Continuous Learning at Woodleigh
As Term Two begins, we find ourselves in a new normal that is often challenging, frightening and uncertain. In the past few weeks, our leaders, teachers and staff have worked tirelessly to shape the next phase of our Continuous Learning Plan, while the medical, political and community context for our work has shifted on a daily basis. Moving to this new mode of learning has been a big transition for all of us, as we strive to best support the learning needs of our students in the term ahead. We are committed to working with you to offer support for your child’s learning and wellbeing, and to incorporate your feedback, as a way of ensuring that our approach remains relevant, engaging and meaningful.
The development and implementation of our Continuous Learning Plan has been a huge undertaking by our teaching and support staff. It involves the significant redesign of the regular systems, processes and practices we use to support teaching and learning at the school, with the added pressure of completing this work in a ridiculously short period of time. I am proud of the way our community has responded to this challenge, with students, teachers and parents working together to establish new ways of learning together. Of course, we won’t always get it right; however, as a school we are strongly committed to continually adapting and refining our approach, with the aim of working towards the best possible outcomes for students, in line with our values and beliefs as a school.
Our approach to Continuous Learning is deliberately phased, so we can plan effectively for the short, medium and long term, and respond appropriately to the changing landscape that is evolving around us. While we are currently focused on implementing Phase 2 of the CLP, and supporting students to access and engage with live lessons via Zoom, we are also forward planning for the eventual reopening of the school. In this undertaking, there are a host of variables to consider, including governmental advice, community needs, external research and internal evidence of how we can best support families. While this timeline remains uncertain, as a school we need to be prepared for a range of different scenarios, so our response can be as agile, effective and safe as possible.
As a school, we are committed to ensuring that what we do is grounded in research from the field of distance and online learning, as well as the practice of international schools who have successfully navigated months of lockdown. Our model may look different at times to that employed to other schools; however, we remain guided by this evidence base, and the core values and learning principles of our school. Importantly, at the heart of our approach is the overarching prioritization of the health and wellbeing of our community, including our students, families and staff. The ultimate success of our approach to continuous learning at Woodleigh rests upon a strong partnership between school and home. We are all in this together.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why is the timetable for Continuous Learning different to a regular day at school?
Our regular timetables are designed to physically move large groups of students around our campuses, and between lessons, classrooms and teachers over the course of a routine school day. We recognised that the same logic couldn’t be applied to a situation where our students are learning at home, but we wanted to provide a structure that allowed for routine, while being flexible and sustainable for students and teachers over an extended period of time. In a typical day at school, students spend their time talking with teachers, collaborating with their friends, and studying independently, along with opportunities for play, physical activity and socialising. In designing the day for Continuous Learning, we have provided structured time for students to interact with their teachers and peers, complete the set work, and participate in smaller forums where they can be offered additional support and further challenge for their learning, as well as the chance to be physically active and stay connected with their friends.
Who should I contact if I have questions about my child’s learning or wellbeing?
For Minimbah and Penbank families, your first point of contact should be your child’s classroom teacher. For parents with young people at the Senior Campus, we recommend that you contact the relevant teacher for questions about your child’s learning, or make contact with their tutor, if you have questions about wellbeing or overall academic performance. Our teachers are happy to work with you to support your child’s learning and wellbeing, and can also refer you to other teachers and specialists, such as our Inclusion team or school counsellors, as required.
What should I do if my child can’t join a live lesson on Zoom?
Students who are unable to join a live lesson or workshop are asked to notify the relevant teacher via email and continue with the set work that has been uploaded to Seesaw or SEQTA. Our teachers will be able to help resolve basic issues related to access, and will refer students and families on to our IT Helpdesk for assistance with resolving more challenging problems. The Learning Platform support page on our Continuous Learning website includes a number of resources designed to support students and families with using Zoom, and is a great place to start if you are new to the platform.
What should we do if the quality of video and sound during a Zoom session is poor?
There will be times when students experience poor quality audio and video during a live lesson or workshop. While Zoom is a very stable platform, frozen images and choppy sounds are common problems that are familiar to all users of video streaming technology, and are usually related to the quality of your internet connection. If you experience any persistent problems with the quality of your home connection, we recommend that you contact your internet provider. Please also notify the school regarding the issues you are experiencing, so we can work with you to ensure ongoing access to learning for your child.
DR. RICHARD OWENS
Director of Learning, Strategy and Innovation