Brighton College Bangkok follows new guidelines to go mask-free

Brighton College Bangkok follows new guidelines to go mask-free

Brighton College Bangkok was one of many school communities delighted to see the smiling faces of its children again following the cancellation by the Ministry of Education of all rules recommending the wearing of facemasks in schools effective from 1 October 2022.

Members of the school community, right from Nursery to Year 13, celebrated the removal of one of the last obstacles to a full return to normal school life and learning.

While wearing a facemask currently remains an option at the school, many children at Brighton College were thrilled to be mask-free from their very first moments in school this week: smiling, laughing, interacting and playing with their friends in a way that has not been seen in schools for a long time.

School staff greeted the news happily too. Head Master of Brighton College Bangkok Mr Nick Gallop said: “While we all recognise the role that facemasks have played in reassuring people in the recent past, we are very thankful indeed that the educational and social impact on the lives of children in our schools for more than two years is now behind us.”

“The effect on the youngest children’s educational journey has been particularly marked. Mrs Siobhan Wyper Head of Brighton College’s Preparatory School said: ‘We are delighted that masks are no longer compulsory. Our pupils will be able to communicate so much better both verbally and socially, enriching their educational experience enormously.”

For older children, the move will have a very positive impact on learning and development, too. Mrs Carly Barber, Head of the Senior School a Brighton College emphasised that “Our facial expressions are such a crucial part of how we communicate. They reflect how we feel and what we think. Being able to remove masks feels like a real liberation for our young people.”

Pupils greeted what they called “mask-free day” just as enthusiastically. “It is a relief to be able to take our masks off in lessons and for other activities. It is so nice to see the faces of my friends again!,” said Kaz a pupil in the Senior School, a view that was confirmed by many. “It is an amazing feeling and is going to make such a great difference to how we talk together,” said Rin, another Senior School pupil.

Like many schools, Brighton College Bangkok has been able to shift its focus away from measures that can have an adverse impact on the classroom and the learning experiences of young people. In their place is continued and enhanced vigilance for any related signs of ill health within the school community, through routine temperature and symptom checks over the course of each day.

But for many of the pupils at Brighton College, one of the regions fastest-growing and best-performing schools, the first mask-free day felt like the first day of full freedom.

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