Dear Parents and Guardians,
I hope this message finds you well. These are extraordinary times and I appreciate that there are additional pressures for everyone. Given the inordinate strength of our STC community, though, I am confident that we will be able to tackle challenges positively together.
The purpose of this message is to reassure you that the wellbeing of your child(ren) is our top priority. We are conscious that our students are having to adapt to some new approaches to teaching and learning but we are communicating with them each day and we are sure they will engage well with these. Students have also all been sent messages of support. One of them, from me, is here in case you have not seen it: Message to Students.
You will be aware that one of the methods we are using is Google Meet (Hangouts), though this is only one tool. This technology provides video access to students. Teachers have been provided with online learning protocols and will manage their classes in very similar ways to classroom based lessons. Codes of professional conduct have not changed and teachers will set the parameters for their lessons, as usual.
Naturally, we expect students to also adhere to the school behavioural guidelines and we anticipate full cooperation. Ideally, we would prefer online lessons not be located in student bedrooms, but in small apartments and with family members also working from home, we are sympathetic to such situations.
We would very much appreciate you helping us to reinforce with your child(ren) the need to:
- Be on time for lessons.
- Be dressed appropriately for learning.
- Remain attentive during the lesson.
- Interact patiently and respectfully with their teachers and peers.
- Provide feedback to teachers about their experiences and any relevant suggestions.
Of course, we are also very sensitive to students maintaining balance in their days and we are cognisant of the volume of pressure many of our students already place upon themselves. During an average school day there are several breaks so students can eat, go outside, mingle with friends, share ideas and have fun doing a huge range of activities. If we could enlist your help in making sure that your child(ren) is not tethered to her/his laptop for any longer that we advise, that will make the learning more effective. It will also result in healthier, happier young people. We know from contemporary research and science that we all need good sleep, nutrition, frequent exercise and meaningful connections with other people to thrive. Please keep a watchful eye on your child(ren) so this balance is achieved.
Starting on Wednesday, February 5, all students will be registering with their Tutors, getting established for the day ahead and chatting about such things as:
- Gauge of general wellbeing.
- Any SMART access questions.
- Communication with subject teachers.
- Access to necessary materials.
- How they are managing the volume of work.
The Heads of Year across the school are also compiling activities to encourage students to leave their computers, move their bodies and connect with others during this period.
In closing, below are more resources from our full time school counsellor, Caroline Blyth.
Thank you very much for your partnership, as always, and stay well.
Resources for parents:
Free websites for stress management Year 10 to 13:
Free wellbeing app for Year 7+