Be kind to yourselves!

As we near the end of almost six weeks in our bubbles and four weeks with online learning, I hope you have been able to establish a reasonable routine that works for you all. The added complications of working from home and now with Level 3 in place and more people heading to work physically, many bubbles are finding it a challenge to keep up with everyone’s individual needs. Once again can I please remind you – to look after yourselves as well and don’t let learning become a battle. Everyone in your bubble is so emotionally invested and connected that it is much harder to teach your own children. Let the teachers do what they can from afar and take a breath, go out for a walk or a game or do some baking together. Being happy and enjoying each other is the most important thing. Talk, read together, have fun. Please don’t feel pressured to perform miracles – every child is different and their learning development is different. We are looking forward to welcoming them all back on site again soon – we hope. Many children may plateau for a while – that is fine, as long as they are happy, well adjusted and still have the love for learning and mixing back in with their friends. 

You may find the wellbeing checklist videos are useful, from an Australian Child and Adolescent Psychologist that we have shared later in this newsletter. 

You are not alone – Millions of households around the world are experiencing the same sort of challenges that you are. So take a breath, have a cup of tea, et al., and be kind to yourself! 

Here is a wonderful video clip below from Rimu 7 to help you with this. 🙂

Share A Hug 

After hearing that students were really missing their classmates, our Rimu 7 teachers Jennie Jarvis and Tamsin Bradding wondered what they could do to help them and they came up with this wonderful “Share a Hug” video that I am sure will also bring a huge smile to your faces.

SchoolTV – Wellbeing Checklist

We are sharing the link to two Special Reports published by SchoolTV in this week’s newsletter, that we think  families may find valuable… 

“The ‘Primary Student Checklist’ aims to measure a broad range of social, emotional or behavioural difficulties your child may be experiencing and is suitable for kids from 4 years of age. And for those who have older students in their bubbles, the Checklist for Secondary students aims to measure how your teen has been feeling over the past five weeks.

Wellbeing – Checklist for Primary Students

Whilst most children are resilient and seem to be demonstrating a remarkable capacity to manage during this challenging time, others are not faring as well. Some are experiencing a variety of emotions ranging from fear to anxiety, all of which are considered normal or natural responses to this current situation.

However despite this, it is still important for adult carers to remain vigilant for any signs of unusual distress or behaviour, even though your child may not have any prior history of a mental health disorder.

It was estimated that one in seven Australasian children experienced a mental health issue before the Coronavirus pandemic, therefore early intervention, diagnosis and treatment is even more important now. In the current climate, one useful thing you can do is help your child focus on the things that they can control –– such as their learning, diet, exercise and sleep.

In this Special Report, adult carers are provided with a checklist that can be used as a guide in determining if there is any cause for concern. 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 the Primary Student checklist:

https://schooltv.me/wellbeing_news/special-report-wellbeing-checklist-primary

Wellbeing – Checklist for Secondary Students

The global pandemic is having a profound impact on our adolescents with many being forced to miss out on so many rites of passage. Some are becoming more anxious or depressed, which is completely understandable given the current situation. However, should your teen display any unusual behaviour that lasts for more than 2-3 weeks, it may be a cause for concern.

Research shows there are specific risk factors that increase the likelihood of teenagers developing a mental health problem. Some are set in stone, whilst others are modifiable. Adolescents are considered to be more at risk of anxiety and depression disorders, which may affect their mood, thinking and behaviour. It can impact their ability to function and perform normal activities.

It is therefore vitally important for adult carers to remain vigilant during this time for any signs of distress, even though your adolescent may not have any prior history of a mental health disorder. Early intervention, diagnosis and treatment is more important than ever. In the current climate, one useful thing you can do is help your teen focus on the things that they can control –– such as their learning, diet, exercise and sleep.

In this Special Report, adult carers are provided with a checklist that can be used as a guide in determining if there is any cause for concern. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback.

Here is the link to the Secondary Student checklist:

https://schooltv.me/wellbeing_news/special-report-wellbeing-checklist-secondary

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.”

Level 2 – When it comes. – Being safe and sensible!

The Government announcements today around what Level 2 will look like have given us hope that the school environment may be able to take on some normality again – which would be fantastic for everyone. There will obviously be many procedures and systems put in place to keep our school as healthy and safe as possible. We are just waiting on more details from the Ministry of Education before starting planning too far in advance and preparing our site for what is needed.  

At present,  the restricted bubbles of 10 will remain in place with most teachers still running online learning from their homes to yours.  What was made clear was the statement – Schools will be open but will not open mid-week. So if the announcement were to happen on say Monday 11th – we won’t be opening as Level 2 until Monday 18th. 

Extracts from the Prime Minister’s Speech Affecting Schools:-

“Schools and early learning services are safe environments for children, young people and staff. Additional public health control measures are in place to prevent the spread of disease and to support contact tracing.”

“Distance learning is available for those unable to attend school, for example, who are self-isolating.”

“If a school has a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, they must close on an individual or group basis for 72 hours, to allow contact tracing, and then potentially for a further 14 days.”

“We also agreed that when we make the decision to move levels, schools won’t open midweek – whenever the decision is made – they will open at the beginning of the following week. So if we make a decision to shift to Alert Level 2 next week, schools and early learning centres will have ten days from now to prepare.”

“The two key public health principles we’re talking to the sector about are one: to reduce the risk of someone getting infected in the first place and two, to ensure we can identify and contact anyone who becomes infected.”

So keeping kids at home if they’re sick, and good hygiene such as handwashing is so important.”

“Where possible physical distancing is a good precaution. We do, however, know it is near impossible in an early learning environment and challenging in schools. So good hygiene practices and regular cleaning are even more important here.”

“In schools, physical distancing means children, young people and staff maintaining enough distance so that they are not breathing on or touching each other. And maintaining good hygiene practices and regular cleaning. As is regular cleaning of equipment.”

“And all schools and early learning services will collect information about who’s there, so Public Health can contact people quickly if they need to.”

All children and teachers are welcome back under Level 2 – which is great news. 

We’ll update you further as we learn more and we will be sending out another survey for those who may still need to self isolate due to having people in their bubbles with severe health implications. 

Roll on Level 2 🙂

Succeeding and Thriving at School

If you had not already completed the hardcopy questionnaires and returned them to the school office before Lockdown, we ask that you please complete the two surveys on Learning, Succeeding and Thriving in Education (Kia tū rangatira ai), by logging onto the following online links below –

Survey One: Primary students’ survey link:

https://auckland.au1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cNLsKr2N3vL5Xvv

Survey Two: Whanau survey link:

https://auckland.au1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8FWVPKvH0HmYKTb

Completing the Learning, Succeeding and Thriving in Education (Kia tū rangatira ai) survey will help our school to find out more about how our students develop positive attitudes, engagement and aspirations towards school, and who their role-models for success are. Overall the questionnaire will help us to better understand the personal, teacher, whānau and community factors that positively impact our students learning and success at school.

More than ever the information we gain back from these surveys collated and then presented to us by a professor at Auckland University will give us some clear data on what we can do better to support all of our learners.  I’m sure over the past few weeks you may have gained new insights into these answers which could be helpful to us. If you are able to achieve a bit of time in your busy bubbles to help us out with these we would be very grateful.

Chess Lovers Lock-down Program

This is a great opportunity for all our Chess playing students, to register for the ‘The Chess Lovers Lock-down Program’, which is suitable for students who have some experience with chess and involves:

  • Covering tricky Chess rules your parents haven’t even heard of!
  • Learning nice strategies for the opening, middle-game and endgame
  • Learning awesome Chess tactics and solving puzzles to win pieces and checkmate the king!
  • Learning about the greatest Chess players in history and how they played the game
  • Learning fun Chess variants like Zombie Chess, Tower Chess, SuperChess, Fisher-random & Secret Assassin
  • Playing in mini-tournaments to practice your new learning

Sessions are held every week day for the duration of Lockdown, from 10:00am – 11:30am, for $10.00 per session. Places are filled on a first-come first-served basis

Click here to register for the ‘Chess Lovers Lockdown Program’ or visit www.chesspower.co.nz to learn more about Chess Power.