Covid-19 Alert Level 3
Thank you so much to those families who sent us feedback regarding Remote Learning. We had 179 respondents to the survey sent out by the school last week. We have also received feedback from staff regarding Remote Learning. As we move into COVID-19 Alert Level 3, we have a number of changes to our Remote Learning Programme at Glenfield College. These changes have all arisen from comments/suggestions made by staff, students and their parents.
The timetable as suggested was only ever meant to be a guideline for those students who prefer to stick to a routine. It was never intended that the 25-minute lesson would replace the 55-minute school lessons, and therefore carry as much content as a full and regular class at school. School finished early to allow independent work after the school day, but it would seem that a number of students and their parents felt that work had to all be completed in the 25-minute slot.
This has proved to be both stressful and a problem for these students and families so we have made the following changes to our timetable:
1) We are lengthening lessons. The timetable will now resemble our school timetable more closely, with 40 minute scheduled lesson times and the following lesson starting 20 minutes later. This gives students time to either complete some of the work generated by the lesson or to relax and get organised for the next period.
In order to not make the day too long, we have removed Period 5 from each day. Our calculations show that by increasing the length of lessons (and removing Period 5) we do get more time per subject per week than when they were all 25 minutes long.
Students, especially Seniors, might still be expected to complete tasks after the school day, ie after 1.30 pm.
2) Form periods have been moved to 1.10 pm on a Wednesday as some students were struggling to make these meetings. For the school day, we are sticking with a 9 am start but please see the next point regarding video sessions.
3) Video sessions: It was apparent that some students were struggling with a number of video sessions per day – some up to as many as five per day. According to the parents and students, there are often struggles to get online in time and to get sufficiently organised to experience the full value of the video sessions.
The students who responded, and their parents too, really valued these video sessions but there have clearly been issues relating to times of video sessions and adequate warning that a particular lesson would include a video session. Therefore, we are saying that video sessions can only occur in a Period 2 or Period 4 on any day. Teachers are not obliged to provide video lessons, but if they do, they can only be in a Period 2 or 4.
Students will be warned well ahead of time that a lesson will be conducted via video.
The school timetable will adhere to for these video sessions as there have been students under unnecessary stress when they have been forced to choose which video session they attend.
4) Submission times for work – At least 48 hours will be allowed for work to be submitted. There has been a great deal of stress generated by students meeting (or not meeting) deadlines.
April 29th is Day 3 on the Glenfield College timetable and it is recommended that students follow the school schedule as indicated in the chart below. Students are able to access their school timetables from the portal, either via their Kamar app, or the portal website here.
This schedule includes four lessons a day, as well as important breaks for interval, lunch and exercise. Lessons will be posted on Google Classroom for each subject, usually sufficient content for a week per subject, and students will be expected to access this work at the times indicated.
On occasion, teachers might wish to hold a video conference with their class to explain new material or to solve problems with the content, on a platform such as Google Meet. These will be during periods 2 and 4 only. Following the timetable avoids confusion where a student could have otherwise had clashing video conferences scheduled.
Although we agree that learning this way might not be as effective as being in a classroom, with a great degree of routine, formality and expectations, remote learning can be improved, particularly when support at home is offered.
As a school, we appreciate that each family operates under different circumstances with regard to access to IT equipment. In some cases, parents might be working from home with multiple children using the family’s IT resources, creating competition for the same equipment.
Situations might arise where a student is unable to complete their work at the set time, as per the recommended timetable, and while we understand this, we ask you, the parents/caregivers, to support your child in completing their work at a time which suits your family needs.
What can parents/caregivers do?
- Where possible, create a workspace where your son/daughter can settle down to their classes for the day.
- It is recommended you follow a structured day (as of 29th April) using the timetable – see below.
- Contact staff – teaching staff or the relevant dean for advice or help with your son/daughter maintaining a learning programme.
- Talk to your child – open dialogue about their learning, show an interest. You are not expected to be an expert in the subject matter.
What can students do?
- Ensure you are up to date with all the material posted on Google Classroom by each of their teachers at the end of the last term – all tasks should be completed and submitted before the 15th – Senior students might well have had “holiday tasks” which need to be completed now.
- Keep up with your emails – Email will be the most efficient means of communicating with teachers and as most of you will have a minimum of five subjects you could become overwhelmed if you do not respond to your emails in a timely and organised manner.
- Contact staff when you do not understand the work, we can no longer rely on general questions or quizzical facial expressions to ascertain understanding, so you need to take responsibility for ensuring you understand the work. In many cases, you will be able to get further explanations of problems on the internet and on platforms such as YouTube, Khan Academy etc. As you are aware, it often helps to get another perspective on some learning.
Following is information focused on wellbeing and supporting a child’s learning at home for parents, caregivers and whānau.
The Ministry of Health’s website includes Top ways to look after your mental wellbeing during the Covid-19 lockdown.
https://www.iamhope.org.nz/ – I AM HOPE is the youth and community focused support group run by The Key to Life Charitable Trust, started by Mike King.
https://www.facebook.com/nathanwallisxfactoreducation/ – Nathan Wallis has some helpful videos on his Facebook page for parents and whanau
https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/get-help/covid-19/ – tips on looking after mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19 from the Mental Health foundation
https://depression.org.nz/covid-19/ – a website by the Health Promotion Agency to help New Zealanders recognise and understand depression and anxiety. `
25 Mental Health Wellness Tips during Quarantine from Eileen M Feliciano, Psy.D. – although overseas-based this is a good list and highlights some things particularly important for children. Remember the rules of New Zealand’s level 4 lockdown still apply
The websites below will give both parents/caregivers and students advice and assistance with the stresses created by this unusual state in which we are now living.