Principal’s Message Term 2, Week 1

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

This week begins our remote learning.  The school holiday officially finishes today (Tuesday 14th April) and school re-opens tomorrow, albeit a little differently from what we have experienced in the past.

I have previously shared what each team will be having the children complete during lockdown.  If you have not read about this, please go to the home page of our website and click on the tab labelled “learning from home“.  There is a brief overview of what each team will be doing.  If you are unsure, please contact your child’s classroom teacher.  The teachers will be online during the school hours to support you and your child.

Many parents are justifiably concerned at the moment, worried about their family’s health, worried about financial matters, having to work from home and all the while trying to keep everybody calm and sane in very stressful circumstances.  I know that parents may feel overwhelmed at the moment by work being sent home from schools and how to access this information…. Seesaw… Google classroom…. times have changed a lot since we were students.  Please do not feel guilty or inadequate, We are all on a steep learning curve but I would like to make a couple of points.

1.  Please treat the lockdown learning as a MENU of options.  Some days you may decide to have four courses, other days you might decide to just have a main course, and some days you might even choose not to look at the menu, this is all fine.  We know that every family has different circumstances and we are here to support you and your family.
 
2.  As parents, you decide what is obtainable, based on your family situation.  Remember your children are in primary school, please don’t worry about your child falling behind as they will cover this work again in school many times.  As teachers, it is our job to support their learning and we will help any child who is struggling when we return to school as best we can.
The Government has advised that the earliest date that schools will open is Wednesday 29 April.  More direction will be provided by the Government on Monday 20 April when they make a public announcement.

Below I have shared some information from Netsafe on how to keep ourselves safe while working from home online, as these are difficult unprecedented times for all of us.  Child Protection and OCEANZ groups have been working with Netsafe to produce safety advice around preventing child exploitation and online child sexual abuse during the lockdown.

Increase in Child Exploitation Material and Online Child Sexual Abuse during Lockdown

Overseas law enforcement have indicated a dramatic increase of the amount of online child exploitation and child sexual abuse during the lockdown period.  Due to New Zealand being at level 4 with most Kiwis being confined to their homes, everyone will have an increased online presence, including children.  Many Kiwis are also working from home while level 4 is in place and may not feel they have as much time as normal to monitor their children’s internet use.  Unfortunately, online offenders are also at home with an increased online presence.

To get ahead of the overseas trend and prevent sexual predation, sexting, cyber bullying and other types of cyber crime occurring, please refer to the link and information provided by Netsafe:

https://www.netsafe.org.nz/online-safety-for-parents/

https://www.netsafe.org.nz/the-best-online-safety-tips-for-lockdown/

While the internet is a great place for learning and education and during this time a great tool for delivering distance education, there are some dangers and things that parents and caregivers should remember to be aware of.   Try and prevent children and young persons from becoming victims and exploited online.  Discuss internet safety with children of all ages and agree with them on what they can do online including sites to visit and appropriate behaviours

  • Review and approve games and apps before they are downloaded
  • Review privacy settings of sites and applications
  • Check your children’s profiles and what they are posing online and be aware that anything that is posted online with be permanently on the internet
  • Take the time to understand what sites they are visiting and who they are talking with and check in regularly
  • Some social media sites have age restrictions to join, check these before letting your child use them or join
  • Monitor your child’s use of the internet and consider having them use it in an open, common area of the house
  • Make sure your children know to report any activity they don’t feel comfortable with to you straight away.

Remember if your children were going out, you would go with them or depending on their age check where they are going.  If your children are online you should be with them or check what sites they are visiting.  If you think your child or a child in your care is the victim of online exploitation or abuse, please do not hesitate to report it.  If we all work together to make sure children are safe online, we can make the internet a great tool for people of all ages.

School Calendar

To help you with school dates, whole school events the following calendar has been created.  The calendar is available on our school website/school calendar, or open the following link School Calendar

2020 School Term Dates
Term 1 Monday 3rd February Wednesday 25th March 72 half days
Term 2 Wednesday 15th April Friday 3rd July 106 half days
Term 3 Monday 20th July Friday 25th September 100 half days
Term 4 Monday 12th October Tuesday 15th December 92 half days
I wish you all the best as you remain safe at home, and we all look forward to seeing your children back at school in the near future.
Kind regards,
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Alasdair Maclean
Principal