It is not surprising that one of the biggest challenges associated with Remote Learning for our girls has been the lack of social interaction. On Monday, when the Student Council welcomed the senior students back to School—including 100 per cent of our Year 12 students—at the blue ribbon-adorned front gates, there was such a warm atmosphere of genuine joy. Talking with the girls this week, they have articulated their rediscovery of the value of friendships, and a high level of gratitude for their teachers back in the classroom.
For girls who are continuing to learn from home this week, challenges such as retaining motivation and resisting distractions remain; however, the girls have shown improvements in the following dimensions, on a scale of 1 (‘struggling’) to 5 (‘thriving’):
|End of Week 1||End of Week 3|
|How would you rate your current experience with remote learning?||50% rated 4 or 5||61% rated 4 or 5|
|How well do you think you are adjusting to remote learning?||61% rated 4 or 5||75% rated 4 or 5|
Allowing our student voice to be heard is an integral aspect for students to feel connected and supported in the School environment. Girls have felt comfortable in giving constructive feedback in relation to the length of Zoom lessons, the expectations of homework, Minerva vs emails, and their overall workload. The School has appreciated the honest and open comments from the girls, and their feedback helped us to create guidelines for sustainable pedagogies during this period of remote learning.
Positive aspects from the survey indicate that 55 per cent of respondents have improved sleeping habits and 56 per cent of girls indicated that they are enjoying spending more time at home, quality time with family, and being able to engage in other areas of interest. This is something I have encouraged the girls to be reflecting upon this week—what practices, habits and ways of living do they want to keep, after life returns to ‘normal’.
While the School has felt more alive this week with the buzz of students on campus, we are certainly looking forward to the return of the rest of the student body in Week 6. The girls may take time to readjust to returning to School, and School Psychologist, Mrs Tara McLachlan, presents some advice for parents, in her article Reflecting on the New ‘Normal’.
Mrs Emma Lowry
Dean of Students