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Learning in an online environment

Catholic schools work in partnership with families to provide the best possible learning environments for our students. 

In these rapidly changing times – in one sense – nothing changes. We’re still here supporting your child in their learning. 

Here are some simple things that you can do to support your child as we move to an online learning environment. 

Pastoral Care

In event of an extended school closure, the primary responsibility for the pastoral care of students rests with their parents/guardians. However, class teachers will continue to monitor both academic progress and the general wellbeing of their students by being available to support parents and address any concerns.

Parents should contact their child’s class teacher in the usual way if they have concerns or require support. Class teachers will be expected to pass on and feedback received to the school leadership, particularly if there are concerns or a lack of communication.

Comfort and love

What your children need right now is to feel comforted and loved;
to feel like everything is going to be okay.

This might mean that you … 

  • play a game outside  
  • go for a walk
  • watch movies together  
  • share a book 
  •  do some cooking together  

All of these things are learning experiences for your child.   

Teaching

You’re not expected to be a teacher.
Your classroom teachers will be available to support your child.
Your role is simply to make sure that they are engaging with their learning.

Wellbeing

It is perfectly normal to feel anxious in these uncertain times.  Make time to listen to any concerns that your child may have.

If you need extra support - talk to your child’s teacher or a school counsellor about the additional support that is available. 

Principal’s may approve counselling contact with individual students if required. Counsellors and other wellbeing/support staff will follow Protective Practices protocols in contacting individual students at home. The school’s usual protocols regarding individual student counselling contact will be upheld. All contacts are via school authorised platforms only, with individual counselling sessions conducted by phone.

In addition to the support provided by your school, Centacare Catholic Family Services is offering additional phone counselling for individuals struggling to cope with the chaos and fear surrounding COVID-19. Centacare has increased capacity to provide telephone support for mental health concerns, family stress due to job loss, social isolation and other challenges arising from the coronavirus pandemic. The free phone counselling is now available by daytime or evening appointment, by phoning Centacare on 8215 6700 between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

The Student Wellbeing Hub is a space for educators, parents and carers and students to find resources and support that promote wellbeing and learning within the education community. Specific COVID-19 wellbeing resources have also been created to support learning communities during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. The school recovery toolkit is a popular resource for members of the school community and provides information regarding the impact of trauma in the classroom and how to support recovery.

Healthy choices

Encourage your children to: 

  • get fresh air 
  • exercise 
  • eat healthily  
  • drink plenty of water

Connection

While the idea of being away from school for an extended period may sound awesome, the reality of being isolated at home and not seeing friends, may be difficult.

Encourage your child to maintain connections with their friends in other ways.

Secondary students should be encouraged to text or call their friends during study breaks. 

Behaviour

Over the coming weeks, you may see your child behave differently.

Whether it is anxiety, or anger, or a protest that they cannot do things normally - it will happen. This is normal and expected.

If you’re struggling to know how best to support your child – connect with your child’s teacher. 

Just one thing...

If we can leave you with one message, it is this:

Your child’s wellbeing is the most important thing.

At the end of all of this, your child’s wellbeing will be more important than any specific online lesson. How they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they studied at home is gone.   

Go gently. Love your child. Support your teachers. Be kind to yourself. 

And remember: 

Our schools are open and we will continue to support our students' learning and wellbeing irrespective of whether they are online learning at school or at home.