In a COVID-19 resurgence requiring early learning services to close, principals/leaders will inform their teachers about:
- the plans for learning to continue
- what resources tamariki will be provided with and how they’ll be distributed
- communicating with parents/whānau/caregivers about how their tamariki will learn from home and what they can to do to help.
Information and guidance for early learning services during a COVID-19 resurgence is on the Ministry of Education website, Advice for Early Learning Services.
Ministry of Education – Advice for Early Learning Services
Video: Learning From Home Early Years – Teachers | Kaiako
(Sound of background bird song)
Text on screen: Learning From Home Early Years – Teachers - Kaiako
(Narration: Gae Thawley, facilitator)
He aha te mea nui o te ao?
He tangata! He tangata! He tangata.
(Trees and harakeke near a beach)
Kia ora koutou, nau mai haere mai and welcome.
The Covid19 pandemic has meant whānau, tamariki and kaiako across Aotearoa are adapting. This will be different for everyone including our early learning sector. This video is for kaiako working from home with a focus on connecting with and supporting tamariki and whānau in learning in everyday life in the home.
(Key messages on screen as a list)
We want to share with you some messages, ideas and resources in these four areas; communicating and supporting parents, whānau, and their children learning in the home, liaising with parents and whānau, considering inclusion and a range of voices, differentiating support; considering culture, communication styles, adult learning preferences and whānau resources, and a range of examples and resources for kaiako.
(Two young children playing outside)
Whanaungatanga - relationships come first. Be guided by your learning community and your service’s vision and values. Remember that relationships are more important than ever with your parents, whānau, kaiako and tamariki at this time.
(An example of a statement of values)
Many services are referring back to their philosophy and values to share their messages of support and aroha. This organisation has developed a waiata and visual to communicate their key messages to parents and whānau via a video on Facebook.
(Waiata being sung as a visual depicting concepts is displayed)
(Teacher workbook and planning documents)
You will be adapting to new ways of living and working at home. It is important to stay connected to your colleagues. You and your team will be exploring the best ways to do this. It can be helpful to create systems and routines that work for you, your team, your service whānau, and your bubble. Take time to pause and reflect on the new opportunities that are emerging.
(Example of value statement and tikanga is displayed)
You might like to develop or revisit an agreement as a teaching team as a way of thinking about the tikanga and protocols for how you will engage with parents and whānau at this time. Some of the important things to consider are maintaining privacy, seeking new permissions for sharing information, appropriate times and ways to communicate, how often you might connect, avoiding information overload, reducing expectations and be mindful not to send too many links to parents and whānau. Let them hear your voice and your ideas. There are lots of tools and practices already in place to support and guide kaiako in online learning.
(Cover of the document Our Code Our Standards)
The values of Our Code Our Standards that underpin the profession are useful to revisit at this time; the importance of whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, showing integrity, being ethical and promoting inclusive and professional practice.
(Key ideas are listed)
There are some key things that matter for children, that we can focus on through our curriculum Te Whāriki. Wellbeing, belonging, social and emotional learning, identity, language and culture.
(An example of a value statement)
Continuing to maintain professional relationships with your parents, whānau, and children is important during this time, while children are learning from home. Te Whāriki reminds us about the concept of “ā tōna wā”. Families and children will engage when the time is right for them. It is also important to reach out in ways that are responsive and inclusive of all whānau in your communities.
(Information to be shared presented as a list)
Think about what kind of information you could share and the most effective way to share. It could be related to children’s learning, learning environments at home, routines, teaching strategies and strategies for supporting children's social and emotional competence. You might like to include regular posts or comments sharing ideas and stories based on what you already know about children's and whānau interests.
(Toddler playing with hanging toy)
Using a range of ways to share ideas and connect with children, parents and whānau will help to support them as they navigate learning at home.
(Two babies playing with tins as drums)
It’s important to be aware of the different levels of support parents and whānau may require, including where to start as well as suggested strategies. Consider the different ways you are liaising with and supporting parents and whānau; phone and video calls, text messages, social media and existing online platforms. A key consideration is who haven’t you managed to connect with? Why might that be?
(Whakataukī as text, with child on a tree branch)
Whakaoho - Motivation. This whakataukī “mauri tū mauri ora” can guide us at this time, an active soul is a healthy soul.
(Teacher seen in a video communicating with children and whānau)
Kaiako are motivated to maintain relationships as well as their learning programmes and kaupapa online. We’re going to share examples of what some services across Aotearoa are doing. Some early learning services are setting up closed Facebook groups, using Zoom for children to meet. Kaiako are doing live Facebook feeds and sharing recipes, videos and images on their online platforms.
At one Kindergarten the team are providing their online learning through a regular and already familiar Jump Jam session each day. Each approach will be different and there are limitations, for example using Zoom requires technology in homes so we need to be mindful of access and equity - an individual approach is really important and contextual solutions for various scenarios.
(Geraldine Kindergarten Kaiako facing camera)
Mōrena, our kaupapa here at Geraldine Kindergarten is whanaungatanga, and we're all really striving to keep this at the heart of what we do. Connecting with families is incredibly important at this time, and we want to ensure that we are continuing those meaningful connections.
So what we're doing is we are following some of our regular kindergarten routines. We're sharing Jump Jam and kotahitanga in the mornings with our whānau. It gives tamariki an opportunity to connect with the kaiako, and it gives some shape and routine to both their day and ours, and it's also heaps of fun.
So arohanui from Geraldine Kindergarten to all of you.
(Narration: Gae Thawley, facilitator)
(Children with adults crossing a road)
In many services it’s a familiar routine for parents, whānau, tamariki and kaiako to come together each day.
(Adult and child looking at a tablet)
Moving the same routine to an online platform is one way to maintain your daily whanaungatanga and tikanga practices including karakia and waiata.
(Man reading to a child in bed, exploring the garden)
This can provide great continuity for tamariki and is a great way to involve the wider whānau, including siblings.
(Kaiako speaking on smartphone to whānau)
Be open to whānau initiating these experiences as well as considering the many different networks and groups some parents and whānau are connected to, including sports and hobby groups and parent work environments.
(Adult with child participating in video conference)
This image shows a workplace that has established “wā whānau" across their company each day for tamariki and parents.
(Facebook page showing young children and comments from whānau)
A Pacific immersion service is also using a Facebook page to check in with their families and are inviting them to share stories and photos of their days.
(Children’s hands weaving)
As part of this service’s learning online programme they have created a lockdown challenge. The challenge is connected to a weaving experience children and kaiako were involved in prior to the lockdown. What was happening in your curriculum prior to the lockdown that you could revisit?
(Example of a Zentangle art activity)
Another service is engaging their parent community in a range of ways including sharing creativity and meditation by teaching Zentangle art via Facebook. There are many stories of the learning that is occurring in everyday life through the rituals and cultural practices that already exist in homes. How can you create a space to value these stories and for parents/whānau to share with each other?
(Adults with children preparing kava and preparing a hāngī)
Parents and whānau are adjusting and settling in to new practices in the home. For example one whānau is having kava ceremonies on Zoom and in another family, children are involved in preparing for a hāngī.
(Children assist adults who are preparing a hāngī)
In this story Ohorangia, Tait and Te Kaea along with their parents have worked together to prepare a hāngī. Ngā tamariki were involved in each part of the process from gathering to preparing and then cooking. The learning we see here embedded in whānau routines and cultural practices is rich learning in the home. How can you make connections and learn more about your parent community? What is some of the rich learning occurring in your parent/whānau community? At one Puna Reo service kaiako are connecting with their tamariki through a closed Facebook page and kaiako are also encouraged to use this time to whakamana their teacher inquiry.
(Teacher at work at home desk)
Consider your own professional learning needs at this time and ways to keep informed.
(Web pages displayed from the Early Learning Bulletin)
The Early Learning Bulletin is a key place for guidance and information. A recent update includes resources to think about for supporting parents and whānau of children with special needs.
(Web pages displayed from Te Whāriki Online)
The resources and material on Te Whāriki Online can support your professional learning including examples from home based and playcentre services. You can download spotlights and resources that relate to your curriculum and learning community.
(Information about He Māpuna te Tamaiti is displayed)
He Māpuna te Tamaiti is a new resource that you can find on Te Whāriki Online. It has been designed to support you to understand and draw on effective practices that enhance children’s social and emotional competence, engagement, and learning. You might like to consider taking some key points from the resource to share with parents at this time including the reference to feelings and emotions. The resource ‘Much More Than Words’ can be useful for having a conversation with parents about their children's speech and language development.
(The cover pages of Tapasā and Tātaiako are displayed)
The cultural competency frameworks Tapasā and Tātaiako can support you in your learning to ensure culturally appropriate online practices. The technology is just the tool - it’s the practice and values that are important in engaging and personalising your approach for Māori and Pacific learners and their parents and whānau. There are many resources available as you consider where parents are at and think about what you know about what they need, and how to support their child’s learning.
(A list of resources from the Learning from Home website)
The Learning from Home website includes resources that can be easily shared and tailored to different contexts. This is being updated regularly and will look different overtime. The Ministry’s te reo Māori platform for learning at home is Ki te Ao Mārama.
(Man holding a baby, parents with children, teachers working at home)
Some of the key messages shared in this video remind us about the importance of relationships, offering support, seeing and appreciating the learning in everyday living and appropriate ways to connect with parents and whānau at this time. We need to think differently and also consider the implications of new digital practices to ensure safety for all and that we do not put too much pressure on parents and whānau at this time. This is also a learning time for kaiako, so take time to talk to each other as a team, to reflect on your own learning and seek support.
(Coastline and beach at sunset)
Kia hora te marino, kia whakapapa pounamu te moana, kia tere te kārohirohi i mua i tō huarahi.
May calm be spread around you, may the sea glisten like greenstone and the shimmer of summer dance across your pathway.
Text on screen: Kia haumaru te noho - Stay Safe. Ministry of Education.
Learning from home
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