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Primary Start-of-Term Arrangements

Posted: August 7, 2020

It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the start of a new academic year for the Primary Section of Discovery College!

I am thrilled to be starting the year as your new Head of Primary. I look forward to getting to know you, your children and the community better in the coming weeks and months. Although you might not be seeing me at the gate for the next few weeks, please do not hesitate to reach out and say hello. I’m only a Zoom call or email away.

I’m coming to DC from the ESF Kennedy School, where I served as Vice Principal for the last six and a half years. My family and I moved to DB in May and have enjoyed getting to know the community a bit better. Having lived in Hong Kong since 2003, I am eager to start this next chapter at Discovery College where I have been overwhelmed by the positivity, sense of belonging and support since I started a short two weeks ago. 

Starting the school year for a child, parent and teacher alike is a magical, exciting experience and one we are looking forward to next week – even though we might not be starting how we thought we would be.

Instead, we have the opportunity to innovate, create and explore new ways of learning. We have gone to every effort to ensure we start the year on a positive foot, focused on building relationships, fostering well-being and developing a sense of belonging.

This is our moment to GROW, DISCOVER and DREAM, and we are excited to be on this journey with you.

Please join me in welcoming our new staff to the DC Community.

New Staff 

Rebecca Ryder – Year 1 Teacher
Lauren Miller – Year 2 Teacher
Eura Kim – Year 2 EA
Lynne Cooney – Year 3 EA
Samaara Malhorta – Year 4 EA
Amber Magnan – Year 4 EA
Melanie Williams – Year 6 Teacher
Megan Duckett – Visual Arts Teacher

Over the coming weeks, I’m sure you will have opportunities to reach out and say hello.

What will learning look like
Similarly to the last period of distance learning at DC, we will be utilising the DC Primary Learning Grids to communicate with you and your child learning expectations and engagements in the coming weeks. Those of you new to the DC community will be introduced to these in the New Student Induction Session on Friday afternoon or The Ins and Outs of Starting Year 1 @ Discovery College, Monday 10 August at 6 pm via Zoom. More information and your child’s first learning grid will be shared prior to the start of school on Wednesday 12 August 2020.

The First Day
To kick off the year right, we will be holding Year Level Assemblies on the first day of school. This is an opportunity to all come together, meet new people and celebrate the start of a new year. We welcome and encourage whole families to join us for your child’s assembly. Zoom links for the assemblies will be in your child’s learning grid. Feel free to have your child dress up in uniform if they wish or fancy dress as a family is also encouraged and applauded. The timings for the assemblies are as follows:

  • Year 1: 8.30-9am
  • Year 2: 9.15-9.45am
  • Year 3: 10.30-11am
  • Year 4: 11.15-11.45am
  • Year 5: 1-1.30pm
  • Year 6: 1.45-2.15pm

The links to join will be embedded in your child’s learning grid for Wednesday 12 August.

In the coming weeks – How to help support your child
Although our platform may be different, the intentionality of school remains the same. School is a place of learning, relationships and opportunity. We are here to support you and your child on this journey together. Your role as a parent remains the same – to love, to support, to encourage. I know you might feel as though it’s time to put on the ‘Teacher Hat’ but let us wear that hat for you. Keep your parent hat on because this is a time when your child needs to know you are there.

Here are three things I’d like us to remember as we begin the journey of the 2020-21 academic year:

  1.  Be present and aware. Although they might not physically be heading to class, your child is still taking part in school. At the end of the day, ask them the questions you would when they’d come bounding home from school, i.e. Tell me about the best part of your day, What was the hardest thing you had to do today?, Do you think math [or any subject/area of study] is too easy or too hard?, Can you show me something you learned (or did) today? Taking the time, asking a question about their school day shows it is important to you and if it’s important to you, it will be important to them.
  2. Take time for yourself. I have spent the entire last six weeks with my almost-three-year-old. For the last two, he has been pounding on my office door wondering where I’ve gone to and why I’m not helping him with his puzzles. I need a break; you will too. Make sure to take time for you – even if it means stepping outside with your mask on and staring up at the stars. The better we take care of ourselves, the better we can care for those around us.
  3. Learning doesn’t have a sell-by date. Nothing has to be taught within a certain period of time. Schools set their outcomes from an organisational and developmentally appropriate level, and we can also adjust them. Whether you remember at the end of Year 2 to use capital letters and full stops or by the end of Year 3, it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that we see and respect your child as an individual for where they are at and put steps in place to meet them where they are at and need to be. We can do that through distance learning and face to face. We will also work side-by-side with you to ensure all of your child’s other needs are met first or else learning can’t actually happen. Educators don’t think in terms of maths, language and Chinese. We see the whole child – as we all should. 

I look forward to building further partnerships and relationships with you in the coming weeks, months and years. We have many exciting opportunities in-store to help you connect with us and learn with us as we GROW, DISCOVER and DREAM.

Josh Blue
Head of Primary