With the weekend ahead of us and at this point of writing still some uncertainty what this week may look like in NSW. We want to communicate with you today about the move to our online learning platform - NGS Online. We are sending this letter now, aware that within the next few minutes, hours or days a complete lockdown of NSW may occur and it is important for all families to know how NGS is set up to meet this challenge. Current advice on the NSW Government website is that NSW schools will remain open, based on health advice, but parents are encouraged to keep their children at home.
Regardless of whether the NSW Government move to a lockdown in the next hours or days, from Monday, 30 March we will move to an online learning model to ensure continuity of education for all students, Kindergarten to Year 12. Many NGS staff across the School have been working hard to ensure we are ready and well-resourced. We have also worked on the centralisation of information to make it easy for students and parents to negotiate, as you will see below. The pupil free day on Friday was used by our staff to ensure our systems are ready and able to continue to deliver a comprehensive education to our students.
At this point, consistent with the directives and guidance from both the Federal and NSW Governments regarding physical distancing and assisting our health workers, we are asking students who can stay at home to stay at home. We are also aware that our parents are under significant pressure in their own lives. Therefore, the School will remain open and supervision at NGS will be provided for any students or parents who need us. We will ensure your child accesses the online learning activities. They will do these activities, with assistance if needed, at the same time as their class mates learning from home. K-6 supervision including OOSH will take place at Park Campus. Year 7 – 12, students who come to School will be supervised on the top floor of the Hill Building. Staff on both campuses will be there to support each student’s online learning and each student will need their own device and headphones. All students, whether at home or if through necessity, at Park or Hill Campus will be learning using the same online model. Please notify the School if your child will be coming to School via email: K-6: Lisa Foster (email@example.com) and 7-12 Carla James (Carla.firstname.lastname@example.org). Please note that if your child will be coming onsite, you will need to transport them to and from School as all buses will cease on Monday 30th March. Please prepare a full lunch box and your son or daughter should bring their own water bottle as the Canteen will also be closed. Your child needs to be at school at the normal time and be collected by 5.30pm, from Park Campus, Corlette Street Gate or Hill Campus Reception.
Staff will continue to deliver a high-quality Home Learning Programme during this time. Comprehensive guides for parents and students, with detailed instructions on how to access learning have been added to our NGS OnlineSchoolbox page. The NGS Online page will be used going forward for all whole school messages, ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ and resources for parents. Please ensure you save access to this page and take some time with your son or daughter to explore what is there - Click here.
We are well placed to make this transition. All K-4 students will be using Zoom, See Saw and SchoolBox. All 5-12 students will use Microsoft Teams and SchoolBox. Instructions on how to use of all these platforms can be accessed at NGS Online. Lessons will take place in ‘real time’.
This is indeed a challenging time for our Nation. As a School, we, like all our families are appreciate the importance of taking such unprecedented measures to bring this pandemic under control and we are committed to playing our part in the community to do so. Certainly, history has provided solid evidence for the efficacy of this approach.
As we navigate the coming weeks and months, it is important that we continue to focus on maintaining our personal health and wellbeing, putting in place practices and routines that will help sustain us through the challenging times ahead. We encourage you to keep in mind the principles of Positive Psychology, which provide a framework for flourishing – PERMA:
Positive Emotions: Feeling good
Engagement: Finding flow
Relationships: Authentic connections
Meaning: Purposeful existence
Achievement: A sense of accomplishment
Now is the time to actively seek opportunities to build and nourish our wellbeing. And remember to continually check in on the wellbeing of those around you using the Visible Wellbeing: See – Hear – Feel. We wish all our families well during this period and urge you to remember the incredible act of service this action represents, confident that we are contributing to something much greater than ourselves.
The staff are so grateful for the support, understanding and compassion our School family has shown since the onset of COVID-19. We sincerely thank everyone for their assistance in facilitating the transition to a new paradigm of learning. So many have contributed to this huge undertaking. This is the mark of a healthy and supportive community, one that truly lives our values of respect, integrity, service and excellence.