Gundaroo Public School

Working Together

Telephone02 6236 8115

Emailgundaroo-p.school@det.nsw.edu.au

Learning from Home FAQs

Thank you for your questions. Please continue to send them through and we will answer them as best we can!

  • How to structure a timetable for the day/manage multiple children with differing timetables?

This is a challenge that the teachers have daily in their classes and unfortunately there is no one answer. To try to make it easier, teachers are working towards helping you address by attempting to streamline their activities.

Another great way to manage this is to look at the activities provided for the day for the children and think about what can be done independently (Reading Eggs, Mathseeds, audiobook etc), and what needs to be done with support. While one child is completing an independent activity, you can be providing support to the other to complete their tasks. It does however take a bit of juggling!  

Don’t forget it is important children take regular breaks throughout the day, and move away from screens. Whilst some breaks are built into the day by the teachers, we encourage parents to provide these as required too. This can also allow for parents to work one to one with other children, or fit in a few jobs around the house.

If a child is having particular difficulty with a concept, it might be a good idea to request an individual Zoom meeting with the teacher, or ask the teacher to address the problem during a meeting already planned. Put the task on hold, wait for that to occur and hopefully your child will then be able to move through the task with less support. 

Unfortunately, in order to move learning forward (and not just provide ‘busy work’), children will need guidance with some of their tasks.

  • How much of the work that is set is expected to be completed/how do I balance schoolwork with my work commitments??

We understand that the situation that you are in is very different to what is expected in a normal school day. The teachers provide a range of activities to ensure that you have enough work for an entire school day should you be able to get through it, but also understand that this isn’t always possible. 

The teachers will indicate those activities that are ‘must do’ and those that are ‘can do’. However, we don’t want this to be a stress on you and we understand that things pop up from time to time which will limit your ability to complete all set tasks. This is ok. If you are finding that you are regularly struggling to complete the ‘must do’ activities, please get in touch with your child’s teacher to discuss what can be done to help you.

  • How do I “instigate” a meeting so that kids can keep in touch with their friends?

Zoom is a great video-conferencing platform where multiple people can join a ‘meeting’. The teachers have so far had great success using it to check in with their students. 

To host a Zoom meeting, you will need to register an account. This can be done via their website: https://zoom.us

There are also a range of webinars on their website which explain how Zoom works. 

* Please be mindful that Zoom is a paid platform. While there is a free option, it does have limitations and we have heard reports of advertising (sometimes inappropriate for children) using the free service. 

* We also strongly recommend that if your child is using Zoom, that they do it in the presence of a trusted adult. 

  • How do I contact teachers if the kids have a question about a certain activity?

Teachers are available via email, Seesaw message or phone call to the school to answer any questions you have. One of the challenges of remote learning is being able to ask questions and receive an immediate response, and during the school day, teachers are often in Zoom meetings, helping other students or busy with other jobs so may not always be able to respond immediately. 

A great way to get around this issue is to stop the task that you are doing, write the question down that you have, and come back to it when you have a response. If you just need something clarified, make a note to ask the teacher, and then come back and fix up any work that has been done if required. 

Alternatively, join the learning journey with your child! See if together, you can come up with a solution to your problem. Google is your friend (most of the time)!

  • What suggestions do you have for keeping younger siblings (below school age) occupied?

This is a tricky one! Our suggestion would be to try to involve the whole family in learning. Get the younger ones to do some colouring, drawing, playing with playdough, cutting and gluing activities etc at the same table (or nearby) while the older children are working. We have provided some resources on our ‘Learning from Home’ page on the school website to assist with this.  

  • Is it important to stick to the regular school times?

Somewhat. While we recommend you develop and stick to a schedule that suits you, this does not necessarily have to tie in with regular school times. Please be mindful however, that teachers will not always be, nor cannot be expected to be available outside regular school hours (8:30am-3:30pm). 

  • How can I manage activities/devices so that parent’s resources (phones!) are not being used constantly?

Students should only need to have access to one device. Seesaw can be used by children to upload their work either via a web browser (google chrome, firefox etc) with the following link https://app.seesaw.me/#/student/login or can be accessed via the Seesaw Class app using a phone or tablet. Please note that if using a web browser, the laptop or computer will need a camera if they are wanting to take a photo of their work. 

  • How do I manage those bad days when learning just isn’t happening?

We all have those days where no matter what you do, it just isn’t going to work. When this happens, there are a couple of key things you need to keep in mind. 

1 - It can be dangerous to give up completely! Children can be clever, and they will soon learn that if they behave a certain way, if allowed, they will get what they want. Unfortunately, school is one of those non-negotiables and while it may be more fun to play outside or on the XBox, it is even more important to get a good education.

2 - The situation we are in is likely to last a while, and therefore, for the sake of your own, and your children’s wellbeing, it needs to be as positive an experience as possible.

There are a couple of simple solutions you could try. 

Negotiate! Maybe rather than getting through all must dos for the day, negotiate with your child which ones to skip, go and do something enjoyable, and then either come back to them later in the day, or the next day. By involving your child in the decision making process, not only do they feel more empowered in their learning, they are also more likely to act responsibly and catch up on any activity they may have missed. 

Reward chart! Just as we have in the classroom, younger children often need some form of extrinsic reward to stay motivated. Work with your child to come up with a system which works for you both. Hint: try to base rewards on fun experiences, rather than things that will cost you money! In the current situation, you could even look at IOUs - while you may not be able to go for a trip to the museum now, give your child a voucher to use at a later date when things are back to normal. 

If you continue to have trouble getting your child to do any work at home, please speak to your child’s teacher who can help you find a solution which works for you.