Keeping our children’s brains ready for learning

As educators, we are acutely aware that a child’s social and emotional wellbeing is the first thing we need to tune in to as we prepare our students for the day ahead. Social and emotional distress can prevent the brain from learning, so right now, as we deal with the media saturating our children with negativity, educators and parents need to be more united than ever before.

Together we need to balance this outside noise by sharing our calm, our strength and our laughter. When talking about their students’ learning, I heard one teacher describe it this way: ‘No children are behind and no children are ahead – they are exactly where they need to be.’ With this in mind, we will continue to support each child’s learning online and we look forward to returning to the normal rhythm of school at some stage in the near future.

As Mrs de Paiva and I mentioned in our first virtual assembly this week, our Carey Donvale School motto, ‘Take Care That Everyone is Safe, Happy and Learning’, still applies when we are learning from home, and is just as important as ever.

Our children’s online safety is paramount. Hence, I remind all parents to be proactive in this space. Some key points to consider are:

  • You have the right to see what the children are doing on the iPad at any time.
  • The school iPad is not a gaming device – it is a learning companion and the apps have been specifically selected to support learning.

Children are reminded of the user agreement they signed at school:

  1. I can only use the iPads and go online with my teacher’s permission and when a supervising adult is present. 
  2. If there is anything online I’m not sure about, I will ask my teacher or a supervising adult. 
  3. I will not use the Internet to be unkind to other people.
  4. If I find anything that upsets me or I know is not acceptable online, I will get a teacher or supervising adult straight away.

While we are isolated and we are missing the chance to connect on campus on a day to day basis, in some ways, our teachers, parents and students have never been more united.

Steve Wilson
Head of Junior School Donvale