A huge thank you to parents who have attended recent webinars run by our teachers. We have a tab on the blog for all webinars to be accessed at any time.
On Friday, September 18th, we will have a non-student day, the majority of our students are expected to sign up for a 20 minutes time slot with their child's homeroom teacher. We will also have 'buffer' time slots on Thursday, 17th and Monday 21st.
Please have a look at the video which explains exactly how the conferences will work. A big thank you to Ms Archana for putting the video together.
Primary Coffee Morning Questions
Dear Parents and Families,
Many thanks for your questions before and after Mr Steve’s recent Parent session.
Just to let you know we are planning Parent sessions/webinars/workshops in the near future to cover a range of topics. Our first session will be for new families to understand the Primary Years Programme, this will be led by our PYP Coordinator; Archana Gera.
Please find responses to some of your questions below. The questions are in green and responses are in blue, please note I have not edited parent questions:
Can we have two levels of Hindi for differentiated learning, advanced and beginners? I suppose at least half of the kids are pretty proficient in Hindi.
As we are a PYP school, streaming of languages is not accepted by the IB. However, we are looking at ways of possible different grouping for the larger classes.
Why don't we use Zoom for classes at JVLR? Google Meet is not a very good user-interface. Zoom allows so much more flexibility for teachers. When do you expect the transition to Zoom happen?
All single subject teachers are switching to Zoom and once teachers have received training they too will work towards using Zoom for most of their sessions.
Hi Stephen. A query on the asynchronous learning. We are new to the OIS family and the tools etc. are a bit of a catch up for the child. In this scenario asynchronous learning (given both of us are working) becomes a bit much especially if it is expected daily. Realistically we are in a “weekend catchup” mode with the asynchronous learning. Is there any way to relax the timelines a bit to allow kid to catch up? Thanks.
Please speak to your child’s homeroom teacher with regards to completion of tasks.
Given limitations of online, could you consider one on one sessions with the kid once a month to evaluate how they are coping up vis a vi’s then larger group and course correct if need be
This would be impossible to do considering the number of children we have at the school. However, please feel free to ask for an appointment with an individual teacher if you have any questions or queries, we also have our Learning Support Team who are available to assist you in any way.
How about using Microsoft Teams instead of Google Meet or Zoom since we can do online classes and assignments on it.
We have explored Microsoft Teams as a Senior Leadership Team and as most of the functions were offline, we didn’t feel it was user friendly for the students and being an Apple School, we are using more of the online features for teaching and learning.
As a one school two campus philosophy there is yet a disparity in the schedule and content for the same grades at both campuses. How are we planning to reduce that? Disparities are:
OGC started with Zoom from Day 1; Weekly schedules were better prepared from Day 1
With regards to schedules, teachers have different approaches to design schedules, some of our children are creating their own schedules independently (student choice and agency) and some students have been given a schedule, and some teachers are helping some students create schedules.
We received the very beautifully designed note books . Thankyou got that !As a new parent would like to know do we need to buy text books ?
Primary Parents do not need to buy textbooks. We do not use textbooks in Primary school, as we are a PYP school.
Can we have online workshops from the Counselor like we had last year with Dr. Patricia?
Please contact the Learning Support team if you have any questions about counselling.
Now that the new education policy has made coding compulsory from Grade 6. how is school incorporating this into the curriculum?
As shared by Steve, a great deal of the elements of the NEP, we are doing already with our IB Programmes.
Can we have email of school counsellor if the child is facing school related anxiety.
Please contact the Learning Support team if you have any questions about counselling.
Is there a way to know in advance what all Units Kids are going to cover in each term?
The PYP Coordinator will be sharing the Programme of Inquiry with you very soon.
Do you have a set curriculum for nursery so we can get an idea what kids will learn and if yes can you share it with us.
We have a Programme of Inquiry set for the year, please ask your teacher to share it with you.
Now that school reopening till December looks next to impossible, may we request an insight into units and inquiries for next two terms.
We have a Programme of Inquiry set for the year, please ask your teacher to share it with you.
i believe that these early years are extremely important as they are the basis of laying a strong foundation.i understand that the school is doing the best they can.But i m concerned about the impact of a virtual class room on my child as it simply cannot replace the real thing.Are you looking at newer and more dynamic ways of teaching online? we have so many resources we have access too.we need to make optimal use of them and try and introduce learning which is more hands on.Though there is 2 way communication between the child and teacher but it is no way as dynamic as it is in a real class room.
Learning on a screen can never replicate learning in ‘real-life,’ so many elements can never be accessed online, such as play time with friends, freedom of physical movement, interactions with each other. However, we are providing sessions for our teachers to look at best practice online teaching and learning, so please give your child some time and I am sure you will see some positive changes in the near future.
Live session for Grade 2 is concerning in terms of screen time. Children have to sit and wait for each child to answer the same question. Engagement is minimal in big group. Out of interaction time of 20 minutes each child maybe speaks for 1 minute or even lesser. Repetitive answers as it’s 1 question. Can this be structured better so live sessions are more interactive and engaging?
Grade 2 are re-evaluating their schedules and creating more opportunities for smaller groups.
Online Session time are more than 2 hours a days and in addition the assignments solving makes online screen time upto 3 hours almost. CAN WE WORK AROUND THIS?
Ask your teacher for more flexibility with the asynchronous learning. As a school we are committing to up to certain time limits.
We need details of Academic curriculum which will be covered in this year. Please share all topics of UOI.
The PYP Coordinator will be sharing the Programme of Inquiry with you very soon.
While the oberoi-is.org page highlights 11 as the average class size, isn't 21 too many students for a single JKG group? (I am new and my expectation was classes in the 10-15 max).
Normally in school, new student's are mixed between the classes. For the one JKG group, we placed all the new students together. We felt it was important that they could focus on building relationships with the adults. There are two teachers and 1 assistant linked to this class and the teachers will be doing more split class sessions, now that we have begun the year.
Many thanks for your questions,
Happy Parsi New Year and Happy Birthday India!
Thank you to all our families who have been incredibly supportive and flexible during our first week of Phase 2 LFH. Please check out: sites.google.com/view/jvlrprimaryschoolclosure/phase-2 for archived phase 1 LFH and more recent comments from parents, students and teachers.
Our teachers have been observing and collecting some feedback from our parent community over the last week and we would like to address a few points:
The school day starts at 8:00 and finishes at 2pm. Each day will look slightly different for your child so please be sure to check the schedule on Managebac, which will be posted for the following week at the end of the working day on Fridays.
Please note, that currently:
Nursery and JKG are scheduled up to 1 hour online.
SKG-2 are scheduled up to 2 hours online.
Grade 3, 4 and 5 are scheduled up to 3 hours online.
We have noticed that some of our younger learners are finding it challenging to remain online and focused for a certain amount of time. This is normal, we are encouraging teachers to include movement in their sessions, as well as water breaks. Parents, please don't force your child online and have them sit in a comfortable position for the lesson.
Parents cannot log in and join a virtual call, the call is for the child only, with an adult in the vicinity. Parents who join by themselves and are outside school will not be permitted to join the class. As part of our Child Safeguarding Policy, parents are not permitted to take photos of record lessons.
Parents, please be advised you are online and are visible to other children and other parents; Please dress suitable. We would also like to advise that parents refrain from prompting their child on-line or doing an activity for their child. Each teacher needs to know what your child is capable of and what they may need further explanation of, having parents do the prompting or responding, doesn't help.
As we embark on smaller groupings, and for some classes make the transition to using Zoom, children will have more opportunity to speak and share ideas and thoughts in the group. We encourage children to take turns, be patient, actively listen to others, parents are advised not to call-on the teacher if their child has not had a turn to speak.
Sessions have a start and end time, which can clearly be seen on the calendar, we highly recommend that you log on a few minutes before the class starts. We are being flexible for the time being but will reevaluate lateness and tardiness in the next few weeks. If you wish to request a leave, or your child is ill, or you have connectivity issues, please inform your child's teacher ahead of time.
We know there are many birthdays and we do give time to celebrate whilst online, please speak to your child's HRT to arrange something well ahead of time and the teacher will share their guidelines for birthday celebrations.
Some parents have requested schedules, please speak to your child's teacher about scheduling your child's week. We are a PYP school and encouraging student agency, creating their own schedules, with some guidance from the school empowers students to take charge of their week.
Ms Lisa Hughes
Head of Primary
My name is Archana Gera, and I am the new PYP Coordinator at JVLR. I’m truly delighted to be a part of the OIS family.
As of today, we enter into our second week of school.. Congratulations to all for (somehow?) getting through the first week.
Have you ever thought of this.. Educational institutions are the only places which are designed to have an annual rebirth year after year: New faces, new goals/resolutions, and sometimes new ways of doing things. As a teacher I always felt like these restarts gave me opportunities to be a new and improved version of myself every single year. I am sure students feel the same way. And there are some facts that always hold true for the start of every year: excitement, anxiety, questions and endless change of plans. We at OIS have been no different, the only addition being our reliance on the functioning of technology!
Our 10-week spell of online learning before summer break left us with several points of both celebration and reflection. Combined with feedback from parents, our new understanding allowed us to make informed decisions for our current 'Phase 2' of online learning, which are calling ‘Learning From Home’. Over the summer break, many of our teachers also engaged in a lot of widely available professional development and came back with some fresh thinking and ideas.
With reference to the Stages of eLearning by Jennifer Chang, we believe that we have progressed from the ‘Survive’ stage in Phase 1 to ‘Thrive’ in Phase 2. Our Head of Primary Ms Lisa talked about it with parents and teachers during the start of this school year.
We are truly looking forward to actually implementing many of our refreshed plans with our students. Of course we miss being in the building with all the chitter-chatter, but we are making use of this time to meaningfully integrate technology with the inquiry- and concept-based learning the PYP stands for.
We will soon bring you more insights into what’s happening in those online classes. Meanwhile, here is an important IB resource that has plenty of ideas and food for thought about the implications of the ongoing pandemic on the schools, families, teachers and students: https://ibo.org/covid-19-support/
Have a great second week. If you have a question, don’t forget to talk to your child’s homeroom teacher.
Au revoir in French means "until we meet again or until we see each other again." So I'm not saying goodbye but "au revoir."
I wanted to thank everyone in the community for your support of our school and programme. You are the most engaged families and community I've ever worked with across 6 schools in Asia and the US. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I have moved back to the US early due to everything happening with Covid19 but had planned on moving back at the end of this year. Saying goodbye virtually is not what anyone planned, and I have to say it's the hardest part of this time. No hugs. No face-to-face explanations.
I want you to know that I appreciate you. I appreciate the parents who worked so diligently alongside me for the IB authorisation process. I appreciate the parents who took time to learn in the parent workshops and book clubs offered. I appreciate the discussions we've had and the queries about curriculum and teaching philosophy. I appreciate your passion for education, your belief in your children and in us. I appreciate the way you embrace celebrations and jumped in to help at our school. I appreciate that you wanted more and that you weren't afraid to ask for it.
I will be teaching next year in the US, grade 5, at an IB world school in Chicago, Illinois. I'm looking forward to getting back into teaching and practicing what I preach. :) My husband will be teaching MYP at the same school, and my daughter will be at a university in the same region (although still 5-6 hours away). We wanted to be back in the US to be closer to my daughter and our extended families.
We will miss everything about living in different countries and opening our eyes to new ideas, new food, new cultures, new people. I think experiencing the world has made us more accepting of differences, open to change and kinder toward everyone. My hope that everyone will continue to be able to have that experience--to get a global perspective and to grow from it.
I thank you. I thank India for allowing me to take in such a vibrant culture. I thank OIS for giving me the opportunity to work in a dynamic, innovative environment, and I thank you and your children for being the sunshine every morning and what I will miss the most.
Until we meet again.
We were very proud to see the contributions of our Grade 5 students for the PYPVirtualX and all their evidence gathered can be viewed on their PYPExhibition site. If you haven't had a chance please add to their padlet and leave a comment:
One group investigated the recent pandemic on our well-being. Please see a slide below of the action she took and wanted to share with others.
We are approaching the end of school, a year unlike any other and a year where the final 11 weeks have truly shown the resilience of our young learners, supported by their families.
In This Last Week:
Along with our entire primary school community, I would like to extend our thanks to the members of the Primary Student Council who have helped to Take Care Tuesdays and a virtual round of applause for our Grade 5 teachers and students for doing such a great job with our first Virtual PYPX.
This week, as a faculty we will celebrate the year that was and look toward what the new academic year will bring. We will sadly say goodbye to Ms Kristen and Ms Suprabha, who have been valuable members of our team, we wish them all the best for the future. Although we are saying goodbye to two members of staff, we are happy to report that all our current staff will be returning in the next academic year; which is great to have some stability in a time of uncertainty.
We will only have a handful of new teachers join our JVLR family; a new PE teacher, A new French teacher, two new Hindi teachers. We will also welcome a new PYP Coordinator; Archana Gera.
End of Year Reports
End of Year reports will look different this year and will serve to supplement the discussion had during the ‘virtual’ 3-Way Conference. The school has reported on the units covered before ‘learning from home’ began, whilst for the second half of the semester teachers have written a narrative of the work uncovered. The Faculty are in the process of completing their End of Year Reports; these will be uploaded on Thursday when they will be available for you to access online. You will receive a message from the School when they are ready.
Please note: Families leaving OIS this year will need to download their child's report cards as the portal will be closed to you after the close of school on Thursday.
Summer Break Pack
A number of parents have requested activities and tasks for their children over the holiday period. In response we have developed a list of websites, online learning suggestions, links to virtual field trips and we have provided usernames and passwords for some of the sites we use and that the children are familiar with. Some of the sites and suggestions are grade specific and others may be of interest over a wider age group. A link to these resources will be sent later in the week. Parents also requested continued access to ‘Seesaw’ and this we have done. Access, just like you have had, will remain open where you can revisit learning tasks, and links should you wish too. You will not be able to however, upload to Seesaw for teacher comments.
To those children and families leaving Oberoi International School on Thursday, I wish you well for the new opportunities you have ahead of you. To those families returning, I look forward to welcoming you and your children back in August.
Kindest regards and happy holidays Stay safe and stay well,
Dear parents, friends and families,
We are recognising that the longer we are at home there are things that we are missing, and this is true for all of us, parents, teachers, students, non-teaching staff and leadership alike, we are all having to rethink what is important in our lives what do we truly need as opposed to what we want. This can only be good a good thing as we think about 'essential' items in our lives. More families are recycling, upcycling, reducing and reusing; we are starting to realise that it makes sense to be mindful of our resources, which can only be a good thing.
We know that our teachers and their co-teachers are extremely busy every day. Our teachers are not only researching and posting weekly assignments but they meet with other, in their Grade levels on a daily basis. Collaboration between teachers has always been evident in our school but now teachers are telling me that their meetings are much more effective and efficient. Our teachers are also giving feedback to students individually on a day to day basis, they have meetings with the PYP Coordinator once a week, they have been involved in Virtual Care Calls and will be involved in 3WayConferences, report writing and 'live-teaching sessions.' Some Grade levels have initiated 'new' systems in their Grade levels, from Nursery using a Green screen to go on a field trip to the bus depo to grade 3 virtual cafe sessions, to Grade 5 students taking part in our first PYPVirtualX and playing the part of panelists with a group of adult experts.
Our Single Subject teachers are launching live sessions this week and have also been busy with meetings. The Drama and music team are putting something together for the Early Years and for our Grade 5 students. There is so much happening in these last few weeks.
Our parents have also been undoubtedly busy teaching, trying to run households, shopping, cooking, looking after family member, cleaning (which my friends in the UK find quite amusing that we are missing our house help) and some parents are working themselves. It is safe to say that this pandemic has made us even more busy than before!
The Pedagogical Leadership team have been busy too, as you know Ms Nik and Ms Kristen are working from different countries and both of them are parents. As a leadership team, we have tried to be as involved as we can and not just problem solving or holding the fort.
The leadership team have daily meetings with teachers, we are involved in senior leadership meetings, we are also researching about the possibilities for next year and taking part in many webinars to find out international perspective of schools. I continue to look at all the regular, normal school happenings at this time of year; staff appraisals, staff allocations for next year, orders and meetings with the Senior Leadership Team.
On a student level, I meet with Grade 4 students once a week for a check in, to see how they are doing and to implement some of their ideas to make learning better for them. I am also leading and guiding a PYPX group, which I am very excited about; we are investigating the topic of well-being. I will also join the Early Years live-singalong sessions, which I can't wait for! I meet regularly with our Primary Student Council to discuss 'Take Care Tuesdays' and a culminating week of celebrations, which we are hoping to focus on appreciation for our teachers. The Leadership team have also set up a 'readaloud' channel, giving children some time to watch people they know, listen to stories they may not know.
Ms. Kristen has been busy too, here's what Ms Kristen has to say.......
"I've been busy helping to make sure that things are running smoothly for OIS JVLR Distant Learning. This means meeting with teachers of homeroom teams to ensure that education is happening in the best way possible and that it's as aligned with the PYP framework as possible. We are working together to provide students with engaging learning experiences that help them build skills and learning dispositions and gain content knowledge. I continue to coordinate planning, reports, conferences and critical feedback and make sure that documents are in order. In addition, I've been helping get our first PYP Exhibition for grade 5 running smoothly. We've quickly had to transition to a virtual Exhibition, and I've helped put together organization, timeline, information videos and am mentoring a group of grade 5 students several times a week. The students and I have had fun meeting and discussing the current situation and finding some positive ways to help out.
And I've enjoyed doing read alouds--on videos--for OISJVLR students and receiving feedback from them on how they've enjoyed the read alouds. Next up is some poetry!
The time difference has been challenging (I'm in the US) but talking with the kids, teachers, Ms Lisa and Ms Nik and keeping OISJVLR running smoothly has been a great joy during this time."
And Ms Nik......"My role has changed a lot since we left the building and it is continually adapting. It is keeping me on my toes. I am in the UK at the moment so I get up really early to have meetings at Mumbai time. I am working a lot with our single subject team who have been trying to plan live sessions, fun tasks and interactive learning. I am spending a lot of time on Google Meet in virtual meetings with teams and individuals. In the last few weeks I have been working with the Grade 5 students, I have 4 meetings a week with my PYPx groups; they are researching how Coronovirus has changed technology and the environment. I have also joined in Morning Meetings and live lessons with different classes. We are still looking towards the future and I am having online interactions with families who are in Mumbai and around the world, that would like to join our school. The pedagogical leaders in the school are still working behind the scenes working out how the school will run and how we will move forwards. I am also talking with the Secondary Leadership Team to plan for a smooth transition for Grade 5 going to Grade 6. I’m not sure how I will need to adapt over the next few weeks as we approach the end of the school year, but I am ready for the challenge."
Thank you for your continued support,
We have all (parents, students and teachers) worked very hard to make this lockdown time a happy and fruitful time for all our kids, as free from anxiety as possible. But we are, as always, open to the possibility of doing something different.
As you are aware, we are trialing our face-to-face ‘live teaching sessions’ and we will be starting this on Thursday, 14th May and/or Friday 15th May. The following week will be Three Way Conferences, we will not have ‘live teaching sessions during this week, but will resume our live teaching sessions during the week of 25th-29th May.
The live teaching sessions will be an opportunity for students to interact with a teacher, where possible, in small groups. Please do not confuse this letter with the Three Way Conferences. For the sessions, we will be using Google Meet, which most parents have used during their recent Virtual Care Calls.
So how will ‘live teaching sessions’ work?
Each division will send out sign-up times for the ‘live teaching’ sessions based on what we have been doing already, timings will look different depending on the division.
For Nursery and JKG we will have a 20 minute live singalong with the Music team on Thursday 14th May (an invite has been sent to parents). On Friday 15th May, Nursery and JKG will have a ‘live teaching session’ with their point of contact teacher; please sign up for a time-slot; your point of contact teachers will send you the sign up sheet on Wednesday 13th May 2020 Children will be in small groups.
For SKG, we will have ‘live teaching sessions’ on both Thursday 14th and Friday 15th May. Parents, please sign up for a time-slot; your point of contact teachers will send you the sign up sheet on Tuesday 12th May. Children will be in small groups. On Thursday 14th, SKG children are also invited to a ‘singalong’ with the Music department from 12:00-12:20.
For Grades 1-3, we will have ‘live teaching sessions’ on both Thursday 14th and Friday 15th May. Parents, please sign up for a time-slot; your home room teachers will send you the sign up sheet on Tuesday 12th May. We will also schedule Hindi, Spanish and French during the week of 25th-29th May and these language sessions will involve the whole class.
Our Grade 4 and 5 students have already had daily opportunities to connect with their teacher.
For Grade 4, we have increased the amount of ‘live-teaching sessions’ and these will run on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday between 12:45 and 3pm. Your child already has an assigned time and is expected to attend each of these sessions. We will also be adding a Spanish and Hindi slot for Grade 4 during the week of 25th-29th May. Your homeroom teachers will send you the times for Spanish and Hindi.
Our Grade 5 learners are deep into their inquiries for the PYP Virtual Exhibition, so we don’t want to take away too much time for their already planned interviews, sessions with the HRTs and sessions with their guide or mentor. In addition to the many things that Grade 5 are exploring we have added a scheduled Spanish and Hindi session for the whole class.
Please be aware that, according to our official, Board-ratified, child safeguarding policy, children are not permitted to engage online in real time with an adult unless one of their parents is present. During the entire session, the teacher must be able to see (hopefully in the background) one parent for every child present.
Because this is a trial, teachers will be measuring key variables to help us assess its viability. Parent feedback will also be valuable, so feel free to pass that along to either the teacher or Miss Lisa.
We recognise that some families have got into a routine or rhythm and are working on a flexible schedule and are happy to continue with an element of flexibility to their day, we are happy to support parents who wish to not join the live session; just let your teacher know.
We will trial these sessions again during the week of May 25th-29th and parents will be sent invites or sign-up sheets before this week. The session may be recorded, with parent permission an we will not be changing the times.
We ask that your child: