Parent Letter - PYPX May 2020
On behalf of our learning community, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to our Grade 5 PYP Exhibition.
In many ways, this year’s exhibition is unique and special. What makes it special? Our grade 5 students have continued to embrace the exhibition journey virtually. Their level of enthusiasm, collaboration and energy has helped us move ahead. It is encouraging to see students’ dedication and commitment towards their inquiries and being supportive of each other to make this process meaningful.
We have 27 groups covering 116 students who will guide you through the various local and global issues chosen by them and the possible actions our learning community can take. These issues are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The students have put together a short video presentation from different parts of the city showcasing their knowledge and understanding.
The details of the event are as follows:
Event: Grade 5 Virtual PYP Exhibition
Theme: How we organise ourselves
Date: 8th of May 2020 from 8:00 to 3:00 pm
Venue: In the comfort of your own home
Digital platform: Google Site Website link and guidelines will be posted on Seesaw closer to the event.
Let us join together and celebrate the journey of our 5th graders! We hope you enjoy the exhibition as much as they have enjoyed making it happen!
Neha Minda PYP Coordinator OGC
April 23, 2020
As we pass Day 20, in fact today is Day 22, of our children continuing their learning from home, I wanted to take some time to reflect on the experience thus far.
I have been overwhelmed with the energy and enthusiasm parents have shown during this period of learning from home. I am enjoying reading the many messages you are sharing with me, and the ones the faculty are forwarding to me to read. These emails talk about the opportunities you are taking to get to know your children through their learning and through the time you are spending with them. You have taken up the challenge of working alongside your children, gaining a better understanding of our inquiry-based-learning and you are talking to me about and sharing videos where I am seeing the real life connections your children are making to the concepts, those big ideas they are learning about. I applaud the way you are continuing to do this alongside the other roles around the home you are now finding are taking up a good part of your day.
Inevitably, there will be some who are feeling that they have had enough and are worried about the progress of their children’s learning. There are some who are expressing their wish for face to face teaching from our teachers. This is an area we have considered. The research we have been doing in this area and, the advice our leadership team are getting from the wealth of educators and leaders we are in contact with, in international education around the world, is that this is fraught with difficulties.The model being used in secondary where children participate in online timetabled lessons does not work for primary classes where the way of learning is so much more transdisciplinary and holistic in nature.
We have also been mindful to continue learning for all. The ‘Distance Learning’ survey to parents on March 22 highlighted that, of the 438 families who responded, 65% of our students share a device in the home, that 51% described their internet connectivity as average with a further 7% stating that it ‘depends’. We are hearing from our teachers who are on ‘Touch Base Meets’ that often connectivity is an issue . They report that the connectivity is dependent on the day, the time of day, and the number of devices being used in the home and that internet capability in many residential buildings is being stretched and at times compromised. This mirrors what we are hearing from our international colleagues. These issues and that of ensuring the safety of your children online are why we are not moving to face to face teaching at this time.
I also reflect on the learning our team of teachers and leaders have made over this time. It is reassuring that while we are trailblazing learning from home for OIS, there are many reputable schools and educators in India and around the world who are also going through this experience from which we can draw advice. As we move forward I can reassure you that in a primary education of today, content acquisition makes up only a small part of your child’s education. Anything missed during these quite extraordinary times can easily be caught up when the children return to learning within the school buildings. The attitudes to learning, the process of inquiry, the creativity and critical thinking skills development, and a growing insight into how to learn, continues as normal, along with the myriad of skills they are learning from you at home, from observing you and from collaborating with the members in your home.
So as we move beyond Day 20 and come to terms with the fact that learning from home for our children is here for a bit longer, we continue to recommend:
Primary Leadership Team
Whacky Wednesday - 15th April 2020
A Whacky Wednesday Message from our Student Council.
From the Primary Principal (OGC) Letter #4
April 13, 2020
From Tuesday, April 14, we are taking our online-learning to the next level. Our primary homeroom teachers will be setting up opportunities to meet live online with your children for social and emotional support.
These opportunities which we are calling ‘Touch Base Meets’ (TBM) are just that, an opportunity for your children to ‘touch-base’ with their teacher in small groups to connect, to check in with them, and to chat. Grade 5 children are already doing this with their teachers and they will continue to do so in the way they have been communicating.
I am aware that some of our parent community would have liked us to have started this earlier. Our research however, and the feedback we are receiving from other international school administrators and teachers, has been guiding our decisions in this area. We have taken time to ensure that we fully understand how we can keep both our students and our educators safe online whilst continuing to give our students the best online learning experience we can. In this time of online learning, we are also mindful that this is not home-schooling and right now at OIS we will not be teaching lessons live online in the primary division. I can assure you that we have, and continue to, look at the best research in this area to inform our decision making.
How will this happen?
On Monday your teacher will share a sign up sheet with you - it, the sign up sheet, will be embedded in the unit letter on Monday morning, on which you can book a 10 minute ‘Touch Base Meet’ with your child’s teacher. No more than two other children will be attending the same meet as your child. This TBM is between the teacher and your child, not other family members, although we would like one parent to be in the same room as your child as an observer, not a participant, for the duration of the chat.
Our IT team have put together guidelines for you to ensure the ‘Touch Base Meets’ are successful. Please follow their guidelines and those from your homeroom teacher.
From our IT Integrators
Other things to note:
This move to online live chats is highly dependent on the technology being used, the connectivity in your home and in the teacher’s home – this first week will be an opportunity for us to evaluate the success of the venture and modify, if required, our way forward.
Please note that this is in no way mandatory – your child can sign up to chat with their teacher if they would like to.
I have been heartened by the many emails our teachers and I have received from you this week. In teaching it is not often that we get emails from parents that are positive but since we have been learning online we have had numerous messages from our community. Last week the parent community commented that they are getting into the swing of children learning from home, that home routines are better established, that they have a new understanding and appreciation for what a teacher does, that their children continue to surprise them with their creativity, their skills and their ability to adapt to new ways of learning. Parents are seeing that this new way of learning does not and indeed it should not replicate ‘school’.
Our Deputy Head of Primary, Ms Vimi, came across this great article, which is an easy read on the ‘Guiding Principles for Parents Teaching from Home’. It is an article coming out of the US but is relevant for parents everywhere.
This coming week is a shorter week. We have a holiday on Friday so we have adapted our plans; learning tasks uploaded on Monday will be for three days, not two. Not everything has to be completed in a hurry – children choosing their plan for work for the three days, with your guidance if required, would be a good goal to have for this week.
Funky Fun Day last week was very well received so we have planned to do this again this week with our ‘Thoughtful Thursday’ ideas which will be posted on Thursday morning.
Enjoy your 4 day week, stay safe and keep well.