Education, it is often said, is a relationship between the school and the home. This is particularly the case at the moment. Circumstances dictate that the bond between the School, the student and parents becomes even tighter. We are asking a lot of the girls and I am certain that they will be equal to the task. By Monday an outline of subject learnings will be available on Minerva for every subject within each Year level for the remainder of Term 1 and for Term 2—these links will be emailed to parents. At this stage we do not know how long schools will be closed in Term 2. We will have everything in place for remote learning to remain operative as long as need be.
Much time was spent deliberating on what model of remote learning we would develop. Our approach has been to develop a flexible model that allows the girls to establish routines that are best suited to their particular home environments. Two factors particularly influenced our decision. To begin, a flexible model was seen as a way in which to prepare the girls, from the outset, for a mode of learning that could stretch into the future. Under such an approach, teacher feedback will be in time and forthcoming but not necessarily immediate. There is much research regarding the teenaged brain, time of day and study time. Given the rigidity of the school routine, such flexibility is usually difficult to achieve. It is our belief that if students develop study routines that suit their preferred time of day for learning, the discipline of remote learning will be easier to achieve in the medium to longer term, should that be required. There will be a period of short-term adjustment and this is to be expected.
In addition, we do not know the conditions under which our staff will be working at home, for example, they may be caring for young children or may have contracted the virus themselves. As we could not guarantee the operation of our timetable into the future, such a flexible model was deemed to be the best fit at this time.
This has been a herculean undertaking at a rapid pace as it has been across so many sectors of society. We will be monitoring the situation very carefully and will make changes as the need arises. Please do not hesitate to email me if there are any concerns or issues during this important time of transition.
Dr Bruce Addison
Deputy Principal (Academic)