Home Based Learning – What is the key?

Flexibility is Key 

The COVID-19 pandemic has led teachers at schools across the Diocese to adapt their practices so that children can learn from home, with flexibility being the order of the day. 

Emily Channell, a Year 3 teacher and the Religious Education Coordinator at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in West Pymble, said teachers had to work out what would suit each family best.

“Some people want a set routine for the day and a timetable, and some are working from home and only have a certain number of hours to help their children’s learning,” she said.

“It’s been a real act of flexibility for each teacher knowing each family and their own circumstances and working out what suits each family best, tailoring the program for each child’s needs.”

Ms Channell, who was part of the leadership team which designed the OLPS at-home program, said it has been a steep learning curve for teachers to incorporate new technologies such as Zoom, Google Classroom and Seesaw to enhance at-home learning.

“It’s been great for our teacher development to upskill and adapt to these new technologies and applications.”

Feedback from parents across the Diocese has been very positive as each school introduces its own home-learning program.

Jenny Taylor, whose children Charlotte and Jack are at OLPS, said that she had learned to take each day as it came.

“Over the last six weeks, I have come to realise that parents working remotely with kids at home need to release that pressure valve and understand that it’s ok for some things to slip,” she said.

“We have been blessed with amazing teachers. I feel like the workload is a good balance and with a mixture of Zoom meetings and prerecorded messages and my kids understand the expectations.”

Miss Channell said that teachers at OLPS had designed the at-home learning around self-directed lessons so that parents who are working from home were also supported.

“It’s been great seeing the children getting really creative in the way they respond to tasks,” she said.

Schools across the Diocese remain open to children of essential workers as well as offering home-learning and flexible options. From Week 3, children will begin going back to classes on-site.