Can you believe that we are about to complete our 6th week of remote learning and are now getting ready to return to our neighbourhood spaces? While there have been challenges to overcome along the way there have also been many incredible moments of learning and growth. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all, families and children, for the bravery shown in taking on this new temporary version of schooling.
As we consider our return to face to face teaching and learning we think it is important to reflect on our term so far, as it is these experiences that will shape our path forward.
We began this journey with a provocation from last year’s prep community about kindness. As educators we sensed a need to take it slow and allow an authentic opportunity to consider our unique situation. Kindness seemed a possible way to engage thought and conversation both at home and online. Very quickly the children made a strong connection between kindness and the human heart. Curiosity was sparked. Suddenly, as educators, we found ourselves pondering the importance of curiosity in 21st century learning. We invited the children to consider curiosity. Their enthusiasm whilst inquiring into curiosity was and continues to be a powerful experience for us as educators. It was not long before connections between curiosity and the human brain were made. Along the way we have encountered moments of curiosity with nature, space and mathematics to mention just a few. We explored maps and time machines. We created dances to express kindness and curiosity and began to explore the power of facial expressions. We created stories with book making, puppetry and Isolation Super Heroes.
It is now our privilege to interpret all of the learning from our remote experiences and return with it to our neighbourhood setting, translating, deepening and evolving with the children. We are conscious of the need to focus on the wellbeing and re-settling of the children and families. The children will need time to reconnect with one another and the teaching team at PHPS. There will be new routines to accommodate together, as a community, supporting and encouraging the children as we adjust.
The direct email for prep parents will remain open throughout this transition. We will look for new ways to engage and connect with all of our families and continue to create a sense of community. This may be a daily or weekly online ‘virtual’ documentation board to replace the board in our courtyard. We will continue to write and send these fortnightly blogs, with an emphasis on sharing the inquiries and learning taking place throughout the neighbourhood. The weekly ‘wrap-up’ videos, sharing the children in action throughout the different learning spaces, will also continue.
Most of all we are happy, excited and, yes, curious to be returning to our neighbourhood and reuniting with the children.