Kia Ora te Whānau!
I hope that you are all doing well in lockdown and that you have had an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful weather. The teachers have been working hard to get everything ready for learning at home starting next week. Apologies for the long email…
These are very unusual times. Many of you will be enjoying the opportunity to spend more time with your children, however, this does also present some challenges! Some of you will have pressure to get your own work from home done or are working in an essential service; some will be worried about the financial situation (I know I have friends who have already lost their jobs); some of you have very active children who struggle with being less active; many of us are worried about friends and family. We realise that the next two weeks may be tricky. Our aim, therefore, is to support you to have a successful, positive time at home with your children. The learning activities we will be offering are suggestions only. We would love your kids to have a go at them and we would love you to get involved but the last thing we want to do is to add pressure into what may already be a difficult situation. This situation is different from school so whatever you and your child manage to achieve, with smiles still intact, will be fine.
Each day will begin with a class hui (meeting). This will be through Google Hangouts.
Whānau Puna (Rooms 7, 8 & 9; teachers Sasha, Norah and Steven, Claire and Tracy) will meet at 9:45am daily; invitation to join will be sent to parent email address.
Whānau Wai (Rooms 4, 5 & 6; teachers Dianne, Allison and Natasha, who has taken over from Kim) will meet daily at 9:15am. Invitation to join will be sent to child’s school gmail account attached to their google drive.
Whānau Kokoru (Rooms 1, teacher Jess will meet at 10:15am; Room 2, teacher Tahlea will meet at 10:30am and Room 3, teacher ClaireS will meet at 10:45am). Invitation to join will be sent to child’s school gmail account attached to their google drive.
The hui will be an opportunity for your child to see and interact with their teacher and their classmates. The teacher will also talk about the learning that will be set for that day.
All families will have a link to a Google Slide. This will be updated daily with suggested learning activities. You just need to click on the same link each day. Additionally, children in Whānau Kokoru and Wai (seniors and middles) will receive further information and activities through their Google Drives. There will be reading, writing and mathematics activities, as well as activities which link to the creative arts, science, PE etc.
These are the links you will need to access the Google Slides:
Whānau Puna T2 Learning from Home
Whānau Wai T2 Learning from Home
Whānau Kokoru T2 Learning from Home
We hope your child will have a go at some of the activities but there is no expectation that all activities will be completed each day. Some children may like to do this but others may get involved for an extended time in one activity which they enjoy and leave the rest. It would be great if, over the course of a week, a variety of different curriculum areas are covered. But, this may not be possible in your situation, and that is also fine.
It will possible to complete most activities either with or without a device. It may suit your family to note down the activities and then get your child to tackle them without a device. That is perfectly acceptable.
This really dependes on your child and your family circumstances.
You may like to draw up a timetable with your child, scheduling in time for academic learning (reading, writing, maths); practical activities (eg science experiments); physical activities; breaks and time to play and relax. You may like to include times when you will work with your child and other times when you expect your child to learn independently (allowing you time to complete other things). Other families may just like to just go with the flow! Either is fine.
Remember, the amount of time your child can concentrate on their learning independently will depend on their age and stage. Some kids can keep going for ages and others have a much shorter attention span. I strongly recommend that you schedule in times when your child knows that you will catch up with them to look at what they have been doing. If they know they will be getting some of your attention later, at a predicatbe time, they are more likely to be able to manage themselves in the meantime.
Each syndicate will offer children optional Hangouts at the end of each day. For children in Whānau Wai (middles) and Kokoru (seniors) please email the teacher and request a meeting. Teachers will then give you a time. This might be for your child to share what they accomplished that day, ask for help or an explanation. It could be a one-on-one Hangout or be a small group of children, all of whom want help with the same thing. It may take a while for the teacher to organise the Hangout, as they may have had lots of requests, so please be patient it they are not able to arrange this for a day or two.
For children in Whānau Puna (juniors) the teachers will set up a Hangout at 2pm each day, which your child may like to join.
When children use devices at school, they are protected by a firewall which controls the types of things they are able to access. Whilst this is not fool proof, it does help to keep our children safe. In addition to this, teachers use Hāpara Dashboard which means that they can monitor the screen of every Chromebook in use in their class simultaneously in real time. Teachers will still have access to Hāpara Dashboard, but they may not be monitoring it when your child is online. Obviously, most of you will not have access to these two safety features. Please be mindful of leaving your child unattended for long periods with access to the internet. Please talk to your child about your expectations for what they will be doing and remind them about keeping themselves safe.
I have been given permission by the Ministry of Education to access the school to retrieve Chromebooks. At the moment I am not allowed to deliver these to families. If I am given permission to do this, I will bring them to families who indicated that they needed them, in the survey the teachers carried out last week. I suspect the Ministry of Education is working on ways to get additional devices to families who need them and will keep you posted on this when I hear more.
As mentioned earlier, if you do not have a device for your child to use, you can download the information each day and your child can work on paper.
Marianne is organising a competition! Simply Lip Sync to your favourite tune, with your child, and send her the video! Videos must include at least one child and one adult and you must be prepared for it to go on our school Facebook page! Please make sure videos last no longer than 30 seconds. Be creative!
I will continue to do assemblies each Friday at 9am. I know that some of you may have a different sort of day planned for Good Friday. The video of assembly will upload to our Facebook page automatically and will remain there for you to view at a more convenient time.
You may be aware that we are a Born to Move school – some of our children are trained instructors. The Born to Move programme is being televised daily at 3pm. Your child may enjoy doing this.
The Ministry has also been working hard to get things ready. They announced yesterday that they will be launching TV channels to support learning at home. These services will be available in Te Reo Māori and English and are for learners from early-learning to Y10. They will be broadcast on Channel TVNZ 2+1 and Sky channel 502, starting 15th April. These TV programmes will include a broad curriculum that includes movement, music, physical education, wellbeing, numeracy, literacy and science.
The teachers have been doing their very best to ensure everything goes smoothly but I fear we will have glitches! We are still learning how to do all of this so please be patient with us. Please remember that our main priority at this time is a focus on the Bayswater School value of hauora. Your child will be able to tell you all about hauora. It is the Māori concept of wellbeing and encompasses physical, mental, social and spiritual needs. We want every child to come through this time well and happy. If we achieve that, then we can tackle any learning they have missed when we return to school.
He waka eke noa: kia kaha, kia māia, kia manawanui!
We are all in this together - be strong, be steadfast!