The current Covid-19 crisis has seen schools working tirelessly to adapt and roll out distance learning quite quickly. St Paul’s Lutheran Primary School in Caboolture has already been providing an innovative learning environment that encourages students to take charge of their learning and to be independent workers who set their own individual learning goals. This learning framework has provided a strong platform for their teachers to navigate the current challenges related to the changing environment of education.
To gain some insight into how schools are handling these challenges, we chatted with St Paul’s Principal, Anton Prinsloo and the Head of Teaching and Learning Emma Bird.
“Within our school, we have a 1:1 iPad program where all students have ready access to devices. St Paul’s has for some time has been incorporating a software application into school time activities and home learning, which is also used as a daily parent-teacher communication tool.”
“Although distance learning has presented its challenges to all schools, St Paul’s has felt well positioned in the changes that need to be made as our students are already familiar with online programs and can communicate their learning in a range of ways because they are taught from a young age to work to their individual learning goals and to be responsible for their own learning.” Emma Bird said.
Principal Anton Prinsloo acknowledged that Student Wellbeing and Pastoral Care are at the centre of what our school is about. We care about the child as a holistic learner and care about every individual in our school community. Not only do we plan to provide a rigorous academic program, we are also putting layers of Pastoral Care planning in place so that students, parents and teachers feel supported, should we move to distance learning.
To prepare for the unknown, our school has taken a three-tiered approach in planning for possible distance learning. We have planned for what it could look like in the short term, the long term and we have also developed a ten day hard copy plan for all students, should they have internet connectivity issues throughout the distance learning period.
Along with their iPads, all students have been provided with a bag of essential learning items (including Literacy and Numeracy resources, writing books and pencils) to ensure the continuation of learning no matter what ‘schooling’ may look like next term.
“Families were provided a drive-through service to collect book packs, where staff members greeted them and placed the essential bag of items into their car window or boot,” Anton Prinsloo said.
Looking after our school community is our number one priority. By providing transparent and clear communication with families as well as by going above and beyond to show them that we care, we feel that our community are feeling supported and ready for whatever Term 2 will bring.