The Press Office interviewed HAS to understand the role of Community Engagement in our new virtual school.

How did you develop the Community Engagement strand of Eton Virtual?

We believe that now, of all times, there is a clear need for us to encourage as many of our boys as possible to engage with their community, locally and globally. We developed the Community Engagement strand around the goal of every boy in the school setting themselves a Community Engagement project, or working collaboratively in boarding Houses or tutor groups to develop an idea.

How did you present the new Community Engagement strand to boys?

The Eton Action team first worked to produce list of possible projects that boys could safely engage with in lockdown. It was really exciting to see how many opportunities there were out there, not only fundraising but also ways to care for your local community.

In addition, we were aware that this generation will be facing a challenging world when they enter it as adults. We wanted to create an opportunity for them to learn as well as do. It was about creating learning opportunities, so that they would be able to gain a better understanding of how to continue working with projects like these beyond school.

We’re now into the third week of Eton Virtual, what has been the response from boys?

We’ve been struck by the sincerity and energy that the boys have shown in their projects, whether these have been big (such as helping family businesses pivot to answer calls for PPE), to boys who are doing small but crucial things such as cooking for key workers, providing music or entertainment for community groups, or writing to residents in local care homes.

The Press Office will be publishing a weekly roundup of Community Engagement projects, so keep an eye out for it here.