WRITTEN BY
Martyn Shadbolt
08 April, 2021

How this has been a term of two halves at Northbridge

How this has been a term of two halves at Northbridge I am not a football fanatic but I do like watching football games and occasionally playing at Northbridge International School Cambodia. The game is split into two halves and usually each half is pretty similar to each other, though one team may have different strengths than another. Occasionally though each half is completely different and a team may be winning 3 - 0 and then the other team comes on in the second half and wins 3 - 4.

I am not a football fanatic but I do like watching football games and occasionally playing at Northbridge International School Cambodia. The game is split into two halves and usually each half is pretty similar to each other, though one team may have different strengths than another. Occasionally though each half is completely different and a team may be winning 3 - 0 and then the other team comes on in the second half and wins 3 - 4.

This seems to be the way this term has been at NISC. For the first six weeks we had everyone back in school, working hard and planning different events and learning for the weeks ahead, and then suddenly we closed and switched to the virtual school experience for the last 6 weeks.

This has been challenging for us all but I have been tremendously proud of the whole community and the way they have responded to this change. The different issues arising for teachers, students and parents of working from home are well documented and we are acutely aware of the strain that this puts on all involved. I thank you all for your support, understanding and resilience at this time.

Thank you for reaching out and providing feedback as we reflect and adapt to this very different situation. I have had the pleasure of visiting online lessons and scrolling through work on Seesaw that the students have produced and admire the resilience and commitment they have shown as well as the continued development of their skills and understanding.

As a school leader I get many emails from educational organisations and many of them talk about how online learning is the future. However I believe that if this current pandemic has taught us anything, it is how important schools are as learning communities and places for students to flourish, not only in their academic abilities but in their character, personalities and social skills.

I do not believe this can be replicated online. Whilst teachers do their best to maintain humour and relationships online this is more challenging than when we have those funny and inspirational moments when the students are here with us at school. There is nothing like the smiles and laughter that greet the opening of the school gates every morning and we miss it very much.

However, just like a football team, we are committed and determined to overcome challenges and provide the best VSE  as we move into the last 7 weeks of term. I hope you are able to relax and enjoy the week ahead and Khmer New Year. We look forward to seeing the students again on the 20th April.  We continue to plan and focus on learning, well-being and ensuring that the end of the year is as successful, enjoyable and productive as it can be.