Abroad Integrated Programme at Windermere School
At BBSchool we believe our students should be given the opportunity to experience life as a British student and so we created the Abroad Integrated Programme.
This is when our pupils enroll at a British (boarding) school where they become students of that school and partake completely in the school’s activity as opposed to when they enroll in an exchange programme or a language school or summer camp abroad.
With the A.I.P. the setting isn’t changed to suit their needs, but rather they adapt to a new way of being at school.
“Il mio primo impatto è stato di stupore. Sono rimasto incantato dal posto: era bellissimo.”
[Andrea, 12 anni]
In July our first intrepid student spent 2 weeks at Windermere School in the Lake District and in September we accompanied a group of 7 children from Middle school there for 10 days.
Windermere School was established in 1863 and is a co-educational boarding and day school for pupils aged 3 to 18 years set on a hillside within 45 acres of the National Park landscape next to Lake Windermere. The outdoor space plays an important part in the life of the school and it offers the students many sporting activities set on water and dry land!
What was it about the experience that made it so special for the BBS students? We interviewed them when they got back to school and this is what they said.
In the spirit of encouraging autonomy and personal responsibility, pupils at school move from classroom to classroom during the day according to their timetables. The BBS students found this to be one of the biggest changes and one that in fact made them feel more “grown up “ and independent. A British school really expects its pupils to be autonomous in the management of their daily lives right down to delivering their dirty clothes to the laundry and picking them up once they are clean. For our pupils this was eye opening and somewhat of a challenge but something that they really grew to appreciate over their stay at the school.
“Ci si poteva fermare a dormire a scuola!”
[Ginevra, 12 anni]
“Immaginavo di avere meno autonomia”
[Andrea, 12 anni]
“Mi è piaciuto molto il fatto che le classi erano in giro e dovevamo andare alla ricerca delle aule”
[Asia, 12 anni]
A spirit of adventure
“Mi sono piaciute le fantastiche attività pomeridiane: sailing, netball, rugby e molte altre”
[Edoardo, 13 anni]
Windermere School prides itself on a 360° experience when you board there. After school hours they offer an “adventure” programme which “allows pupils to push their personal boundaries and develop the extra skills that are so vital for a successful life beyond the school gates. Generally, but not exclusively, this takes the form of adventure activities – sailing, paddle sports, climbing, caving, walking and biking. Pupils realise that they are capable of more than they could ever imagine. They are inspired to embrace challenges and become well-rounded, resilient, confident and independent thinkers.” (Taken from Windermere school website)
Needless to say, BBS children loved this part of the programme. Despite temperatures on Lake Windermere of around 17 degrees they fully embraced the opportunity to have a go at new water sports and outdoor activities. This helped them gain more independence and self-confidence, especially as, of course, all the instructions were in English!
It was an interesting, challenging experience. For most of the BBS children it was their first time away from their families for such a long time and inevitably it took a day or two to get used to their new environment. By the end of their stay however, one boy was asking his parents to leave him at Windermere until Christmas and the others were certainly all sad to leave their new school and the new friends they had made!
As Silvia wrote:
“In realtà mi sono trovata bene anche se lontana da casa, non mi mancavano tanto i miei genitori perché mi divertivo e il tempo volava.”
[Silvya, 11 anni]