All posts by Ian Morrison

Stay safe on-line

N4L (Network for Learning) has launched a free DNS filter that parents can apply to a child’s device while they’re learning from home. The N4L safety filter blocks access to a range of websites known to be unsafe and inappropriate for learning. These include adult websites, as well as those known to host unsafe software, such as malware and phishing scams.
 
This is entirely optional and parents can apply this in conjunction with Microsoft Family, Google Family Link and Apple Family Screen Time to keep their children safe during their online learning journey.
 
All instructions and FAQs can be found at https://switchonsafety.co.nz/

This month on SchoolTV – Happiness & Gratitude

While we adjust to life during lock-down it is even more important for us to continue to support each other. I am sure many of us are reflecting on our lives now we have a bit more time and space for what was an indulgence but should be a daily habit.

I trust you find this update valuable:

Happiness is a term that captures a huge variety of positive emotions such as humour, serenity, optimism, joy, pride, inspiration, love and hope. Happiness means different things, to different people and is essential to your understanding of emotional literacy. Throughout history, philosophers, religious writers and poets have pondered on the meaning of happiness and how it might be achieved. In the last few decades, scientists and psychologists have researched this further by studying a field of science called positive psychology.

The result of this research suggests there is a strong correlation between gratitude and greater happiness. Practising gratitude helps you shift your focus to positive memories or experiences, noticing the good in your life. Over time, this will re-wire your brain to create new neural pathways, increasing your state of happiness and overall wellbeing.

In this edition of SchoolTV, parents and care-givers will learn how to achieve happiness and the benefits of practising gratitude. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this month’s edition, and we always welcome your feedback.

If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the school for further information or seek medical or professional help.

Here is the link to this month’s edition https://mhjc.nz.schooltv.me/newsletter/happiness-gratitude

 

Key dates – changes owing to lock-down

Key dates reminder

26 March            Alert Level 4 commenced
28 March            School holidays begin
10 – 14 April      Easter including the Tuesday after Easter
15 April               Term 2 begins (through distance learning)
22 April               Current date for ending of lockdown period
27 April               ANZAC Day observed

Advice for “homeschooling”

Kia ora parents and caregivers

 

I am sure you have been reading a lot of advice from various sources about distance/on-line or homeschooling. Here is some advice from SchoolTV

 

SPECIAL REPORT: Preparing for Homeschooling

 

Homeschooling could soon be a reality for many adult carers as nations act to implement strategies in the prevention of COVID-19. The daunting task of establishing new routines and schedules, whilst juggling work responsibilities, could prove to be disruptive and challenging for families and schools.

 

Some young people will transition seamlessly, whilst others may struggle. Therefore it will be vitally important for parents to be vigilant in looking for signs of anxiety and depression. Parents will need to continue to be reassuring and supportive in this time of uncertainty and acknowledge that this may be a stressful time for students of all ages.

 

Schools will be working hard behind the scenes to ensure a child’s academic needs are met, but parents will need to play a key role in providing them with the structure and groundwork for success. Young people will be looking towards their parents to keep things in context and help ease the transition to a different learning environment.

 

In this Special Report, parents and caregivers will be provided with some guidelines on how best to navigate this time of transition with minimal disruption. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback.

 

If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the school for further information or seek medical or professional help.

 

Here is the link to your special report https://mhjc.nz.schooltv.me/wellbeing_news/special-report-preparing-homeschooling

 

Update: Tuesday 24 March

Following the Prime Minister announcement yesterday, school is closed for instruction except for children of parents in essential services. If students in this category come to school on Tuesday and Wednesday they will be supervised in the library – please report there at 8.30.
No-one is to be on site from Wednesday midnight.

COVID-19 update 22 March

School is open tomorrow Monday 23 March and for the foreseeable future unless you are officially notified otherwise.
Please note the Prime Minister’s announcement regarding students who should stay at home during “Alert Level 2”. These measures are designed to slow down the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the risk to the safety of those vulnerable. This includes people with underlying medical conditions, such as:
a compromised immune system
liver disease
cancer
kidney disease
heart disease
diabetes mellitus.
Should students fall into this category, please notify the school in the normal manner and every effort will be made to ensure that work is sent to them. Our teachers are equipped to continue the curriculum as best we can in these circumstances.
May I also request that students and parents only visit Reception should this be absolutely necessary while we are in this phase.
 
Kia kaha – Stay strong

Interesting times

I take this opportunity to share some significant actions of our students this past week which show their heart and ability to take action.

To commemorate the anniversary of the tragic events in Christchurch on March 15, each whānau assembled to pay tribute to the victims and their families, the courage of the first responders, the resilience of the hospital staff and to remember the world wide sharing of aroha and awhinatanga. Our message to the students is never to forget the lessons we learnt that day – to respect and celebrate our differences, to condemn hurtful comments or actions and to reach out in times of need. It is amazing how quickly time passes and we should not forget this momentous event.

Under the lead of Mr Gardi and the Enviro Council students have been working hard to save precious taraire trees in Tāne forest. Several have died already as a result of the unusually dry conditions we are experiencing and the school has taken up the challenge with pleasing urgency. This is an active way to promote kaitiakitanga or guardianship of this precious natural resource and complements other initiatives which each whānau has committed to.

Growing greatness – Kia mana ake

Latest from Ministry of Education about COVID-19 (at 13 March 2020)

Kia ora

 You may have seen that the World Health Organisation has now declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic. As noted by the Minister of Health, this doesn’t change what New Zealand is doing to respond to coronavirus.
 
The Ministry of Health has been working through its pandemic plan since January. You will also know the Government has already implemented a range of measures to minimise the impacts to New Zealand. This includes border restrictions, a requirement to self-isolate on arrival in New Zealand from China, Iran, Italy and the Republic of Korea and immediate and detailed contact tracing of any confirmed cases. It is important to note those four countries account for more than 90% of cases globally and China and the Republic of Korea have significantly declining numbers of new cases.
 
We have 5 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand and it is pleasing to know they are all doing well and are at home.  Their children, four students at Auckland schools, continue to be well and show no symptoms. While we expect that more cases will arise, the Ministry of Health says that with continued vigilance the chance of widespread community outbreak is expected to remain low in New Zealand. We all have a role to play in this.
 
Schools have been advised to develop their  pandemic plan so it will be ready to be implemented if needed. In the mean time we need to continue to focus on good hygiene practices. Hand washing and good cough etiquette are very important tools in preventing the spread of illness including colds, flu and COVID-19.
 
With that, there is a good video clip from Nanogirl that will help your children to better understand the virus – YouTube clip – Nanogirl
 
You may have also seen the Prime Minister sat down with Dr Michelle Dickinson (aka Nanogirl) and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Juliet Gerrard, to talk about coronavirus: One other action we can all take is to be vigilant about our own health and the health of our children. Staff are encouraged to stay away from school if they are showing signs of illness such as coughs and colds.  Please do the same with your children. Colds and flus are common in schools and by staying away, seeking medical attention and practicing good hygiene, we can all keep any spread of illness to a minimum.
 
Ngā mihi

SchoolTV SPECIAL REPORT: Coronavirus – a guide for parents


Our new platform to support parents contains the following advice:


Coronavirus is an evolving international health concern. Around the world, people are being affected in many ways. Individuals of all ages from numerous nationalities are being diagnosed with the virus –– it doesn’t discriminate. Although children are considered at lower risk of infection, they are not immune to the multitude of news reports regularly seen or heard in the media.

This epidemic is a cause for great concern to parents, but it is also very worrying to young people. Many are wondering how best to discuss this epidemic in a way that will be reassuring to kids without making them feel more worried than what they may be already. Parents should not avoid such a discussion with their kids. Not talking about something can often make them worry more.

Although most children will have already heard about the coronavirus, it is important for parents and care-givers to take this opportunity to convey the facts about it and set the emotional tone. This may help kids feel more informed and reassured. Involving them and encouraging self-efficacy can also give them a sense of control and purpose.

In this Special Report, parents and caregivers will be provided with some guidelines on how best to approach this topic whilst still ensuring the wellbeing of their child. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback.

If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or seek medical or professional help.

Here is the link to your special report https://mhjc.nz.schooltv.me/wellbeing_news/special-report-coronavirus