All Grade 1-12 students moved to online learning from 3 to 13 November 2020. This was due to the Belgian government imposing a lockdown beginning at midnight on 2 November. Normal on-campus operations from Grade 1 to Grade 8 resumed on 16 November. Grades 9 to 12 returned to school on a 50% rotation.
All students returned to campus and their classrooms for the 2020-21 school year in August and AIS is always prepared for online learning. During the 2019-20 school year, AIS made sure our students were able to continue their education, almost seamlessly from the time the Belgian government imposed the first national lockdown. Our campus closed on 13 March, the government closed schools on 16 March, and daily online classes with teachers began the next day at AIS.
By placing students in virtual classrooms with their teachers immediately, the learning continued from home without missing a beat.
PRIMARY YEARS PROGRAMME
In Primary School, the classroom teachers made daily contact with their students online going over the tasks of the day. Specialist teachers met with them once or twice a week. The students follow a daily schedule, working on reading and writing, mathematics, inquiry learning, language, music, art, and physical education. They work together online with the teachers and fellow students. Their work is assessed in a creative way, i.e., by taking photos or videos.
For the first time at Antwerp International School, Grade 5 students presented their annual PYP Exhibition entirely online. The PYP Exhibition is a collaborative and student-driven inquiry into a current issue. This year students investigated the central idea: Understanding local and global issues allows us to collaborate, take action, and make a difference. Students explained their process of learning, the knowledge they had acquired and their new understanding of their chosen issues.
MIDDLE YEARS AND DIPLOMA PROGRAMME
Secondary School students follow their normal lesson schedule, adapted to the online environment. Teachers create virtual classrooms to teach lessons or supervise small groups. Students collaborate online for certain assignments. New learning material is taught and continuously evaluated. The teachers must be inventive to keep their lessons challenging online, but they do so with great enthusiasm and creativity.
We also had to find other ways to publish work. Every year, the Visual Arts Diploma students hold an exhibition of their works. It was a virtual museum this time around. Click here to see it.
The Grade 7 Science Fair was also held online. Instead of presenting to teachers and parents in the classroom, the students each recorded a video of their project, brought together in our virtual STEMzone. Click here to watch it.
Furthermore, feedback from parents, staff and students is extremely positive. They are very proud and grateful our school is “open” and learning continues at all times at AIS. You can read a selection of their reactions on our testimonial page.