The teachers of Woodcrest Academy are working hard to ensure that no disruption of education is suffered throughout the current COVID-19 crisis.
As educators we are constantly adapting to the ever-changing circumstances within the parameters of South African policy. Our goal is to minimise the disruption to our children’s education caused by the lockdown.
We will achieve this through a comprehensive online learning programme. Lessons will be uploaded on a daily basis for pupils and parents to view, download and complete in their own time.
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A PARENTS GUIDE TO ONLINE LEARNING
Home schooling is not for the faint of heart. Parents are not educators and children are finding themselves anxious and unsettled by the current situation. To help get them through this, parents should take the following steps:
Talk to your child
- Sit your children down and explain the situation in a way that they understand.
- Do your best to allay their fears and encourage them to ask questions.
- Whenever possible, avoid alarmism and pessimistic rants in front of your children, they understand more than you think.
- Explain to your children that we will get though this by being patient, following the rules and doing our best to maintain a normal life.
- Do not be too dismissive of their concerns and fears, they are simply reacting to the given emotional climate in our country.
- Reassure your children that the government and emergency services are doing their best to take care of the problem. Remind them that other countries are coming out of this and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Routine, routine, routine
It is vital for parents to maintain a schedule for their children during this period of lockdown. A child in a routine is a stable and settled child, the same applies to us!
- As a family, stick to your normal weekly routine so the days don’t blur together. Set the alarm on weekdays, get up, get dressed, have breakfast and get your normal work/school work and chores done. Use the weekends to relax!
- Draw up a chores list and fit this into your morning routine. Be sure to include the kids as much as possible by making them help with tidying up, sweeping, caring for animals, dishes and laundry etc. Download the LOCKDOWN CHORES template.
- We will draw up a day schedule for you to download, this will be open for editing to suite your personal requirements. Watch this spot!
- Many experts are suggesting that we change into our work clothes while working from home. This is an important psychological tool to separate work and private time while working at home. Our children could benefit by this too by putting their uniform on during school time and then removing it when their work is complete.
A Healthy Learning Environment
- Children should be seated at a desk/table with no access to television or noise. Create a learning space for them.
- Children should have immediate access to their stationery (ie. on the desk next to them).
- Children should be fed and dressed with teeth and hair brushed before the lesson takes place.
- Parents should be on hand to explain concepts or assist with work without ‘hovering’. You must give them their space to learn as individuals. Provide adequate explanations, demonstrate if necessary and give clear, concise instructions before walking away to allow the child to work.
- Take care not to allow anxiety or frustration to create negative feedback to your child. This will make them more resistant to the learning process. Sometimes it takes multiple explanations before a child grasps the concept and also allow mistakes as this is often part of learning, so be patient.
- Do not allow you child to sit in front of the TV all day. Encourage outside time if you can, do fun exercise routines with them and make them do chores to stay active, this will help with concentration and alleviate frustration. This will be good for you too!
THE ONLINE LEARNING PROGRAMME
Due to the lockdown procedures taking place, WCA will not be permitted to deliver physical workbooks, textbooks etc. which leaves us with only the option of online learning. Given the ease of access to technology, this is a feasible option.
The procedure will be as follows:
- Click on your child’s grade at the top of this page.
- Download your child’s schedule.
- The schedule will refer to the textbooks and workbooks that should have already been collected.
- Grade 1, 2 and 3 will not require video teaching, as their concepts are fundamentally simple.
- Grade 4, 5, 6 and 7 will have links provided for youtube video lessons which will include explanations, additional information, examples done on a white board etc.
- Grade 8, 9, 10 and 11 are already on a homeschool program. Their teacher will interact directly with them through Skype or YouTube.
- Should parents or learners have any questions regarding the activities, they can contact their class teacher on WhatsApp within the normal school hours which are Monday to Friday from 8am – 2.30pm.
The purpose of the Online Learning programme is to replicate a normal classroom-like environment to avoid loss of learning time during an exam term. As it currently stands, exams will still take place at the end of the term, so this learning program should be taken very seriously and children should be reminded that this is not simply an extended holiday.
Woodcrest Academy wishes you and your family well during this unprecedented time and appreciate your patience as we adapt and adjust our service provision to the ever changing circumstances. We also encourage you to enjoy this time that you have to learn and interact with your children at home. We would also like to reassure you that when our situation begins to normalise, school will resume as normal.