Learning and pastoral care continues despite lockdown
As the cases of COVID-19 slowly began to grow, Dilworth senior management and staff started to consider options for remote learning and how the school could continue to provide a level of pastoral care if the school were forced to go into lockdown. The key priority was ensuring that all students were able to continue their learning with as little disruption as possible.
Digital/remote learning trials began the week before the lockdown announcement, with each student being sent home with a school-owned device for the weekend. A variety of digital learning platforms including Google Classrooms were utilised for students to engage with all areas of the school curriculum. The following Monday, the students each provided feedback in regards to what was working and what needed improvement. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
On Monday 23 March, the government announced the country would be moving to stage four which would include a full lockdown. As a result, all three campuses were closed and the digital learning platforms that were previously trialled were put into action.
Dilworth Headmaster, Dan Reddiex said “I could not be happier with the way the students, staff and parents/caregivers have embraced these changes. I understand these are challenging times but everyone has been incredibly positive and open to these new opportunities.”
The Dilworth pastoral care team also discussed how they could provide students with the pastoral care support they need during these uncertain times. The school chaplain, Rev Greg Worboys has been video recording short snippets of prayer and reflection, fittingly named “Soul Food” that is sent out to staff and students each morning. He said during his first address “today, as a nation, we begin a month of social isolation. It will be a time of mixed feelings for all of us. However, it is also a time where we need to stay connected more than ever.” The rest of the pastoral care team including Assistant Principal – Student Services Claudine Nathan and the school counsellors have also made themselves remotely available for all students. The boys are able to text, email, call or arrange for a video call to talk through any personal issues or concerns they may be having. “We know that now more than ever, our students may need support and we wanted to ensure that this is easily accessible for them, even during the lockdown” said Claudine Nathan.
Remote learning will continue through to 6th April, when the students will take a well-deserved break for two weeks. This allows both the students and staff to get accustomed to these new methods of learning before breaking for the holidays. School will recommence on Monday 20th of April via remote learning, unless the school is advised it is safe for the students to return.