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Primary Update

Posted: September 11, 2020

I wanted to take some time in this week’s Explorer to feedback on the results of the recent stakeholder surveys around Online Learning Provision. We started this process prior to knowing the government’s plan for face-to-face class resumption, however, it is still an important process to complete.

I have recorded a narrated slide deck which is available HERE for those of you who would like the long view of the data gathered.

I am going to summarise key information and takeaways here.


Parents: Just over 32% of parents responded to the survey; just under 68% of parents did not. These numbers are important to note when looking at specific percentages of data gathered as these percentages are based on the 32% who did respond.

Students: Nearly 40% of students in Years 4-6 responded to the survey.

Key takeaways from student responses:

  • Student have mixed views on the use of Zoom – some like it, some would like to see less of it
  • Students have mixed views on the use of technology vs pen/paper models of learning
  • Students express pleasure in spending time with their families, especially parents who are often working late and not around to share in their learning.
  • Students are missing their friends and personal connection.
  • Overall, students would rather be at school.

Key takeaways from parents responses:

  • Parents were split over preferred methods of provision
  • For every request of ‘more zooms, more online time, more work’ was the opposite request of ‘less zooms, less screen time, less work’.
  • Several trends around refined Chinese Provision, simplified grids and tech support came through the survey data.

Well-being Data

Students were asked to self-report on how they were currently feeling and parents were asked their perception of how their child was currently feeling.

  • The majority of students reported that they were feeling ‘OK’ about working from home (45.2%).
  • The majority of parents reported that their child was feeling ‘happy’ or ‘very happy’ about working from home (55%).
  • 22.7% of student respondents reported feeling ‘not very happy’ or ‘very unhappy’ about working from home.
  • 9.9% of parent respondents reported that their child was feeling ‘not very happy’ or ‘very unhappy’ about working from home.

This data points to the importance of the current and ongoing work across DC on well-being. Overwhelmingly, in the self-reported student feedback, ‘spending time with parents’, ‘seeing parents during the week’, ‘having lunch with parents’ and ‘spending time with siblings’ were highlighted as the positives that have come from having to work at home.

Overall Summary

  • Students, Parents and Teachers would rather be in school than online
  • Students are overall happy with the provision they are receiving; would like to connect more with teachers and friends
  • Parents are split over preferred methods of provision

Trends for key areas of reflection:

  • Refinement of Chinese provision
  • The power of the small group
  • Streamlined grids
  • Tech support
  • Access to teachers/EAs for support during the school day

Next Steps
The government announcement about returning to school made us pause but we are committed to following through with the timeline we laid out.

From Monday 14 September 2020, you will see:

Refinement of Chinese Provision

  • Live Zoom lessons increase to two for Years 1-4, three for Years 5-6
  • Each group is split into half
  • Each Zoom is 20 minutes with up to 15 students between 1 teacher and 1 EA
  • One grid task for Years 1-4, two grid tasks for Years 5-6
  • Shorter, more impactful vocabulary/pronunciation videos
  • Focus on oral/spoken language in Zooms

This revised model will allow for more personalised and focused language instruction. It will allow greater opportunity for students to actively engage in learning Chinese and provide opportunities for teachers and EAs to actively assess, assist and strengthen students’ oral and spoken language.

The Power of the Small Group

  • Continued emphasis on creating opportunities for more student/teacher contact within the same defined ‘live’ learning blocks
  • Flexibility around groupings, the number of students per group and frequency in order to best benefit learners
  • IF we end up back online for an extended period of time, this will continue to be looked at for areas of future refinement

Streamlined Grids

  • Simplified instructions on the grid
  • Tailored for student independence in Years 4-6
  • Tailored for an adult view and a child-friendly view in Years 1-3
  • Access to a fixed timetable per class for parents and students to use to plan self-directed learning as well as a simplified view of scheduled learning blocks

Ongoing developments:
Centralised Tech/App Support Resources

  • Creation of a ‘one-stop-shop’ for tech solutions, tutorials and guidance accessible for parents across Primary and students Years 4-6
  • Creation of tutorials for online applications used across the Primary School
  • This will be ongoing to help ease the tech issues associated with online learning and continued app use/site use with face-to-face resumption

Greater access to Teachers/EAs during the school day

  • Exploring applications besides email and sitting on Zoom to increase speed of response and assistance for students
  • Continue to explore and refine current model
  • It is recognised from the student data that they want the ‘in the moment’ opportunities to seek support and guidance
  • This will be a continued priority IF we end up back in an online learning model again.

Additionally, as we prepare for the return to school, please note that only items marked as needing to be submitted for feedback will be fed-back upon. Feedback happens in a variety of ways from comments posted in Seesaw and Google Classroom to discussions that occur in small group settings on Zoom.

Thank you again for engaging in this process of reflection with us and I look forward to welcoming students back to campus soon.

Josh Blue
Head of Primary