Newsletter No 08 15 April 2020

NEWSLETTER WEEK 1 TERM 2 2020

Kia ora Parents/whanau

Blessings from my bubble. It does seem a long time since I wrote my last newsletter to you. I guess we have been lucky with some fine weather over the last few weeks which has enabled us to get outside in our backyards, take dogs for a walk and I am sure many other things we have done as families as well.

Please read the newsletters and updates we send you. It is important you keep up to date and know what is going on for your children.

Easter certainly looked differently for us all this year and I think our Church did particularly well in celebrating Mass and liturgies online. Father Eamon has been great in sharing daily updates, reflections and prayers with us. You can access these reflections on the parish facebook page.

Well, let's talk about online learning.

The Learning from Home programme commenced today. The situation is different for all families and we are here to support you. Please don't get stressed, or create stress in your household, over the Learning from Home programme. As child psychologist, Nathan Wallis, suggests, your main job now is to help your children stay calm during these very unusual times.

Some children will enthusiastically embrace the opportunity to engage with school work on-line. Great - encourage and support them. Other children will not want to engage much at all. Rather than get into conflict with them, negotiate a minimum amount of school online involvement from your child and accept that there are other forums for learning. Imaginative play, including creative forms of communication with family and friends beyond your bubble, participation in household activities such as cooking, gardening or doing chores and making use of dedicated educational TV channels, are all valid ways for your child to feel settled, calm and comfortable in this new and different situation of physical isolation.

It’s also really helpful to keep in mind that, although this period of time seems lengthy, in the grand scheme of things, your child will not be educationally disadvantaged by it. All families are in the same situation and what will be most helpful for children is having security in knowing that they are safe and things will return to normal in due course.

To find out how to connect and participate in online work, please check the class blog - see the links available under the Blogs tab of the School Website.

At the start of the year, many of you signed up to receive Class Blog updates via email - please note there is a bit of a delay between when the blogpost is made and when you receive an email. It is probably helpful at the moment to make sure you check the blog, via the website, where updates seem to be visible straight away.

Our Year 3-6 students will be using their chromebooks to access their school account and their Team Google Site. Please be aware that when your child is logged into their school account, their screen and tabs are visible in Term Time to our teachers, via the Hapara Teacher Dashboard.

A reminder of our protocols. Click on the following link to view.
Protocols-for-Learning-from-Home-programme-1.pdf

We are here to try and support your child's learning. There are also scheduled programmes on TV to support Learning from Home. You can check out the schedule here.

Please contact the class teacher if you need help with anything, or if you need further assistance email annec@stmarysrotorua.school.nz

This is a new situation for all of us and we will try our best to help you.

During the holidays we invited our children to get involved in the Holiday Reading Programme. The Reading Log due date has been extended to Monday, 20th April. Children can return their logs to their classroom teacher or to Kay: kayh@stmarysrotorua.school.nz

Here is a message from Kay our librarian:
Keep Reading and Bubble On.

Keep reading heaps, read to your family, read to your dog,read everywhere and anywhere in your home bubble space.

Have a great week everyone
God bless
David Macmillan

  • For parents and caregivers:
    - Remember to take care of yourself first. If you are calm, your family will be calm:
    Get outside
    Exercise
    Find ways to relax
    Eat healthily
    Connect remotely with friends and family
    S L O W down – this is a golden opportunity to take a breather from “normal” day to day life.
  • For your kids,
    - Routine = Consistency = Safety. Establish One!
  • Relax any concerns about academic progress – These are extraordinary times but they will pass and the top priority right now is helping your children feel safe through just being with them.
    Accept that “education” takes many forms and now is a great time for your kids to learn differently. Cooking or baking together, planting some veges, watching a film together, playing board games, walking in the forest, going for a bike ride, is all educational AND great for cultivating FUN and positivity.
  • If you have two adults at home, plan shifts on who is supervising the younger children and share this with the children so you both get a break. If it’s just you, factor in some down time for yourself through your scheduled plan for the children.

Above all, be patient, positive and kind, especially with yourself!

FROM OUR DIRECTOR OF RELIGIOUS STUDIES:

We trust you are all well during this time. Isn’t it great to see the many random acts of kindness in communities? Isn’t it wonderful to see positive attitudes around us, and people showing consideration and patience. It is a frustrating time as it throws us out of balance with our normal, but we are reminded that this will pass. This is a great opportunity to stop and reflect on the important people in our lives and the uniqueness of our world.
Keep safe, don’t worry and be patient.

cracked flower.JPG

Scripture Reflection:
The first two chapters of Luke’s gospel cover the conception, birth and early years of both John the Baptist, and Jesus. All associated with these events needed much reassurance to overcome their hesitation and fear. Zechariah, Mary, and the shepherds at Bethlehem are urged, Do not be afraid. Chapter one of Matthew’s account introduces a very troubled Joseph who is told, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. [Mt 1:20]
Often during his ministry Jesus encourages the disciples not to be afraid, and guides them on a journey to trust in God and trust also in me. John, chapter 14, is part of Jesus’ final words instruction to the disciples and it is rich with reassurance and the promise of his continued presence, especially in the gift of the Spirit (I will not leave you orphans – vs 18).
Give yourself 5-10 minutes with one of these sections.

Consider:

Why was there such a need for Jesus to reassure those closest to him?

When have you felt most afraid?

How and by whom or what have you found reassurance, courage?

What fears have you noticed, or are noticing, during this isolation?

How is your faith helping during this experience?

How is your faith growing, or likely to grow, because of this time?