Our first school steps at iBOSNovember 11, 2022 2023-05-04 7:49
Our first school steps at iBOS
Our first school steps at iBOS
By Olga Gorbanovskaya, mother of Dima from Ukraine.
As a matter of a brief introduction – I am a very busy, working hard, rather demanding, crazy mom, who plans everything in advance, wanting the very best for my beloved and only kid. Hence, I started to select a school when he was 2 years old. I had a long list of criteria, and a scoring table, I surveyed my clients and friends, I visited all the shortlisted schools and interviewed a handful of school principals for all the important details I wanted. I had selected the British school due to a number of reasons – kids’ security (both physical and mental), open-mindedness and cosmopolitan style of teaching combined with strong traditions, diversity and inclusiveness, small classes, individual approach to each kid and their personality, double curriculum (the British and the local one), multiple foreign languages, native speakers, so on…
I planned to start at Nursery – but my plan failed due to the COVID, which was still OK – as he was perfectly nursed at home by his wonderful grandparents. However, when he became five, I decided that no matter what – he will start his school at the right age. Hence, despite the full-scale war in Ukraine, early in March this year I applied to the school, we passed all the interviews and were subscribed for the school year, which was due to start in September. I felt fine, as I had a plan. Now, imagine, on 29 August the school informed us that they will not run the campus due to the war, and there will be no online school for us… To say that I was desperate would be the understatement of the year – they left me absolutely no space for search of an alternative and I didn’t want to miss our very 1st School Day!
I never give up. I spent all the night searching for the top online schools of the world. I found 5 of them, with big, serious names and immediately applied. Guess what – 4 of them even didn’t care to respond!
But the Universe blessed me with one great answer – early in the morning of 30 August: “Yes, of course, we are very glad to arrange for an interview with the principal right today”. From the very first moment, I felt care. Lots of care and attention. Prompt responses, very fast, streamlined, and consistent process, immediate and constructive reaction to any possible concern (the kid is still small, emotionally immature, very active, easily distracted, hard to focus and can’t sit still, doesn’t speak English yet…). On Wednesday, 31 August, we’ve been admitted. On 1 September I received all the parents’ instructions and credentials for the parents’ portal and mobile phone application (God bless them – I have the kid’s school on my mobile phone now), reviewed all the policies and signed all the papers. Simultaneously, I received all the credentials for the kid’s portal – including an account with a personal mailbox and access to the full Microsoft suite of applications. On 2 September I paid the 1st instalment (“of course, You can pay in instalments, sure, we have a pay portal, and we accept credit cards” sounded again as a blessing for me, as our banks work only online now and there are heavy currency control restrictions due to the war). On 3 September I bought a new laptop and set up all the software provided by the school. Sunday was the day of rest – finally, I felt fine again – my kid will start school timely!
On 5 September the school started – sharp at 7.15, with a great assembly for all the classes (which is a tradition on Mondays), where the principal and main officials of the school greeted us. The assembly followed by two lessons. Though, deep inside, I was scared that we won’t manage that – our Teacher, Mr. Ahmed, made wonders. My kid, who simply can’t sit still for 2 minutes in a row, was engaged from the very first moment! I couldn’t believe that – when I was losing my patience, Mr. Ahmed always found the right strategy and tactics to tackle our difficulties, make us smile and move forward.
Now I feel blessed every single day – as school life has so much order – thorough governance, strict frames and clarity, state-of-the-art technology, home tasks are mandatory and filed per schedule, very serious requirements to kids’ security (camera is always on, unless we have a break), lessons are live, classes are small (5 kids) and diverse – my boy adores that we have kids from different parts of the world, speaking different languages and with different skin color and origin, from different cultures – he immediately made friends there and now they keep on calling each other to chat and discuss their favorite things! But the most important is that despite the differences in background, language and math skills, there is always a great individual approach to each kid – those, who read fluently in English do not feel bored when those, who don’t read even in their native language are engaged into discussing pictures in their books. Each of the kids gets individual attentiona, at the same time, the class is united by the common values of disciplineove for progress, kindness to each other, openness, care, and lots of fun.
Despite the very strict order and care for discipline it feels calm, kind and very cozy – kids are not pushed, but pulled, engaged, and charmed into learning! Each time I tuck my boy into bed, he asks me “Mom, is next morning coming soon? I want to school so much!”. The kid, who didn’t want to read in his native language now requests me to move faster to the next level of Oxford Phonics – within just one month he reads in English (at the start he just knew the alphabet) and adds 3 digits’ figures in a column at the impossible speed… We just adore this School and its Mega-Professional Team!