Glenealy School Newsletter

5th March 2020

Message from Chris

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

With the continued spread of the coronavirus to countries around the world this week, we would like to take this opportunity to wish all our families well. I also want to extend my sincere thanks to you all for your continued support for the school during this time. We truly are the ‘small school with the big heart’ and our community, however dispersed we may be, are connecting in record numbers with the school and children’s learning. It has been wonderful to see the work that has been completed by children here in Hong Kong and around the world this week, and it has been great to hear from your children and yourselves, as we complete our fifth week of distance learning.

We have spent the past weeks continually refining and improving our home learning, and will continue to do so.

I particularly want to thank our Year 1 and 2 families who have taken the time to sign up to our Seesaw accounts. We have had no less than 1,400 posts on our Year 1 and 2 children’s journals in the past 8 days. The children’s enthusiasm for sharing their learning is wonderful to see! We hope that parents and children are enjoying the ease with which they can share learning through this platform. The teaching team have responded to the children’s learning with hundreds of feedback comments (many of which have been further responded to by children!) and it has been great to see the children making such great progress with their learning during this period of class suspension. If you are in Year 1 and 2and haven’t signed up to Seesaw yet, please do so through the links in the teacher's daily emails.

I also want to thank our families in our older year groups for your continued encouragement and support provided at home. We know that this is a difficult time. Motivating children to learn, at any age, when they are in the home environment is no easy task. We have increased our messaging around our expectations for our older children to ensure they engage more regularly and put their best effort forward with their learning. This has had positive results. For example, we are seeing 90% of our year 6 children engaged in the home learning each day, and the blend of large and smaller group connections, alongside the independent learning tasks is ensuring children are engaged and making progress. Next week, Years 4, 5 and 6 will all be using a combination of ‘large group’ and ‘small group’ connection times, alongside providing the independent tasks for children to undertake. The teachers are also spending time assessing the work that has been submitted and they will continue to look for ways to improve feedback over the coming weeks. The Google Classrooms are full of great quality learning, and we have been amazed by the energy and effort that many of our children have put into their independent learning.

We appear to have overcome some of the technology and technical glitches we had earlier in our home learning adventure, and we are pleased that children are becoming more confident and able to access home learning independently. We still have plenty of Chromebooks here in school, ready to loan to families, should you need some additional technology in the home. Just email the school office if you would like to borrow one.

With these, and many other developments having taken place over the past few weeks, we will send another parent survey next week, to gather further feedback on our approach. As ever, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I would like to thank you all for your continued support over the past weeks, and whilst we will not be physically in school until April, it has been great to know that our community are very much engaged - with children keeping up with their learning and sharing the great things they are doing during this challenging time. I sincerely wish you all the very best for the coming week.

Best Regards,