Term 1 – Week 10, 8 April 2020

Term 2
The Education Department has informed us as to how schools will run next term.  Parents are encouraged to keep their children at home.  It is expected that the majority of students will be taught on-line, although there will be work packages for those students who do not have access to the internet.  A small number of students – children of essential workers as well as vulnerable children will be taught at school.  Exactly how that will work we will determine when we know how many students we will have come next term.  This is very different for our students, for our teachers and for you as parents.  It is all going towards making us safe from the COVID-19 along with the social distancing, and is expected to go for all of term 2.

What’s Happening?
Thank you for keeping your students at home this week.  This has enabled us to continue planning for next term.  We at school are very much learning as we go, and we want to provide as best as we can for your children.  I am looking forward to working with my Maths group on Connect over next term.

Impact on Students
I know some parents are concerned on the long term impact on their children.  I can assure parents that this will not be an issue.  It is not forever, and teachers here will be looking at filling any gaps when students return.  It will not be a problem long term.  There was an uplifting article in the weekend papers about a lady from Bosnia who missed 4 years schooling due to the war situation there.  She caught up to the extent that she now has a university degree.  Your children will be fine.

 Teaching From Home (Reprise + a bit)
Here are some survival tips for parents who are now going to be home schooling their children.

  • First and foremost – don’t stress! Home is not going to be able to replicate a classroom and you shouldn’t expect it to.  All you can do is the best that you can and try to make it enjoyable for your children.
  • Find a well-lit place for your children to work, preferably a spot where they can leave their gear.
  • Try to follow a normal routine – get up at the normal time, eat breakfast and start work as per normal. Have breaks at the usual times.  Having a routine will be essential as we expect to be doing this for all of term 2.  It may be that work is finished very quickly.  That is OK.  It would be a good idea to have activities such as jigsaws on hand.
  • As well as the regular school work, cooking is a great activity. Children have to read a recipe and have to measure ingredients.  Reading and maths and it’s fun.  Helping with the cleaning up is important too.
  • Starting a vegie garden can be a good release, and your children can watch their seedlings grow and then get to eat the results.
  • Be prepared to be flexible – if something isn’t working, take a break – go for a walk, give the kids a break and come back to it later. It is not worth getting stressed and having your children stressed, so it is important to work together rather than in opposition.
  • Recognise that the COVIP-19 situation itself may be impacting on how your children are feeling. The reporting of the situation in Europe and the US is horrific and can affect our children.  It may pay to have a news free zone every now and again.

As I said last week, this will finally end.  Just when, we don’t know but Australia doesn’t want to have the virus as severely as some other countries, and so far we haven’t.

I wish all of our wonderful students a happy and safe holiday and a wonderful Easter.  We will have a different form of schooling next term and hopefully be all back together in Term 3.

Brian Simpson