Despite the overwhelming consequences of the pandemic, this global crisis has also been an extraordinary time for learning. The COVID-19 virus ultimately led to the closure of many schools across the country including Beaconhouse Yamsaard School (BYS) Huahin: “We’ve had to quickly adapt during the pandemic to deliver engaging lessons online successfully ensuring continuity of teaching and learning”
Jobel Salvador, BYS Huahin International Principal
The school was established in 2007 as an extension of the Beaconhouse School System which has grown and given education to over 260,000 students worldwide – the largest international school system in the world. “During the previous 18 months we are learning how strong, adaptable and resilient the BYS educational systems, management staff, teachers, students and their families can be.”
The pandemic and the extended school closures have changed the role of teachers and most of them were not prepared for such change. BYS Huahin is an innovative bilingual school that successfully delivered online instruction via Zoom to all their learners in the Kindergarten, Primary and Secondary departments. “The students have adjusted and adapted amazingly well to the changes by embracing the importance of ICT literacy, collaborative learning, flexibility, communication, critical thinking and creativity. We create opportunities for students to discuss what they’re learning with their families and include an element of student choice to really build engagement.”
School closures inevitably mean students will miss the human connection cultivated in their classrooms. “Whilst it’s tempting to focus on content in distance learning assignments and instructional videos, what matters more is creating structures for personalised touchpoints with students.” The BYS approach combined high-tech and low-tech approaches to help teachers better support student learning. “Effective use of technology here at BYS is one of the key principles to making a more effective group of teachers.” Technology interventions should enhance teacher engagement with students, through improved access to content, data and networks, helping teachers better support student learning.
“It’s difficult to predict how the COVID-19 pandemic will end. However, it has certainly brought impact towards our paradigm to live and learn, thus confirming and cementing that 21st century knowledge and skills are vital and essential cornerstones of the BYS curriculum for our students.”
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