ECS Blog

Summer 2022

Jun
08
2021

We are now taking bookings for Summer 2022

  

The Covid situation is easing in most countries and, as with most epidemics, we are hoping that the third small wave we have experienced in the UK will be our last.

This has been a challenging time for everyone. We have been forced to adopt new methods of working such as teaching and holding meetings online. We will retain many of these practices which strengthen, support and diversify our offering. However, our core business remains real, physical summer courses, bringing children and teenagers together from many different countries to enjoy fun, friendship

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Posted By - Christopher

Covid update

Apr
07
2021

The uncertainty over foreign travel continues. In all countries there is contradictory information over possible scenarios in July and August. We await clarification from the UK government and in the meantime advise against making irreversible travel arrangements. We are still hoping and planning to run our course this summer. If you have already booked a place, please be optimistic and patient. If you have not yet booked, you can do so in confidence: we offer a money-back guarantee if we have to cancel the course or if your child is unable to travel due to official government restrictions in your

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Posted By - Christopher

Easter online activities

Mar
30
2021

  

We're delighted to be running online activities for all ages this Easter, 5 - 9 April.

7 - 11 year olds can enjoy YOGLISH: Yoga with English

11 - 13 year olds can enjoy FUNGLISH: you guessed it, Fun with English!

14 - 17 year olds can meet up with their friends and join qualified life coach Steve Dumain to learn some key concepts of life skills to help them navigate their lives.

For prices and registration please see https://www.countryschools.co.uk/english-programme/online-english-lessons

Posted By - Christopher

Yoga and English

Mar
30
2021

  

YOGLISH - YOGA IN ENGLISH!

I’m sure we can all agree that the best way to learn a foreign language is through immersion and practical application. One great way to do that is through a yoga class!  Now, more than ever, physical activity is important for health - so, why not combine a good workout with a language class?

Practicing yoga and learning foreign languages have more in common than you might imagine and they are both fantastic ways to exercise one’s mind.

Why is yoga important for children?

Children these days are busy. Practicing yoga helps kids to relax,

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Posted By - Christopher

Covid-19 Update

Mar
17
2021

18 March 2021

Here in the UK Spring has arrived and with it a renewed feeling of optimism. Sarah and I had our first vaccinations recently with no side effects. Nearly 20 million adults in the UK have been vaccinated for Covid-19. Under current trends all adults will have been offered the vaccine by the summer. All UK restrictions are due to end on 21 June.

It is difficult to believe that just a few weeks ago we were in the middle of a pandemic disaster. Vaccinations have been a complete game changer. While we appreciate the situation remains challenging

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Posted By - Christopher

Fit for the Future

Jan
08
2021

image by anncapictures from Pixabay

  

Those who are very observant may have noticed a new accreditation logo at the bottom of our home page: Green Standard Schools. This is in recognition of our commitment to put sustainability at the heart of everything we do - so that we come out of Covid-19 fit for the future. You can read more here.

Posted By - Christopher

Here We Go Again

Jan
05
2021

Regent Street, London
   

Here we go again! As of 4 January 2021 the UK is back into national lockdown as a means of trying to control the number of Coronavirus cases. We welcome this if it helps the nation to get ahead of the virus - and this time we have the promise of vaccines to help us overcome this problem once and for all.

By the summer we hope this will all be a distant memory. We have every intention of running our courses in July and August. Parents can book in confidence as we are offering a money-back

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Posted By - Christopher

Covid-19

Nov
26
2020

Summer 2020 was the first summer in over thirty years when - due to Covid-19 - we had to cancel our courses. Now, with the promise of new vaccines and a gradually improving situation, we are hoping to fully reopen for Summer 2021.

Young people in particular have had a hard time during the crisis, often confined to home, unable to mix with their peers at school or get outside to play and meet friends. ECS in Summer 2021 will offer a wonderful and much needed change of scene and an opportunity for them to engage once again with real

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Posted By - Christopher

Online English Lessons

Jul
16
2020

We are delighted to announce that British Council Accreditation for ECS - English Country Schools - is now extended to include our online English courses. This means that parents can choose online English lessons with ECS with the assurance that they are covered by the same safeguarding and quality standards that you expect from a British Council Accredited English language organisation.  Part of the procedure involved completing the Accreditation UK Code of practice for online ELT. You can find this and a list of other UK language schools that are also covered to safely teach English online at https://www.britishcouncil.org/education/accreditation/centres

Posted By - Christopher

What is Coronavirus and should I be worried for my child attending an English Language course in England this summer?

Feb
24
2020

  

A safe place in the English countryside for children and teenagers this summer.

The ECS campus at Port Regis School in England

  

What is Coronavirus and should I be worried for my child attending an English Language course in England this summer?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an illness that can affect the lungs and airways of sufferers. The danger of a virus can be measured in two ways: 

1. By the total number of people who contract the virus and the number of deaths resulting.

2. By the danger to an individual who contracts the virus.

On the first measure - the total number of people - there is concern over COVID-19 because the

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Posted By - Christopher

Looking Forward

Feb
17
2020

  

Looking Forward

  

Do you remember those Marlboro cigarette adverts? The ones in which rugged cowboys  smoked cigarettes against a romantic desert backdrop? They were a successful attempt to capture a false but widely shared narrative about America’s past and use it to sell a product that would kill people. Smokers, worried about dying from their addiction, could displace that grim thought with the idea of a cigarette as a gun: a necessary weapon in a tough world, where life is a lottery and the cigarette signifies strength, manliness and even a quick death.

In the same way, perhaps, the fossil

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Posted By - Christopher

How children influence parents on climate change

Jan
21
2020

  

Outdoor learning nature studies at ECS

Outdoor learning nature studies at ECS

Who do we pitch to when we market our courses? The parent or the child? Traditionally he who pays the piper calls the tune. But good parenting will also increasingly involve children in decisions as they get older. Presumably there is a cultural variation in this. One can imagine for example that democratic Swedes would not consider sending their child to the UK without the active involvement and consent of the child. Whereas a child in another country might have no choice in the matter. As the child gets older, the decision making

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Posted By - Christopher

ELT Footprint UK

Jan
20
2020

  

Over the past few weeks we have been very busy putting the finish touches to the new ELT Footprint UK  web site in preparation for the launch at English UK ELT Conference in London this weekend. The talk went well and the new web site has been well received. The site aims to provide UK English Language Teaching organisations with everything they need to know in order to operate in an environmentally responsible way. ECS has always strived to act with environmental responsibility and is proud to be taking a lead in this initiative to spread good practice across

Posted By - Christopher

Happy New Year!

Jan
02
2020

The start of a new year is a time to look forward to the future with hope and anticipation. With that in mind we are very pleased to announce that in 2020 we will be offsetting all flights for staff and students attending our courses. We will also be inviting parents to match our donations. The proceeds will be sent to a project that reduces CO2 while supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals. You can read about the projects we supported in 2019 here. Taken together with the efforts we have made to reduce waste we are well on...

Posted By - Christopher

orphanage volunteering

Nov
07
2019

Rowling talks about orphanage volunteering

  

At ECS we encourage pupils to travel, mix and ultimately we hope use their skills to make the world a better place.

Some of them as a result might be tempted to volunteer to help out in an orphanage, both because they are good people who want to help and perhaps too because this kind of experience is perceived as being a useful addition to a resumé or CV.

But a recent article in British newspaper The Guardian casts doubt on the wisdom of helping out in orphanages. World famous Harry Potter author JK Rowling says:

“My message to young

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Posted By - Christopher

CO2 offset

Oct
20
2019

  

  

At ECS we care deeply about our pupils and the world they will inhabit in the future.

Most pupils travel to our English Language summer courses by plane. This has an environmental impact which we mitigate by offsetting half the carbon cost of each child's return journey. We invite parents to offset the other half at a cost of around £5 depending on distance and class of travel. The proceeds are donated to CO2 reducing project chosen by pupils and staff.

In 2019 we offset 150 tonnes of CO2 by supporting projects in UgandaIndia  and China. You

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Posted By - Christopher

ECS Environmental Responsibility

Jul
06
2019

Over the past few weeks we have been putting a great deal of time and effort into thinking about environmental responsibility and working out how best to put this into practice at ECS. We have helped to produce a full report - UK ELT and The Environment - which we hope will facilitate environmental responsibility across the industry. You can find the report here  and you can read how we are putting theory into practice at https://www.countryschools.co.uk/why-ecs/csr

We have also been talking to the host school - Port Regis - where we run our summer courses. I am delighted to

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Posted By - Christopher

Earth Day

Apr
23
2019

ECS was established over 30 years ago to give children and teenagers a wonderful holiday learning English in the English countryside. 

At that time we were called The English Country School and later English Country Schools. Most people today know us as ECS. Encouraging our pupils to enjoy and explore the natural environment remains a key part of what we do.

Our courses take place in an extensive and very beautiful rural campus, with woodland, ponds, even a small river in the school grounds. This provides a green and healthy backdrop for a wide variety of outdoor sporting, social and

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Posted By - Christopher

Brexit

Apr
17
2019

During the early days of ECS Sarah and I attended a series of business development meetings. One of the things we were advised at those meetings is not to mix business with politics. Unfortunately Brexit has forced its way into our lives and we can no longer ignore it. So here is our response.

At ECS we breathed a big sigh of relief when the EU agreed to allow the UK more time to find a solution to the Brexit problem. Fundamentally, the people of the UK voted for something that our elected representatives cannot agree to. Some people say

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Posted By - Christopher

Thoughts from Finland

Mar
12
2019

How a trip to Oulanka National Park led to thoughts on deepening our pupils' connection to nature

Travel broadens and stimulates the mind.

'Foxtail' lights, as the Finns call them..

Sarah and I have just returned from a ‘Finnish Wilderness’ trip to Oulanka National Park, close to the Arctic Circle in northern Finland.

We did new and exciting things like snow shoe walking, husky-dog sledding and building a Quinzhee (a kind of igloo). We also did cross-country skiing and - yes - even managed to see the Northern Lights. All this in temperatures ranging from -25C to what our

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Posted By - Christopher