The NSW Premier announced that, in addition to Greater Sydney, all people in Cessnock, Dungog, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Muswellbrook, Newcastle, Port Stephens and Singleton local government areas (LGAs) must follow stay-at-home orders from 5 pm 5 August until 12:01 am Friday 13 August.
Parents and carers in these LGAs must keep children – across primary and secondary school – at home unless they need to be at school. Schools (including outside of school hours care) are open for any child that needs it.
Early childhood education and care services – including family day care residences and venues – in Greater Sydney may continue to operate.
Parents and carers in the Blacktown, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool and Parramatta LGAs are strongly encouraged to keep their children at home if they are able to do so, in order to limit movement in the community.
How can I help my child at home?
Teachers understand that it is very hard to do remote learning. The main goal is that the children and their parents are calm, happy and not anxious or stressed about school work. The most important thing to remember with home learning is if you have any questions or concerns, please contact the teachers and ask for assistance. This can be done by messaging them on Class Dojo or calling the school.
Teachers will mark your child as present when they see the work your child posts. This shows that they are engaging in some learning. If your child is not submitting work regularly, staff from the school will contact you to check how things are going. If this contact is a phone call, it could be from a "no caller ID" number. A student will be marked absent if no work is submitted and no contact can be made with the family.
If your child is unwell, please message the classroom teacher to advise.
What if I need a hard copy of the work?
An offline copy of the work posted online is available for collection to assist those families. Please note it is not "extra" or different, it is the same.
Each week, a new home learning pack will be ready for collection on Monday morning between 9:30am and 10:30am.
Please ensure that you only come during these times.
Where does my child find their work?
For students in K-2:
Work is uploaded to Class Dojo. Students then return completed work to their portfolio.
For students in 3-6:
Work is uploaded to both Class Dojo and Google Classroom. Students then return completed work to either, depending on the task. For example, completing a literacy activity is typed into a Google Docs document, but a video showing their overarm throw is uploaded to their Class Dojo portfolio.
What happens if my child submits their work late?
There will be no consequences if your child returns their work after the due date. Teachers understand that work might be submitted after school hours, the next day or on the weekend. They will be notified of work submitted and look at it to provide feedback during the school day.
What happens if my child can't do/refuses to do the work?
It is important to recognise that on occasion, your child (and yourself) might feel overwhelmed with home learning.
Allowing some time, or a day, to focus on wellbeing is important. If this continues, please contact your teacher on Class Dojo.
How do teachers communicate with my child about their work?
Teachers will provide feedback for the highlighted tasks using Class Dojo directly, or Google Classroom, which will come as an email to the student’s Department email account.
This feedback will usually identify an area of strength or an area to be developed. You can encourage your child to look at the feedback provided and use it in the next learning activity when it fits. Families with younger students might like to read the feedback provided.
How are teachers reinforcing learning goals through this process?
Learning goals are reinforced through feedback given at the completion of tasks. Teachers are aware of individual strengths and weaknesses and are able to provide personalised feedback in this situation. Parents may also like to refer to their child’s Semester 1 report for their child’s Literacy and Numeracy goals.
Will there be an opportunity for my child to have learning delivered online?
Staff are creating or finding video content to support your child in their learning at home.
Stage 1-3 are also using meetings through Microsoft Teams to check in with children and give them an opportunity to see their classmates. The focus of these meetings is wellbeing. They are also an opportunity for students to ask questions about their work and reflect on their learning. These meetings may clarify some content in the home learning tasks.
Children will not be taught new content during meetings, due to equity, as not all students have access to devices during the meeting times.
Some Stages have also included "Live Kahoots" (an online quiz platform) into schedules to enable students to have fun and compete against one another.
Regular feedback from students will assist teachers in meeting their needs in regard to student interaction and will always be open for consideration, if feasible.
What about having the students work together on some tasks in small groups - is there some advantage to this?
While Teams does have the potential for students to work in small group situations through breakout rooms, it is inequitable to offer lessons to students when everyone is not in attendance, or is not able to access devices at the scheduled times. Content would only be taught to a small handful who are able to attend. Supervising students to ensure they remain on task could also be a challenge. This would also take away teacher time for the majority of students working online in providing them with feedback and support.
Are teachers considering ways for students to interact in a more informal/relaxed way?
Teachers are always considering ways for students to interact in a more relaxed way. During Teams meetings, students might be asked to share a joke, take part in a quiz or use the chat, which is monitored by a teacher during the meeting, as a way to communicate with each other.
Do the teachers have any tips on finding the right balance between encouraging children with consistency and getting them to do the things they don’t want to do while also acknowledging that this is a stressful time and remote learning can be very challenging and isolating for many students?
Learning from home is very different to learning at school.
Children are not expected to be continually learning for the whole school day. Students in K-2 may spend up to 2.5 hours learning, whilst 3-6 students may spend 3 hours learning. Time needs to be broken up with breaks away from devices and technology, time to have a stretch, eat and do activities that they enjoy.
If you’re finding that your child is really upset, please contact their teacher via Class Dojo or the school so that someone can speak with them. Resources to support wellbeing have also been posted to the School Story.
Practical Parenting in a Pandemic - Maggie Dent
Commonly known as the ‘queen of common sense’, Maggie Dent has become one of Australia’s favourite parenting authors and educators. She has a particular interest in the early years, adolescence and resilience, and is an undisputed ‘boy champion’.
Maggie’s experience includes teaching, counselling, and working in palliative care/funeral services and suicide prevention. Maggie is an advocate for the healthy, common-sense raising of children in order to strengthen families and communities. She is a passionate, positive voice for children of all ages.
Join 400 other schools and their families in accessing these free resources and handouts to support you and your family at home.