From the Principal - 15 April 2020
We are living in challenging times but often the greatest creativity manifests itself in situations like these. There are so many changes, including schooling, which suddenly looks very different to what it did a few weeks ago.
The exciting part is that we are learning to do school in another way! We have been on a steep learning curve as we’ve been learning different ways to ensure the curriculum content is being delivered in a meaningful and engaging manner.
This crisis has become a positive catalyst for learning differently! As we dig a little deeper into our new normal, we recognise there are so many life lessons to be learned for our students. These are the skills that will set them up for life. This is a good training ground for them to grow in these areas:
- Self-discipline – students develop the skill of managing their workload more independently. It takes discipline to stay on task for any length of time.
- Time management – students learn to manage their daily work schedule to ensure they complete what has been allocated for the day.
- Responsibility – students are required to check in with the teacher at a specific time, follow a routine and deliver completed work. This too, takes time, especially when the teacher isn’t hovering over one’s shoulder.
- Critical thinking - Students participate in a variety of activities that encourage questioning, decision-making or understanding a perspective other than one’s own.
- Communication – communicating effectively is a key skill, and the better we are at it, the better our quality of life will be. Daily written communications with teachers will help students enhance this particular skill.
All these skills will take time to develop and as we know, each child learns at their own pace. Depending on age and maturity, some children will learn them quicker, and others may take a little longer to develop them. Remember practice makes progress!
As parents, you can help support the development of independent learning skills that are associated with improved learning outcomes (Evidence for Learning, 2019a) by:
- Providing the right amount of support at the right time;
- Encouraging children to take risks with their learning;
- Using open-ended questions;
- Ensuring children retain responsibility for their learning; and,
- Giving the least amount of help first to encourage children’s ownership of the task (Evidence for Learning, 2019a, p.15; Vaughan, 2018).