Reddam House Berkshire wins the Boarding Innovation Award at the 2020 Boarding Schools’ Association Awards
30 September 2020
Reddam House Berkshire has been awarded the coveted ‘Boarding Innovation’ Award by the Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA), the prestigious association founded in the UK in 1966 to ‘champion boarding and promote excellence’ within boarding schools. The award announced last week, recognised Reddam House Berkshire for “its work to ensure a seamless transition from physical to virtual environment in the wake of COVID-19".
Earlier this year, schools around the world were faced with unprecedented challenges due to the enforced closures of schools to help stem the COVID-19 pandemic. Reddam House Berkshire, home to over 600 students of which 81 are boarding students, approached the lockdown with creativity and energy, seamlessly implementing technology and processes to ensure their students did not miss a moment of learning.
Upon announcing Reddam House as the winners of the Boarding Innovation award, the BSA judge commented: "Reddam House showed innovation in action during the COVID-19 lockdown, embracing technology and moving at speed to keep its boarding community connected".
During the national lockdown, Reddam House continued to provide the full curriculum following the typical school day to their students. Lessons were delivered live using the most up to date technology, and teachers maintained contact with students both in groups and on an individual basis. Head of School, Tammy Howard said "One of the most special things about Reddam House is our relationships with the students, so it was extremely important to ensure an effective transition from live to virtual school to maintain these relationships and continue to deliver educational excellence. Not only did we offer the full timetable live online but also continued with the excellent pastoral care, community time, whole school events and one to one mentoring meetings for our students. This wonderful award is a tribute to the whole staff team who brought together our virtual school community of students aged 3 months to 18 years. We may have been apart, but we felt very much together".
As students left the Boarding House for their home countries, time zones were considered when delivering lessons, this resulted in classes being recorded, and students being able to study at the time best suited for them. Mock exams and revision sessions continued along with music lessons and group activities to ensure the sense of community was maintained. "I felt like the world was going to stop when I realized I needed to leave school in March”, said boarding student Cristina. As much as I love in-class learning, I admit the world did not stop as my education continued with the Reddam House online system. I thank my teachers for keeping us a close community during tough times. It was fun, it was different, we kept together!".
The sentiment was echoed by Cristina's mother, Alina, who commented "I was happy to see my daughter progressing her learning experience at Reddam House and being challenged academically by her teachers, even if remotely. I am thankful for how the school transformed the learning environment, quickly and smoothly. Well done to each and everyone at Reddam House!"
Reflecting on the events of the past year and winning the award, Head of Boarding, Andy Towse said: "It is a great honour for us to win this award and we owe a huge thank you to all of our teachers and tutors for their wonderful support to not only our boarders, but all of our pupils, during such a difficult period in lockdown, when our pupils could have easily fallen behind, but with the hard work and dedication of the staff, as well as with an excellent platform to learn on, our pupils were able to continue their learning seamlessly".
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