Secondary School: 03/04/2020

fridayHappy Friday – I can’t believe how quickly the time has flown this week. We continue to be impressed with the way in which our students are approaching their on-line learning and are showing grit and determination in their approach.

Thought for the Day highlights

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We have continued with our ‘Thought for the Day’ each morning, giving our students the opportunity to take time out to focus on something new each day away from the daily virtual learning routine. We will continue to do this until we reach that point where we can all return to school.

Highlights have included:

Launching our Virtual Learning Ambassadors – We asked students to reflect on their own virtual learning experience by considering questions such as:

  • Have you been a risk-taker and tried new technologies and challenges from the teachers?
  • Have you been principled and tried to complete all the work set by the deadlines posted?
  • Have you been caring and helped your class-mates if they are struggling, both with the stress of our current situation and their learning?
  • Are you a good communicator and can talk to others about your learning experience?
  • Are you reflective about your experiences along and able to give a balanced perspective to others?
  • Are you open-minded in listening to others and feeding back on their thoughts and ideas?

Those students answering yes to the questions were asked to represent our school as a Virtual Learning Ambassador with Inspired. This will give our students the opportunity to speak remotely with other ambassadors in other schools, sharing their online learning  experiences, helping them to adjust to our new style of life, and helping to share good practice across our schools. Here is one letter written by Valeria in Grade 9 about her wish to join the initiative:  Valeria as ISC Virtual Learning Ambassador

World water week – students have sent through creative photographs of water

Teddy Bear Thursday, ISC style. Students took pictures of their favorite teddy bear looking out of the window, based on the initiative started in New Zealand

Easter Vacation Optional Learning Projects

Over the Easter vacation, we will not be setting homework for students in Grades 7-10. Grade 11 may have work to be completing on their e-portfolios, whilst Grade 12 will be focusing on the initial stages of their Extended Essay, and completing the Leeds University online course about Managing their Extended Essay.

Our Easter vacation this year though will be very different for us all as we will be in lock down for the majority of the break. To support our students who wish to continue with learning to give them structure and focus, we will be providing students with an optional project on which to focus. This is completely optional and we understand that for some families, they will value the chance to step away from the computer and to have valuable family time. The packs will not be used to inform any assessments or reports.

easter

And finally…..Well Being….

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

In order to achieve this Balanced perspective we have some suggestions to use for our students on each and every school day:

workplace concept, modern home office interior, freelance office design

  1. Find a study space and use it every day. Try to find a space with has natural light and that it is peaceful and quiet. Its important as well to make sure your working space has a hard work surface so that you can ensure a better posture.
  2. Before you start the day make sure you have everything you need. It can be so annoying to get sat down, ready to start working only to find you are missing your pen or paper or notebook.
  3. Keep a daily routine. Have a set time for meals and take regular breaks, with time to talk to parents and siblings, play with your dog etc. Sat at your desk all day is difficult so its vital you make sure you have a regular exercise routine e.g. stretching or walking up and down
  4. Being away from school means you miss friends, so now is the time to make sure you can keep in touch with your friends. Find ways to say hello, share ideas and work collaboratively that don’t always involve the computer.
  5. Don’t forget that help is at hand. Remember that its better to speak out than struggle alone, so e-mail your subject teacher, homeroom teacher, Ms Lockett and myself at any time. They are there for you and they understand what you are going through. Ms Elizabeth Ferrari, our school psychologist is also here to help to support our students answer questions and suggest coping strategies for moments of anxiety or stress. Please do contact her for support at this email: psychologist@iscomo.com
  6. The most important thing to remember though is to reward yourself for all your efforts throughout the day. Do something that takes you away from the computer though, especially if you have been using all day. For each student your end of day reward or treat will be different, but make sure you set this as a goal so you have something to work towards.

wellness stretching

We have also shared with our students some mental health activities from ‘BelievePerfomer’ that we are sharing with families below.

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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.

We are stronger together phrase. Vector hand drawn brush style m

With best wishes for  the weekend,

Nicole Pearce