Dear Parents/ Caregivers

As we are to close our school due to the current pandemic; over the next day or so we will provide details as to how we plan to support you and your child(ren) once the two week holiday period is over. Please note the holiday period has been brought forward to start end of this week. Please feel free to make it fit you, your child and your family. Use as much or as little of what is shared as you see works for you and your child. We will not be checking up to see if certain learning opportunities are completed, we will not be judging, we want to support you and your child. We just want to provide you with some learning opportunities over the period that our school is closed. Having never done this before we will be learning how best we can help you with this. We realise for each child and family the circumstances will be different. We do not expect you to create a minute by minute schedule for your child(ren). We know you will continue to have high hopes of learning but remember this is an opportunity for you to do this differently, including the online activities we suggest, along with science experiments, reading, writing, drawing and dancing. We hope you give yourself the right to tear up the schedule that is a normal school day and just spend time with your child(ren). Play outside and go on walks. Bake and paint pictures. Play board games and watch movies. Do a science experiment together or find virtual field trips of the zoo. Start a book and read together as a family. Snuggle under warm blankets and do nothing. We hope we can keep providing ideas to support you with this too. If something is great for your family perhaps you will share it with us and we can share it with everyone.

We believe what you and your child(ren) need right now is to feel comforted and loved. To feel like it’s all going to be ok. Just like us. We have never experienced anything like this before. Although for your child(ren) the idea of being off school for weeks may sound awesome, they are probably picturing a fun time like holidays, not the reality of being trapped at home and not seeing their friends, give them space and time to adjust. We hope to be able to provide some stability for them via our contact and suggestions for learning. We intend to keep in regular contact via their Office 365 account/email. We want to see what they are up to, read any stories they may have written, see photos of their lego creations or whatever they have been creating and generally share in their learning, providing some feedback and next steps suggestions.

At this stage we will be available for our students between 9am and 3pm weekdays and will respond to any questions or sharing of learning or anything as quickly as is possible. We are all in this together. When we get back to school we will continue to teach them from where they are at, we are experts at this!

Lastly, your child(ren)’s mental health is more important than their academic skills. How they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during these weeks is gone. So keep that in mind and look after yourself too! School will officially be closed for on-site instruction as of Thursday 26 March until Tuesday 28 April.

Keep in touch, Kia kaha Nga mihi nui Jaki, Rachael, Julieanne, Cathy, Dylan, Toby, Heidi and Grant