Welcome back to everyone for Term 2. This term has started differently to any other term with some of our students joining us online.
I want to start by thanking our committed staff who have spent most of their holidays preparing programs that can be delivered both face to face and online. Their commitment to our students and their education needs to be commended. To see the smile on student faces when they were all together again in our school yard on day 1 gave us all a reminder as to why we became teachers in the first place.
While learning at home is different, at the end of the day it is great to have them back in our classes where we can develop relationships and follow their growth as learners and young people.
While COVID-19 has presented many challenges to the way education looks, there have also been some real positive signs start to emerge.
We have been fortunate enough to be able to put a device in the hands of every student. This has meant that we are able to change teaching pedagogies and become really innovative in our courses, how they are presented as well as how and when students can access them.
Students have been accessing their education 24/7 and working at their own pace to understand lessons and complete work. Staff have flipped lessons and recorded explicit teaching that students can watch again and again to gain understanding.
Students have been appreciative of this and think our new timetable has provided them with opportunities to be successful. Online check in quizzes have given both staff and students immediate feedback and allowed for incorrect learning to be redirected down the correct pathway.
If you are the parent of a secondary student you can now follow exactly what it is that your child has to do through our Learner Management System called Canvas.
All staff have worked diligently to put their courses online for students to work through. This huge step forward means that students can always keep up with work regardless of whether they are sick, or have to spend time away from school. Students can now watch video instruction for homework or in their own time which allows our teachers to use class time for questioning and promoting higher order thinking skills. This is really exciting as early indications are showing our results will improve exponentially.
While COVID-19 has changed a lot of the world as we know it, we have tried to take this opportunity to adapt what we do to provide a better learning experience for our students. Our value of resilience shines brighter than ever before through this. While what we are doing is “different”, we still have the education of your child as the top priority of what we do.
The new style of learning is undoubtedly going to be a little strange for a while and will look considerably different to how parents were educated. It doesn’t mean it is the wrong way and we ask for parents to trust us.
As I have said before, there will be times that we look back and think that we could have done things better, but I just want all families to know that our staff and students will work together to provide the best outcomes for all students.