So much has happened in the world, our country, state and school over the past two weeks since my last newsletter.
I would like to start by saying that we all hope your families are doing ok, staying home and staying safe and well. We are certainly living in unprecedented times and these have called for unprecedented actions.
As you would be aware from the communication sent home last Friday, during Term 2 in Tasmanian Government Schools, students will continue to learn at home with teachers leading this learning. This situation will be regularly reviewed based on Public Health advice and updates.
Students will start Term 2 on Tuesday 28th April, 2020 as Monday will be a preparation day for staff. At Kings Meadows High School, we are in the excellent position of being able to provide on-line learning to all our students at home, across all learning areas - English, Maths, Science, HaSS, HPE and option subjects, through the online management platforms Canvas and Teams . Many of you would now be familiar with this platform (Canvas) if your children have shared this with you. I have continued to share with the community our journey in this space of 21st Century learning and pedagogy over the past 3 years as this has been core to our improvement agenda and we are now in a very confident position to transition this to supporting learning from home for our students.
Our survey audit completed 3 weeks ago clearly indicated who needed access to a device for learning and we are really pleased that we now have most of our students with a device for learning. Our iPad initiative and roll out over the past 2 years has also ensured our capacity to do this. If you are still having difficulty in this area please contact the main office for assistance.
So, what will learning from home look like for our students?
Again, we have spent considerable time looking into best practice, guided by current research, in collaboration with our staff teams, to provide a program that will continue to support the learning of our students. This is the priority for us all and the work that staff have done over the last 2 weeks is testament to this commitment. They have been working tirelessly to ensure our Canvas courses are user friendly for at home learning.
On Monday 27th April, students will be emailed their timetable for learning for Term 2 which will have timeslots indicating when they are required to do live on-line tutorials (hook-ups) with their home group teacher each morning; Grade Assembly times and subject tutorials which will be (up to 1 hour block) once a week, live with their subject teacher. The remainder of their time will be self-directed learning following the Canvas courses which have specific activities, tasks, assignments etc. that they will need to follow for each subject area.
Students will be given clear information about how to access these meetings through their Canvas course rooms and video tutorials that will be emailed to all. They will also have clear instructions and processes about when and how they can access their teacher's support to ensure equitable access and reasonable timeframes are managed.
Every grade also has a Grade Home Room Course which has buttons that will link to their Grade Assembly at designated times and to their Class Teacher session every morning. It also has information relating to the grade and a “check in” button which will take students to a check in survey they will be completing twice a week. This information and data go confidentially to their class teacher to ensure we are monitoring student wellbeing and pastoral care.
Students will also be able to access extension and differentiated support in their subject canvas rooms – buttons called "Strengthen My Understanding" and "Extend My Understanding" and in Maths they are called – "Revisit, Revise, Reactivate" for strengthening and "Extend, Enrich, Explore" for extension work. We have another course, "Curiosity Project" which has some further guided learning opportunities for students who may wish to spend some learning time focussing on a passion or personal interest that they are "curious" about and can use this flexibly to value add to their learning.
Learning will continue at home with teachers leading this learning. Please be assured that parents and family members are not expected to be "the teacher". What you can do is ensure good routines, discuss a sensible place to work (preferably not the bedroom) for your child, monitor progress, support healthy habits like sensible eating and good nutrition, encourage exercise and break times for physical and mental wellbeing and reassure your child that they are doing a fabulous job if they have been engaging well. There is more information around setting up a good learning environment at home for parents on the DoE Website - www.education.tas.gov.au.
Please note that if you are an essential worker or cannot supervise or support your child’s learning at home and are sending them to school that they will be receiving the same educational provisions that students learning from home will be receiving. They will be following the same timetable as the students learning from home and the same approach and expectations will apply. It is more than likely that this learning will be supervised by another teacher. Staff will not be doing instruction at school and preparing and delivering online learning working from home at the same time. This is not realistic nor reasonably practicable and is directive fully supported by the Department of Education.
Information will be regularly disseminated via our normal communication modes:
Emails (students and parents), Facebook, Schoolzine, School Website - so please make sure you regularly check these for new information. The DoE also have a wide variety of information on their website to support and assist with at home learning.
Thank you for all your support during these challenging times. I know we have all appreciated the lovely messages via emails, Schoolzine and Facebook during this crisis.
I am incredibly proud of the team at KMHS and the work that we have done and continue to do to support our learners in all aspects – academically as well as their wellbeing. We understand that these uncertain times can cause great stress and anxiety for many and we will have the full support and access to our wonderful support team in Term 2 for all students to access.
They have provided some great links and information already to help families at home in discussing and managing these situations at home.
Government Financial Support Options
Crisis support for Families and Individuals
Red Cross – 1800 733 276
Salvation Army – 13 72 58
City Mission Australia – 63 35 3000
Anglicare – 1800 243 232
Mental Health Support
Life Line – 13 11 14
Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636
Kids Help Line – 1800 555 000
Mental Health Help Line – 1800 332 388
It is holiday time now and we certainly want all our students to have a break. They should not be emailing their teachers or worrying about school. A cognitive break will be critical, so we are all well rested and ready to go for learning next term on Tuesday 28th April.
I wish everyone all the best for the holidays and the Easter break, stay healthy and we will continue to work hard to support your child and their education as the year continues.
As part of our Positive Behaviour Support Program at Kings Meadows we acknowledge students who have been contributing positively to our learning environment. This means that they have been supporting our school wide expectations.
Respect for others, self and environment
Commitment to learning
Grade 7 would like to acknowledge the following Virtual Rocks Stars:
Charli Merritt - for her commitment to on-line learning.
Matthew Leonard - for his polite and conscientious approach to online learning.
The HPE team would like to encourage students to stay active whilst at home. Physical activity does wonders for your physical and mental wellbeing. Staying active has been proven to improve your concentration, allowing you to work better. It will also improve your sleep and can reduce stress. To help you stay motivated at home the HPE Department has placed some home workouts onto your Canvas pages and they have also uploaded some workouts to our Kings Meadows High HPE facebook page. If you haven’t already done so please like our page and then you will have access to these workouts and challenges.
Stay safe, stay active and hopefully we will see you all very soon.
Mrs Coleen Elliott
HPE Learning Area Leader
|Principal||Mrs Maree Pinnington|
|Assistant Principal - Junior School (7/8)||Mrs Katie Wightman|
|Assistant Principal - Senior School (9/10)||Ms Kate Blaubaum|
|Business Manager||Mrs Wendy Dalton|
|Psychologist - (Mon, Wed, Thurs)||Anita Markham|
|Social Worker - (Mon - Thurs)||Jasmine Poslon|
|Chaplain - (Tues & Thurs)||Paul Burton|
|School Nurse - (Tuesday)||Danielle Seadon|
|Grade 7 AST||Mrs Kate Hume|
|Grade 7 Leader||Miss Lillian Males|
|Grade 8 AST||Mrs Emma Dobson|
|Grade 8 Leader||Mr Nick Stokes/Miss Nicole Williams|
|Grade 9 AST||Mrs Coleen Elliott|
|Grade 9 Leader||Mr Tom Hartley|
|Grade 10 AST||Mr Jake Chamberlain|
|Grade 10 Leader||Mrs Lou Williams|