Advice to Parents and Caregivers
In many schools across the state, teachers already deliver and manage learning activities using online tools such as email, Office 365 and G Suite for Education. In the case of the school moving to online learning, teachers will continue to use these methods but will be likely to move all of your child’s learning activities into these online spaces.
Lessons and activities will be delivered via asynchronous or synchronous methods. Asynchronous learning is a general term used to describe forms of education, instruction, and learning that do not occur in the same place or at the same time. Synchronous learning occurs when teaching is live and would use one of the variety of Department endorsed web conferencing tools.
Where digital or online options are not available schools will use non-digital, off-line strategies. Off-line or non-digital methods of teaching could include posting worksheets, text books or USB drives containing digital worksheets and videos to your home via the mail. Teachers may also contact students in groups or through one on one phone calls.
If your child is unable to access online materials and requires off-line/non-digital methods of learning, please notify the relevant Stage Deputy Principal.
Parent responsibilities during remote learning
Provide support for your children by:
• Establishing routines and expectations
• Defining a space for your child to work in
• Monitoring communications from your child’s teachers
• Beginning and ending each day with a check-in
• Taking an active role in helping your children process their learning
• Encouraging physical activity and/or exercise
• Remaining mindful of your child’s stress or worry
• Monitoring how much time your child is spending online
• Keeping your children social, but set rules around their social media interactions
Purchasing new software or devices
It is strongly advised that parents do not purchase software from third party providers in response to this situation unless specifically advised by the school. The school and the Department already have a wide range of software and devices available and these have been specifically chosen to provide your child with the support they need.
The school has a laptop loan scheme that students can access if they do not have a device that they can use for learning. To find out more about borrowing a school laptop, contact the relevant Stage Deputy Principal.
Student responsibilities during remote learning
These responsibilities should be adjusted according to the age of your child.
• Establishing and/or following a daily routine for learning
• Identifying a safe, comfortable, quiet space in their home where they can work effectively and successfully
• Regularly monitoring digital platforms and communication to check for announcements and feedback from teachers. At Asquith Girls High School, this will be using Google Classroom
• Completing tasks with integrity and academic honesty, doing your best work
• Doing their best to meet timelines, commitments, and due dates • Communicating proactively with their teachers if they cannot meet deadlines or require additional support
• Collaborating and supporting their classmates in their learning
• Complying with the Department and school digital technology policy
• Seeking out and communicating with school staff as different needs arise
Planning your child's day
The school will provide a schedule or timetable for learning. In most cases, this will follow the student’s regular school timetable. It is important to maintain regular breaks for activity, eating and drinking. In the activity breaks it is important that students get up and move around.
If you live in a private house, then it is safe for your child to go outside into the garden, balcony or courtyard.
Establishing routines and expectations
From the first day you will need to establish routines and expectations. Using the timetable or schedule provided by the school you should set regular hours for school work.
We suggest your child starts working at the normal school time.
Keep normal sleeping routines. Don’t let them stay up late or sleep in.
Children should move regularly and take periodic breaks as they study. It is important that you set these expectations for how your children will spend their days starting as soon as possible, to prevent the child from struggling with the absence of routine.
Setting up a learning environment
Create a quiet and comfortable learning space. Your child may have a regular place for doing homework under normal circumstances, but this space may not be suitable for an extended period of time.
A space/location for extended learning should be a public/family space, not in a bedroom. It should be a place that can be quiet at times and have a strong wireless internet signal, if possible. Above all, it should be a space where you or another adult is present and monitoring learning.
Learning environment checklist
In setting up this space the following should be considered: • Is the area free of distraction?
• Is there excessive noise in the area?
• Are there trip hazards in the area?
• Is the area exposed to direct glare or reflections?
• Does the area have sufficient power points available?
• Is equipment (extension cords etc.) in good, safe, working condition?
• Is there a proper desk and chair and other necessary equipment (light, stationery and devices)?
Is the chair adjusted correctly?
- Feet should be flat on the floor and knees bent at right angles with thighs parallel to the floor.
- The chair backrest should support the lower back and allow your child to sit upright.
- The chair should move freely and not be restricted by hazards such as mats and power cords.
- Chair arm rests should be removed or lowered when typing.
Is the computer adjusted correctly?
- The screen should be positioned directly in front of your child.
- The screen should be at a distance where your child can see clearly and easily without straining. The top of the screen should be slightly lower than eye level.
- The keyboard should be positioned at a distance where elbows are close to your child's body and their shoulders should be relaxed.
- The mouse should be placed directly next to the keyboard.
- The mouse should be placed directly next to the keyboard
Are their most frequently used items within easy reach from a seated position?
Being confined to home for an extended period of time can cause stress and conflict. Tips for looking after your children during isolation include:
• Talking to your whole family about the infection. Understanding the situation will reduce anxiety.
• Help your children to think about how they have coped with difficult situations in the past and reassure them that you will cope with this situation too. Remind them that the isolation won’t last for long.
• Exercise regularly. Options could include exercise DVDs, dancing, floor exercises, yoga, walking around the backyard or using home exercise equipment, such as a stationary bicycle, if you have it. Exercise is a proven treatment for stress and depression
• Encourage your children to keep in touch with family members and friends via telephone, email or social media (where appropriate).
Communicating with your child
We encourage you to start and finish each day with a simple check-in. These check-ins need to be a regular part of each day and start straight away. Not all students thrive in a remote learning environment; some struggle with too much independence or lack of structure and the check-ins help keep them on track.
In the morning, ask:
• What are you learning today?
• What are your learning targets or goals?
• How will you be spending your time?
• What resources do you require? • What support do you need?
In the afternoon, ask:
• What did you learn today?
• Acknowledge one thing that was difficult. Either let it go or come up with a strategy to deal with the same problem if it comes up again.
• Consider three things that went well today. Why were they good?
• Are you ok? Do you need to ask your teacher for something? Do you need help with something to make tomorrow more successful?
These specific questions matter because they allow your child to process the instructions they’ve received from their teachers and help them organize themselves and set priorities.
In the course of a regular school day your child interacts with other students or adults hundreds of times. These social interactions include exchanging thoughts or ideas, participating in group discussions, asking questions, collaborating on group projects, or just having a joke or laugh. Some of these moments will be re-created on virtual platforms, others will not. Human beings learn best when they have opportunities to process their learning with others.
Communicating with the school
To contact the school, please use the school email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with attention to required personnel.
This situation will be new for the school and most families. Asquith Girls High School values the cycle of continuous improvement and refinement based on feedback so we may ask you and your child for feedback on how the system is working.
Communicating with teachers
Teachers will be communicating with your child during this period using Google Classroom and in some cases video chat applications such as MS Teams, Adobe Connect, Skype, Zoom or Google Hangouts Meet. They may also be emailing from the school email address.
Teachers may have set times where students can chat with them online, deliver video lessons or when digital options are not possible they may have set times for calling your child on the telephone.
It is important for you and your child to remember that teachers will be communicating with many other students and families, so students may need to be patient when waiting for support or feedback.
Please see the Australian Government eSafety communication in relation to parents, caregivers and students during these current conditions.
Accessing digital devices and the internet You need to be aware of the Department’s policy regarding technology, devices and the internet.
Accessing digital learning platforms
To support your child in using online and digital resources as part of their remote learning you should consider the following questions.
• Does your child know how to access the student portal?
• Does your child know how to log in to devices and websites?
• Does your child know their username and password or know how to reset their passwords if necessary? Note that teachers can reset student passwords if your child forgets their password.
Managing screen time
Screen time refers to the amount of time a user spends on a device to access on-screen activities. It is likely that this will increase when completing online learning.
It is important to maintain regular breaks for activity, eating and drinking. In the activity breaks it is important that students get up and move around.
Consistent limits on screen time are also very important.
Some screen time activities such as online socialising and gaming can be very immersive. It is particularly important to monitor and limit non-school activities are during periods of online learning when school-based screen time will increase.
Even though your child is at home they still need to comply with their schools behaviour management policy.
Collaboration, group work and peer feedback during remote learning will require students to communicate online and work together in digital spaces. The expectations of your child and required behaviour will be the same as a face to face lesson.
We recommend that you take the time to explore issues of digital citizenship and online safety and then discuss these with your child. It is important that during this period of remote learning that we maintain safe and responsible use of information and communication technologies. This includes appropriate use of digital platforms, privacy and information protection, respectful communication and how to deal with online issues.