Parent Letter – Welcome to Term 2
Tuesday 14th April 2020
Dear Parents, Caregivers and extended bubble adults,
Welcome back to Term 2 – 2020 – a term that will be completely different from any other you have experienced so far. I hope you are all well in your respective bubbles and that your family and friends are also.
Tomorrow we will be launching Term 2 learning from home which will be a new experience for all of us. Firstly, before we go into that, this letter is to acknowledge that each family bubble is completely different, with your own unique dynamics, stresses and routines.
As is expected of us, we will be providing online learning and information to all students through our website, emails, Seesaw, Google Classroom, Google Hangouts/Meets and Zoom. We know some families will be looking forward to this while others will be dreading the prospect. What we don’t want to do is add more stress into anyone’s bubble.
For example, a family that possibly has an essential worker out on the streets while the other caregiver is having to do long hours working from home may struggle to support their three children of different ages and abilities with their online learning.
Please don’t put too much pressure on yourselves. You are all fantastic parents and will be having a lot of special family time. With this comes language, laughter and learning. If you are unable to cope with the daily classroom learning offered; by reading to and with your children, using math when helping with cooking, talking and discussing a variety of topics and letting children play and be creative, your children will be learning and developing.
We are trying to make online learning as user-friendly as possible and if you can click into different parts of the daily programmes the activities on offer may help to keep your children interested and busy. We are keen to hear your feedback as we evolve our practices over the coming weeks, we will be sending out a survey to help with this so you can let us know how you are getting on. Some of our teachers are also juggling their own children’s learning as well as having essential workers and workers working from home in their bubbles.
What to expect:-
- Where information is useful school-wide, there will be regular newsletters updating you using our website https://tamahere.school.nz/. These will be dated and have titles to help you move to the ones you may need to refer back to. All parents will get an email prompt for these. If you are not getting these please email firstname.lastname@example.org, to update your information.
- We will try to make the days learning as easy to achieve as possible while continuing to develop our learners. Obviously, we expect more from our senior – Year 5 & 6 learners who have their own devices and are already more used to an independent programme. We will have clips to click on to support our younger learner.
- Maungatautari:- Learning for the week will be shared using Google Slides. This can be accessed via Google Classroom. The children will be expected to join online lessons throughout the day, starting with a 9:00 am Google Meets class catch up. Maths cross grouping classes will continue and have been timetabled into the weekly programme. Work will be submitted and marked using Google Classroom, Seesaw and via the children’s school email accounts.
- Pirongia and Taupiri:- Each teacher will post their day’s programme by 8:30 am. The teacher will have a video clip talking with the children posted on Seesaw. You will be able to click on the teacher’s video to help explain what is expected and how to undertake different activities. Pieces of work can be photographed and submitted to Seesaw for marking and comment.
- Mathematics:- To avoid confusion, with families trying to teach different ways of doing math, our teachers have selected other strands of Mathematics, such as measurement and geometry which should be fun to get involved in at home.
- Online Resources:-Teachers will be using a variety of resources such as online readers and Math activities. Teachers have generally already sent out the passwords for these or will do so as needed. These enable your child to get the correct reading books at their level or Math challenges suited to their ability and teachers can adjust this as the programme develops.
- Read Aloud by Mrs Kewish:- Each day Mrs Kewish will share a video clip with a read-aloud book for students to enjoy. Teachers will also be continuing to share class novels and support reading in other ways as well.
- Learning Conference Information:- We postponed our end of term Learning Conferences and instead all teachers will be emailing you with a summary sheet of information that would have been discussed. If you wish to discuss this further please email your teacher back to discuss online or request a phone conversation – this is for all Syndicates.
- Taupiri teachers have already sent their sheets home but are happy to have the follow-up conversations.
- Pirongia and Maungatautari will be sending theirs home this week.
- Internet Safety:- Please be aware of safe uses and practices on the internet, especially at a time when students may be on the net for a lot longer than usual. Our students at the different levels have been introduced to internet safety practices but this constantly needs to be reinforced and kept an eye on. There are some resources on our website and at Netsafe if you need them.
- Teacher Privacy:- Our teachers will be posting videos and hosting Zoom conferences and Google Hangouts from their own homes. We ask that you do not forward or share these with others. They are a personal teacher to student communication not for anyone else.
- Technical Help:-If you need passwords or extra support, please check previous emails and information from your classroom teachers first as most passwords have already been sent home. Please be aware that teachers will be fielding many emails and posts around learning throughout the day. Each Seesaw post sends a notification to the teacher’s email so please if we can be considerate with timing that would also be appreciated. For further technical support, Lee Boyd may be able to help you email@example.com or at least talk you through some areas of difficulty.
- Special support:- If your child is receiving support from a Teacher Aide, Mrs Boyd will be in contact to discuss ways to support you over these weeks ahead.
The biggest thing is to relax and have FUN! Children can’t learn unless they are happy – please don’t let this all become a battle so that children dread learning and reading. Make it fun, together time if you can. Maybe do it in chunks and support your younger readers with lots of reading to and reading together time.
School is from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm but during these hours the social interactions, discussions and activities are a very important part. Please don’t expect your child to be sitting writing and reading for five hours a day. A short, positive time with you – one to one will be wonderful and then spending a few chunks of time on their independent work.
Remember to be kind to yourself as well!
There will be a video welcome for all students, especially our new children and families on the Website tomorrow.
Tamahere Model Country School
37 Devine Road
Ph: 07 856 9238
Nurturing Our Future – Growing Together
Kia atawhai aa mua – Kia tipu ngatahi