Community, Care and Continuous Learning: One School’s Approach to the Challenges of 2020

Tasked with maintaining equilibrium for our young people, whilst ensuring that every child is still equipped to fulfil their potential, we consider how one international school has fared.

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2020 has brought unprecedented challenge and uncertainty, and educational institutions, often as central hubs of our communities, have been impacted profoundly. In a webinar with Eurocham BizTalk, an esteemed panel from Garden International School, Malaysia offer their take on the changing landscape of 2020: lessons learned, challenges faced and successes achieved.

Redefining Learning

The team at GIS seized the opportunity to learn from schools across Asia and The Middle East, researching a variety of online platforms to ensure that their offering for students learning at home was suitable. With wellbeing firmly in mind, the amount of screen time that students would have was also carefully considered, as were the timetables that were developed over time.The strong culture of professional learning amongst the staff at GIS meant that not only were staff well equipped to use technology to support online learning, but that teachers were continuously looking to reflect upon and develop their practice, sharing ideas with each other, and some even supporting staff from other schools on a broader scale. With the additional support of the Digital Learning coaches, it is clear that they were well set up to offer an exceptional standard of learning, which students could engage with from home.

Wellbeing at the Core

We are all far more likely to fulfil our potential when calm and happy, yet as we are also too starkly aware, the global pandemic has posed a significant threat to our mental health and wellbeing. This is something that has clearly been at the forefront of the minds of the team at Garden International School. Evidently, community, care and ongoing communication have been seen as more important than ever as ways of maintaining wellbeing at GIS during such challenging times.Opportunities for increased physical exercise, wellbeing workshops via Zoom (for students, staff and parents) and the creation of an online Family Hub ‘Smarter Stronger Together’ (which even has its own hashtag!) are all examples of initiatives introduced by the school to send out that all important message: your wellbeing matters. 

Adapting to New Norms

The ability to adapt quickly to both new circumstances and feedback from the community is a key marker of success for any institution during these uncertain times. The team at GIS are proud of their response and solutions-driven approach to the changing educational landscape, and there evidently have been some real successes. Parents gaining a deeper understanding of their children’s learning is amongst these, as is greater communication across the community.Want to hear more from the team at GIS, as they reflect upon their 2020 journey so far? Check out the full podcast discussion with our GIS Panel of Speakers here.

Learn more about Garden International School

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