Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.
Last year was challenging. We’ve all adjusted to a new life in the face of a pandemic. It was unexpected and it abruptly brought changes to our lives. It was especially difficult for students and many families feared just how much of an impact this will have on their futures. Many schools had to close down which led to families looking for alternatives that will cater for their child’s educational needs. At the time, online school became a prevalent option. It was not something new to the home educating community but there’s always been a lingering concern from families – the lack of an affordable, high quality option. That was just one of the many reasons for how UK Virtual School came to be.
A look back on our first year
When our founder, Syd, established UK Virtual School, one of the things that motivated her was her passion to revolutionise education. Indeed this is true, UK Virtual School stirs the landscape of learning and continues to change our thinking around education. We do a lot of things differently. Ideas that we were previously unfamiliar with but in the end, it works! Our 3-week terms are effective and efficient. Families adapted to the system and are happy with the results.
It was a smooth-sailing first year, to say the least. The feedback meetings with parents resulted in changes that made our journey together better. We launched social clubs in the November of 2020, providing opportunities for students to socialise with their peers, discover their passion, and rekindle their love for different hobbies. December last year, students were invited to their first-ever dress-up kids meeting, which turned out to be really successful! Dress-up has since then become a UK Virtual School monthly tradition.
We’ve made the unthinkable possible – we’re working remotely as one virtual community from all corners of the world. For this, we have been recognised by award-giving bodies and organisations. We introduced cool and original characters based on our own core values. We also launched the first season of our podcast hosted by Syd herself! It was an exciting school year filled with so many memories.
We have a promising future ahead of us and from hereon, we’re bound to move forward to greater heights.
Expanding our world
Our focus last year has been on strengthening our core subjects: English, Maths, and the Sciences. We wanted to establish a strong foundation of our teaching first, and for so long we’ve already had plans to expand and introduce additional subjects. This school year, we are ready to take on that next step. We’re thrilled to introduce new subjects to our roster – Worldviews, Art, and Languages!
Eloise, who has been with us for quite some time now, is taking us on a journey around the world in our Worldviews classes. In line with our commitment to diversity and inclusion, we’re keen to introduce UKVS students to different places and cultures.
We’ve had a taste of Art last year as part of our social clubs. This time, it will now be a part of our expansive curriculum. Our quirky new teacher, Lucy, is ready to take on the challenge to give more colours to our already beautiful landscape of knowledge. Primary students will surely enjoy this!
We held a poll in our Facebook group to see if parents will be interested in enrolling their kids to languages. The most popular choices – Arabic, French, and Spanish – will make their way to UKVS. The friendly Hassan, a natural linguist, will teach the beautiful language of Arabic! Helen, who is also joining us to teach Daily classes in primary, is teaching French. The familiar face of Elizabeth, who has been teaching English in secondary, will also be our Spanish teacher. Fascinante!
Other new teachers who are joining us are: Andromachi (Daily Maths), Jemma (Daily English), and Leonie (Weekly Maths). Our family tree is growing! Get to know them here.
A new look, same core values
As many of you have noticed, our website has gone through a major revamp. It’s a lot more concise and easier to navigate. There are more tools for families to utilise – which hopefully you will find helpful. Despite the new look, our commitment to the UKVS brand remains firm. The presence of our characters, based on our core values, is fundamental to our goal of imparting these values to our students.
Exciting stories to tell
We’ve thought about fun ways of introducing our original characters. The development of these UKVS friends has been an exciting process. We gave them their own identities and true enough, they came to life. How can we make our students understand the key roles of these characters in their lives? Our founder Syd came up with the idea. Why not tell a story about them? And so we did. We developed their story, centered around Jamie – whose dream is to go into space. We made sure that each core value’s role is emphasised in Jamie’s adventure. The engaging writing was accompanied by intricate illustrations! This book is already available for purchase through Amazon! Grab your copy and join Jamie and his friends on their adventure. Will they ever make it to space? Catch our student Hope as she narrates the story for us!
Parents and students alike have always been involved in everything that we do. The monthly parents and kids meetings were efficient and effective in addressing feedback. This new school year, we want this collaboration to have a community feel to it. We are introducing our very own Community Day. We will have exciting assemblies, coaching tutorials, and parent meetings! We will also have our very own Academic Journal, in print, to support our students in a brand new school year.
While it’s been a massive ride for the past year, we’ve only just begun. There are many things that we can look forward to; new friends, new learning opportunities, new stories to tell. The first year of UK Virtual School is but a fraction of a bigger and longer journey. The prologue has just ended and we’re about to enter many chapters that weave us together. Welcome back to a new academic year!