Glenealy School Newsletter

19th March 2020

Message from Chris

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Another week has gone very quickly within our Glenealy community. We know that many of our nearly 40% of parents and children who were around the world in other countries, have returned or are making their way back to Hong Kong. If you are travelling, we wish each of you a safe journey. The fast changing circumstances are producing challenges of different types for many of our families, and we wish all of you and your family's good health and best wishes for the coming week.

Return to School Planning

Whilst our current official date for return of students is April 20th, we await further confirmation and announcements from the government as to whether this will be again pushed back.

Irrespective of the date that we do finally resume school, I want to reassure parents that we are busy creating detailed plans for children’s safe return. These plans will cover the many questions parents may have about how we are going to minimise risk and keep our community healthy. This planning process is ongoing and we are undertaking this in close liaison with our facilities team at ESF Centre. We will write to you in the coming weeks about important aspects of these including travel declarations, temperature checks, health measures, cleaning, hygiene and a number of other aspects.

Parent Survey

Thank you to all the parents who completed the second Parent Survey this week. We really appreciate the time you took to complete and comment on the survey. All of the comments, suggestions and positive feedback is well noted and will help inform our continued development of our approaches to home learning.

A summary of the feedback:

  • 95% of parents feel the level of learning is challenging enough, or very challenging

  • 95% of parents think their child is making progress, or lots of progress

  • 97% of parents feel the communication from teachers has been fine, or very good

  • 97% of parents find our ‘live’ face to face sessions, valuable or highly valuable

  • 97% of parents feel the teacher is available to support learning if needed

  • 97% of parents find valuable, or highly valuable, the independent learning resources we provide.

  • 64% of parents think we have the right balance of offline and online learning; with 29% responding there is too much online learning, and 7% responded that there is too much offline learning.

  • 78% of parents responded that we have the right quantity of learning. Note that about 10% think there is too much and 12% think there is too little.

  • Regarding well being, 97% of parents responded that their child was ‘ok’, ‘happy’ or ‘very happy’. Just 3% of parents responded that their child was feeling down.

We have compared parent data in this survey, with our previous survey, sent 4 weeks ago. The feedback from parents is that the developments, including more face to face teaching and better communication of learning tasks, have been received well. The main challenge is ensuring we balance online and offline learning, with many feeling there is too much online. Parents highly value the Zoom sessions, and we will of course continue to offer these and develop them further - this is however by its nature an online experience. As a team we will look into how we can supplement the online learning with a few more offline experiences. We will also look at other ways that we can support students' well being at this difficult time.

We have also compared this with our Student Survey in Years 3-6. Perhaps unsurprisingly, more of the children would like ‘less home learning’ than their parents are requesting; with 30% of students responding there is ‘too much’. More significantly, although the questions were not identical, there is a discrepancy between student responses to a well being question and the parent data. For example; around 20% of students felt ‘unhappy’ or ‘very unhappy’ working from home. When we looked at the student comments, most of this unhappiness revolved around children missing their friends. This underlines the importance of the face to face connection with our children and our need to continue to do what we can to improve well being for our children.

With children spending more time at home with family and carers it is clearly important that we are all doing what we can to support their and our own well being. To help this there are some very good ideas in the following readings and resources:

Link 1 (Supporting well being in the GS community during COVID-19)

Link 2 (Supporting Children from the CDT)

As always at Glenealy, we will be looking into all of the data in detail, including your valuable comments, and using it to help inform and improve what we do. Thank you once again for completing the survey.

With the fast paced and ever changing situation around the world, I wish you and your families a safe week. As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team.

Best Regards,