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Town Hall Zoom Meetings with Parents & Students Take Off!

24 May 2020

UWCGB has started holding a series of Town Hall Zoom Meetings with new and existing parents and students. Hosted by our NC Chair, Matthew, they have proven to be an excellent way of communicating with everyone, addressing concerns and encouraging parents and students to 'meet' up!

Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect it has had on the UWC Community, the UWC National Committee of Great Britain has been holding a series of Town Hall Zoom Meetings with existing parents and students, and new students starting in September (otherwise known as 'Zero years').  I (Matthew Gold, Chair) have been hosting them and they have proven to be an excellent way of communicating with everyone and encouraging parents and students to "meet" up.  It has been such a great way to get to talk directly with the students and parents, it makes me wish we had started doing this before! However, now with the current lockdown and greater use of video conferencing (which we are slowly getting the hang of!), i can definitely see this as a great initiative to continue encouraging even after this pandemic has begun to pass.

Not surprisingly, during the sessions parents and students have expressed many common concerns, such as the high levels of online study study hours and the uncertainty of schools starting in September.  Communication with the different UWC schools on these and other similar issues are vital and the NC is doing what we can to help facilitate this discussion and planning.

Our students are going through huge changes currently - from being at a UWC or Secondary school to now being stuck at home in their rooms for long hours. They are missing their friends in school, dealing with exams being cancelled or going on line, and having to deal with doing household chores, Oh no you gasp!  Seriously though, these circumstances are not what they imagined or signed up for as part of their UWC experience, and we have to realise that this experience is quite different this year. We plan on continuing to hear and learn about the challenges faced by our new and current students and to keep working with them and the different UWC colleges to ensure that we handle these changing expectations in the best way possible.

As the current situation becomes clearer, we will continue with follow up with more Zoom Town Halls into the summer. I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone who has taken part so far and encourage you to continue to stay involved and keep letting us know how you are doing.

Stay safe and please feel free to get in touch!

Matthew Gold