By Mr David Elsing (Head of Secondary)
I’m sure you will agree that in the best interests of our children, we offer them the opportunity to continue learning during this pandemic.
However, campus closures may pose a challenge for families. Parents will need to think differently about how to support their children; including how to create structure and routines that allow their children to be successful with their learning. Some students will thrive with home learning and some will struggle. Here are some great tips to ensure home learning is successful.
Top 10 Tips for Home Learning
- Hold a family meeting and establish routines and high expectations with your children from day one. Keep normal bedtime routines. Confidence in your rules is the key to success! Children will struggle after a few days if they have no routine or clear expectations.
- Define the physical space for your child’s study. Ideally, this should be a quiet, public/family space and not in a child’s bedroom. Above all, a space where parents or guardians are present and supervising their child’s learning when feasible.
- Monitor communications from your child’s teachers via email. During campus closures MCC teachers will still be working delivering lesson material via online school platforms. Have your children explain to you the software platforms that teachers are using (Google Classroom etc.). Teachers will be monitoring for notable periods of absence from online activities.
- Begin and end each day with a check-in. Ask: What are your plans for the day? What are your learning goals? How will you spend your time? What resources do you require? A conversation that clarifies goals will be important for students no matter their age.
- Take an active role in helping your children process their own learning. Schools are social places where learning is discussed and debriefed often. Your children will crave this interaction. Regularly circle back and engage with your children about what they are learning.
- Encourage physical activity and/or exercise. Movement and exercise are vitally important to health, wellbeing and to their learning. PE Teachers will recommend activities or exercises. Think about how your children can pitch in more around the house with chores. Don’t let your children off the hook – expect them to be productive with their time.
- Remain mindful of your child’s stress or worry. Help your child manage the anxiety and range of emotions they may be experiencing. They will be out of sorts, whether they admit it or not, and will need all the attention and support that parents can provide.
- Monitor how much time your child is spending online. We do not expect 6 hours of screen time a day. We hope that class work can be spread out with regular breaks and screen time limited to the recommended 2 hours a day. https://austparents.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/screentime.pdf
- Set rules around gaming* and social media. Campus closing is exciting, but this will fade when students start missing their friends and teachers. Help your children maintain contact with friends when circumstances permit. Social media like SnapChat, TikTok and Instagram are not school-sanctioned applications so please monitor your children’s use of these platforms. Remind your children to be polite, respectful and appropriate in their communications.
*Avoid allowing your children to be computer gaming for hours on end. Gaming is addictive and can captivate a child’s attention for hours, draining their empathy and enthusiasm for real-life experiences. https://gamequitters.com/video-game-addiction/
- Prepare now to ensure your child can access their email and online platforms during a closure (Student Café, Google Classroom, etc.) ICT support can be arranged through the College Reception, 92952688.
Suggested Day Plan
A typical day of school lessons can be worked through in a shorter time frame in a home learning context. Scheduling your children’s access to schoolwork early in the morning while they are most alert will be helpful. Allow children to help create a study timetable that suits your family’s unique needs, having a voice in the process will help them commit. You may find that a 9:00 am – 12:00 pm home learning day will be all that is required. ATAR students should expect to study an equivalent of an entire school day.
Students can access all their online platforms through Student Café:
Students have a ‘single sign-on’ across many platforms (Student Café, Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom, Education Perfect, Pearson Textbooks, etc.) and teachers provide links & codes to all platforms through Student Café class homepages.
Please prepare now and ensure your children have access to all their login details.
Parents can also see student assessments tasks and due dates through Parent Lounge – under ‘Curricula Activities’
If you need to obtain login details for Parent Lounge, please contact Tess O’Connor through the College reception – 92952688.
Wi-Fi @ Home
Home Wi-Fi will be required to access online learning. If this is not possible, we encourage you to make arrangements for your children to study at a relative’s or a friend’s house who does have Wi-Fi available. Other options may include libraries and locations where free Wi-Fi is available. Be careful of potential data costs if using 3G or 4G mobile phone networks.
School ICT Technical help may be limited but can be arranged through College reception:
If ATAR students need to complete a timed assessment task at home, parents or responsible adults will need to sign a declaration form that confirms that students followed test conditions and that the work is their own. These will be sent from teachers to parent emails as required.
If Your Children Become Sick
If students become sick at home, please make teachers aware so they can apply extensions and special provisions for assessments to support your child.
Students on a Curriculum Access Plan (CAP) or Individual Education Plan (IEP)
If your child is on a CAP or IEP, please liaise with Mrs. Mandy Corkill about any special considerations you identify with home learning
Communication with the College
If possible, the College will endeavour to maintain a skeleton staff on each site comprising College Leadership, Administration and Reception staff. Contact will be maintained through our phone lines on 08 92952688 or firstname.lastname@example.org during office hours.
We thank you in advance for your commitment to working with us in what will be a challenging time. Modelling resilience and a calm spirit will be crucial for our students to succeed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.