Hāwera Primary School
LEARNING FROM HOME ADDITION - 15 APRIL 2020
Whaia te Matauranga-
Hāwera Primary is a caring community of lifelong learners who strive ever and always for higher and better things.
Location: 261 South Road, Hawera, New Zealand
Phone: 06 2787709
From the Principal
Kia ora koutou
Our daily lives look very different right now as we self-isolate to break the COVID-19 infection chain. We have started a new phase of New Zealand’s response to this global pandemic and it is unlike anything most of us have ever experienced. The closure of schools is likely to continue for a number of weeks so we must embrace this new way of living and learning as best we can
Firstly, I want to reassure you that our school staff and Board of Trustees will continue to be available to support your child’s learning and well-being in the coming weeks.
Therefore we have dedicated this newsletter to explaining what you can expect to receive from us as well as all the important information, tips and ideas of how best to support your child's learning while they are away from school.
As you are aware, we have just completed our school holidays (Monday 30th March until Tuesday 14th April) which were brought forward as a result of the COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown.
Hawera Primary's Remote Learning Programme officially BEGINS on WEDNESDAY 15th APRIL.
From then on classroom teachers will be available to answer questions and provide feedback about home learning on Monday-Thursday from 11am-1pm.
The teachers and myself have been busy working from home preparing our remote learning platform via Seesaw and our school website. They have also been contacting each family to share the essential information about getting set-up and also checking in on how your child is doing. So far we have had a reasonable response but we would really like to hear from everyone so if you missed your chat this week please get in touch as your contact details may need updating.
We have spent a lot of time reading and researching in preparation for this launch. Summaries of the most important information including tips and a suggested weekly schedule are included below. We have deliberately set up our platform so there are lots of choices and optional extras on the task boards/slides. There is plenty to do on there so we are happy for you to prioritise the learning tasks that you consider to be the most important. All we ask is that you try to achieve a balance as much as possible. The class teachers can also assist you with making these decisions if required.
Importantly, we highly recommend establishing a routine and maintaining this throughout the coming weeks. Having a routine will help keep our students engaged and reassured because routines will provide a sense of structure for them during this uncertain time. Our expectation is that you aim to complete a few tasks each day that build routines that the students themselves can manage independently. We have tried to keep it simple; not overly complicated by selecting learning opportunities that are creative and based on the experience of being in the home.That being said.........
THE NUMBER ONE GOAL OF SCHOOLING CURRENTLY IS TO NURTURE WELL-BEING!
One of the best things we can do is to tune into the simple things that make us feel good like spending time with our loved ones. We know the value of strong relationships for successful learning and teaching, this is an opportunity to help our families nurture productive and supportive relationships in the home. That's why we have set challenges that are fun and engaging; actively involve parents, facilitate cooperation and foster quality relationships. As a family, another great way to look after your mental health and well-being is to be curious and try things together, by 'playing' alongside our kids, rather than feeling the need to teach. The most important thing right now is to enjoy being together.
Please do not let home learning become a source of stress. If it does get tense take a break, step back and consider contacting your child's teacher for assistance or advice. Remember this should be a happy time that evokes positive memories of sharing your child's learning journey in times to come.How they felt will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during these weeks is gone. Keep that in mind, every single day.
YOUR CHILD'S MENTAL HEALTH AND SELF-ESTEEM IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THEIR ACADEMIC SKILLS RIGHT NOW!
We may be in isolation, but we're not isolated-reach out if you need any help. Remember we are strongest when we look after ourselves and others-there are lots of ways we can stay connected while being kind and having fun at home.
Enjoy your special whanau time, together we WILL get through this!
'Ma te huruhuru ka rere te manu-Adorn the bird with feathers so it can fly!'
Ngā mihi nui
Here are This week's learning from home activities...
Sample Daily Schedule
ESSENTIAL TASKS FOR PARENTS/CAREGIVERS TO DO RIGHT NOW!!!!
- Please download the 'SEESAW CLASS' app on the device your child will be working on (it cannot be a mobile phone) so they can access your child's learning from home.
- Make sure your child is logged into 'Seesaw Class' via their own code at home (teachers will send these out if you haven't already received them)
Ideally this will be done before Wednesday 15th April when our remote learning starts.
Home learning handy hints/ things to consider
Consistency and routine:
Research shows that humans love routine (even if we also sometimes need a break from them!). As teachers and parents we need to think about how we can develop a consistent routine for weekdays, allowing time for meals, physical activity and free time (See handy tips/info slide for a sample day/time schedule).
A student’s memory can only take so much new information at one time. This means that learning is most effective when it is organised into small chunks that build on each other sequentially. Furthermore, practising skills or learning new content is most effective when it is spaced out over time and revisited on a regular basis rather than crammed into a single session. Rather than trying to do everything, identify the learning that you most value first (e.g. reading for at least 10 mins daily)
Wellbeing is of central importance
It is important to think about how to support students’ wellbeing. Wellbeing, emotions and learning are all interconnected.
Play is important for people at all ages, but particularly for children. Providing opportunities each day for play and encouraging children to engage in a range of different play activities is vitally important and enormously beneficial.
Most important of all, in times of uncertainty when anxiety and stress levels are running high, demonstrating care to each other and acting with compassion is essential.
Similarly, social connection – engaging with family members or friends (via technology while under lockdown) – and physical activity are closely connected to enhanced wellbeing (e.g. click here for free Jump Jam: aerobics routines for kids)
Talking with your child is one of the most important things you can do to support their learning! Language helps build children’s brains and gives them the means to think and develop ideas and express themselves.
Just talk! Every moment is a potential talking moment. Talk with your children about what you are doing, what you see, what you notice about them or what they are doing, where you are going.
Validate and expand on what children say using new words and phrases to expand and extend upon their ideas. Adding more information can be a natural part of the back and forth of a conversation, and shouldn’t interrupt the flow of conversation.
Be available, engaged and responsive to your child. Read to them, have them read to you, or join in and play.Use conversations to build up your child’s vocabulary by using rich and varied vocabulary in play.
Make more comments and ask fewer questions when talking with your child, as too many questions can make children feel as if they are being tested, while comments offer children more vocabulary, sentence structures and knowledge.
Engage children in cognitively challenging conversations such as sharing opinions and ideas in pretend play, analysing experiences and different ways of doing an activity or solving a problem, and theorising about how things work. Give children information when they need it, but avoid too much ‘telling’ as children are likely to become passive, bored and disinterested.
Ask questions at both low level and higher levels. Lower level questions (‘do you know what this is?’), descriptions (‘what do these look like to you?’) and recall (‘what do these remind you of?’). High level questions encourage explaining, imagining, interpreting, predicting, and forming opinions. These are generally open questions such as: ‘What do you think would happen if…?’ or ‘How could we end the story differently?’ Ask children to investigate how and why things work. Encourage them to find out more about things that interest them.
Some great advice! Please take the time to watch this....
Check out his Facebook page or the 'Remote Learning' tab on our school website for some more of his excellent words of wisdom.
making home learning and working totally doable
Here’s our best tips on how to ‘combo’ this new work, school and home balance.
- Kōrero with the kids: You may have already done this, but make sure your kids are aware of the situation – that there’s a need to stay home but we still have to get school and work done. From here sort your plan on how you might support each other with this.
- Use our planner to make a sketchy guide: Schedule in the times your family will be together doing school things, and have a really good think about when you may schedule work things – early mornings can be a terrific time for emails or work requiring more concentration.
- Make it clear that you’re attempting a work, school and home balance! Let your colleagues and clients know your situation, e.g. "I’m working from home, please bear with me as I also have two children learning from home and a persistent cat who likes to sit on my keyboard." This ‘realness’ and ‘honesty’ really helps everyone be able to be 'real' and honest too. Adapt your work schedule slowly as you adjust to the new circumstances – but during home learning time, put the phone and laptop away. Make this consistent, even for just a few hours a day.
- Set your kids up! Encourage your children's independence in this by ensuring they have a space to do the learning set by their teacher, and can access the things they need. Also set up a healthy snack box or ‘place’ each day so that they can grab food when they need it. Much like you (or they) would make their lunch each day.
- Watch your work hours… It’s easy to do extra when working from home. Stick to your regular hours – in fact stick to your regular routines for your kids (same bed and waking times as school), and for you. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep too.
- Get outside everyday! Nature is good for us – even stepping out in the fresh air in our backyards and gardens can make a difference. And we can still go for walks around the block too.
- Connect everyday with someone you really, really enjoy! Stay connected by phone or online with mates and whānau outside your home. It can be good to let off steam with others! Make sure your kids are connecting with their mates in the same way too.
- Look after your wellbeing: And we have plenty of tips on this. Head here for them!
- Create some new family traditions: This is a great time to think about some new positive family habits or traditions you want to adopt. These might include: a gratitude round at mealtimes (I’m thankful for … today because…), stories at bedtime or sitting to eat at the table together. As a family, you can choose and start these now
Source: 'Getting Through Together: All Right?' (NZ Mental Health website)
Keeping young people safe online tips
Keeping on line safe
You may want to encourage your parents, caregivers and whānau to discuss internet safety with their children - of all ages. They should agree with their children what they can do online including sites they can visit and appropriate behaviours including:
- reviewing and approving games and apps before they are downloaded
- reviewing privacy settings of sites and applications
- checking children’s profiles and what they are posting online
- check the sites your child is accessing
- reminding children that anything that is posted online will be permanently on the internet
- taking the time to understand what sites they are visiting and who they are talking with and check in regularly
- some social media sites have age restrictions to join, check these before letting your child use them or join them
- monitoring a child’s use of the internet and consider having them use it in an open, common area of the house
- making sure your children know to report any activity they don’t feel comfortable with to parents and caregivers straight away.
- Netsafe continues to be available to provide you and your parent and caregiver community with support for online safety. They have information for parents and caregivers and have pulled together their top tips for online safety during the lockdown. To report an incident To Netsafe - https://www.netsafe.org.nz/reportanincident/
- If you think a child in your care is the victim of online exploitation or abuse, report it to Police - if you or a child are in danger or a crime is being committed, call 111 or visit your nearest Police Station immediately.