Tēnā koe,

We are now coming to the end of our first week at Level 3 and as yet have had no Yr 9 and 10 students attend school. With the support of the Board of Trustees, I am therefore proposing to close school until 11th May. I realise that some employers and businesses may be up and running before that date, so please email me gael.ashworth@wegc.school.nz if your personal circumstances change and you are unable to provide adequate supervision for your child. We will then open to receive Yr 9 and 10 students, and I will make contact with you individually regarding the protocols around social distancing and maintaining student bubbles.

Students and staff are now getting to grips with the challenge of sustaining distance learning over a longer period of time. To that end we have made some slight changes to the East@home programme to reflect the points raised by students through recent surveys. These include:

  • Tracking engagement as we support students in online learning and the transition back to face to face learning 
  • Perceived workload issues for students
  • Expanding teaching and learning practices to include more opportunities for group interaction
  • Supporting students in their online interactions and expectations of others. 
  • Providing clarity around assessment requirements. 

I do recognise that there is uncertainty and anxiety for students around NCEA. Staff have been working across departments to look at the ways in which we can use the flexibility of NCEA to relieve pressure on students whilst ensuring they still have the opportunity to achieve the qualification. Currently we are reviewing our courses at NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3 and looking to reduce the number of topics assessed. This provides a more manageable workload and allows students to still achieve the qualification. It will require students to have a focused approach to the assessments that are available to ensure that they achieve the credits required. Teachers will be in touch with students regarding course changes in due course.

It is likely that we will not hold the School Exam Week in term 3, but use a range of formative assessment opportunities throughout each student’s learning programme. It is therefore important that students make the most of formative assessment opportunities offered to demonstrate their learning and skills, in case derived grades are required for external examinations. Training around examination protocols will be provided for Year 11 students when appropriate. 

We have also developed some guidelines for students around online learning interactions and expectations which are clearly linked to our values. These will be discussed with students during Ako time next week. You may also be able to support your child with these practices at home. Please click on the link to see the presentation. Our Values - demonstrating our mana in a virtual world

Please remember that support is still available for students online, through our Hauora team.

Thank you for your continued patience and hopefully I will be able to give details of transitioning to Level 2 soon.

Ngā mihi nui

Gael Ashworth