Online Learning During a Lockdown
Waimea College use Office 365, and particularly Teams as our main tool to enable online learning. A range of other platforms may also be used by our staff and they will advise their classes about these, but Teams will be the main way we stay in touch with our students.
Please ensure that you have access to Office 365 at home. Use a modern browser such as Chrome or Firefox (not Internet Explorer). If you have any issues accessing your account, please contact one of your teachers for help. If they can’t help you directly, they can get in touch with the school Tech Support Team.
Note that via the school Office 365 accounts you are also able to download for free the full suite of Office desktop applications (Word, Excel, OneNote, Teams, etc.) However, almost all of the functionality of Office 365 can be had via a web browser.
Put your health and your family first and continue to follow all government advice in order to stay safe.
Check your school email account and class Teams once a day if possible, and respond to any messages from teachers. Staying in regular touch with your classes is important. We don’t know how long school will remain closed.
Remember teachers are also busy with their families, so please understand that they will respond to your emails and messages and give feedback on your work when they can. Don’t be worried if you don’t get an immediate reply.
Learning at Home
Work will be set for each timetabled subject. Teachers will provide learning materials and set tasks on a regular basis. This might happen on a day-by-day basis, or less frequently as blocks of work – be guided by your teachers:
- Junior students can expect a maximum of 2 hours of study per subject per week
- Senior students can expect approximately 3 hours per subject per week.
How you organise your time to complete school work is up to you but we recommend that you:
- Establish a daily routine, with blocks of time set aside for school work and plenty of breaks too.
- Use a to-do list or planner to help keep track of tasks – it’s hard to stay organised, so use tools to help
(Office 365 has a really easy-to-use to-do list and also a more powerful planner app).
- Keep in touch with your teachers – let them know when you have completed tasks, or if you need help.
- Detailed distance learning guidelines for students and caregivers can be found here.
Contacting Your Teachers
Your teachers will message you regularly via Teams and/or other learning platforms. You should use the same platforms to get in touch with your teachers if you need to:
- Post messages to a class Team message board if it is of a general nature (e.g. getting clarification about a task), just as you might ask a question in class.
- Use the Team chat function to message a teacher directly if you prefer (no-one else in your class will see these messages).
Teachers may also make use of video-conferencing so that you can ‘meet’ face-to-face. Your teacher will let you know when these events will happen so that you can be ready at home (we understand that you may be sharing a device with other students in your household, so these events will be fairly infrequent).
NCEA and Assessments
- NZQA and the Ministry of Education are continuing to develop effective plans for NCEA assessment while we are in the Covid-19 lockdown
- NCEA’s flexibility is a huge strength at this time. We can adapt how we deliver and use NCEA to fit with our conditions and this includes remote learning.
- NZQA advise they will be supporting schools to use this flexibility in how internal assessment through remote learning is managed and to generate grades derived from learning programmes should attendance at external assessments be disrupted.
- Work is also underway to make sure that all qualifications, awards and pathways (including University Entrance and Vocational Pathways) will remain available through any disruptions.
We will continue to provide updates to students and families as we receive them from NZQA. For further information, check out the NZQA COVID-19 Secondary School Page
Free internet safety filter for parents
While teens are learning from home, they are away from the online safety and security services provided by Network for Learning (N4L) at school. So together with N4L and Netsafe, the Ministry have launched www.switchonsafety.co.nz – a free way to block the worst of the web for students and teachers.
Please follow the instructions provided to set up your teen’s device for safer connectivity while they learn from home.
Remember, no technical solution is a silver bullet. Please remember to complement this with digital citizenship toolkits provided by Netsafe.
Netsafe provides comprehensive support and information to support everyone to stay safe as they work, learn and play online. Netsafe has new and updated resources for parents, whānau and students at https://www.netsafe.org.nz/advice/staying-safe/
Your Health and Wellbeing
Along with the teaching resources that will be made available, we want to ensure that students are well supported in terms of their wellbeing during this difficult time. Please make sure you talk openly with your parents/caregivers and whānau about any issues you might be having, or if you are feeling anxious.
Students are encouraged to call the following organisations for support:
- Whats Up (or free call 0800 942 8787) – A safe place for you to talk about anything at all
- Youth Line (or free call 0800 376 633 or text chat 234) – We are here to listen
- NetSafe – We help keep people safe online
Our Guidance Team is also available to provide support. Students or families can e-mail directly to arrange further contact.
- Stuart Newby – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Alison Browning – email@example.com
- Simon Goodwin – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Danni Taylor – email@example.com
- Louise Pawson – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jayne Keys – email@example.com
If you are concerned about your physical health, then contact HealthLine:
- Coronavirus related – free call 0800 358 5453
- General health related – free call 0800 611 116
Online Learning Resources
There are a huge range of online learning resources that you can make use of to support your learning. Here are a few:
- Learning from Home and Kauwhata Reo – Provided by The Ministry of Education with resources for parents and whānau, teachers and leaders to support learning at home.
- Study IT – NCEA help from real students and teachers in Maths, English, and Science.
- BBC Bitesize – Revision site aimed at students with the KS3 section being suitable for Juniors and the GCSE section for Seniors / NCEA.
- BBC Teach – Great collection of short videos (usually from BBC TV shows), to support a huge range of subject areas and learning levels.
- Alison – Huge number of online courses in a wide range of subjects: IT, Health, Languages, Humanities, Business, Maths, etc.
- Khan Academy – Masses of great lessons in many subject areas, most supported by short, explanatory videos with tasks and activities to reinforce learning.
- eTV – Login with your school email and you have access to a large catalogue of NZ broadcast TV shows, organised in catalogues for different learning areas.