A leading independent school in North Wales has thrown a learning lifeline to students across the UK whose lessons have been hit by Covid-19.
Hundreds of GCSE and A-level pupils – from Leeds to London, Swansea to Oldham – have already registered for free online booster lectures being offered by Myddleton College, in Denbigh.
The initiative from the top Microsoft showcase school aims to bridge the learning gap for pupils in some of the UK’s most deprived areas, and who have had their studies acutely disrupted by the pandemic.
Available on a first-come-first-served basis, two-hour lessons in English language, maths, physics, chemistry and biology will be taught between 5pm and 7pm from Monday 30 November to Friday 11 December.
Up to 1,000 students-per-subject can register. With two lectures delivered simultaneously each evening – one for GCSE, the other for A-level – they can be viewed online live and interactive or via catch-up on laptops and mobile phones.
The UK’s second fastest-growing independent school, Myddleton College believes it is the only private school offering such booster lessons.
Headmaster Andrew Allman said: “This is our way of providing an additional source of learning for those pupils whose studies have been severely disrupted by Covid-19, and is a back-up to the teaching already being provided in schools.
“Young people are facing significant challenges due to coronavirus, with some having only had one month of school since the end of August. And while those in Wales won’t sit exams next summer, education is about more than just exams.
“We’re conscious, too, of a widening socio-economic gap in education, and believe we’ve a responsibility to help students who might otherwise miss out.”
Sixteen-year-old Isobel Bradshaw, a pupil at Lichfield Cathedral School, in Staffordshire, has registered for A-level biology lectures. She said: “I think it’s great to have this course help me understand my topics further, and having access to resources like this makes it so much more interesting. It’s great that Myddelton College is offering the course for free, and I’m looking forward to starting it.”
Her mother Fiona, who learned about the lessons via Facebook, added: “I was looking for a bit of extra support for Isobel who, like all other children in the UK, has been affected by coronavirus despite lots of help from her own school. I’d heard about Myddelton College, so when we came across the course we signed-up straightaway. The way it’s supporting students is really great, and will be appreciated by so many parents across the UK in what has been a tough year for kids, especially those in exam years.”
Lectures will be delivered by Myddelton College’s heads of department, who volunteered their services free of charge.
A Microsoft Global Showcase Independent School and part of Birmingham-based IQ Schools Group, Myddleton College already has experience of delivering lessons virtually. Earlier this year it kept pupils around the world up-to-date with their studies through the pioneering use of an online classroom.
Students can register at www.myddeltoncollege.com/booster-course/ Registration closes at 12 midnight on Thursday 26 November.