[Head of School Message] Connection and Engagement 2020/08/17 Updated

During this time of online learning we have been focussing on how we connect with students from Reception to Year 12. Working from home and being online can be very isolating for some of us, so Mr West, Mr Kean and I have been working closely with the Primary and Secondary Captains to find creative ways for the Captains to lead the students, to connect, to engage and have some fun.

A favourite part of my week has been meeting with the Captains to brainstorm about what the possibilities for connecting with the Primary and Secondary students could be. We are incredibly fortunate to have such talented and creative Primary and Secondary Captains who are dedicated to leading the AISHK students.


This week we had a great Secondary Assembly  with our Secondary Captains, Ella and Connor hosting. Ella and Connor interviewed each other and shared great personal anecdotes including the following suggestions for the students about managing whilst online:

  • Ella is making time to spend lunchtime with friends online, just as you would at school
  • Connor is learning to cook dinner with his Mum each night and this is a special time he puts aside each day to be with his mum
  • Connor has had to learn to be more organised and has purchased his own pencil case for the first time in many years as being at home now he can’t rely on his friends to lend him what he needs!
  • Ella urged students to take their headphones off, to leave their rooms and to talk with their other family members
  • Ella also suggested that the students play online games with each other such as Scribble Io
  • Both Connor and Ella emphasised how much online learning has developed their independence and they feel that they are much better prepared for University next year. They both also spoke passionately about showing gratitude to their parents and appreciating the difficulties that other family members may be experiencing at the present time. The need to show, love, appreciation and gratitude to their parents and siblings was a strong message from both Connor and Ella

I thoroughly enjoyed the assembly and deeply appreciated Ella and Connor’s insights, wise counsel and positivity. We are all looking forward to Alice and Matt our Secondary Vice Captains who are hosting our  secondary assembly next week.

Ella, Connor, Alice and Matt are also working with the Heads of Year to find creative ways to have some fun with the Secondary students. They have come up with the idea of creating a video “A Day In The Life Of An AISHK Student During Quarantine”. They are asking each of the students in Years 7 to 12 to provide a 2-3 second video or photo of themselves in the following activities or situations.

  • Year 7 → quarantine outfit (morning)
  • Year 8 → creative ways to exercise in quarantine (mid-morning)
  • Year 9 → what are you “binge-watching” on Netflix/YouTube (weekend/noon)
  • Year 10 → how you relax during lunchtime (early afternoon)
  • Year 11 → creative ways of studying (afternoon)
  • Year 12 → favourite snacks/what people are cooking (night time)

The idea is then to create a video compilation of the student contributions to share with the Secondary students. I can’t wait to see the finished product!


Mr Kean and I are continuing to enjoy meeting with each of the Primary Year groups in our assemblies. Over the past fortnight Mr Kean has presented the students with a series of puzzles and optical illusions which the students have thoroughly enjoyed solving and which have generated much animated discussion. I have brought out some of my very best, all-time favourite Dad jokes (which I think are incredibly funny!) and have received a laugh or two.

The Primary Captains, Will and Hanna and the Vice Captains, Vihaan and Samantha are working with the Primary Heads of Year to plan some exciting activities for the Primary students which may include an Online Talent Quest and a Kahoot/Trivia for each House. So we will have to wait for the launch of these great student-led activities.

The Year 6 teachers and students led the whole Primary School yesterday with an in incredible start to our online Peer Support programme. I joined a number of the different groups and was very impressed by the leadership demonstrated by our Year 6 students and the amazing activities planned by the teachers. I can see that Peer Support time will be a highlight of the week  and  will be eagerly awaited each Friday by all Primary students as they interact with different students and make many new friend.

Well done to Mr Wookey and Ms Spencer who have developed the Virtual 4F Gym for students and parents to visit and use at their leisure. This is a wonderful initiative and I have no doubt the “Beat The Teacher” option will be very popular!

Most humans are social beings who enjoy and need to spend time with others, so you can see that although we may not be together in person at school at the moment, we are creating many opportunities to get together in spirit as we provide creative ways for our students and teachers to connect, engage and have fun online.

Mark Hemphill | Head of School