programme is inevitably evolving as we engage in ongoing evaluation of our systems and ‘virtual’ delivery of the curriculum, and we are making modifications as necessary.

The learning experiences within the online programme follow a similar pattern to what is offered within school but do not simply replicate each lesson. The design is to try to ensure that learning is maximised in a situation where teacher to student and inter-student interactions are obviously different. Learning and teaching has moved away from whole-day, didactic, teacher-led activity. Our students are working with a variety of materials, activities and exercises which will practise and consolidate taught material. Provision is also designed and intended to address pastoral care too.

Striking the balance of appropriate group and individual online face to face group and individual contact is an aspect that we are continuing to address for each age group. ‘Live lessons’ are clearly valuable at times, but they are fraught with narrowness of task and pace; lack of appropriate differentiation and, from our experience, can be ineffective at times for many students in supporting their learning. We will seek to maintain and improve upon the mixture of self-managed tasks, video or streamed lessons, pre-recorded lesson segments, and live lessons whilst always ensuring the availability of teacher contact for guidance and support alongside their ongoing feedback and assessment.

We maintain regular contact with educational advice hubs and colleagues in other schools across the globe, to observe best practice in continuing to provide what we believe are the best methods to continue to deliver learning, keep up to date with our curriculum and care for the children.

Your feedback and questions are vital to this process, and I encourage you and the children to remain in dialogue with us about your experiences. The relevant teaching staff receive all emails sent for their attention to office@britishschool.ro and are checking emails daily. We will as always seek to reply or organise a phone call or virtual meeting to discuss concerns or issues.

Counselling Support

Counselling support is available from our School Counsellor. Teaching staff may suggest this for a child and would be in contact with you should this be the case. However, should you identify a counselling need for your child, please contact your class teacher, Head of Key Stage or Head of School via office@britishschool.ro and online appointments will be organised.

Easter holidays

At this point the campus remains closed until Tuesday 21st April with the online learning programme being implemented in full across the school next week until the scheduled start of the Easter holidays on Monday April 6th. We will all need some rest and recuperation though given limitations on movement the ‘holidays’ will clearly be very different to what we had all envisaged.

Whilst the online learning programme will be suspended during the holiday, we are planning some ongoing community support during this time – please find further details below.

At the moment it is our intention to come back to school for our summer term on the scheduled date, but this is clearly dependent upon government action and the situation within Romania.

We will update you as appropriate upon any change to this plan.

BSB Overnight Trips

Due to the present situation, caused by the COVID -19 traveling bans, BSB has decided to cancel all the overnight trips planned for the rest of the school year, aside from some of the International Award expeditions within Romania planned for late June, which may go ahead depending on circumstances.

With regards to the Prague, Amsterdam, Liddington and Paris trips, the providers of the trips do not currently have a refund option. While we are continuing to work on this matter, we have successfully negotiated with the providers of the trip for the trip fees to be transferred to the next academic year for when the trips are being re-scheduled. Other cancelled trips will be fully refunded, as no payments were made at the moment of the imposed cancellations.

Online Learning Support for Parent

  • For any families facing difficulty accessing appropriate IT hardware, please let us know via office@britishschool.ro. We can help with this matter.
  • For our younger year groups especially, several parents have raised concerns about completing all the work that has been set. Please do not worry about this without raising it. Please contact your teacher and they will identify which tasks are more important and those which could be deemed optional or to be completed where possible at a later date.
  • Many other issues are specific and individual, and we are aware that some parents require different kind of support to help support their child’s online learning. This can range dramatically but may involve accessing the language of tasks or helping children to stay focused or seeking to reduce screen time further. Given that each child and family’s situation is different, please contact your class teacher, Head of Key Stage or Head of School to discuss the issues and they will try to assist or support in whatever manner is possible.

BSB Lunch

During this enforced break and as a result of your valuable feedback, the Takanaka team has taken the opportunity of working under the expert guidance of Chef Samuel le Torriellec in creating a brand-new delicious Bistro & Lunch menu which will be available upon your return to school. Chef Samuel is one of the few chefs in Bucharest to have gained experience in international restaurants with up to 3 Michelin stars.

For those families that have paid for School Lunch Service but have not benefitted of this service since 11th March due to school closure, the respective amount will be transferred to Takanaka Bistro Vouchers that can be used as soon as school re-opens.

BSB Transport

The amounts paid for transport for the days where the school was closed, will be used to reduce next year’s transport fee.

CCA’S

The teachers for the following CCAs have adapted the provision to be aligned to Google classroom and will offer their lessons during the Easter holiday, when children are less occupied with school assignments.

The online CCA lessons will start on 6th April and they will operate using Google Meets. Students will interact with the teachers on live sessions.

  • Karate for Beginners
  • Karate Advanced
  • Romanian for native speakers
  • Gymnastics
  • Ballet
  • Fencing Beginners
  • Fencing Advanced
  • Private Fencing
  • Drawing, painting, creativity & more
  • Clay modelling
  • Robotics &Lego
  • Robotics & STEM

Please note: For students signed up for Climbing CCAs missed during this period, their sessions will be rescheduled during the first term when school starts.

The online CCA programme will commence on 6th April, for the spring break holiday. Sessions will be done through google classroom using google meet, where the students will interact with the teachers through live sessions.

Term 3 Events

Please save these new dates:

  1. KS2 – 5 Sports Day - rescheduled to Wednesday, 23rd September 2020
  2. Summer Fair - rescheduled to Saturday, 5th September, 2020
  3. BSB 20 years Gala Concert - rescheduled to Saturday, 3rd October 2020

Community

In order to keep our spirits up and the community bonded during the lockdown, the BSB community and parents have come together with the following entertainment programme which will run through the schools Facebook and Instagram pages.

Please, see below some of the things that we have prepared for you:

  • #YummyBSB - Monday, Wednesday and Friday, at 7 pm Starting next week, Diana Bart of @bartofcooking, will be hosting a live cooking session every Monday, Wednesday & Friday at 7:00 p.m. This will be a wonderful opportunity to bring together the whole BSB community. We will be bringing you more information soon so you can get ready, including the ingredients for Diana’s recipes, on the BSB Official Facebook page. Stay close to all our Social Media Channels.
  • #BSBStayingfitDaily, from Monday to Friday, at 6 pm It’s time to throw away your PJ’s and put on your gym outfit. Our trainer, Erwa will present an easy to follow sports programme, helping you to stay active!

  • #BSBRecommendations On all our Social Media channels we will publish daily recommendations for you, from how to improve your dance skills, to enjoy doing an Origami challenge, to reading a good book or visiting the Museums of the World.

Should you wish to participate or contribute with your own useful videos or suggestions, be it cooking recipes from around the world, arts and crafts, short DIY movies or any other forms of expression, please make sure to get in touch with us. We encourage all of you to take part!

Charity

Donations towards the purchase of protective equipment in aid of the COVID - 19 situation

Several members of our community are involved in the tremendous medical work that is underway in the fight against the virus.

It is possible to donate the following items directly to any hospital that is dealing with COVID-19 patients: Face Screens, Gloves, Face Masks, “Videolaringoscop”, Ventilators.

Financial support would, we understand also be welcomed. We have identified the following organisations that redirect donations towards hospitals dealing with COVID - 19 patients.

https://www.salvaticopiii.ro/

https://crucearosie.ro/

https://www.daruiesteviata.ro/

Please feel free to share these details as contributions could help to save lives.

We wish everyone a wonderful weekend

Philip Walters,

Headmaster