Thank you for the amazing feedback we have received about our Remote Learning Plan. Feedback has been that it is simple to follow and straight forward. We have also had feedback about too many apps, however others have welcomed the variety that we have with Reading Eggs, Wushka, Prodigy etc. They all serve a specific function to support what we are doing with remote learning.
As we have said through all of this, please just do what you can. If something isn't working, leave it and move onto the next task. All good. We are trying to be as flexible as possible. If you only focus on a couple of things a day, reading a story, writing (something about their day) and the Maths lesson, then that is a win. Build from there.
Please reach out if you need any help at all.
Thank you everyone for your patience today. We will get there with the conferencing. An issue we came across was, when using an ipad at home, the pop up for the call (when teachers are calling) doesn't occur, which is why parents were having difficulty answering the call.
We have to schedule the meeting and then join. On your end, you should be able to see your calendar (it is hidden down the bottom). There are two tabs at the bottom of the ipad which will have 'Teams' and 'Assignment' (I think for everyone). There is a little red line - that red line when pressed brings up the other apps within MSTeams, one of them being activity or calendar. When you click on one of these, you will see a schedule meeting and you can join the meeting. Sorry, another step.
Those using MSTeams on a computer or iphone doesn't seem to have any issues (that I know of).
We will get there, this week was about making sure all of this works.
To maintain our class roll records and identify children are engaging in their learning each day, teachers will be monitoring student activity. A short post to MSTeams each morning with the child saying hello or good morning, will mean the teacher sees they are working. We know the 'school day' looks differently in every house, so it doesn't have to be in the morning, whenever during the day. It might even be a post to seesaw, a conference that day etc. As long as teachers see that a child is present in learning, they will be marked as attending school. Should a child be not well enough to participate in learning it is the responsibility of the supervising parent to communicate the child’s absence via an email to the teacher or the school app.
Assessment and Reporting
While we are currently waiting on information regarding the look of the mid-year report, assessment and reporting will continue through our remote learning program. Teachers will be providing regular feedback to work submitted in a timely manner and the level of engagement in the various learning activities provided. The one-on-one conferences will be the most informative way feedback is provided to students each week during remote learning.
I have spoken to many parents who are asking when are we going back to classes. Please know, that the normal 'classes' that we are used to are a while away from coming back. We are working on plans to start increasing attendance throughout this term. We are keen to start small and build.
Week 1 and 2 of this term will remain as we are now. I am imagining in the weeks after that we will be able to start increasing attendance and start getting students back on school site in smaller numbers.
Through the transition back to 'normal', we will still be delivering one mode of teaching which will be remote learning. This is to assist that all students at anytime are receiving the same instruction and learning opportunity.
I note in recent media reports that now the commentary has turned to 'students falling behind'. Please note that this is our job, our profession. We are the experts in the field of education. We will support all students to get back into the routine and structure of school once they start returning. Our job is to fill any gaps, at anytime, for any student. Generally speaking, over the Christmas break students have 6 weeks of no school and for many, no academic 'school type' learning occurs. Students start the year and don't take long to get back into the swing of things. Over this remote learning period, apart from the 2 weeks holidays, all students have been engaging in some form of learning. So, despite what is being reported, I don't imagine there will be significant gaps forming for students.
Please continue to critique studies, expert opinions and commentary at the moment that is being provided via media and social media. Whilst we are all searching for answers at the moment, please know that of any one in the community, teachers are the ones wanting things to go back to normal more than anyone. We also know what is effective within a classroom/school setting to ensure success for every child, and this will remain our centre of focus moving forward and transitioning back to increased attendance.
Please take care.
Enjoy the week ahead.
Religious Education Curriculum
Across the school teachers have worked hard over the Easter stand-down time to prepare units of Inquiry in Religious Education that we hope will engage our students and be relevant in their world today. Many have linked the concept of ‘Change’ as it seems very appropriate right now.
Kindergarten students will be Scripture detectives, learning about the different types of writing within the bible and what life was like in the time of Jesus.
The Year 1/2 students will be exploring people’s responses to change, including their own actions and the concept of ‘covenant’. Through the 3 Worlds of the Text students will examine the story of Noah’s Ark in the Old Testament and the New Covenant in the New Testament.
Students in Year 3/4 will investigate the concept of communities and how communities support each other. They will also look at the Sacraments as a source of nourishment for our faith community. The key Scripture being unpacked this term will be the parable of the Good Samaritan.
Our Year 5/6 students will consider how faith is shared and nurtured in communities and the role of the Holy Spirit in their lives and the world around them. They will identify evidence of the Holy Spirit in Scripture and in the actions of people throughout history. Students will be developing an action plan for growing positivity in our changing world.
Please reach out to your child’s teacher if you are unsure of anything being asked of you in a Religious Education lesson – we are here to help.
Religious Life of St Michael’s School Community
Did you know in the Church calendar we are still in the season of Easter? If you are
setting up a prayer space at home the colour of the cloths would be white and gold. This season is a joyous and yet challenging one where we remember and relive the apostles confusion and wonder at Jesus’ resurrection. How appropriate when we are living in a very changed world today. What a comfort are Jesus’ words to Mary upon her seeing him outside the tomb, “Be not afraid.” It is times like these I am reminded that the Church tells us we are always an ‘Easter People’ – living with the miracle of Jesus’ death and resurrection. How are we facing the challenges before us at the moment? Have you remembered to lean on your God who is with us always?
I encourage you to share with your children’s teachers your prayer spaces at home and to engage daily with the prayer opportunities provided in the home packs.
Special thanks to Mrs Blakey for her beautiful reflection video on Easter. If you have not had a chance to view it yet please take the time to pause and pray with your family: https://drive.google.com/a/cg.catholic.edu.au/file/d/1w-uOy-Mm7eswPye9m7zyF8QEAQaywKk4/view?usp=sharing
Don’t forget there is always daily mass online available at https://www.catholicvoice.org.au/mass-online/. Our own Father Loi is celebrating Mass each Saturday evening and that is being streamed live on the Our Lady of Perpetual Help –North Belconnen Facebook site.
If you haven’t already downloaded the SORA App, we encourage you to do so. It allows students to borrow ebooks and audiobooks from the Catholic Education digital library collection. There is no cost associated with use of this resource.
As a school we are working to create our own online library specifically for our students. It will sit within the SORA app. We will let families know when it is available. In the meantime all students can still borrow ebooks and audio books from the app as usual.
When in the App, it will ask for the school name, please select 'ACEN Member Collection' (this is for various CE schools). If your child logs in from home, student login details are required. Your child's login details are as per the student login used at school. If your child has forgotten their login details please email their classroom teacher.
ACT Library Online Resources
Welcome back to Term 2 everyone!
During this time where students are giving their all in remote learning and parents are working hard from home, please note that support for St Michael’s students and their families is available.
The school counsellor Jess is available during school hours on Wednesdays for counselling support to St Michael’s students and families. Jess is able to provide confidential counselling over email, over the phone, or via teleconferencing software Zoom.
Parents and carers are welcome to email Jess directly email@example.com if they have any questions and/or concerns about their child’s emotional wellbeing.
Remember to take it day by day and be kind to yourself!
Learning to Read…Wushka.
We are using Wushka’s cloud-based levelled reading program in our classrooms and would love you to continue reading with your child at home. The program encourages students to engage with fiction and non-fiction texts on interactive devices. All School Readers are levelled from Level 1 through to Level 31+ and have been developed using decades of educational publishing experience.
Recognising that the best outcomes are achieved when students continue reading at home, your child can use their login details received at school, to complete readers set by their classroom teacher, at home. Visit wushka.com.au to login and start reading!
Week 1 – Cyber Safety for Children
I hope you have all had a restful time over the holidays. I think we can all acknowledge it has been a unusual time in our lives. I wanted to touch base with families this week about cyber safety. I was lucky enough to complete a webinar on this topic last term. I always thought I knew a lot about safety, but when it comes to applying it to your children I really had no idea.
As we move into this online learning world now is the time where your child may be exposed to more tablet, laptop and online time. Downloading apps, setting up passwords and talking to their friends.
I have added an eBook to the wellness tab, to go over with your child. This conversation may have already been had in our household but the dialogue around this can be useful.
- Not sharing passwords
- Not talking to strangers online
- Turning off your locations
- Being able to report any activity that is harmful/hurtful
I hope you and your little ones stay cyber safe during this time.
Video links: https://www.esafety.gov.au/educators/classroom-resources/hectors-world/computer-security (lower primary)
COVID-19 Impact on School Sport
With the ACT Government cancellation of all school excursions and sporting activities from Monday 16 March, in response to the COVID-19 situation, School Sport ACT cancelled all regional and state sporting events for Term 1. With the transition to online learning for all ACT schools for Term 2, SSACT has cancelled all Term 2 and 3 regional and state events. School Sport Australia (SSA) has cancelled all 25 National Championships for 2020.
As a school we understand your disappointment and trust that 2021 will be a year of bigger and better sporting participation and achievement for our students.
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