As parents, you can provide support for your children by:
defining a space for your child to learn and where you or another adult is present and monitoring your child’s learning Checklist for Home Learning Environments
monitoring communications from school and teachers
taking an active role in helping your child process his/her learning
encouraging physical activity and/or exercise
checking in with your child regularly to help him/her manage stress
monitoring how much time your child is spending online
setting rules around your child’s social media interactions
communicating with the school if your child is unable to participate in the learning at home
Important information regarding YouTube
If your child has been asked to view a YouTube video, please ensure that parents select 'skip ads' prior to watching the video.
These could include:
establishing and/or following a daily routine for learning
identifying a safe, comfortable, quiet space in their home where they can focus effectively and successfully
regularly monitoring the school’s communication to check for announcements and feedback from teachers
completing tasks with integrity and academic honesty, doing their best work
doing their best to meet timelines, commitments, and due dates
communicating proactively with their teachers if they cannot meet deadlines or require additional support
collaborating and supporting their classmates in their learning
seeking out and communicating with school staff as different needs arise
Scootle: free resources to support remote learning for Australian students
Looking for educational resources available for everyone to use? You can explore Scootle using the new guest login. Search and browse relevant teaching and learning resources for use in class and at home.
Scootle provides access to a range of digital resources that support the Australian Curriculum. Teachers in Australian schools are able to self-register to access the resources and now parents and carers can also access resources via the Guest login. Find interactive activities, videos, teaching ideas and student resources for all subjects as well as links to specialist resource hubs such as the Early Years Resource Hub, Student Wellbeing Hub and Digital Technologies Hub. www.scootle.edu.au
SWH: Supporting wellbeing during difficult times
Specific COVID-19 wellbeing resources have also been created to support learning communities during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.
The school recovery toolkit is a popular resource for members of the school community and provides information regarding the impact of trauma in the classroom and how to support recovery.
Establishing routines and expectations
Your school should provide your child with a schedule or timetable for their learning. This will include regular breaks for activity, eating and drinking. In the activity breaks, it is important that students get up and move around.
From the first day you will need to establish routines and expectations. You should use the timetable or schedule provided by your school to set regular hours for school work.
Keep normal bedtime routines for younger children and expect the same from your older primary and high school-aged children too.
It is important that you set these expectations as soon as remote learning is implemented, not several days later after it becomes apparent a child is struggling with the absence of routine.
Communicating with the school and teachers
Make sure that you know how the school and your child's teachers will be communicating with you and check that channel regularly. Teachers may have set times where students can chat with them online and they can deliver video lessons.
Teachers may be communicating with your child during this period using video chat applications such as Google Hangouts Meet. They may also be emailing or communicating within a learning management system such as Google Classroom.
Communicating with your child about their learning
We encourage you to start and finish each day with a simple check-in. These check-ins need to be a regular part of each day and start straight away. Not all students thrive in a home learning environment; some struggle with too much independence or lack of structure and the check-ins help keep them on track.
In the morning, ask:
What are you learning today?
What are your learning targets or goals?
How will you be spending your time?
What resources do you require?
What support do you need?
In the afternoon, ask:
What did you learn today?
Acknowledge one thing that was difficult. Either let it go or come up with a strategy to deal with the same problem if it comes up again.
Consider three things that went well today. Why were they good?
Are you ok? Do you need to ask your teacher for something? Do you need help with something to make tomorrow more successful?
Tips for Learning at Home
The inclusive education/support staff in your school will still be working with the teacher to ensure students have access to appropriate learning in a way that is suitable for your child’s needs.
Advice has been provided around accessibility for all students within the online learning platform.
Townsville Catholic Education support services - Speech Language Pathologists, Advisory Visiting Specialists - Hearing and Inclusion will continue to support schools to remove communication and language barriers and ensure essential services continue to be provided. Support staff will be available to consult if there are issues with online learning access, specific to your student.
Speech Language Resources
Supporting Individuals With Autism
It is not uncommon for us all to experience anxiety at times of uncertainty and in response to distressing information presented in the media. Many of our children have been hearing about COVID-19 for weeks at school, from friends, on the news, and at home, and while they might not know how to appropriately express their feelings about the situation, they might be holding on to some worries. Here are some tips to support your child or young person.
Be available to talk and reassure: Children can have big questions, and it’s okay to answer them. Take cues from your child and offer clear but concise answers in developmentally appropriate language. Keep the focus on what you are doing to prepare and prevention strategies that are within your control like proper handwashing and avoiding large crowds. Reassure when needed but avoid offering too frequently as this can prevent children from developing their own positive self talk.
Limit news exposure: Even when it seems like they’re not listening, children pick up on what they hear on TV and radio. Hearing unfamiliar words like pandemic and outbreak can be fear-inducing. Opt for watching or listening to news reports when your child is in bed or choose to read news articles if possible. This may also include limiting our conversations about what we are hearing on the news.
Stick to routines and boundaries: Children thrive with routines and boundaries, and predictability can be very comforting in anxious times. When some things feel out of control, routines can give them a sense of security. Write your daily routine on a whiteboard or make a paper schedule together and make sure that you include fun activities in your daily routine!
Acknowledge the worries: It’s completely okay to acknowledge our childrens’ worries rather than ignoring them. Acknowledging worries won’t solidify them but it will help your child understand that worry is a protective feeling that alerts us to potential danger. The smoke alarm analogy can be helpful when explaining anxiety. Smoke alarms are really helpful for alerting us to danger when there’s a fire and we need to get out of the building. But sometimes smoke alarms go off even when there isn’t a big danger, like when we burn toast. Anxiety does the same thing, telling us that there is a big danger, even if the situation is not that big.
Be mindful of your own worries: It is reasonable for everyone to have some level of worry but children do pick up on our feelings and notice our anxieties, and they will take cues from us. We need to manage our own anxiety, including how we might express this in conversations with our child or others.
Consider opportunities for exercise: Make time to enjoy being active together, for example, throwing a ball in the backyard, dance to your favourite song or simply enjoy a stroll in the park.