At the British International School of Ljubljana staff, parents and pupils have started the transition to online learning, following the new government measures in effect from Monday 19th October. This transition for students to follow a full timetable of lessons online each day is just one of the stages that have been implemented by the school since the academic year started at the end of August 2020.
As with many schools, a thorough and detailed five-stage strategic plan had been created to enable the students to continue receiving a high-quality provision of education should there be an increase in Coronavirus cases.
This plan included working closely with parents, staff and students to gather feedback, further enhancing onsite and online safety procedures, providing exciting online courses, developing the staff with a range of training opportunities, and then planning a seamless transition for students from the physical classroom to an online environment. The school has also set up regular communication routines to celebrate student achievement, support individuals with their work, and to keep parents up to date with any advice or changes to guidance.
The online lessons include not just the academic classroom-based subjects such as English and Mathematics, but a full schedule of Performing and Visual Arts, Physical Education and Languages for the students to attend and enjoy.
A typical day might include English, Mathematics, and Slovene lessons before break, then Geography, Art and a Physical Education class with theory followed by a keep-fit session with all students actively involved before lunch, finishing the online school day with Music and Form time where students can reflect on their day with the support of their Form Tutor. During this time, both physical and mental wellbeing are very important as students seek a balance between schoolwork and healthy living. The students start the day with a brief video meeting with their Form Tutor for any urgent announcements, helpful organisation tips and group activities to complete before the online lessons begin. This is an effective use of time to bring the students together, support with any concerns, and set a positive tone for the during this challenging time.
The students have thus far been incredibly mature, upbeat and receptive during the transition to online learning, and with a familiar timetable in place, the students can attend all classes online, revisit activities to consolidate learning or challenge themselves further to stretch ahead and learn more. The lessons observed so far have had a real ‘buzz’, interest and excitement as many of the students are helping each other and continuing to develop their own technological expertise. For parents, all curriculum plans are readily accessible, allowing them to see a complete overview of the units that the students will cover for the entire academic year, for every year group and every subject.
The Principal, Mr Paul Walton, commented, “We are very proud of the strategic plan we put in place from May 2020 when we returned to the school premises, we are now seeing the significant impact of all of the effort by our dedicated and passionate teachers. Although initially this can be seen as extra work to improve policies, attend training sessions, and develop innovative online content, we can now see first-hand how the students are benefiting from this forward-thinking approach. It has also been a pleasure to support and share best practice with other schools here in Slovenia, as we are all working towards the same goal, I have been delighted to be able to contribute to this.”
In school, all events are held online, including a recent virtual coffee morning with the Principal, and useful workshops for parents to equip them with the tools to support their child’s learning at home further. Recordings of online events are then sent out to parents with further information. They continue to follow the highest standards of hygiene and health and safety guidelines for the students and staff who continue to work in the building.
Positive feedback from our families at school reacting to the online learning transition and our communication.
In relation to this, during Thursday 15th October, the school had its Ministry of Education visit as part of the nationwide checks on schools. It received a 100% compliance result, including no further targets or areas to improve. It included an interview with the Principal, a comprehensive check on policies, procedures and security, a tour of the site, visits to classrooms, checks of safety measures, signage/instructions for students to follow and other important preventative measures that schools are following during this time. With the small class sizes at the British International School of Ljubljana, impressive quality of teaching and personalised learning methodology, they are able to create a very positive and safe environment for students to learn in.
The school has already received a large number of positive comments and encouraging feedback from parents on how the online provision has been set up, communicated swiftly and the ease of which the transition was handled.
The bridge connecting the two buildings is already visible and this new project will be a wonderful showcase entrance to the school building.
Along with the developments in online learning, the school continues to grow with its new additional building progressing extremely well. The new building will include a range of outstanding facilities to enhance the pedagogical opportunities offered for its students, such as a performing arts theatre with six sound proofed adjoining practice rooms, a robotics lab, computer suite, new library and large specialist classrooms. The bridge connecting the two buildings is already visible and this new project will be a wonderful showcase entrance to the school building.
The British International School of Ljubljana benefits from being part of the Orbital Education Group, where there is a continued focus on offering a provision of high-quality education across all the schools. Find out more about the British International School of Ljubljana here.
Finally, the British International School of Ljubljana is hosting a Virtual Open Day for prospective families at 10am on Tuesday November 17 - find out more here if you are interested in joining the event.