Connecting with parents and students has been the focus right from the start of remote and flexible learning at Mount Macedon Primary School.
Teachers and school staff created a video dancing to music in a variety of costumes and settings from their homes in north-western Victoria at the start of Term 2.
Principal Trish Hyland said the video was very well received by the school community, and some children viewed the video multiple times.
'We really connected in putting the video together and everyone was happy to see our faces,' Ms Hyland said.
'It was all about the message 'it's going to be okay' - our number one focus is on wellbeing'
At the start of Term 2, the school of 115 students had to resolve some technical glitches before launching fully online. The Department is actively working with schools to ensure families have access to internet and devices for learning from home, while this was being put in place the school had access to paper-based resources to distribute as required.
Now further into the learning from home term, Ms Hyland said the focus at Mount Macedon Primary School was on engaging students. Grades 1 and 2 recently had a fancy hat day, Grade 3 a pyjamas day.
Ongoing support for parents is part of the focus on wellbeing . At 9am every day teachers contact parents to chat through the daily lesson plan, which includes group work and one-on-one lessons.
'Teachers have made explicit explainer videos on numeracy, for when parents might have difficulty explaining what is in the daily program,' Ms Hyland said.
Specialist teachers have recorded lessons for science, French, art, and music by Caroline LeSueur.
Ms Hyland said, 'as a Principal, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of connecting and working with people to get through a difficult period, including checking-in regularly with school staff.'
During these unprecedented times the health, safety and wellbeing of all staff is paramount.
For parents and families, her number one tip is to also focus on wellbeing.
'Do what you can do without stress being involved – if it gets too stressful, you need to stop.'
Accessing Learning from Home
The Department has prepared advice on Learning from Home. Advice is available for both students and families, as well as teachers and school leaders.
To find more advice on learning from home for teachers and school leaders, visit the Learning from Home school page.
To find more advice on learning from home for parents and families, visit the Learning from Home parent page or the Fun at Home web page.