The announcement made by the Queensland government on Monday 13 April means that for the majority of school children, learning will be at home at least for the first few weeks of Term 2, until 22 May 2020. Schools will be open for children of essential workers and vulnerable children (children identified by the school as vulnerable, children who are receiving services with Child Safety, children who are subject to a protection order or a youth justice order, or children in certain Indigenous communities). Exceptions in this case are children who are unwell. A further decision will be made in mid-May regarding schools re-opening to all students after 22 May 2020.
Queensland government advises that all early childhood education and care services will remain open and operating unless advised otherwise by health authorities. They have prepared a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions.
Many parents might be worried and stressed about the prospect of motivating, encouraging, and teaching their children. Firstly, remember parents are not meant to be teachers. Your role, if you are at home supervising your children’s “schooling” is to:
- assist the child/ren to develop a regular home-based learning routine, including staying in regular contact with the school and teacher/s through agreed processes.
- encourage the child/ren to engage with online and at home activities for at least 2-3 hours, focussing on literacy and numeracy, and
- let the child/ren’s teacher/s know if they have any concerns.
For most children, learning is better in the morning and routines which incorporate the usual breaks work best. For example, packing a lunch and snacks which are easily accessed and eaten within designated break times. Remember, learning comes in all shapes and forms, such as craft activities, playing shop with money, or using measuring utensils to bake. Plan for more active pursuits in the afternoon or perhaps allow the child/ren to choose an activity that is fun and enjoyable (bonus if it extends learning)!
Resources and support The learning@home site provides a range of curriculum resources and advice for parents for preparing to learn at home. Queensland government has also prepared an excellent resource for supporting the well-being of your children and with their learning. You can access it here.
Some families may experience significant personal, financial and social stress during the Coronavirus pandemic and may require additional support. If you do need support, please read the factsheet here for services and handy tips. Remember, help is available to you. Reach out to your psychologist also – they are trained to help you in uncertain times.
What does this mean for Grades 11 and 12?
Young people in the higher grades will also learn@home until 22 May 2020, subject to another announcement in mid May 2020. This means that young people have the advantage of becoming self-paced learners and will still have the support of their teachers.
The Education Council, which comprises of the Minister of Education from each state and territory, have considered the assessment requirements for senior secondary students and the impact on the calculation of final subject results. To promote equitable outcomes, Council agreed to the following set of national principles for final grade students:
- Students will be able to achieve a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education this year, and that certificate will facilitate access to university, further education and employment.
- In consideration of the current situation, any revisions to school assessment programs must be made with students’ best interests in mind and to honour the intent of the learning described in the curriculum.
- Equity in assessment must be maintained while also providing schools with flexibility to accommodate their unique circumstances, including the specific needs of individual students.
- Revisions to assessment programs must not compromise the integrity of senior certification and public confidence in the credentials issued to this year’s senior students.
More information is likely to follow in the coming days. Young people are encouraged to seek support as needed. Psychologists can assist with study strategies, tips for procrastination, and for stress and feelings of isolation.
This information above was put together using information from the Queensland government website.
WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.