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Letter from the Principal

 
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It has been a very different term. This week we have spent five days designing a remote and flexible learning platform. Thank you to all parents who were able to make alternative arrangements for their children this week. It has been really helpful.

I am aware that everyone is wanting more information about what is happening to schooling for Term 2. Decisions about the operation of Tewantin State School will be informed by national and state health advice and by the status of our nation’s response to COVID-19. I will provide updated information on this as soon as I am able.

At this stage school may resume in some capacity on April 20. No matter what, I hope you are ready as we head to our online platform. We will all be learning on the job so be prepared for trial and error for quite a while – go slow, do little bits at a time, talk with other parents, be prepared to get it a little bit wrong. Ask us for help when you need to. 

The Online Learning Package

I will send an email to all families with details for our online learning platform on Friday of Week 2 on the holidays (April 17, 2020). The platform will be available to peruse so you can get use to the look and feel ready for Monday.

Learning at Home Assistance for parents

We recognise this is all new for families. It has all been thrown on us with little warning or preparation. A big adjustment will need to be made in homes and classrooms all over Queensland. Your child’s teacher may also send home information for their Online Learning Platform. As this style of learning unfolds, so will our learning platform. I encourage you to take this opportunity as a way of understanding more about how your child learns and as the platform grows, note how the teacher caters for their particular style of learning.

Oh No! What if it all goes wrong?

 Just stop – that is okay. Just stop. Try again the next day. 

The remote and flexible learning program is provided for parents to maintain continuity with learning and the school. There will be many reasons this is going to be too hard at times. Maybe you have many children to manage at home, you’re still working but choosing to keep your children isolated, not enough internet connection, only one device to share and other reasons. We understand this – many of our staff are in the same position. If you cannot do it, please don’t get into arguments with your child or let it negatively impact your family. Simply do the best you can. Contact your child’s teacher for assistance when you can. 

Your child is not expected to be sitting in front of a screen for 5 hours a day. This will not happen. A number of the activities will be watch, learn and then do.

It is important to us that your child returns to school happy and well, not scarred by learning experiences that were meant to be supportive. If some days are too hard, please just stop and fill the days with;

  • Lego, puzzles, board games and books
  • Outdoor play – making cubbies, gardening, growing veggies, art in the garden, observation of plants and insects
  • Reading – anything and often 
  • Keeping a journal – what did we do today?
  • Numeracy games – we can help you with these
  • Educational TV and media
  • Making and creating 
  • Jokes and laughter
  • Cooking
  • washing, cleaning 
  • Connect – Skype, FaceTime, make a phone call to a friend 

These will keep your child’s brain ticking over until things return to normal. 

Devices 

We encourage all families if you can possibly afford it to ensure you have at least one device in the house your child can use to interact with their learning materials and their teacher. This needs to be an internet enabled laptop, desktop or tablet. There’s never been a more important time to ensure your child has a device – if not of their own, then at least one to share. I hope you have some success with this before the panic buying of these devices starts. Some parents have asked if they can borrow the school’s devices. This won’t be possible. Devices are required for the children of essential services who are attending. 

I would ask two things of you in the coming days and months

  1. Look after yourself and your family’s wellbeing. We don’t know what the future holds but together we will be up to the challenge if we pay attention to our health and wellbeing. Be realistic about what offline/remote/flexible/online learning will be like – it is not the same as face to face teaching.
  2. Look after each other. Across our community, state, country and the world we will need to continue to care for our students and each other. We will all get through the coming weeks together, as a team. Remember to be kind to each other. Listen to the safety and wellbeing advice from our government and act on it for the benefit of all. I don’t have the answers, it is definitely not business as usual and I am aware many of us are anxious. Remember that everyone is just trying to get by. Hopefully, this will all pass and we will be back to life as we knew it soon. 

Thank you and take care, 

Rob

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Last reviewed 08 May 2020
Last updated 08 May 2020