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Newsletter 9 April 2020
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2 RD, Te Anau    Phone 03 249 5816 / Email

9 April 2020

Hi Everyone.

Covid 19 has given the entire world huge challenges to deal with and we are all wondering how it will all end and what the future holds. Needless to say none of us know when or how schools will reopen and in the meantime the most important thing is that we all stay safe, keep well and enjoy some quality family time.  

This week the government has announced a range of packages to help our students stay connected so that they can participate in distance learning activities. Here at Mararoa, we will be delivering our programmes through our Google Classroom programme. Students in Kiwi Class are very familiar with this tool and most of Tui Class are now up and running with it as well. We are currently working toward setting Hoiho Class up with their own individual page as well.  Mrs Harrison has written parents a set of directions with Log In details which we will email to you. We also issued every child with a pack which you collected from school before we entered level 4 Lockdown, which we will be asking everyone to use as part of your home learning package. For those of you having connectivity problems please choose some activities for yourselves out of the pack.

Term 2 starting date is a day later than expected, it is now Thursday 16 April as Wednesday 15 is officially recognised as Southland Anniversary which the Ministry of Education officially notified us of this week. However, we have heard that there are some of you who would like some activities to do sooner so there are a range of suggestions that we will post on your classroom page which you may wish to try earlier in the week. Adults may need to support the younger students with these activities.

I know that many of our parents continue to be very busy with farm work and other frontline and essential services.The most important thing that I want to emphasise is to keep our home learning as stress free as possible for everyone involved and that it is not the end of the world if it doesn’t go according to plan. Daily reading and writing activities to maintain progress are important for every student but these need to be manageable and we don’t expect anyone to think that they have to be doing school lessons all day long. Getting outside, playing, building, doing puzzles, helping on the farm, gardening, baking, doing jobs to help around the house are all important learning activities and we encourage you to make sure all these continue to happen.

The programmes we put up online for you are to be used in whatever way works best for you as a parent.  A daily lesson may just involve reading a picture book or novel to your child/ren for 20-30 minutes, then making sure they read to you or to themselves for a period of time depending on what level they are working at. They all have a range of reading books/journals in their packs.  Keeping a daily diary is a great way to record our personal memories and thoughts of ‘Covid 19 Lockdown’ and means every child is doing some writing practice everyday.

Practising basic facts and tables is also important and if you don’t have time to do anything else we do encourage you to play a range of Card/ Board games to practice these facts. All the children have learnt a range of games at school, which only require a pack of cards and a couple of dice so get them to teach you some of these. Another good activity for the older students is to get them to design and make their own basic facts game. Old cereal boxes, and recycled materials can be used to make them with.

Until we officially start term 2 next Thursday, I want to wish everyone a happy Easter Holiday.

Take Care and Stay Safe.