From the Head of the Preparatory School
Welcome back to Term 3! Once again this feels a strange thing to be doing as we have returned to remote learning mode for the beginning of this term. Nonetheless, it has been great to resume learning with the students this week. It was wonderful to see the joy on the students’ and teachers’ faces on Tuesday morning at the first remote learning check-in. It served as a strong reminder about the value of relationships in primary education. This remains a key focus for us as we navigate this period, ensuring that students continue to feel connected to one another and their teacher as they engage in their learning.
It has also been encouraging to see the students adjust to the routines and systems associated with remote learning. It is clear that their experience last year has served them well! Whilst far from ideal, there are a number of silver linings that remote learning brings, not least of which is the opportunity for students to grow in self-management skills and independence. As such, I encourage parents to share this focus and encourage the boys to take ownership and responsibility for their learning and the management of the online platforms. Rest assured; the teachers are not planning learning experiences that are beyond the boys’ skills. If they are not experiencing success, please encourage them to reach out to their teacher for support and encouragement through Seesaw / Canvas or at their daily check-ins on Teams. Parents are reminded that any ongoing issues can be raised through the use of the following email addresses:
Remote Learning – Weeks 2 and onwards
Yesterday I communicated via an email about some additional elements of remote learning that will be launched or re-launched from next week. If you haven’t received this email, please check your junk folder or contact the School Office.
These enhancements include the following:
- Expansion of the Specialist programme and the publishing of a new Specialist learning timetable.
- Teachers will begin adding daily updates on Seesaw or Canvas foreshadowing the learning experiences that will be taking place the following day. We hope this supports students and parents to be organised and to plan their days accordingly.
- Time For More is our version of remote co-curricular. A series of learning engagements will be uploaded on a weekly basis to provide the students with additional opportunities to extend their learning in areas of particular interest. Please note that students shouldn’t be working on these activities until they have completed all assigned work from their class teacher and the specialist lessons that has been timetabled for that day.
Jump Rope for Heart
One Time For More activity that I particularly want to plug for all students is Jump Rope For Heart. This term we have planned to engage all of the students (and family members too if they are willing) in Jump Rope for Heart, culminating in an Archer House Fundraising Day. This programme is an age-old fitness programme, supported by the Heart Foundation, and designed to help primary school-students move more and have fun, while raising awareness about, and funds for, heart research and patient support. We are aware that skipping is no longer a skill that comes naturally to most students. We would love for all students to join in as we engage in skipping (or pre-skipping) activities while we are learning remotely. Each day, students will be set a ‘skipping challenge’ as well as being provided with some interesting facts about healthy living. If you can get access to a skipping rope that would be brilliant. If not, jumping and hopping will suffice.
The Jump Rope schedule that outlines the daily challenges can be found at this link. Each day’s challenge is accompanied with a related health fact. Further details will be launched next Monday as well as support materials and demonstration videos to show the boys how to perform each of the types of jumps. For now, I encourage all families to dig out those skipping ropes, print off the schedule and stick it on the fridge. I hope that all members of the community might commit to this worthwhile exercise to increase skipping skills, fitness and awareness of healthy living for young people. We look forward to boys and families sharing pictures and videos of them meeting each of the challenges. This can be done through the Time For More course on Seesaw or Canvas.
It’s entirely possible that this has crept up on you, but next Friday is the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics in Tokyo. Given the strange reality we are currently living in, it has been easy to miss this. Nonetheless, this is a significant occasion that is worthy of a high profile for our students. To support this, we will be launching a focused area in Time For More that encourages students to engage with the Olympics; the history, the athletes, the results and the hype. To support this, a regular light-hearted video segment will be published to draw attention to the events as well as hopefully making the boys laugh.
Whilst school hasn’t occurred as normal, I can assure you that the Llandilo Development has continued full steam ahead. There has been a huge amount of work completed over the holiday period and the project remains on, or ahead of, schedule. If you haven’t had the chance to watch my video from earlier in the week I encourage you to do so as it contains a walkthrough video that will give you some sense of the works. This can be found in your son’s Seesaw or Canvas class.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”Hebrews 11:1
In considering what to write about this week, I have made a conscious decision to look…
There have been no changes since I last wrote about our plans for Week 4 and 5, but I would like to request your ongoing assistance in reinforcing to your sons the current public health messages.
I am excited to finally be welcoming students back to school over the next two weeks….