What is a Familiarisation Workshop?

A familiarisation workshop with Pippa’s Guardians is a series of lessons during which students will familiarise themselves with the British independent school system and how best to successfully participate in it. The aim of the workshop is to provide a solid foundation for personal and social development at school in order to maximise academic success.
Each student will already have knowledge and experience of learning and of social interaction. During the Familiarisation Workshop, this will be enhanced as the students learn new skills and strategies to help diminish the inevitable ‘culture shock’ of moving to a new country and to ensure a smooth transition into the new social and educational environment.

Who is it for?

The familiarisation workshops are designed for international students who will be starting at a UK boarding school in the new academic year.

Why is it necessary?

Statistics show that as many as 25% of international students do not have a sense of belonging to their school. However, a good introduction to, and familiarisation with what to expect from a British boarding school can have a significant effect on the student’s transition into school, contributing to their psychological, social and intellectual wellbeing.

By ensuring a smooth transition, students are more able to settle in school and access the academic and social opportunities available. This will help enable them to achieve academic success at school and go on to study at the top universities in the UK.

What will students learn?

An insight into the British independent school system
Students will gain an accurate and deep understanding of the UK’s independent education system and how to use the opportunity of attending to become well-rounded, confident and successful individuals.

British culture and values
Learning about the ideas, customs and principles of the UK will equip students with the knowledge and skills to better interpret educational and social settings. This in turn will enable a smoother transition into the school community.

The benefits of extracurricular activities
Students will learn about the importance of participation in activities that fall outside the normal curriculum (e.g. sport, clubs) and the positive impact they can have on social behaviour and self development.

The pastoral care system
Students will be made aware of the wider support that will be available to them both at school and from their guardian and host family.

The impact of successful participation
Students will be told about the importance of becoming fully involved at school and how it impacts on future educational study from school to university.

What is the format of the workshop?

Teaching will take place in whole group lessons, small group discussions and 1:1 sessions during which students will have the opportunity to practise the skills they are learning through role play and ‘real life’ situations.

What will students achieve?

By the end of the workshop, each student will be ready and well-equipped for their first day at school in the UK. They will have clear expectations about their new schools and will have strategies which will enable them to make a smooth transition into a new social environment. Successful integration will help students to flourish, both academically and personally.