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:
Don't forget parents, you can access readalouds from our teachers @ www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdLwM_sksrZjsCjWDtNYWhZNPAwfPNobq.
On Wednesday 20th May and Friday 22nd May we will organise 3WayConferences. We recognise that parents have played a vital role in ensuring their child is learning at home and we value our parents' contribution to these conferences.
We are asking all parents to prepare one positive statement about the learner profile/ATL to share with the students/teachers at the conference. We will give parents a template to help guide students through a conversation about their child's learning. We ask that you return this template before the actual 3WayConference.
Please read carefully below.
Form: Three way conferences involve parents, students and a teacher.
Function: On Monday 11th May parents will be given a template of how you can best prepare, this will involve parents having a conversation with their children about learning at home.
Parents are requested to return the form to their child's homeroom teacher or Point of contact teacher on Friday 15th May. We require all parents to do this, so that the teacher can have time to plan the conference using your observations and your child’s perspective before the conference call.
Parents please use the template as a guide to talk to your child about their learning. Parents can sign up for a 20 minute slot which teachers will share with you. Teachers will call you at your assigned time via Google Meet, so please make sure you have the App downloaded.
These conference calls will be different from the VCC and will focus on skills, concepts, knowledge and action. So please encourage your child to think about what they have learnt, using the template provided.
Miss Lisa Hughes