30 Apr, 2020
10 : 00
After almost three months of eLearning and missing school life, our seniors finally returned to a campus thoroughly prepared for their first day on Monday, April 27th. Several government officials, members of the Balizhuang Community and YCIS Beijing staff which included teachers ,were all eagerly waiting for the students' to be back in the classrooms since the closure in January.
The first day back was a little different, with only the Year 13s receiving the go-ahead to have face to face lessons and having to follow strict social distancing rules, however, this was still a welcome effort by students.
"Being back felt quite different, because I received a lot of attention when I arrived at school. I also needed to do a lot of body temperature checks and sit at least one meter from my classmates for safety."
"My first impression of coming back was how the security treated the importance of safety when returning to school. They prepared many things like checking the temperature and the equipment"
"[The first day] has been an enjoyable experience. Being able to leave my house, enter a physical learning environment and seeing the people I haven't seen for several months"
"Although many students were not here, seeing many teachers made me feel very happy."
For teachers, having students back on campus was a breath of fresh air. After weeks of eLearning and being on campus without any learners, having some students physically in the classroom made a significant difference.
Jonathan Mellen – University Guidance Officer
"The highlight was the virtual assembly that we had, which was hosted by our Vice Principals, Dr Tim Gray and Dr Rae Wang. It was nice having them back and other teachers online who said a few words as well. I look at this as a process and the first step in having everything come back to what it used to be before"
Prachi Gupta – Y12 – 13 ;earning Community Leader and IB Coordinator
"It was exciting to see - it was a good turnout. Students were enthusiastic and wanted to be back. They wanted to see their teachers and school. The students also brought back humour in us. We were laughing and I felt that we were back to school life as we know it. Face to face interactions was the best part."
"It feels good seeing the students on campus. It was nice seeing them, how they were doing and talking to them about their university plans."
With the successful start to the week on Monday, the school is already making further preparations for the second cohort of students who will be taking classes on campus from the 11th May." We will ensure that the schedules of both groups do not clash. They will not meet during their breaks and their classrooms will be separated as well."assured Amber Dang, EA to the Senior Leadership Team. Except for the above, the stipulated guidelines by the government will be followed.
Plans for the Upcoming Weeks
According to Miss Gupta the upcoming weeks will be dedicated to exam revision and later exams. "These are internal exams because IB grading is going to be different, and the YCIS Diploma will be based on these exams. These results will also help UGC's to back our students for their university offers"
Soon after that preparations for a possible virtual graduation will be made and students will be completing their CAS portfolios and doing the CAS exit interviews as well.
In preparation for university, the University Guidance Office will host weekly transition workshops to get the students ready for university life.
To break away from the studious tasks planned, Mr Walker is planning on bringing some lightheartedness to the process by playing card games with the students - something they thoroughly enjoy.
Many of the Year 13s would like to have the rest of their classmates on campus to resume with regular banter like in Peter Qin's case "I'm stuck with only Yuji right now, so please come to campus. I hope you can join us soon!" he joked.
We hope to see the rest of the class of 2020 on-campus soon as they bid adieu to their teachers and classmates