LEARNING and teaching are continuing as usual, albeit online, at Edgecumbe College while other schools around the Eastern Bay take a two-week holiday.
The Easter school holidays were supposed to run from April 10-28, but the Government changed the dates so the holidays instead began on Monday this week.
Deputy principal Rene Otto said the whole school had been practising Google Classroom and then the Government unexpectedly announced holidays were to start early.
“I know that they said it is supposed to be school holidays, but we had everything all sorted and ready to go with our Google classroom and learning,” Mr Otto said.
“We had the kids all keen and we had a few practices and then they said that we need to go on holiday. So we got the okay from the Ministry [of Education] though out acting principal that we can carry on teaching until next week Thursday and then we will have the two weeks holiday at the start of Easter.”
Humour is also helping to keep the students motivated, with Facebook posts telling students: “Less than 30 minutes to showtime! You gonna finish that toast?” and “Online option classes begin in 40 minutes. . .finish your milo!!” and “You’ve got half an hour. Eat some fruit!!”.
Mr Otto said the online learning was going well, and teachers had also been holding meetings via Google classroom. Student attendance is also being monitored and pastoral support for students through the guidance counsellor is also continuing.
“We have got a special timetable [for subjects] set out and we have got the seniors, Years, 11, 12 and 13, timetabled in on a Monday and a Wednesday, and the juniors on a Tuesday and a Thursday.
“Our class starts at 9am in the morning and we have bracketed some subjects into timeslots and then we do it all in Google classrooms.”
Mr Otto said they were covering all the main subjects, such as science, English, social studies, maths and more. In addition to the hour-long block of learning for each subject, there was an additional half hour for questions and feedback with the subject teacher.
Learning was also continuing in practical subjects, such as woodwork and metalwork.
“My son is in that category, where they brought booklets home on the last day and they have been working on these and then just send it in through Google classroom.
Mr Otto said although his son could not do practical work, he was working on measurements, design and planning for his projects.
“So, for our staff it is business as usual, just that they are at home, and working in their pyjamas.”