Middle School News 1 May 2020

Online Learning 

Summer working on her Food Tech prac.

The learning curve over these last two weeks has been intense as teachers, students, and families have adjusted to completing their school work from home. The number of students who logged into their classes and completed the set work on the first day and in the days that followed has been great to see! The teachers have worked hard to provide the type of resources that will enable our students to stay abreast of the learning while working online and to allow for similar progress that students need to make in their subjects. Having reasonable success in this has been a welcome reward, making all the hard work worthwhile. Thanks to those who provided feedback so that we can continue to tweak this way of learning.

You may be relieved as a parent to hear that online learning is not the same as homeschooling. The learning occurring in each subject is delivered and monitored by the teacher. Activities and resources have been made available in Gateway with instructions on what to complete. As well, teachers connect with their students through video-conference for a portion of each lesson. Therefore, Middle School students should be able to generally manage their own learning with parents keeping an eye on their child as they work through the school ‘day’. The Teaching Assistants are also helping students by working more ‘one on one’ with students. In the last week, students and teachers are getting into the routine. If your child needs help, encourage them to contact their subject teacher, as they know the task and your child, and are therefore in the best position to assist them rather than the parent trying to work it out. Pastoral Care (PC) is also continuing with the PC teachers connecting students online with each other in their PC lessons and providing opportunities for students to chat and catch-up, and enjoying fun things like showing each other their pets. Parents should regularly access the Parent Portal to check if any concerns have been noted such as not completing homework etc.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

This week we conducted Parent-Teacher conferences also in an online mode. This sort of communication is an important tenet of best educational practice so that students have the greatest chance of doing well, so it was good we could still run these. If any parent/guardian would still like to make a booking, they are encouraged to email their child’s teachers and organise a time in the next week. 

Assessment Calendars 

These will be available on Gateway this week. Email notification of this will also be sent to parents.

Academic and Diligence Certificates

Congratulations to our students who received an Academic or Diligence certificate from the results they achieved on their Term 1 Interim Reports. 

  • Academic  Students who achieve an “A” Grade on more than half the subjects studied. An A grade includes “A-“ as well.
  • Diligence Students who get a Very Good for all/all but one of their subjects studied.

These can be collected from the Secondary Admin by the students when they return to school.

New Students 

A warm welcome to the new students in Middle School this term. For such interesting times, we hope that they are feeling part of our community somewhat. But we are looking forward to more face to face connections when we are all back at school again and getting to know them better!

Cybersafety

With a lot more online exposure at home Cybersafety is a high priority. It might seem obvious but to state it clearly, if any of the following things are happening and they are not going away after first addressing it at the ‘one to one’ level, students and/or parents are encouraged to get further assistance with these problems. As indicated at each point, for some of these contact the child’s pastoral care teacher may, for others, it is recommended to report it at this Australian Government e-safety platform.

  • exclusion – not invited to a group chat (maximum eight people) so that a person that is normally part of the group feels left out – PC teacher
  • gossip – PC teacher
  • sending explicit (sexting) images – e-safety report
  • connecting with complete strangers – e-safety report
  • making any private chats more public – posting information shared with one to a wider audience – depending on the context, could be either
  • posting images or clips with students in GCC uniform on social media – PC teacher

Study Skills Online Presentation

If you can set aside the time, I would encourage parents to sign up to and listen to this presentation on how parents can support their children with their academic studies. The details are:

The presentation will cover the following topics:

  • How to manage your child’s study routines
  • Learn some behind the scenes secrets that help students reach their potential
  • 3 keys to helping your child manage stress
  • Free access to helpful templates that can be used at home
  • Find out about their 1:1 online coaching

Jacqualina Vreeling, Head of Middle School