Boarding pupils return to school despite online learning

While the vast majority of pupils are again having to get used to studying at home, for those international students who study in the region, it is a case of lessons in school but online.

Jo Zhou 16, Deanna Mason 17, Annie An 17 and Cathy Xie 17
Jo Zhou 16, Deanna Mason 17, Annie An 17 and Cathy Xie 17

Independent schools like Moreton Hall, near, Oswestry have kept their boarding houses open to provide a base for students who can't or have chosen not to be at home. They are living in a bubble during their time at school.

Some of them have been away from home for four months while others including those from the UK have returned to school because their parents are key workers.

Deanna Mason 17, from Singapore

Deanna Mason, 17, lives in Singapore and is studying A-levels including Maths, Economics and History.

She went to stay with her grandparents over the Christmas holidays and returned to Moreton Hall just as the Prime Minister was announcing the schools lockdown last week.

"I am happy to be at school," said Deanna.

"We do our lessons online, working from our rooms during the normal school hours. Then it is great to have friends here to mix with and the grounds to walk around. Some of the girls are running around the grounds and the head walks his dog here."

Jo Zhou, from China, stayed with a relative over Christmas.

"My parents didn't want me to fly home with all the worries about being in an airplane and travel," she said.

"It is nice to be with our friends although we miss the friends that are schooling from home."

She is studding Maths, Further Maths, Business and Chinese.

Cathy Xie 17

For Cathy Xie, 17, there have been times when she had been homesick and times when she felt cold in the sub zero temperatures of this week.

"I stayed with a Chinese host family over Christmas and they were very kind," she said.

"When I was homesick it was nice to have real Chinese food and enjoy their Chinese culture.

"And we can speak to our families on the internet."

Her studies include Maths, Art, Economics and Chinese.

Annie Anan, 17, studing Maths, Art, Textile and Geography, said that although lessons online were allowing students to carry on learning, there was plenty of down time.

"At lunchtime we knock on each other's doors and then walk over to the dining room together, catching up with each other. We are lucky that we can see other students. If we were studying from home we wouldn't see anyone."

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