Prior to returning to school after the longest lockdown, we came together as a staff for dialogue and decision making about what matters to us in the transition back to face-to-face learning.
We explored the following questions:
- What might children have gained from the remote learning experience?
- How might we ensure we continue or amplify those things?
- What do we see as the most important things children have missed out on?
- How might we work towards maximising opportunities for those things?
Our vision is based on that shared discussion. Keeping in mind our belief in contextual wellbeing and our focus on aligning our practice with our values and beliefs, the ideas have been synthesised in the context of our learning principles.
Vision for returning to school
We value cohesion, relationships, community, social interaction, play, joy in learning, optimism, growth, kindness, autonomy.
Learners need to feel secure, valued and able to take risks, so we will
- Build cohesion and a sense of belonging.
- Support learners, academically, socially and emotionally.
- Create space for expression of feelings, thoughts, and ideas.
- Establish routines to provide certainty and safety.
Learning takes place in different ways, depending on abilities, preferences and interests, so we will
- Understand that the transition will be different for each person.
- Acknowledge that needs will vary for different people at different times.
- Respond with empathy to social and emotional needs.
Learning is active and social and is enhanced by collaboration, interaction, so we will
- Encourage social interaction and collaboration.
- Model and practise kindness, communication and mutual respect.
Learning takes place through inquiry: questioning, exploring, experimenting and problem-solving, so we will
- Plan responsively, depending on what the students reveal.
- Continue to focus on the process of learning, rather than the product.
Learning includes acquisition of skills and knowledge, constructing meaning and transfer to different contexts, so we will
- Ensure opportunities for learning and practising the ATL skills, in particular social skills, communication skills and self management.
- Encourage learners to construct meaning by engaging actively with others.
Learning needs to be challenging, meaningful, purposeful and engaging, so we will
- Meet learners where they are at and focus on growth.
- Ensure all learners are actively engaged in the process of learning that’s meaningful for them.
Learning includes metacognition and reflection, which support learners taking ownership of their learning, so we will
- Provide opportunities for reflecting on strengths, challenges and goals while celebrating successes.
- Encourage learners to reflect on their learning and on themselves as learners, and to make decisions about how to move forward.