COVID-19 School Information

Principal’s Message: Term 2 Schooling

As we approach the Term 1 school holidays, I wanted to try to provide some information regarding schooling for Term 2 as it stands presently.

As with many things at the moment, a lot is unknown and change is happening continually. Our authorities have urged parents to keep their children at home unless they are an essential worker with no supervision available at home or parents need to remain employed and cannot organise supervision at home.

With this in mind, I will attempt to provide you with some clarity and direction with the current information I have. Term 2 will be look very similar to last week’s model.

It has been stated many times now that education will look different for Term 2. So what does different look like?

At this stage, we are finalising our preparations to deliver lessons:

  • on-line utilising the Connect platform for the vast majority of students from Year K – 6.
  • off-line learning for those students who do not have a computer using work packages for a small number of identified students and
  • face to face lessons for some students (children of essential workers or other identified students) who will follow the same Curriculum as per our Connect platform.

The vast majority of lessons will be delivered on-line at home. Only a small number of work packages will be used and we have developed a number of face to face teaching models for Term 2 which will be finalised during Week 1 next term.

Given the current environment, we have adopted a slow and steady approach to rolling out the Term 2 learning program. The main aim of this approach is to introduce families, students and our staff to this new way of learning in such a way to reduce anxiety and prevent people from feeling so overwhelmed.

To support learning at home you will be provided with a fortnightly overview every second Thursday. The overview will give a brief outline of the main online learning focuses that will be covered in the upcoming two weeks. Further information about activities will be provided by teachers through Connect.

I would like to reassure you that plans are in place for learning in Term 2 and you will continue to receive information from the school and your child’s teacher, although we expect everyone to have a break over the two week holiday period. Please also be aware that school staff are considered essential workers also, and, are also worried and concerned about their own families. They are here to provide a service to you but most importantly to their students. We also appreciate that there may be gaps in some of the organisation and we ask you to be patient as we are in unprecedented times and we are all trying to do the very best we can, some things will take a little more time to develop. The work an effort I have seen from our cleaners, gardeners, office staff, Education Assistants, Teachers and Executive Administration has been outstanding over the last few weeks. They have worked together as a team in very trying times to ensure the very best opportunities for the students at this school. We should all be very proud of their effort.

Our Guiding Principles

  • Keep it simple – this is a time of crisis and putting ‘first things’ first is essential. As a school, we are here to support a model of education that is equitable and fun, maintaining a safe, supportive and understanding home learning environment for all.
  • Maintain Relationships and Positive Mental Health – the relationships that you and your children have with their teachers, as well as the relationships that they have with their peers and families is important to maintain and embrace. This sense of belonging remains essential for positive mental health.
  • Clear Expectations – teachers, students and families will have a clear understanding of what is to be expected and we welcome discussions regarding this at any stage. We all understand that everyone will be doing their best juggling the challenges of social isolation, so clarity from us as a school is designed to help you, not add to your stress.
  • Do Our Best– This applies to parents, staff and students. We are all doing our best in difficult circumstances especially for parents at home. Just do your best to achieve what you can with your child. Staff will do their best to support you with this and we always expect our students to do their best.
  • Be Kind – this is new for everyone. There will be opportunities for feedback as we continue further down the on-line model. Please take the time to give constructive feedback when called upon. Be kind to each other, your children, our staff and teachers.
  • Find the Awesome – Learning is a serious business, but we do not need to be serious all the time. Love and laughter will get us through!

We are all in this together.

 

How to Access Information and Lessons On-line?

As we have mentioned a number of times recently, Connect will be the main platform for students and parents to access the lesson, resources and information.

Students must be able to log onto Connect on a suitable device (tablet to computer) to access their lessons. If you still are unsure or cannot log onto Connect, please contact your child’s teacher as soon as possible. Information is available on the school website.

 I am an Essential Worker and I cannot arrange learning from home for my child.

Our Premier and Education Minister has made it very clear that parents should keep their children home as much as possible. I know there are a small number of families in this category who cannot arrange learning from home. At this stage face to face learning will be available at school for those small number of  students.

What Can I Expect from my Child’s Teacher?

Your child’s teacher will:

  • be your and your child’s main contact when learning from home (Depending on circumstances some teachers may be assigned to face to face learning, or, because of personal medical circumstances may not be available to work with your child. This would mean another teacher may be responsible for your child’s learning)
  • prepare lessons and resources
  • be available to support during normal school hours 8:30am to 2:45pm (although after 11:30 am there may be a delay in the teacher responding to questions.)
  • respond to emails and phone calls in a timely manner but may not be available straight away

 

Supporting Your Child at Home

    1. Set up learning spaces

Create areas in the house for your child to be able to focus on learning (independent learning space, craft space, construction space, etc.). There are no clear guidelines on what a learning area should look like. As long as your child can focus and be safe, there are no limits to where the learning can take place. But try to limit distractions. Turning the TV off and switching off app notifications will help.

    1. Think about the technology you’ll need

Access to the internet on a device like a computer, lap top or tablet large enough for children to see the page clearly will be important. Accessing lessons and resources for learning on a phone is not practical. Common programs will be enough to access the lessons. In the future, teachers may utilise the conferencing program WebEx.

    1. Create a structure and be realistic

Don’t try to “do school” at home. Routines are important but they must be realistic of your circumstances. Set routines around a start time (for example 8:30am), morning tea and lunch. Suggested times for lessons will be provided.

Have set routines and rules around screen time and what should be accessed and when. Consider what technology may help you and your child connect with friends and family.

Take advantage of the opportunity to model and teach your child life skills (washing, cooking, looking after the garden etc.)

Don’t forget about some down time. This can be cooking together, reading a book together or watching that movie one more time.

Sample Routine

8.30 – 9.00 Morning Meeting

  • Log into Connect
  • Read the Daily Notice
  • Add a comment to the daily Discussion Question
  • Look at your GRID and select your activities for the day
Throughout the Day

  • Brain Breaks: Go Noodle, Dancing, Exercise
  • Spend time with your family
  • Spend time outside
  • Work on your passions
  • Relax

 

Session 1

~ 60 min

Literacy Activities e.g.

  • Phonics
  • Reading
  • Writing
Session 2

~ 45-60 min

Numeracy Activities e.g.

  • Mental Maths
  • PRIME Maths workbook
  • Inquiry Activity
Session 3

~ 45-60 min

 

Specialist Activities and other Learning Areas e.g.

  • German
  • Phys. Ed
  • HaSS

 

    1. Get to know what your child should know

If your child’s school has moved to online learning, as a supervising adult you will be more a teacher’s assistant or facilitator rather than a replacement teacher.

    1. Be around to help, but don’t get in the way

If your child is finding a particular task difficult, be available to make suggestions and answer questions, but try to let them do things themselves as much as possible (obviously this is age and content relevant).

You may need to take your child back a step to reinforce a concept before they move onto a new one.

If all else fails… send an email to your child’s teacher.

If you are lost in what to do, then encourage your child to read. Model reading, get your children books and discuss them. Developing a love for reading in your children will help them in all learning areas, no matter how long they don’t physically go into school.

Josh Jashari

Principal

Thursday, 9th April 2020