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03 April 2020 - Online Learning and Moving Forward

03 April 2020 - Online Learning and Moving Forward

We are now entering two weeks of holidays after almost three weeks of closure due to the COVID-2019 virus. These have been days that we would not have predicted at the start of Term 1 when news about a virus in China was just coming in. Since then, around the world, many have fallen ill, people have lost dear ones and other’s lives have been disrupted in a way that many could not imagine a number of weeks ago. These are challenging times indeed.

I feel that the faculty at TISPC has definitely risen to that challenge. In a relatively short space of time we had to adapt to facilitating learning online and connecting with the children via Zoom. The children have also shown a great deal of adaptability, taking on this new way of learning with enthusiasm. Last but not least, the parents have been very supportive and understanding whilst helping their children to get the best out of the given situation.

Last week we sent out a questionnaire about the on-line learning we are providing. In my video “message for our parents”, I reported back on the most important findings of the questionnaire. If you have not been able to view this yet, this is the link to watch this clip: https://youtu.be/aa_9dc3ZOtQ

Teachers and leaders have studied your feedback and feel very encouraged by your positive replies. Overall it is clear to us that students and parents are enjoying the zoom sessions and it gives them a chance to interact with each other.

We have already implemented some changes and are looking into more ways to improve our on-line provision even further in case the MCO gets extended past the holidays. In Early Years we are looking at offering two options of learning, depending on the availability of the parents to support hands-on learning.

In Key Stage 1, we have restructured the zoom sessions to increase the instruction time for young learners and have a later start time of the morning Zoom session. This might be an option for some other year groups too.

Across the board we are looking at building in extra moments to check if content is understood and introducing repeated instructions for those students who need some extra time to process certain learning. This will sometimes be in the form of extra optional Zoom sessions for those who need it. The plan is also to phase in EAL (English as an Additional Language) sessions where required. We will continue to design Zoom activities that are as interactive as possible. Where appropriate, we will compact the amount of work in the learning packs without reducing the quality of learning. Another thing to look at is the reduction of the amount of screen time. For this reason we have already introduced physical PE sessions and we are looking into ways to get more of a balance going where possible. Some classes have already introduced brain breaks for that reason.

Again, a big thank you for those who have responded to our questionnaire. Providing on-line learning in this manner and over this amount of time is new for everybody and every school. Therefore, we need feedback to develop this further. In true Taylor’s RECIPE style, we are always striving for perfection as we know that every improvement will be to the benefit of our children.

We are pleased to confirm that the Holiday Club for our Primary school is going ahead. Over the holiday, we will offer live Zoom activities for the children. There will be 2 activities per Primary stage per day. As communicated before, participation will be optional as the content will not be curriculum related. I would like to thank those members of staff who have volunteered to run sessions in their holiday, for their willingness to do so. I hope many children will be enjoying the activities. The schedule will be released shortly. Just a reminder that there is no need to sign up, just ‘show up’ on the day - all the relevant details will be on a Holiday Club website which we will send the address of to parents shortly.

Like all schools, we are preparing for two different scenarios for after the April break. We hope that the school can re-open but have to consider that this might not be the case. If our community still cannot gather under one roof, staying in touch and in communication will be of the utmost importance. I have met with the class parents on a weekly basis to get a feel for how things are going in the various homes. The plan is to, after the holidays, organise coffee mornings per year group to receive further feedback and stay connected. Unfortunately it will be a BYO event (Bring your own - to your own table).

To all members of our community, stay well, stay safe, look after each other and stay in touch!

Mr. Marco Damhuis (Head of Primary)
Email Contact : marco.damhuis@pc.tis.edu.my
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Taylor's International School Puchong
201101010017 (938156-A)
No.1 Jln BP 14/7, Bandar Bukit Puchong 2,
47120 Puchong, Selangor Darul Ehsan
General Line: +603 8066 3675
Admissions Line:: +603 5879 5000
Email: admissions@pc.tis.edu.my
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