Discover our diverse (Virtual) Co-curricular and Enrichment programme - discover-our-diverse-virtual-co-curricular-and-enrichment-programme
29 October, 2021

Discover our diverse (Virtual) Co-curricular and Enrichment programme

Discover our diverse (Virtual) Co-curricular and Enrichment programme - discover-our-diverse-virtual-co-curricular-and-enrichment-programme
Discover our diverse (Virtual) Co-curricular and Enrichment programme A BIS education involves a focus on enrichment and learning beyond the classroom as a way to develop learning skills and personal characteristics to support academic attainment and wellbeing. Discover how we’re keeping this going through our Virtual School Experience.

A BIS education involves a focus on enrichment and learning beyond the classroom as a way to develop learning skills and personal characteristics to support academic attainment and wellbeing. We’re keeping this going through our Virtual School Experience in a number of ways: through a Virtual CCA programme, our Sports Squad Online Training, Instrumental Lessons and other Performing Arts provision, and through Student Leadership opportunities. It’s been a challenge, but we’re keeping the essence of BIS by moving as much of our face-to-face calendar online as possible. 

Clubs and Activities

Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs) are an integral part of the education offered at BIS HCMC and provide our students with a broad range of learning opportunities which positively impact many facets of their development, including academic progress.  The diverse co-curricular programme is designed to enhance the core curriculum and provide opportunities for students to broaden their interests and perspectives of the world as they develop a range of skills including social, emotional, leadership, independence, collaboration, moral reasoning, decision making, problem solving, and critical thinking. Our students are also provided with activities to develop practical skills such as baking, cooking, construction, photography and art and design. We’re excited that, even with a reduced programme adapted to the online environment, there is a wide range of enrichment opportunities on offer and with over 150 activities across the school and 50% of our students signing up for our first round of Virtual CCAs, we know everyone will find something that they want to get involved in.

We aim to:

  • Provide a wide range of enjoyable and challenging experiences above and beyond the timetabled curriculum
  • Allow competitive teams, drama companies and music ensembles to reach high standards of team/group and personal performance
  • Provide opportunities for students to aspire to elements of the school’s mission statement
  • Continue to develop our involvement in community work
  • Offer a balance of endeavour which provides the framework for the IBDP CAS Programme

Despite the need for students to remain at home for the start of Term 1, we are delighted to have been able to continue with our aims and maintain the fabric of school life by including the CCA programme as part of the BIS Virtual Learning provision. We recognise that students engaging in Virtual Learning have less opportunity for making significant connections and this is even more vital during times of isolation and lockdown. 

Some of our Virtual CCAs are being held ‘live’ with students able to interact with the teacher in charge as well as their fellow students through Microsoft Teams or Google Meets; others are pre-recorded allowing students to be more independently involved or supported by their parents at a convenient time. We also have a number of paid activities provided by external individuals and organisations who have collaborated with BIS and understand the importance of their role in supporting the wellbeing of our students by providing meaningful connections and support beyond the context of a virtual classroom. 

For our Sports Enthusiasts

Although we are not able to play matches against other schools this term, all of our Sports Teams from U9 upwards are continuing with their training and learning in the virtual environment. Instead of practising skills and drills, our students are developing a deep knowledge and understanding of our BIS Sporting Philosophy, where teachers aim to foster an environment where students learn the key skills of Physical Education and Sports whilst being physically and intellectually stimulated in a fun and safe environment. The Virtual Sports Squad Online Training helps our students to develop positive sporting attitudes, including the concepts of fair play, perseverance after failure, and mindfulness of others, and a greater understanding of the intricacies of the sports they have chosen. The sessions are led by our Sports Coaches, and cover Styles of Play, Formations, positions and tactics, Set Plays, Position Analysis, and Match Analysis. Our students will be more intelligent and thoughtful players, and will transfer this knowledge into physical play in the future.

Performing Arts during Virtual Learning

During onsite learning we host a whole range of music activities, instrumental lessons and drama classes to both inspire our students’ love of music and deepen their performance skills, and this has not stopped during Virtual School. Our KS3 Band Programme is continuing with students learning in a collaborative way and developing their skills through learning new instruments. Students have undergone auditions for our Orchestra and Choirs, and are using this period of Virtual Learning to prepare for in-person performances once we come back together. Our Instrumental Lessons are also continuing, with students able to contact their fantastic Instrumental Teachers to continue with online tuition. 

Our musical performances have continued, with recitals for our younger students beginning shortly with students across the Junior Campus performing at home.  These recitals will be shared with the wider school community, recognising the need for students to have the opportunity to perform. On the Secondary Campus we are continuing with our well-loved Acoustic Lounge, always a highlight of our school calendar, with students performing from their homes instead of in the Curve. Our Year 5 and 6 Harmony Choir have performed in our virtual assemblies and we look forward to more opportunities for our students to showcase their talents and abilities  in the coming weeks.

For our Performing Arts enthusiasts, we’re utilising the activities available on Global Campus right across the school to encourage connections with students in other NAE schools as well as at BIS. Students have the opportunity to perform their favourite poem, ask questions to Juilliard Artists about their experiences, and, for our youngest children, create sock puppets to develop their own performances. More activities will come online throughout the year. 

Community and Sustainability

Perhaps the most challenging types of enrichment activities to continue in an online format are in the realms of community and sustainability, where our actions directly impact the lives of others within BIS and within the HCMC community. Our Community Partners need our support, and we are continuing to provide this through fundraising activities and CAS projects, including joining the Marathon Walk for Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation.

Our sustainability-focused Virtual CCAs and activities are encouraging students to keep working towards a more sustainable lifestyle while they are at home, from actively reusing or recycling household plastic through the annual Plastic Diet House Challenge and making EcoBricks, to reducing their carbon footprint by cleaning up their emails and documents held online. You’d be surprised how much of an impact deleting old emails can have! 

Student Leadership

And finally, a word about Student Leadership at BIS during Virtual Learning. Student Voice and Student Participation in the life of the school is perhaps now more important than ever, and across all of our campuses we are making sure to foster connections and keep our development projects going by appointing our new Student Leaders. Our House Captain team from Year 6 and above is poised to develop even more House events and activities, to enable students to both collaborate and compete with each other across sporting, creative, and intellectual pursuits, some leading into being chosen to represent BIS in NAE competitions. Our CCA Leaders are providing fantastic opportunities for students to connect, and very soon our Year 10 Pastoral Mentors will help to run Form Time Activities for our younger students. Our Subject Ambassadors are also supporting departments with the IGCSE and IBDP Options processes that are under way for our Year 9 and Year 11 students, providing them with advice about particular subject content and lessons. Our Student Council will be sharing how their Form Classes are coping with Virtual School, helping us to continue to improve our provision with their input, and at the Junior Campus our newly elected Student Council Executive Committee have begun meeting with Ms Dee and Mr Anthony Woolley, PSHE Leader. Their first task is to support our new students to BIS and as such will be meeting with all new students in the coming weeks for some peer to peer support. We look forward to student leaders from across all three campuses working together to have a positive impact on students, particularly their wellbeing during this period of virtual learning.

As you can see, there are so many opportunities for students at BIS, even within the Virtual School Experience. It’s important that we maintain our community spirit and commitment to each other even when we cannot physically be together. After all, a school is not a building; it’s a group of people, working together, to achieve amazing outcomes.