Over the years we have spoken about transforming learning for a rapidly changing world, and now more than ever this rings true.
As the whole world continues to grapple with an unprecedented and challenging new way of life, our schools have been doing what they do best – putting student learning first and reinventing the way they plan, teach and support families at home.
Principal Cathy Hey from Trinity Catholic Primary Kemps Creek said all schools have had to respond very quickly to the way they deliver schooling and to ensure the wellbeing of students and staff.
“It’s a whole team approach,” Cathy said. “We’re here to support families, whether they’re keeping their children at home or sending them to school, we’re working together to make sure everyone has access to the same learning platform.”
With 93% of Trinity students doing their learning from home, Cathy said a top priority was ensuring that all families had access to a computer and is lending out school devices to those in need. In addition to using Seesaw for school work (an app that allows teachers to communicate with parents and students, post tasks and upload student work), they are also keeping their community spirit alive with uplifting posts.
“Every morning I share a video message with our families to keep the connectedness going,” Cathy said. “It might be a prayer, happy birthday message, joke: just something to bring us together as a school community.”
“Our teachers have also made sure to call and check in with every family to offer support. The feedback has been really positive,” she said.
With parents taking on their new ‘home-schooling’ role in addition to all the other challenges they currently face, what is Cathy’s advice for helping kids learn at home?
“Be gentle with yourself, this is new to us all and we are all learning together,” she said. “Have realistic expectations but remember it is not the same as being at school, and that is ok.”
With thanks to Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta.