Welcome to week 2 of Term 2, remote learning style. Similar to what I said last week, our community has adjusted to this very well. Attendance in classes has been outstanding.
Tomorrow is ANZAC Day. Anzac Day is one of the most solemn days on Australia’s calendar, with tens of thousands traditionally attending dawn services or marches. Due to coronavirus restrictions, Australia’s Anzac Day services have all been called off this year. I am encouraging the FHC community to head outside and “Light up the Dawn” with mini-services in their driveways, at their front gates or on their verandahs. I would also like you to take some images of you and your family doing this and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can make a collage of our community marking this important day.
Whilst we are thrilled with how everyone has taken to remote learning, some students are still experiencing some challenges and we feel we have moved to address a number of those challenges throughout this week.
Video and Audio interaction has been something we have restricted, however, following feedback from Students, Parents and Staff, we feel a move to allow video conferencing and audio interactions will enhance what we have been doing. Our position is that we are supportive of a move to use video and audio delivery. Any video or audio component of a lesson should concentrate on the Formative (AS learning) assessment taking place during a lesson. We have asked teachers to be taking note of common questions, misconceptions or gaps during the learning and deliver some video/ audio conferencing of around 20 minutes after students have received initial instructions through Teams, accessed the learning task for the day and uncovered some challenges they cannot work their way through independently that would then be addressed via video or audio to the whole or smaller groups.
We are aware that remote learning is onerous on everyone. Students and staff are spending a lot of time online and on screens. I know you are all suffering quickly from screen fatigue and a lack of connection with friends. At this stage, given current restrictions, access to friends is largely online. The combination of both learning and socialising online means to much time spent on computers.
It has been decided that commencing week 3, no classes will run on every second Friday. That means in week 3 (May 1), week 5 ( May 15) ,week 7 ( May 29), week 9 (June 12) and week 11 (June 26) assuming we are still conducting remote learning, wed will not deliver any classes. On those days staff can develop online curriculum resources, assess student work or just have a break. I hope this also enables students to catch up on work if they have been struggling to keep pace, or to get away from their devices. I would encourage families to use these 5 days as a way to get all children away from computer screens. The school will still provide access for onsite supervision on these days if you have a child that fits the criteria of eligibility for onsite supervision.
Stay safe, stay strong and stay well