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28 May 2020

posted 2 Jun 2020, 16:08 by Carolyn Brett
David Byrne, musician extraordinaire, and the Brooklyn Youth Choir performed this piece "One Fine Day" together in 2019. It has been hailed as a hymn of 'optimism and resilience' so I thought it fitting to share with the 'gems' our Worser Bay School discovered during our period in Lockdown and on return to home base. 

As we head into an extra long weekend, hopefully you can find some space to absorb these precious jewels from a unique period of time. In no particular order of form...... uncut and unpolished!
 
Parents
  • We loved the slowing down and had time to spend with our children.
  • We got to understand more about how they learn.
  • I understand the need for repetition and the time it takes.
  • It has been truly delightful to discover what they know and how they develop knowledge.
  • I understand how using the technology as a tool to draw interactive participation from students rather than a passive agent of communication. 
  • A connecting of the dots is happening before my eyes. 
  • It has given me a view into the teachers' world - to me, a bit like making up a recipe and then baking it.
  • For the most part, it was very rewarding and meaningful.
  • Such a great chance to step up for the kids and really be present in their lives. There is so much we will take from this experience into how we do things from now on - all of it relies on a slower pace of life and much more mindful consideration of how we use our time.
  • We loved the flexibility in the day and time to delve deeply into things kids were passionate about.
  • We were well prepared by the experience of the last few years with Worser Bay School where we have learned the importance of the kids leading the learning, and not needing to be rigid and outcome focused.
  • Homeschooling makes us totally appreciate how teaching requires time, effort and patience, and it can be rewarding.  
  • Zoom meetings are important to parents - so they can all be connected
  • They have come back to school much more independent and chatty about their day.
  • They love the workshop style of learning.
  • We appreciated being more connected to their schoolwork.
  • We've been really impressed by the resilience now they are back at school.
  • I'm grateful to have spent so much time alongside them.
  • Seesaw connects us well.
  • The children loved how we could link learning to real life situations.
  • You guys do an incredible job getting through what you do - I was exhausted!
  • We feel more confident in working with our children on homeschooling activities, having fun with the learning and adapting to our own circumstances. 
  • We were thrilled with our children’s ability to direct their own learning (investigating, asking questions, making choices about their learning). We credit ‘the Worser Bay Way’ for this.
 
Children
  • I loved using new tools like EPIC. I read heaps.
  • We loved being able to plan our own day and have plenty of rests too. 
  • I love reconnecting with my friends now though and seeing the teachers again. 
  • I had so much fun with Sumdog and just kept getting better at it.
  • We did so many experiments. It was fun and I learned a lot.
  • We missed school and I'm really pleased to be back.
  • Mum was an OK teacher but it was hard for her!
  • We loved being busy.
  • I loved spending time with my brother. I would be really bored without him.
  • It was so quiet and calm and that helped me to really think about things.
  • I think I have new skills and am able to not worry about trying new things.
  • It's fun looking around the room at the things, I almost forgot what it looked like.
  • I'm independent, well much more now.
  • I had time to work on things for longer and learned lots about the world.
  • I made cool videos and got much better at helping out at home too.
  • We loved having a list of things to do and could do it in our own time.
  • I loved planning my own day now that I'm back at school.
 
Staff
  • Children took real pleasure in rediscovering their classroom, noticing little differences, happy that things weren't too different.
  • I was reminded of "Don't do anything for a child that they can do for themselves" Maria Montessori, as the way they have grown up, become more independent, getting themselves into school, hanging their bag up and getting ready for learning, with ease and no tears, has been an incredible and exciting change to witness.
  • We observed how the children took real pleasure in rediscovering their classroom, noticing little differences, checking in on favourite toys and places, happy that things are not too different. They showed confidence and ownership of their space and a general feeling of being ‘back where they belong’. They were keen to know that familiar routines (like our ABC cards, storytime, etc) were carrying on and were curious about changes to the daily programme. They are generally calm, keen for fun and learning, and in great spirits. Very tired by Thursday afternoon though...
  • Staff were incredibly collaborative and tight over this time. The sharing and caring highly evident.
  • We observed growing collaboration with friends and family.
  • It was great to be able to build relationships with students in different ways/opportunities over this time.
  • Students developing as leaders and inspiring others.
  • It's certainly pushed our thinking about learner agency.
  • Children loved spending time with their parents and were involved in some pretty cool projects.
  • Children also realised the pluses of school - many missed the collaboration with peers and working relationships.
  • They have a new appreciation for their teachers and strangely seeing each other on Zoom deepened connections.
  • We had an opportunity to introduce new tools for some children requiring more support. We could offer some differentiation for children and families.
  • Positive Education/Wellbeing took centre stage.
  • We needed to develop new skills quickly - like videoing ourselves.
  • It's given us a chance to regroup and really think about why we do things and how we may do them differently

OK - I've skimmed the surface here and it's by no means a definitive list. I'm sure we will keep noticing things that may become forever changes. I also totally recognise that, for some of you, gems may have been harder to find, they may be waiting to be unearthed still. That's all OK! There is no right.

So here's to a lovely bit of breathing space for the Queen's Birthday. If you are travelling away - go well and relish the freedom.
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