Well it is that time of year- January! Everyone has to go back to work or school after the Christmas holidays, and for the majority of us we go back with a few extra pounds after eating so much at Christmas!
In England we have also had some snow recently, which has been very fun but also very cold! It’s a great time to start thinking about the summer and wishing the hot days and summer holidays would come quicker!
It can be quite daunting to come over to an international school for English lessons and stay away from home, especially if it is your first time coming to England. So we thought it would be a great idea to let you know what a typical day at ACCORD ISS looks like so you can see what an amazing time you will have.
If you are a residential student you will be staying in our houses on site. The houses are split into girls and boys, with the female staff staying with the girls and the male staff staying with the boys for 24 hour supervision.
The ACCORD ISS Staff will usually wake children up at 7am to get ready for breakfast. We have a lot of washroom facilities on each floor of the houses so there’s no rushing for the bathroom, and in every room there are many plugs and mirrors for everyone to get ready, (especially for the girls!). At 7:45 we make our way over to the canteen where the catering staff cook a variety of food that suits everyone – whether you fancy a huge English breakfast or something smaller like cereal or yogurt.
At 8:30 when everyone is finished eating, we make our way to the main assembly room where we have our morning, afternoon and evening meetings. In the morning, all students gather with the activity staff and teachers to split off into groups for the morning English lessons. At 9 o’clock English lessons will begin where students will be able to work on their speaking, listening and writing skills as well as creating fun group projects and presentations. Students and teachers in our English lessons get half an hour for a break at 10:30, where students can go outside and meet up with friends, play sports, chill out or most importantly sign up for afternoon activities before to return into classes for their English lessons.
The standard English program includes 15 hours of English lessons a week with a maximum of 14 students per class. During their final English lessons all students receive advice from their teachers on how they can continue to improve their English when they return home.
Once English lessons finish at 12:30 it is back into the canteen for some lunch. Once again there will be a wide range of meals you can choose from and also dessert! After lunch students will have the opportunity to return to their houses to get changed for afternoon activities. At around 13:45 we meet back in the hall to get ready for the afternoon activities.
Every day at break time there will be a choice of 4 or 6 different afternoon activities for students to choose from. These activities range from arts and crafts and swimming to rugby and volleyball. More information on the different types of afternoon activities that are available will be posted on the blog over the next coming weeks!
Afternoon activities last for around 2 hours until 16:00. Every morning during the English lessons, activity staff make sure that they plan loads of things to do in the activity they are leading to make sure those 2 hours are packed with fun. It’s a great chance to try something you have never done before and regardless of ability or age the activity leaders will make sure everyone can get involved in whatever they are doing.
After the afternoon activities it is free time for students. They are allowed to go back to their houses and relax with friends, or stay in the school grounds and play outside, they can even take part in extra English lessons if they like! Even though the site is always supervised, this is the time for students to pick what they want to do. Free time lasts until 18:00 and then it’s time for dinner in the canteen.
After dinner it is straight back to the assembly hall for the evening activity. Every night we offer something different. They range from themed nights, movie nights to Wacky Olympics tournaments – a great way to end the day! Although we plan what nights we run in advance, there is always room for new ideas and if students specifically want a certain night we will always try and take into account what they enjoy!
Evening activities usually last for two hours from 19:00 – 21:00. At 21:00 it is back to the separate houses to get ready for bed. It is lights out at 22:30 and staff will come round to make sure that everyone is in their correct rooms and ready to sleep.
During this hour and a half, ACCORD ISS staff will expect students to get themselves ready for bed, but once they have they are free to quietly socialise in the house. Every night we offer hot chocolate and biscuits before bed, so everyone can all sit in the common room and chat about their day. It’s a great way for students in the house to become friends and practise their English with different nationalities. After 22:30 it’s time for sleep before we do it all again the next day!
On certain days we go on trips to London / Manchester / Liverpool or to the local areas. On these days the schedule slightly changes, but on the next blog we will inform you all about this. The days may seem busy, but they are filled with fun and a chance to try new experiences. What more could you want?!