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Discover Our Exceptional Student Care at Buckswood Overseas Summer School (BOSS)

Here at Buckswood Overseas Summer School (BOSS), everything that we do is for our students and at the forefront of that is the health, safety, security and wellbeing of each and every one of our students. From the moment they bid farewell to their parents to the moment they arrive home with many a story to tell, we have a duty of care to our students that we will not let slip for a single second.


Group of language students at Brighton Pier

Safeguarding

 

Safeguarding, a term that covers the measures that we take to protect our students’ health, well-being, and human rights, is at the centre of everything that we do at Buckswood Overseas Summer School (BOSS). This crucial practice ensures that our students are well looked after whilst with us, enabling them to thrive in a secure and welcoming environment. At BOSS, safeguarding isn't just a policy—it's an ethos deeply ingrained in every aspect of our school and our commitment to it is unwavering, with proactive measures in place to ensure the health, safety, security and wellbeing of all of our students. Staff members at BOSS undergo comprehensive training in safeguarding, ensuring they are equipped to identify and respond to any potential issues promptly and appropriately. Clear policies are established to guide staff and students alike in maintaining a safe environment, and constant communication between our team and our students allow for any concerns to be heard and addressed quickly. By prioritising safeguarding, BOSS fosters a nurturing and secure environment where our students can focus on learning, growing, and creating unforgettable memories.

 

Staff Recruitment

 

The process of recruiting the right people to work at BOSS is no mean feat and starts in October every year, 6 months before our Spring Course starts and 9 months before our summer school starts. Hundreds of people apply to work at BOSS but only a select few make it through the process to become part of what we like to call “the dream team”.

 

The majority of our team have worked at BOSS before and those that shine are immediately invited to join us again in the following year. For the few that have never worked at BOSS before, the first stage of selection is based on qualifications and experience. Those who pass this stage are then invited for an interview, during which we assess their communication skills, personalities and sense of humour as well as their ability to respond to summer school specific questions designed to test their ability to respond to certain situations.

 

It is a time-consuming process that is not easy but eventually, the “dream team” is formed and we enter the training phase of our recruitment.


Language school excursion to Rye

Staff Training

 

In between courses, our core team of year-round staff are constantly learning, upskilling and refreshing our training, completing courses in safeguarding, safer recruitment, first aid, mental health awareness, and more. These courses are offered by English UK and Young Learners English UK who are the national membership association of accredited English language teaching (ELT) centres in the UK, representing the UK's ELT sector nationally and internationally, promoting the highest quality in teaching and student services.

 

In the week before our courses start, our team for each course, even if they have worked at BOSS before, participate in a 3-day training camp to ensure that we:

 

  • Make sure all staff feel welcome and have a smooth transition into the school 

  • Ensure that all new staff are aware of their own role and their role within the school 

  • Ensure all new staff are aware of relevant policies and procedures 

  • Ensure there is a system of support in place

 

Staff training is informative, collaborative and interactive to ensure that each team member is aware of our procedures and their role within the team. No stone is left unturned as we do our best to ensure that our staff are confident and ready for the arrival of our students.

 

Supervision at Buckswood Overseas Summer School (BOSS)

 

During their time at BOSS, our students are never more than 10 metres from a member of staff. The only exception to this is for some students aged 13+ who have permission from their parents maybe allowed some “semi-supervised” free time during excursions.

 

Our team is made up of between 25 to 30 people, including the Director and management team who all live onsite, in the same houses as our students, during our courses. Communication between our team is constant to the point where even if a student leaves class to go to the toilet, someone will be on hand to ensure that they are ok and head back to class in a timely manner.

 

Our campus is a very safe and secure place and with all staff living onsite and present 24/7, we have at least 1 adult to every 8 students. Offsite, we work to a ratio of 1 to 15 for students aged 13+ and 1 to 12 for students aged 8 to 12. Our maximum class size is 16 and as mentioned, our management team and are on hand should any students need to leave class.

 

Students know where we are at all times, including where we can be found during the night, and students know where they should go for specific reasons, i.e., to the office for first aid or if they don’t feel well, etc.

 

Students are also supervised during meal times to ensure that 1) they are eating 2) they are eating well and 3) they are not heading straight to the desserts as they often like to try!


Language school teacher serving cups of tea and coffee

Registration

 

Never more than an hour and a half passes without us registering our students present and if someone is not in the right place at the right time, which can be understandably common in the first few days after arriving, our team members will immediately set out to find that student to help them.

 

Students are registered at the following times:

 

07:45 During wake up

08:00 During room inspections

09:00 During assembly

09:30 In class

11:30 In class, after break

14:00 In class

15:30 At activity meeting 1

17:30 At activity meeting 2

19:30 At evening activities

21:15 In houses

22:00 In bed

 

Morning inspections

 

If you are aware of Buckswood Overseas Summer School (BOSS) and our programmes, you will already know that a unique, and very important aspect to our courses, is our morning routine and our inspections. This part of the day is fun and energetic and allows us and our students to have a positive start to each day. But that is not the only reason why we do room inspections. Room inspections provide us with an opportunity to:

 

  • Check in with each and every individual student first thing every day and ensure that they are well.

  • To touch bases with our House Tutors (team members responsible for each house – think big sister, big brother, team captain, motivator) who will share any important information regarding their house and their students that may need addressing.

  • Ensure that students are keeping their rooms in order (fostering independence).

  • Students are present and accounted for.

 

For more information about our room inspections, please see our other blogs relating to this:

 


Language school teacher activity leader at Buckingham Palace

During the Night

 

Of course, our team needs to sleep as much as our students do so how do we ensure that our students are safe and well during the night? Firstly, and as already mentioned, all of our staff live onsite in the same houses as our students so any emergencies, e.g., a fire alarm, can be responded to immediately. Secondly, all students are made aware of which room their House Tutors live in and know they can knock at any time and finally, we want our staff to get as much rest as possible so each night, a different member of our management team is assigned the role of “Duty Manager” and will be in the possession of the emergency phone which students know that they can call if they need help during the small hours.

 

Activities

 

Supervision during onsite activities is arranged in two ways – either as a whole house when students will participate in the same activity with their housemates and their House Tutors or on a “choice” basis when we offer numerous activities around our campus such as during our “Clubs” activity sessions.

 

If it is one activity organised on a whole house basis, students will either meet in the Sports Hall where they are registered or at their houses where they are too registered. If it is a multi-activity session, students will meet in the Sports Hall to discover what options they have available before choosing their activity, being registered and heading off to their respective activities. During all activities, the number of staff present at individual activities will depend on the popularity of the activity, usually on a 1 to 15 basis. For example, football is our most popular activity so this will normally require a minimum of 3 members of staff, sometimes more. In addition to the staff facilitating the activities “floating staff” will be assigned to patrolling the campus to ensure that no student is “activity-less” and our management team provide additional supervision, responding to any requirements such as first aid, etc.  


Summer school excursion

Excursions

 

Before every excursion, our Head of Activities and Excursions spends a lot of time preparing each excursion. Part of this preparation includes risk assessing any potential dangers that our students may face on an excursion (traffic in cities, swimming on beach excursions, etc.) and putting together excursion registers to ensure that supervision ratios are met.

 

Students meet in the Sports Hall where these registers are called and they are assigned to a member of staff who will take care of them throughout the day before heading to the coaches where they are checked again before the coaches leave school. Student will then spend the day with their assigned member of staff who will guide them through the day safely and always ensuring that students know were meeting points are and what to do if they need help, etc. For an extra blanket of security, all students are issued with a wristband upon arrival upon which they can find our 24-hour emergency phone number and the address of the school.

 

Health and Wellbeing

 

On occasion, we may have a student who doesn’t feel well. If this hasn’t already been picked up and addressed during morning inspections, students know that they should report to the office where they will find trained and very well experienced people who know what to do when it comes to dealing with any illness. If necessary, and of course, if possible, over-the-counter medicine (paracetamol, ibuprofen) will be given to the student in addition to permission to rest in their room with staff checking in on them regularly. On the very rare occasion that the illness is more serious or something that we know we can’t deal with, the student will be taken to see a doctor who is just 15 minutes away from school. Should it be even more serious, i.e., an emergency, the student will be immediately taken to hospital, again just 15 minutes away. Rest assured, every illness is taken very seriously, we will do whatever necessary to help the student and we will do it as quickly as possible.

 

Allowing our students the opportunity to explore BOSS and experience our unique charm is invaluable. With exceptional student care in mind throughout every moment, we offer a setting unlike any other. From everything that we have mentioned above, we have left no stone unturned in providing incomparable student care that you can trust. Please know that your children are safe with us and they can make memories that will last for a lifetime. We urge you to come take advantage of this remarkable school for yourself and embrace all that we are capable of by booking your BOSS course today.


Summer school staff

 

Buckswood Overseas Summer School (BOSS) is a British Council accredited young learner language school for international students aged 8 to 17. To find out more, please visit www.buckswoodsummerschool.com or contact us here.


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