Lockdown blogs
Sophie Clayton

During the two weeks prior to the start of a new academic year here at Giggleswick, we hosted a Welcome Camp for some of our international students. During this time they produced ‘lockdown blogs’, providing us with their perspective and experience of lockdown.

Annabelle, Year 7

“I went back to Singapore in March, and after two weeks quarantining the Prime Minister announced that we had to go into lockdown, from the middle of March until the 2nd of June.

After a month of being at home I couldn’t wait to go back to school, because I wanted to get back into the school routine and see all of my friends.

After lockdown, I flew back to the UK for welcome camp. So far I have done many activities, such as going to the gym, scavenger hunts, badminton, tennis, football, cricket, and baking. I found these activities fun.

I am very excited to see my friends.”

Alward, Year 10

“I have spent my lockdown in Jordan, and it lasted from March to June. I spent my lockdown at my grandmother’s house, because there was a huge garden where I could play football, exercise, and just enjoy nature. I used my bicycle a lot during this period of the pandemic, where I visited my friends’ houses who lived in the same area as me, or we would meet up and cycle around the nearby blocks, because all of the streets were empty it was fun to explore.

After the lockdown became less strict in Jordan, I was able to go to Giggleswick, where we were able to socialise, talk, have fun, study and go through various activities such as sports and treasure hunts, while staying safe.

I look forward to seeing this pandemic issue come to an end, where we would put a stop for our fears, and we can all have fun, play and mess around without having the fear of getting infected with COVID-19, or without worrying about having to remain socially distanced from others.”

Thomas, Year 12

"I spent my lockdown in Abu Dhabi. There was no full lockdown in Abu Dhabi but there were still a number of rules.

The rules in Abu Dhabi were quite relaxed. There was never a lockdown, but there was a curfew. The curfew was put in place to start a National Sterilization Program which is where the government sprayed anti-bacterial liquids in every street of Abu Dhabi. Only four people were allowed per car and masks had to be worn everywhere. This program only lasted one month in June.

So far, my experiences at Giggleswick have been great. The welcome camp is very organized and the activities that we have been doing recently are super fun. The gym and badminton are my favourite activities as I can unleash all my energy in there. But also calming activities like cooking and the drawing was extremely fun.

I’ve loved meeting new people from all different types of countries like Russia, Jordan and Belgium. Everyone here is super friendly and comfortable to be around, so I am extremely glad to have met them. In my opinion the best activity we have done so far is going to the gym, as working out motivates me and makes me want to thrive for new goals every time I go.

I'm really looking forward to the start of school and for classes to finally start as summer has been quite Idle because of the pandemic cancelling many plans. But I am thrilled to see my mates from year 9 that I haven’t seen in 3 years. Also, really looking forward to prospering in my chosen A-Level subjects."

Kseniia, Year 11

"I spent my lockdown in Chelyabinsk, Russia. The first two weeks were the most difficult, as I was not allowed to go out, so all this time I watched films, did workouts, and talked to my friends on FaceTime.

The first week at school was fun and I really enjoyed it. It helped me to practice my English which was very helpful since before I had been speaking Russian almost all the time for six months and had forgotten a lot of things. What I enjoyed most during the weeks of camp was trying new sports such as badminton, cricket and pool.

I am looking forward to starting Year 11, to meet my classmates and prepare for GCSEs. Before lockdown I preferred to spend time alone, but now I am looking forward to meeting people. I have also started to enjoy the little moments more, like going to school or cinema, and the usual daily routine."

Arabella, Year 10

“I spent my lockdown in Dubai, where it started in May and is still ongoing, although less strict than it was at the beginning.

The restrictions were extremely strict for the first month and a half, you would have to designate one person from every household to go out every 3-4 days, and they would have to get an approved permit from the government to either go to the pharmacy, the doctors or the supermarket within a timeslot of one hour to one and a half hours; you could be fined if you were outside your house without your permit or if you weren’t wearing gloves and a mask.

I quite enjoyed lockdown because it gave me time to do some fun activities. For example, I created my own personalised my family Cluedo board game and Zoomed my friends who were across the world from me. I began cooking every night with my dad, learning new and healthy recipes. I also learnt some new skills as well, for example, I can now play Beethoven Moonlight Sonata 3rd Movement on the piano and juggle for approximately 46 seconds.

At the end of July and beginning of August, lockdown restrictions began to ease a lot and, since everyone had been quarantining for over 2 months, I got to see some of my family and friends who were in our social bubble, which was fun. We also began to go out more, since places like theme parks and beaches were opening as long as we wore masks and were distanced from others.

I am very excited to start my GCSE subjects as I really enjoy music and drama, and hopefully I'll be able to audition and land a role in this year’s school production!”