Dear parents and carers,
Congratulations to everyone for managing so well in such challenging circumstances. I know parents’ endurance and patience is being tested by the remote learning, amongst other pressures at this time. Teachers are really appreciative of parents’ efforts and they’re a little concerned that some parents are feeling overwhelmed by the need for children to complete everything to a high standard, while parents are trying to do their own work. We want to reassure parents that children’s best is all we ask and we encourage parents to make reasonable judgements around expectations. Please try and relax a little as we move into this way of learning. Teachers do have high expectations but right now we are in transition mode. They are also needing to step back their own expectations of what they can reasonably manage as well, if we are all to get a positive outcome from this experience. There is a great variety of circumstances amongst parents and also staff, so I reiterate the need for patience, understanding, flexibility and kindness.
I also know our teachers are being challenged with teaching differently and missing the personal contact and I feel really proud of them and the quality of the remote learning already being delivered. I know this is not happening without much additional time, effort and emotional energy, some of which should be being spent on their own families. For many of them, it’s a real juggling act and I’m extremely grateful to them and hope that things will settle into a more manageable workload soon. There is also a sense of enthusiasm and optimism resulting from the steep learning curve which is wonderful to see (via our online video meetings!). I have been really appreciative of the parents who have taken the time to thank the teachers in writing at a time when there is so much else pulling and tugging at your time. The goodwill, collaboration and respect for all the various roles being undertaken currently in our community is absolutely heart-warming and I am particularly thankful to our essential services and health care workers amongst our community whose role is just so important in fighting COVID-19.
At the end of this week teachers will send out a brief feedback survey for parents to complete so we can review how the remote learning is working and what adjustments might be helpful in making this work as well as possible for everyone.
While most feedback from parents is telling us that the amount of work is on the mark, there will be some children who need additional or different learning activities, so I thought I’d include the ABC resources as a supplement to the teaching program. Please see the link below to the new ABC ME website which has educational programs being launched to support remote learning. https://www.abc.net.au/abcme/term-2-education-on-abc/12110236
In addition, for those parents keen to provide further opportunities for children’s learning they may wish to investigate the teaching resources on the Learning from Home page on FUSE which includes a set of 15 self-directed learning activities to sit alongside programs on next week’s ABC Me schedule (the programs will also be available beyond next week on iView). The resources are designed for primary school students, and include activities for English, Mathematics, Science and Geography. These activities provide another learning from home option for teachers, including to support students with limited internet access. The activities are available here: https://fuse.education.vic.gov.au/?NR4RW4
If any children require another device because they are needing to share within a family and this is causing angst, I encourage parents to email the school so we can organise a loan device
Mr Wink has put skipping ropes on the front veranda for children to borrow as an additional fitness activity that can easily be done and is especially good if space is a challenge. These can be collected any time as long as you observe social distancing if are come at the same time to collect.
Just a reminder that children should be collecting photos, videos, art work and writing about their time at home during this period in history and remember to have children record their feelings in writing or on video so that when we return, we can collect material to create a lasting legacy of this time in the form of a book, a film and a mural/artwork. This is an ongoing project for our children and I hope for history’s sake they will all contribute.
I will send out a bulletin on a needs basis while we are working remotely as I’m mindful of the pressure on so many parents’ time.
Just a reminder, if you have the Seesaw Family app, you can go into your settings and change how often you get notifications.
Finally, we have some very generous parents who have offered to assist families in need with various supports and this may be organised anonymously if preferred, so please reach out to any staff, school leadership or other CSPS parents who you may wish to act on your behalf to organise some assistance. People do just want to help one another so please let them if there is a need.
We all wish everyone the very best during this challenging time.
Gayle, Bianca and CSPS staff