Primary School: 03/04/2020

hugWelcome to the next edition of the PYP Blog. I wish I could give everyone a BIG hug to say well done – the resilience, determination and courage demonstrated in our PYP Community is beyond words. Thank you for your messages of support, the work you are doing with your children and for keeping on top of communications with teachers.

Welcome

I would like to say a warm welcome to the many new families who have joined Virtual School this month. Our current children have shown warmth and enthusiasm in welcoming new friends and our new students have really proved what being a risk-taker means. They have jumped straight in and we are really happy you are now part of our family. A BIG ISC welcome to you all.

welcome

Timetable – Increasing Interactivity

Thank you for your flexibility in the change to the timetables to allow for more time on Zoom with the teacher. After Easter, we will be including more Zoom sessions whilst continuing to post work on Class Dojo for families unable to participate in live sessions and sending home Learning Packs for non-screen work. Now that teachers are live for longer in the day, they are going to need more time to give feedback on work. Please allow a couple of days for feedback, especially if you are sending work in the evening outside of school hours. As per our communication policy, teachers are not required to reply outside of school hours and whilst they probably are as in Virtual School, hours are much longer, they are not expected to reply.

Zoom

zoom

As we move forward with live lessons we will continue to use Zoom. One reason for choosing Zoom is the use of Breakout Rooms. You will notice that a message may come on the screen during a meeting to join a Breakout Room – these allow for children to work in smaller groups and focus on a specific task. We hope your children enjoy this and we are all very impressed with how quickly they have taken to Zooming!

Easter Holiday Learning Pack

easter

As you know at ISC we have a NO HOLIDAY HOMEWORK policy. However we do appreciate that the Easter Holiday will be a very different experience as we are likely to be in lockdown. Teachers have therefore put together a selection of activities so that if you would like a moment of “still” there are some suggestions from teachers. The Learning Packs are a revision of previous skills, they do not teach new skills because the packs are optional.

How to use the pack:
1) Not at all! And that is completely okay!
2) To dip in and out of – children could choose a fun page to do
3) A daily activity working through the pages
4) An activity for a “quiet” moment

The packs include Maths, English, Italian, Arts, PE activities and also suggest some Easter crafts and other games. They are designed to be as off screen as possible as it is extremely important your children rest their eyes and avoid over stimulation from the busy screen.

The work completed does not need to be shared with the teacher unless of course your child wants to show what they have done, but the packs will not be marked or corrected as they are not compulsory and will not inform any assessments or reports.

Please note for Grade 6 there is compulsory work as there would have been in a normal school situation due to the Exhibition.

Adam Rose

ecowise jpgI have been sharing a daily Nature Blog from Adam Rose – founder of EcoWise. Our Grade 5 children usually take a trip with him each year, he is extremely knowledgeable about nature and how to help children be curious about the outdoors. You can subscribe to his You Tube Channel to follow his Blogs as they provide lots of discussion for the dinner table – however perhaps not the one about badger poo!

Exhibition Update – Grade 6

It is my pleasure to give you an update on our Grade 6’s journey through the Exhibition process. We are now in Week 3 of the journey. This week Grade 6 children:

• Learnt how to start their research
• Completed their research for Line of Inquiry 1
• Decided on the method they will use to present their findings
• Completed a CSI Thinking Routine for the Mid-Week Reflection
• They also completed their surveys for the school community.

I will be publishing links to the Grade 6 surveys and I would be very grateful if you would be able to help your child to answer 2 or 3 surveys. If you are also able to publish the links for the surveys on your social media pages this will widen the responses given. This will really help our Grade 6 students and I thank you in advance for your participation.

Thank you PTA

pta

A HUGE thank you to our Parent Reps who are taking on a big challenge of supporting their classes and supporting teachers and Leadership. I am so very grateful for everything you do behind the scenes and for attending the PTA Meeting this week – thank you so very much.

And finally…..Well Being….

We are in such a period of uncertainty and whilst they may not show it, I imagine that our PYP children have lots of questions and concerns about why they are asked to Stay Home. We have covered this topic in some assemblies and have sent home a book however if you are unsure how to address this issue at a child-appropriate level, please ask your child’s homeroom teacher for advice.wellnessMoreover, your children are onscreen for many hours per day. At school we have a 20% screen time per day rule so they are not used to so much time in front of a screen. This is a wonderful opportunity to teach your children about well-being in the Virtual World.
It is so important that your child:

– Takes regular breaks from the screen
– Drinks plenty of water – just as we would in school
– Sits correctly on the chair to help with posture
– Completes the PE activities sent home in order to keep active
– Switches off from the screen at the end of the school day

As we are unsure how long we will be staying at home, it is very important for the children to use their Balanced Learner Profile attribute and think about how they can protect their well-being.

Ms Elizabeth Ferrari, our school psychologist is here to help, very few children have reached out to her and she is here to support your children, answer questions and suggest coping strategies for moments of anxiety or stress. Please do contact her for support at this email: psychologist@iscomo.com

Of course the elephant in the room is that Virtual School demands a lot of screen time for your child which is why it is extremely important that when the computer can be switched off it is – PLAYTIME is invaluable – even for adults! Building dens in the house, playing with Lego, inventing an adventure to go on etc…free play, role play, investigation opportunities are really very important in order to keep all our minds active – not just our children’s!
Here is a very helpful link to information on helping children to stay calm in this tense situation and there is a very helpful video to explain how the virus passes from one person to another:

https://education.govt.nz/school/health-safety-and-wellbeing/pastoral-care-and-wellbeing/talking-to-children-about-covid-19-coronavirus/

Please reach out if you need support or are concerned about your child’s well-being. This is a new experience for all of us and it definitely puts the Learner Profile attributes into a new light. We are here to work together and support each other, please do share success stories and tips other parents may want to try so we can work through this challenging time together.

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I wish you a pleasant weekend ahead.

Jane Whittle