The AEGIS Standard Summer 2022

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Summer 2022


School News

05 Welcome to the AEGIS Standard

14 St Joseph’s College

06 Meet our new Trustees

15 King’s Bruton

08 New Members

16 Woodbridge School

10 Confidence and Compliance by Sharon Sverdloff

17 Moor Park School

12 Upcoming Training

18 St Francis’ College 19 Caldicott School 20 Queenswood School 21 Etherton Education 22 Wrekin College 23 Rye St Antony School 24 City of London Freemen’s School 25 Abbotsholme School 26 Immerse Education 27 St Catherine’s, Bramley 28 St David’s College

Guardianship Organisation News 29 Pippa’s Guardians 30 Cambridge Guardian Angels 31 Bright World Guardianships

Photo credit to Caldicott School


Photo credit to St Joseph’s College

Welcome to the

AEGIS STANDARD The summer term is a time where we normally see the drafts of statutory guidance for the new academic year in September. This year two significant documents have been published in the form of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE) and the updated National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools (NMS).

Having led boarding and now working in the safeguarding field, I certainly recognise that the new NMS are a step in the right direction and are more closely aligned with KCSiE. The revised standards start the journey for schools and guardians to work more closely together. At AEGIS we are pleased to see the addition of a standard dedicated to educational guardians and that AEGIS is now appropriately listed as a recognised external body within the guidance. There are some new standards and many have been restructured, moved and expanded upon. I believe that it is important for guardians to be aware of the guidance so they understand what schools should be doing for the children in their care. In many ways there are further opportunities where guardians can support schools as they navigate through the changes. KCSiE 2022 has many key themes throughout, but the three I would like to highlight are ongoing vigilance, professional curiosity and online safety. The NMS and KCSiE will be covered in AEGIS webinars and training. I hope you enjoy this new-look newsletter.

Adam Lubbock, AEGIS Chair

MEET OUR NEW TRUSTEES We are pleased to announce the appointment of two new Trustees from our member schools, and we are looking forward to their input and school perspectives.


HEAD OF ADMISSIONS & INTERNATIONAL REGISTRAR AT FELSTED SCHOOL Prior to working for Felsted, Gemma was an EAL teacher and taught in China for two years, bringing an exciting cultural understanding to the Admissions Office at Felsted. Following her past experience in teaching overseas, Gemma has a passion for the promotion of internationalism in education, along with a desire to promote the benefits that boarding at school can bring for both UK and overseas students. “I’m so delighted to become an AEGIS trustee and look forward to working with AEGIS more closely. AEGIS has always been very supportive of the work we have carried out at Felsted around our guardianship policies and I hope to give something back to the organisation. We are entering a period where guardianship will be at the top of schools’ agendas and I’m keen to use my experience, alongside the knowledge of all those at AEGIS, to help them keep their overseas pupils safe.”


AEGIS is lucky to have a Board of Trustees with a wealth of educational experience from school, guardianship and safeguarding backgrounds. This expertise helps to ensure that AEGIS not only meets its charitable aims, but understands the needs of both school and guardianship members in supporting international students.

JO YORK HEAD OF ADMISSIONS AT STAMFORD ENDOWED SCHOOLS Prior to joining Stamford, Jo worked for 4 years at an AEGIS accredited guardianship company. During her time in guardianship, Jo worked with students predominantly from Mainland China. As part of her guardianship role, she visited a vast number of schools across the UK, offering a wide range of programmes and provision to their students. “I am thrilled to have been offered the position of AEGIS Trustee. I believe that AEGIS is essential due to the lack of statutory regulation in this area. The work AEGIS does is vital in protecting the health and wellbeing of international students in independent education in the UK.” Located in the heart of the Midlands, the Stamford Endowed Schools educate girls and boys aged 2 to 18, both day and boarding. Our small and diverse international boarding community is comprised of 12 nationalities, ranging from Years 7 to 13. Our boarders are surrounded by friendly and helpful boarding, academic and support staff, as well as a strong full UK boarding community.


NEW MEMBERS We love working with and supporting our members, and our community is continuing to grow. Since our last newsletter we congratulate the guardianship organisations below for passing accreditation and are pleased to welcome them as members of AEGIS.



• • •

Great British Guardians

Re-accreditation • •

UKEI Ltd Golden Apple Tree Ltd Welcome Home Guardians

Connexcel Ltd Global Educational Guardians

Full List of Gold Standard Accredited Guardianship Organisations



fully accredited to gold standard

Full List of Preliminary Accredited Guardianship Organisations

preliminary accreditation until 2023

We are pleased to welcome to following schools as new members of AEGIS. If you are a school reading this and you are not yet an AEGIS member then please do get in touch with Sophie Lindsay, via


SCHOOLS • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Bishop’s Stortford College Bryanston School Caldicott Preparatory School Downside School Immerse Education King’s Bruton Moreton Hall Mount Kelly School Oakham School Orwell Park School Queenswood School St David’s College St Francis’ College The Purcell School for Young Musicians Truro School

A full list of AEGIS member schools can be found here

member school committed to safe guardianship

We thank all of our new members and accredited organisations for your hard work and support!

CONFIDENCE AND COMPLIANCE The Important Role of Schools in AEGIS Gold Standard Inspections

With the introduction of the educational guardianship requirement in the National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools and the findings of the recent IISCA report, it has never been more important for schools and guardianship organisations to work together to ensure that all international students are safe and well cared for at all times.

Sharon Sverdloff, Inspections Manager, AEGIS

How can school involvement make a difference? By insisting that international students who do not have a close family member in the UK appoint an AEGIS accredited guardian, schools can have confidence that the guardians are working to the highest safeguarding levels in educational guardianship. In essence, AEGIS is doing the checking and vetting of guardians so that schools do not need to undertake this. School involvement in an AEGIS inspection gives your school the chance to comment upon the service provided by the guardianship organisation, which can help us identify outstanding service which should be recognised, as well as areas where perhaps improvements can be made. Additionally, when a school can show that they have actively engaged in an AEGIS inspection, by way of providing a reference, completion of an online questionnaire or in attending a meeting with an AEGIS inspector upon request, a school can clearly show any school inspectorate that they are in compliance with the requirement to take appropriate steps to ensure that children are safe, that the guardianship arrangement is promoting the physical and emotional wellbeing of the child, that they ensure that any guardians appointed by the school are subject to the same safer recruitment procedures as staff, and that the care of pupils is monitored.

What are the levels of accreditation and what do they mean? Preliminary Accreditation: The initial level of accreditation involves a scrutiny of written documentation provided by the submission of key policies and handbooks, evidence of the required training and safer recruitment processes as well as other essential documents (a full list of the required evidence can be found within the Quality Standards at Appendix A). AEGIS will work with any guardianship organisation not yet meeting requirements as far as possible, explaining where amendment is necessary in order to gain accreditation and improve practice, however accreditation is not guaranteed and some organisations do not meet the necessary requirements for AEGIS membership. Once gained this level of accreditation is valid for a period of two years. Gold Standard Accreditation: Once preliminary accreditation is gained, a guardianship organisation has the option to apply for gold standard accreditation. This is an in-depth inspection of all the essential documentation required for the preliminary accreditation but also a detailed look at the implementation of the policies and the day-to-day running of the organisation. We ask the opinions of those who work with the guardianship organisation via online questionnaires and in-person interviews, building a 360° view of the organisation. A gold standard accredited organisation needs to show how they are meeting every requirement within the Quality Standards. Once awarded, gold standard accreditation remains in place for 4 years. AEGIS offers the highest level of inspection & accreditation of guardianship organisations in the UK at both levels of accreditation and is independent of any other professional body.



AEGIS will be providing the following training sessions via Zoom this term.

14th June at 10.00

8th and 9th August at 10.00

NMS Update for schools

Designated Safeguarding Lead Training for Guardians

The revised National Minimum Standards for Boarding were published on Friday 20th May, and they now include Standard 22 which is dedicated to Educational Guardianship. AEGIS was involved in the consultation and is now recognised as a ‘useful resource for information’ as an external organisation. The AEGIS team will be holding a webinar on Tuesday 14th June from 10-10.30, plus Q & A, for schools detailing how AEGIS can help schools to meet the required standards. Sophie Lindsay and Yasemin Wigglesworth will be happy to answer any questions during these sessions.

16th June at 10.00

Mental Health Support Training This practical, online session is tailored for school and guardianship organisation staff supporting international students, and specifically those supporting students in crisis. Led by Jennifer Scarfe, AEGIS Trustee, who was Deputy Head Pastoral and DSL at a large UK boarding school until August 2020. She is now in her final year of pre-clinical training, with the Tavistock and Portman, whilst working in CAMHS as an Assistant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist. She begins her doctoral training in October at IPCAPA in collaboration with UCL and the Anna Freud Centre.


AEGIS is delighted to be able to offer Designated Safeguarding Lead Training with Adam Lubbock, Kings River Education. This training will take place over two days. Adam Lubbock has extensive experience in state and independent education as well as within the residential boarding environment. As a Safeguarding Practitioner, Adam delivers DSL training to school leaders and provides safeguarding training, support and auditing in schools. Many will know Adam as Trustee and now Chair of AEGIS which has given Adam great insight into the world of guardianship.

ST JOSEPH’S COLLEGE Popular ‘old boy’ returns to St Joseph’s College to talk about the cutting edge of fashion and why giving back is so important to him. London-based menswear designer and fashion lecturer Basil Lam returned to St Joseph’s College Ipswich to talk to Textiles, Art and Photography students, offering many useful insights into getting ahead in the world of fashion design. Basil, who left the College in 2015, illustrated his journey from broad inspiration to finished concepts with slides. He described the long process of working up initial ideas, with the fitting process becoming increasingly important as he reached MA level, and he stressed the power of social media in gaining reach. The students were particularly interested to hear about fashion shoots, the choice of locations and selection of models. Basil favours professional dancers for their dynamism. Asked how he coped with rejection, he said it was in the nature of the creative industries that not everyone would love your work; you had to find self-belief, accept honest criticism and plough on. ‘Try everything! Everything will benefit you,’ he urged. Basil warned students they may not always make the right choice the first time; he had embarked on a degree in fashion marketing but soon came to realise it was the design side he loved. Similarly, he once saw drawing as a personal shortcoming but necessity and practice had changed his view. He stressed the importance of live research – screens offered little idea of texture or weight, for example. Nor were mainstream museums and libraries enough; students must go out and about, discover specialist galleries, and seek out collections devoted to particular cultures. Basil’s label, ka.wai.lam, has already featured widely in top flight fashion press, including Vogue Italia, which published part of his graduate collection, Melancholy for Lost Youth, and the Fashion Crossover website, a showcase for the best upcoming designers. Following a BA in Fashion Design from Regent’s University, London, Basil went on to secure an MA from the University of Westminster. Conscious of his ‘privileged’ years in education he decided he wanted to ‘give back’, and has been teaching students at the highly diverse University of East London. He is the first to say his students’ stories frequently leave him feeling humbled.


KING’S BRUTON From Uzbekistan to Bruton, Sixth Former Javdat Muminov explains why he has had such a great five years in one of the UK’s oldest independent schools. King’s combines a tradition of British history and culture with a narrative of modernity, creativity and innovation in education. The small country town of Bruton affords a healthy, safe and serene location, yet the school is within easy reach by road and rail of London and the vibrant university cities of Bath, Bristol and Exeter, especially since Bruton town has its own station. Javdat Muminov, from Uzbekistan looks back at his five years: “As I come to the end of my five years at King’s I look back with fond memories of my journey. A journey of ups and downs and many challenges, but I’m convinced they have made me the person I am today. I started as a nervous 13-year-old away from home for the first time and I leave as a Prefect and Head of House, hoping to read Sustainable Development at Edinburgh University, a subject about which I am very passionate as I can see how much climate change has impacted Uzbekistan, the country where I was born and in which I grew up. Despite initial worries and upset, I soon felt settled; the House environment and those in it were warm and welcoming, with endless support and reassurance from my Housemaster and other staff, I soon found my feet. I missed my family, but as I progressed through GCSEs and into the Sixth Form, my confidence grew. Rugby has been one of the many highlights of my time here and despite missing two rugby seasons due to Covid it has become one of my passions. Another huge highlight was the visit of HRH The Queen. In 2019 the School celebrated its 500th anniversary and it was a huge honour and thrill for us all that she came to open the new music school, as part of the 500th Anniversary celebrations.

“I will miss King’s but know that I have built everlasting friendships and made some memories that I will cherish for life” JAVDAT MUMINOV


WOODBRIDGE SCHOOL Woodbridge School’s annual CCF inspection was held on the afternoon of Friday 6 May, with Reviewing Officer Group Captain Richard Hobson RAF (Ret’d).

The School’s Contingent Commander Major Andy Garvie, Miss Norman and the Senior Cadet RAF Section James had the pleasure of welcoming Captain Hobson to the School for what was set to be a fantastic showcase of all facets of the Woodbridge School Combined Cadet Force. The inspection commenced with a parade of all sections – Army, RAF and Navy - in the blazing sun while all cadets stood to attention in turn to greet the Reviewing Officer, before doing their section specific displays. The Army display was carried out by the Combat Cadet Team who demonstrated several military manoeuvres in a patrol, fight and retreat exercise, all in full camouflage and led by our Head of Combat Cadet and Head Boy Mak. The RAF Drill Team then took centre stage in the parade square to show exactly why they made it to the RAST National Finals this year with their drill display, which was delivered precisely by the team. Year 13’s Prin, the School’s Head of Boarding, is a proud member of the RAST team and an international boarder at the School. The Corps of Drums, all made up of Navy cadets, rounded off the display with a fantastically coordinated drumming routine. The gun run came next in the schedule which is the final round of the Trower Trophy intersection competition. It involved five teams competing to dismantle a gun, take it across an obstacle course and put it back together. This must be done twice before pulling the gun and racing against each other one final time. Real excitement enjoyed by all the spectators and the participants! The afternoon finished with the final parade, a chance to hear Group Captain Hobson speak about his experiences and military career and the awarding prizes. Regardless of future career choices, the CCF at Woodbridge School gives all students an opportunity to develop the powers of leadership by means of training that promotes responsibility, self-reliance, resourcefulness, endurance, perseverance and a sense of service. All our committed cadets and dedicated staff should be really proud of this excellent display across all sections.


MOOR PARK SCHOOL Many of our full-time boarders come to us from Spain, China and France and are amazed by the beauty of our green 85 acres and the opportunities that being a Moor Park boarder brings. Depending on what our overseas pupils want they can stay for a term, a year, or their whole Prep School experience. One recent boarder came for the Autumn Term but enjoyed it so much that he persuaded his family to let him stay for the year! Although boarders usually go home in the holidays some remain here as they are invited to stay by English families or visit their guardians. Houseparents’ live on-site and their families and animals become part of the boarders’ family as they spend time eating, playing, and experiencing the English culture. Weekends are for socialising on trips or having fun and relaxing. Pastoral care is paramount encouraging independence, but providing support when children are homesick. Learning in a foreign language can be hard and it is essential that these young people are supported as their skills develop. Two EAL lessons a week are provided in small groups, with content tailored to the needs and interests of the children, at no extra cost (extra lessons are available). However, much of their language is learned from the other pupils; by working and playing together. Essential phrases such as “It’s my turn to bat” and “Lots of roast potatoes please” seem to be picked up very quickly! We are a British Prep School and all our families want this culture to be maintained, we therefore limit the numbers of children joining us from abroad so that they have a full immersion. They are offered the same activities and opportunities as the English pupils, both in the classroom and outside of it, including afterschool activities, sporting fixtures, plays and debates. Moor Park has an exceptional culture of kindness, and this value is at the heart of school life, pupils are extremely welcoming towards our overseas students and are as instrumental as the staff at ensuring that they quickly feel part of the Moor Park family.


ST FRANCIS’ COLLEGE Local independent day and boarding school, St. Francis’ College, has announced a new partnership. The partnership is with renowned education provider, Inspired Learning Group (ILG), that will enable the College to continue providing the best possible education and opportunities for students and staff. Through this partnership, St. Francis’ College will join the ILG family and benefit from significant investment that will go towards improving the college’s facilities and professional development opportunities, to further enhance its existing high standards of teaching and learning. For almost 90 years, Saint Francis’ College has been recognised for its outstanding academic results, pastoral support and the extensive range of extracurricular activities available for students. This is exemplified by the college’s inclusion in Best Schools’ Top Independent Schools in the UK based on achievement of top grades at A’ Level. In view of the significant challenges faced by many independent schools in the wake of the global pandemic, the governors decided to seek a long term, sustainable solution to enable Saint Francis’ College to continue with its development plans to enhance the education provision and facilities at the college. Inspired Learning Group is comprised of 18 independent schools and nurseries, supporting over 2,000 students across South-East England. With its strong team of experienced consultants and an Advisory Board, chaired by David Tidmarsh, former Headmaster of St Martin’s, Northwood and including Neil Roskilly, previous Chief Executive of the Independent Schools Association.


CALDICOTT SCHOOL How our boarding community has grown and with it, strengthened… Our goal of moulding all-rounders – and the fact we have such a diverse pool of boys, with different talents, backgrounds and passions – work hand-in-hand and are to thank for much of our recent success. As a school that celebrates boarding, we were all bursting with pride when the BSA announced us as winners in the ‘Supporting Junior Boarders’ category of their awards. Our boarding provision was adapted last September, and since then we have had many boys in Years 3 – 6 take us up on our new offer of flexi-boarding. By also maintaining our belief that full/weekly boarding for our Years 7 – 8 provides boys with an experience that develops a fullness of character, the transition of boarding through Caldicott is as smooth as ever. We like to think of our junior boarding as a ‘gentle introduction’ into this new experience. This growth of boys in our Boarding House has meant that new friendships have formed throughout the school, with the community as a whole having been strengthened. Our international boarders are more often than not, full boarders, meaning they have the chance to enjoy the extra opportunities available to boarders at the weekend. This could be a trip to nearby places of interest like Thorpe Park or Windsor Castle, or fun activities from ice-skating, go-karting or mini golf, all of which bring the boys closer together through shared experiences. At least once a term, the boarders enjoy a themed supper, which focuses on celebrating a certain culture the best way you can… through food! In the last few months, we’ve celebrated Chinese New Year, the Six Nations, and the feast of Sinterklaas; with the Catering Team providing authentic meals for each occasion. The ‘Caldicott boy’ comes in all shapes and sizes, and this is something we’re used to accommodating and actively encouraging. Whether a boy’s passion lies in sport, or he’s an academic, or more interested in the Performing Arts, we’re proud to say there is something for everyone at Caldicott.


QUEENSWOOD SCHOOL The challenges of short-term placements Many schools have adapted their boarding models in recent years to accept one or two-term placements. Queenswood Girls’ School is one such school. The one-term girls enjoy a taster of traditional boarding school life, quickly improve their English language skills and many forge enduring friendships in a remarkably short time. However, placements of one term can pose challenges for all parties involved. From the families’ perspective, there are practical considerations such as the cost of the uniform which is only to be worn for a term. Queenswood, like many other schools, maintains a stock of hardly worn uniform that we offer to one termers free of charge. So that problem is usually solved easily. From an academic perspective, teachers encounter the challenges of assessing a pupil’s ability quickly and working out the best way to maximize the learning opportunities for that individual. This varies of course from year group to year group and the level of English language proficiency also plays a big role. Settling a child quickly into boarding school life is crucial for the success of the whole experience. This is where the guardian’s role is so important. Despite the length of stay being short, each individual child still requires the same quality of pastoral care that a guardian and homestay family provide, albeit without the long-term financial return. For instance, if the parents can’t accompany their child to school for the first day of term, guardians will bring them instead. They will help them unpack, settle them into their new surroundings and make vital connections with the staff. Providing a “home-from-home” for the child for exeats or if they want to explore British life away from the school environment is also an important part of settling each child. However, building trust and developing a nurturing relationship can take time, so guardians and host families can often be under pressure to build the relationship quickly. To mitigate this situation, it helps enormously if the guardian arrangements can be set up with families as soon as an offer of a place has been accepted. This gives time for the relationship to be formed so that the child is comfortable with the guardian by the beginning of term and ready to turn to them if needed.


ETHERTON EDUCATION Etherton Education have launched their 2022 Online Summer Courses.

The online courses are aimed at students who will be joining British boarding schools in the future, or who are interested in learning more about British education. Building upon the last two years of running online courses, the courses available for this summer are: Preparation for British Boarding School Pre-GCSE for international students aged 13-15 years Preparation for British Boarding School Pre-A-Level / Pre-IB for international students aged 15-17 years Each course aims to give students an introduction to British boarding school life and education, a chance to listen to many different British voices with friendly staff, and many opportunities to practise speaking English. Included in the courses will be English language lessons, academic subject lessons, boarding preparation sessions and Saturday activity sessions. All lessons will be live with a maximum of 8 students per class. The mix of different sessions will give students the chance to practise not just academic English, but social English with our team of Student Hosts. The courses are available for four or six weeks starting on Monday 11 July 2022. This is a great opportunity for international students who might not be able to travel, or who are interested in British education but are not sure about committing to a full course just yet, or who want some preparation before starting at their UK school in September. Etherton Education are committed to providing a stepping stone for international students coming to the UK. The online courses will be run with the same high-quality level of English, academic tuition, and social skill building as their residential courses. “My student said she really liked her online preparation course and was happy to join you. Thank you for arranging such a brand new course, which was so helpful for students joining their schools in this difficult year. Please send our gratitude, from all our staff and on behalf of the family, for your excellent service!



WREKIN COLLEGE A taste of school life in Shropshire More than a dozen pupils from Thailand have enjoyed a taste of school life at Shropshire’s Wrekin College - some of whom had not been in the classroom for more than two years due to the pandemic. The group of youngsters aged between 12 and 16 spent several weeks at the school during the summer term. They joined in with lessons, participated in a number of sports, took part in excursions and also got to spend time with other boarders from more than 20 different countries. The initiative is part of ongoing efforts at Wrekin College to give international boarders a chance to experience a slice of what life is like at a British Boarding School with those taking up the offer spending anything from three weeks to a full term at the school. A significant number of the participants are enjoying the experience so much they have decided to take up boarding places full time. It was a poignant trip for the group from Thailand who arrived at the start of the summer term. Many had not been in a classroom for some time due to strict lockdowns in Thailand over the last two and a half years. Head of International Admissions Paula Bottomley said the Wrekin community, both staff and pupils, had gone above and beyond to ensure the students were not only given a warm welcome but extra support to adjust to being back in a school environment so they could make the most of the experience.


RYE ST ANTONY SCHOOL The benefit of a diverse and inclusive school community for all involved should not be understated, and here at Rye St Antony, our international pupils thrive. In a welcoming and inspiring school community, our international pupils benefit from a British boarding experience to remember where discovering who they are as individuals and academic success are held in equal regard. Embracing the British boarding school experience is something that Stephanie did wholeheartedly at Rye. Arriving from Angola in September of Year 8 with little English, she was quick to grasp everyday instructions and practise with her friends. Sharing her skills in Portuguese with those passionate about Spanish and French ensured she had firm friends from the beginning, and Stephanie’s love of sport saw her fully involved. Stephanie achieved four A* and A grades at A Level and went on to study Business at the University of Bath before returning to complete her PHD at the University of Oxford. Stephanie works in HR for an international company and is based in Paris, France. She credits her success and work ethic with the experiences that she had at Rye. The foundations of a first-rate education coupled with a wealth of opportunities to be involved in the community. Whether as PM for the Young Enterprise project or as Head Girl, Stephanie’s future success shone through. We knew she would go far and Paris is just the first stop!


CITY OF LONDON FREEMEN’S SCHOOL City of London Freemen’s School is a community of day and boarding pupils who like to look after one another. We know from the pandemic how important it is to belong, and the key role that schools play in establishing that sense of belonging. We encourage everyone in our community, whether they are children or adults, to aspire to learn, lead, and make a difference. History The School was founded in Brixton in 1854 by the City of London Corporation to provide ‘a religious and virtuous education’ for the orphaned children of the Freemen of the City of London; Christian principles remain at the heart of our ethos, although the School is non-denominational. Freemen’s is one of three schools governed and maintained by the City of London Corporation. In 1926 the School moved to Ashtead Park, our present site, and now educates approximately 900 girls and boys, from age 7 to 18. Enviable Academic Reputation We are fortunate to have an enviable reputation when it comes to academic outcomes. Our high level of success at GCSE and A Level speaks for itself and our pupils go to desirable university destinations, but we don’t put academic outcomes before any of the other things that matter in a young person’s development. We will encourage your child to think, to develop an inquiring mind, and when it is time for them to leave us, to want to learn further.


ABBOTSHOLME SCHOOL Abbotsholme School is an independent day and boarding School for boys and girls aged 2-18. Set within 140 acres of beautiful countryside on the Derbyshire/ Staffordshire border.

The Abbotsholme School site includes a 70-acre working farm and equestrian centre, synthetic pitch, rock climbing centre, theatre and outdoor swimming pool. Class sizes are small to cater for individual focus. Pupils at Abbotsholme have a balanced education, with a full academic curriculum and an extensive outdoor education programme, encouraging participation in the Duke of Edinburgh and Round Square Schemes, forest school opportunities and whole school adventures, going on hikes and camps every year. The outdoor space that Abbotsholme provides is a safe haven for pupils, which encourages wellbeing and a healthy state of mind. There are separate boys and girls boarding houses and a log cabin village for the Sixth Form. The cabin village is to allow pupils to live independently before going off to university or entering the wider world. All boarding facilities have small kitchen and lounge areas to socialise. Most rooms are for 2-4 people sharing. There are full schedules in the evenings and weekends with plenty of trips and pizza and movie nights. Boarding is available from age 9+. Welcoming students from across the globe, Abbotsholme is a friendly, family-orientated School that caters for every individual. Abbotsholme is hosting a Summer Camp (Pro-@ctive) for the second year, suitable for all children aged 4-14 years. The perfect opportunity to try new activities and meet new people.

If you would like to visit or for further information please email or call 01889 590217.


IMMERSE EDUCATION An outstanding summer school and online course provider dedicated to transformative student experiences. Immerse Education is an award-winning provider of online and residential academic programmes, with their residential programmes taught in inspiring locations such as Oxford, Cambridge, Sydney and London. Their mission is to provide transformative educational experiences to participants, facilitating learning in a safe and stimulating environment, where students can flourish and uncover their true potential.

“Coming to Immerse Education was a once-in-a-lifetime experience! For two weeks, I learned, grew, and had an experience difficult to come by.” ANNE H, IMMERSE ALUMNI

Residential Programmes Participants learn in small classes, with supplementary hands-on workshops partnered with enriching social experiences. Over the course of Immerse’s two-week summer programme, participants will learn from Oxbridge tutors, explore iconic historical locations and engage in a range of cultural activities with peers from around the world.

Partnerships Immerse has recently been selected for the London and Partners Business Growth Programme along with partnering with several Departments of Trade around the world. Immerse participants each year will have the unique opportunity to meet with world-leading academics, researchers, inspiring guest speakers such as TedX speaker Dr Matt Pritchard and two time Olympian Abi Oyepitanh. Resources Dedicated to furthering learning, Immerse offers free resources to expand the knowledge of young people from around the world. These include: Their Top Books Guides , Informative articles for students, free to access via their website, Useful webinars for parents, educators and participants that are announced monthly via Instagram. Essay Competition Immerse runs a biannual essay competition to ensure young people around the world have the opportunity to benefit from their outstanding programmes. Entrants have the chance to win a fully paid scholarship for an Immerse programme. More details can be found on their dedicated essay competition page. Learn more about Immerse Immerse Education programmes are truly unique in their focus on academic rigour and stimulating participants’ intellectual curiosity in their chosen subjects. See the Immerse Education Website here


ST CATHERINE’S, BRAMLEY The Boarding Schools Association, which represents over 600 UK State and Independent Boarding Schools, has announced that St Catherine’s is a Winner in its annual ‘Supporting Excellence’ Awards. This recognition is for The 6 – our new home for Sixth Form day and boarding students which opened in Spring 2021.

“The new facilities are very impressive, matched only by the exceptional quality of the presentation.” Boarding Schools Association Award Judges, 2022 Designed by IID Architects, with alumna Helen Whateley (Year of 2008) leading the process, our girls have swiftly made themselves at home in The 6 and Kate Hawtin, Head of Sixth Form, credits the design of The 6 with enhanced community cohesion. The girls take great pride in ‘their’ building and have clearly risen to new challenges of leadership and responsibility as a result. With L6 and U6 together, the year groups support each other, encourage each other as Prefects, and share revision tips. The huge kitchen island has become a study space for a quick bit of Maths revision with the resident House staff; the Common Room is an impromptu rehearsal space for House Dance, and the kitchen is a place to share and enjoy each other’s company.

One of the major benefits of boarding is the development of firm and lifelong friendships, as well as enjoying being part of a strong, supportive, happy and global community. The twin boarding bedrooms in The 6 are purposefully designed to prioritise girls’ wellbeing. Room-sharing encourages consideration of others’ views and opinions, co-operation and mutual support. Our girls deserve a building that recognises the role they play in School life as leaders, Prefects and role models and staff have been surprised by the multiple positive impacts of bricks and mortar on School life. Life at St Catherine’s is special and The 6 has further enhanced our strong, supportive and vibrant community.


ST DAVID’S COLLEGE ‘Gold Standard’ Outdoor Education Following a period of rigorous inspection by the Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres (AHOEC), The Outdoor Education Department at St David’s College has been issued with their prestigious ‘Gold Standard’, which represents the highest award for quality Outdoor Education provision and Outdoor Learning. St David’s is now one of only three schools in the UK to have ever gained the Gold Standard Award. The inspection process looks in depth at 55 different areas of how Outdoor Education operates - from safety to facilities, to quality of teaching and everything in between. St David’s is now one of only three schools in the United Kingdom to have ever gained the Gold Standard Award. The Gold Standard is AHOEC’s quality scheme, developed to go beyond the levels set by standard regulations, such as the ‘LOtC Quality Badge’, ‘Adventure Mark’ and ‘AALA’. The inspection and assessment encompass safety and the quality of teaching, facilities, and educational aims. The inspectors remarked: “The facilities in the Outdoor Education Department are excellent and a facility that would be the envy of many establishments.” The process has involved a long-term analysis of the quality of the entire Outdoor Education provision at St David’s, not just the delivery of lessons. As well as ensuring compliance with the AHOEC professional code of conduct, the Gold Award ensures high standards in the following areas: learning and development, customer care, safety management, facilities, leadership and management, environmental sustainability, as well as ensuring the process of continuous improvement. Head of Outdoor Education, Mr Ian Martin said “We’re delighted to receive the recognition of the Gold Award from AHOEC. St David’s College Outdoor Education Department has always had world-class instructors, but to have it confirmed by the Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres is a wonderful achievement. “It’s a testament to the dedication, commitment, and quality of the teachers in the department and a real vote of confidence for parents, whose children will be benefiting from what we offer here. “Outdoor Education is embedded in the founding ethos of St David’s, so we’ve all felt very proud to showcase what we do to the inspection team and the wider world.” Well done to everyone in the Outdoor Education Department!


PIPPA’S GUARDIANS We started to offer half term camps to international students in response to travel restrictions in place during the pandemic. We understood that not all host families would be able to host during COVID and that an increased number of students would be remaining in the UK during school holidays. Since December 2020 we have run 5 successful camps and are currently preparing for our sixth. We created our camps to ensure international students in the UK, not just those under our guardianship services, had more choice available to them and to ensure they had somewhere safe to go if a host family wasn’t a possibility or a preferred option for them. Pippa’s camps were welcomed by parents and are now demanded by students. New friendships have been formed and students look forward to reuniting during the next school holiday. Our last camp was a study camp during the Easter holidays, our longest camp so far at just over three weeks and our second largest in terms of student numbers. Our Easter camp was held at St Edward’s School in Oxford, chosen for its excellent facilities and boarding houses as well as its location close to museums, shopping centres and a world famous university. As many students were anxious about upcoming A level and GCSE examinations, we held study and revision sessions each morning, with teachers available for revision lessons and academic support. Students could then choose between extra study time or activities and sports in the afternoons and evenings. Our aim was to offer a balance between work and play and give students a choice so they could enjoy and get the most out of their school holiday. The feedback from parents and students has been fantastic and helped our camps to develop and improve each time.

“I really enjoy the camps as I have made so many new friends. The study sessions are great as I can focus solely on my work. I have had so much fun, especially the socials at night and would recommend the camp” CYRUS WONG, A STUDENT AT UPPINGHAM SCHOOL, WHO WILL BE JOINING PIPPA’S CAMPS FOR THE THIRD TIME.


CAMBRIDGE GUARDIAN ANGELS Easter Study and Explore Course in London 2022. As 2022 is another very difficult year, most of our students had no choice but to stay in the UK during the Easter break. In order to help these students have a more productive holiday break, we decided to put together a Study and Explore Course at a beautiful hotel in London to provide students an accommodation option that would allow them freedom to explore the city but to be under supervision at the same time. As Easter is the key revision period for GCSE and A-Level students, we wanted to provide an environment where students could study quietly, have fun, and relax properly. The course included an en-suite room, 3 meals per day, and hotel facilities such as the gym and study areas. In addition to the usual hotel reception staff, 2 CGA staff members were always on-site to provide supervision and activities day and night throughout the course. We also provided private tuition for students who needed academic help. The students came from various schools and all became very good friends. They spent every day together going out exploring the wonderful London city, playing games, and most importantly, studying together. They were all very grateful to have this opportunity to make friends outside of their schools and some of them even requested to stay with the same host family together from now on whenever they can in the future! We as their guardian have gained a lot from this opportunity too. It was the perfect chance to spend quality time out of school with each student and facilitate what they want to do in terms of living as a Londoner – for a few weeks. We formed special bonds and it was bittersweet seeing them saying goodbye to each other, especially as some of their journeys in the UK are coming to an end. The heart-warming feedback we received from students and their parents made all the hard work worthwhile. Thank you to everyone involved who made it possible for our students to have a wonderful experience in London.

“Thank you so much for the lovely experience in London! I was able to do everything at my own pace, explore many places, and make lots of new friends!” – Nanako Kanzaki (student)


BRIGHT WORLD GUARDIANSHIPS Online Gaming - great fun but who else is playing? We know that our guardianship students often spend more time online and gaming during their school holidays. Wherever they are, we want to make sure they are doing so safely.The advent of online streaming platforms like YouTube and Twitch has introduced younger children to vast online networks of fellow players of all ages. While playing games online, it is important that children are taught to think about how much information they are sharing with strangers and how to keep themselves safe. They need to be aware that people of all ages may be playing. These platforms can be used for the purposes of grooming children. It is so important that anyone they are playing with starts to ask them to share images or makes them feel uncomfortable they should never reply and should report this to a teacher or their guardian straight away. These people can then be reported and blocked from the game. It is vitally important that they know they should never agree to meet in person anyone that they meet online. Students should never share their personal information online. This includes password details for online accounts, their name, Cyberbullying is bullying that happens online. Unlike offline bullying, it can be difficult for children to avoid cyberbullying as it can follow them wherever they go; social media, online gaming and mobile phones make it easier for bullies to contact their victims. We urge students experiencing cyberbullying to speak with an adult that they can trust, either a teacher, their host family or their Bright World Buddy. Common types of cyberbullying can include: • • • • •

threatening or abusive messages sharing embarrassing images or videos exclusion from online activities or groups encouraging young people to self-harm sending explicit messages

“If a student is being pressured to participate in an online challenge, they should talk to a teacher, their host family or a member of the guardianship team.” CORY HOLDEN, ADMISSIONS & MARKETING MANAGER

Online challenges, often associated with the social networking platform, TikTok have taken the online world by storm in recent years. Viral stories, hoaxes, or challenges are designed to look enticing to younger users, who then feel pressured to participate or risk losing the respect of their peers. The challenges vary but often involve individuals harming themselves or others. These challenges can often fun or silly at first but this can quickly escalate.

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Opinion Disclaimer The views, thoughts and opinions expressed by our contributors and authors to this AEGIS newsletter solely belong to the contributors and authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of AEGIS.


AEGIS Association for the Education & Guardianship of International Students The Wheelhouse, Bond’s Mill Estate, Bristol Road, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, GL10 3RF +44 (0) 1453 821293

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