You may have heard that the Lockdown Alert Level 4 has been extended to 11.59, Tuesday 31 August. As such there will be no significant change to the distance learning expectations we have already introduced and which were developed last year.
In summary we have well-established digital tools which can be used at any time at home including Reading Plus, Maths Buddy and Education Perfect. These platforms have been chosen because they promote our vision of personalised learning. Students are able to complete work set at their curriculum level and/or extend themselves when appropriate. Further, teachers have set work for students to complete and they may also have assignments to complete. Subject teachers are connecting by email or google meet and google classroom so there should be no excuse for students not to continue almost seamlessly with their learning.
Learning Advisors or Senior Leaders are checking in at least once a week to make sure students are connected and looking after their wellbeing. We have shared a lot of resources over the years about mindfulness and I also suggest you visit the Pause Breathe Smile website https://pausebreathesmile.nz/ https://pausebreathesmile.nz/. The School News website is another useful resource for these difficult times which can be found on our website https://www.mhjc.school.nz/?s=Wellbeing
We appreciate that many parents are working from home and trying to supervise their children/s’ learning which is a big responsibility. My instructions to teachers is not to have unrealistic expectations. There will be time for students to catch up on our return, hopefully next Wednesday, however it is equally important for students to keep to routines. Most students can work independently and make significant progress during this time. Many reported that, in some ways, they preferred distance learning as they could focus on work that needed to be done in “their time” which gave them more control over their learning. This was a positive outcome from a difficult situation.
Schools are social organisations so we will miss the students and they will miss each other (and maybe their teachers!). However let me urge you to keep track of your child/ren. They may need to go outside but Level 4 restrictions do not allow them to go to parks or meet their friends. The school is also out of bounds to everyone, including those who used to exercise there. I have had reports that these instructions may not have been followed by some members of our community.
Finally I thank you all for your support and cooperation. I trust all of you remain safe and healthy and we all appreciate those of you who are working tirelessly in our essential services to ensure we are all safe.
Ian Morrison, Principal