Paeroa Christian School
In this spotlight, Paeroa Christian School describes their proactive approach to planning for a year with learning disruptions. Their assessment of capabilities and resources resulted in a targeted hybrid learning plan that reflected each classroom’s unique situation.
Paeroa Christian School is a decile three school with a roll of around 50 pupils, from new entrants to Year 8 students. Our children come from various backgrounds – the majority from Christian homes. While in Paeroa, we have had children travel from surrounding areas like Waihi and Waihi Beach, Katikati, Ngatea, Thames and Te Aroha.
During a staff meeting late in 2021, our staff discussed what we thought 2022 might bring. We concluded that it was likely to be a very mixed-up year with both staff and students moving in and out of school. We wanted learning to be seamless and for our students to make good progress in all curriculum areas. We wanted learning to be available to all students no matter their location. So, we decided it would be best if we moved all student learning online.
We held two planning days in January, and with the support of our PLD facilitator were able to develop a hybrid learning plan. These plans reflected the capability and resources of both teachers and students in each classroom.
What we did
Junior room: Years 0-2
Each student in the Junior Room has their own school iPad and we use Seesaw as our learning portal. A hard copy pack is also sent home that corresponds to the digital lessons. All lessons can be completed online.
Teacher has to isolate – No problem!
- Use the school Zoom paid account for 2.5 hours daily.
- The teacher is synced from home to the school PC and TV.
- Used in curriculum areas (reading, writing, maths).
- Used 3 days a week.
- Requires helpers (senior students).
- Lessons are recorded using the teacher’s voice where possible.
- Lessons are scheduled to go live on the day they are taught in the classroom.
- Students can go back and watch lessons again and again.
- Hardcopy work completed and students upload for the teacher to mark or submitted in a paper-based format.
- Digital work uploaded into Seesaw by the teacher, that students complete and teacher marks.
- Verbal feedback can be recorded and uploaded by the teacher.
- Students not proficient using IT. We’ve had to practice and make using IT another tool like using a pencil.
- Parents wary of using technology. Communication with whānau and students needs to be open and honest.
Middle room: Years 3-5
Each student has their own device – either iPad or Chromebook. Google Classroom is the learning portal.
- Created slides to complement word activity skills to assist learning words at reading level, or vocabulary specific, to assist with comprehension.
- The focus moved from just vocabulary skills, to work to integrate technology skills as well.
- We have become a classroom of shared learning. A place where we can give feedback, and also feed-forward – what works well on slides, what we can do better, and what we can move on from.
Teacher has to isolate – No problem!
- Lessons are placed on Google Classroom and the students complete the tasks by the given time.
- A teacher aide is present in the classroom to provide supervision.
- Feedback is received from the teacher daily.
- Disengagement: we follow up with the student and whānau. Hybrid learning is a partnership between home and school.
- Hitting a brick-wall: be flexible and be prepared to rethink and recreate if needed.
Senior room: Years 6-8
Each student has their own Chromebooks. Google Classroom is the online platform.
- Every lesson is on Google Classroom and linked to support material. Students are supported to access the materials to refresh and revisit a strategy.
- Lessons have to be self-reviewed using audio reflections, and checking that goals are met.
- Feedback from the teacher and peers is received in either writing, audio or video on the criteria set.
Teacher in isolation:
- The class runs as per usual and is self-managed.
- Feedback is received and feedback given daily by the teacher.
- Peer reviews can happen from anywhere that the internet can be accessed.
- Teacher aide can run the classroom for supervision (doesn’t need to be a teacher).
- Self-management is a requirement. Clear expectations are set and adhered to. If this isn’t achieved the lessons become homework.
- The beginning was difficult, so the teacher needs to be prepared to learn alongside the students and sometimes the students become mentors.
- Hybrid learning needs to be approached from the students’ point of view.
- Student feedback is vital.
- Google Classroom needs to be created collaboratively with the students.
Reflections, observations, and learnings
Overall benefits of our approach to hybrid learning:
- Lessons are accessible from home and in the class.
- Less catch-up from students returning from home learning.
- Teachers can teach from home if isolating.
- Classes can be supervised by relievers with less preparation.
- Review and refreshing knowledge.
- Whānau communication is integrated and automatic.
What we learned
- Practice with teachers and students in the class.
- Organise and plan for one or two weeks ahead.
- The more you do, the easier it gets.
- Google Classroom works best with Chromebooks, iPads work best with Seesaw.
- Disengagement from learning is noticed and followed up on with whānau and students.
- Student collaboration when creating a Google Classroom is vital.