Learning will look ‘completely different’

 Preparing yesterday for some pupils to return to school under Alert Level 3 is Carisbrook School...
Preparing yesterday for some pupils to return to school under Alert Level 3 is Carisbrook School teacher Alex Gilmore. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Some children will be able to return to school under Alert Level 3, but on-site learning will look "completely different", a Dunedin school principal says.

From tomorrow, schools will be able to open for pupils in years 1 to 10 whose parents or carers need to go to work and have no available options for child care.

Teachers have been working hard to prepare their physical classrooms, implement health and safety measures and establish new bubbles.

Bathgate School principal Katrina Robertson yesterday said teachers were working through their alert level checklist and establishing which pupils would be eligible to attend school.

Those pupils would then be separated into individual bubbles within the school, with 10 children per bubble.

Each would have pupils with mixed abilities and ages to allow for siblings, who were already in the same bubble at home, to remain in the same bubble at school.

"It is about minimising the interactions of individuals," Ms Robertson said.

On-site classrooms would operate under an "alternative" learning structure and ensure pupils at school were not missing out on the "pluses" of at-home learning.

"We do not want to penalise those who have to come to school, so we try make it fun and engaging.

"It looks completely different."

Ms Robertson said, between health and safety preparation and some teachers having to juggle supporting on-site learning while also having a classroom to support remotely, much work was involved.

"There is a lot of collegiality required, and it is freely given by everyone," she said.

Carisbrook School principal Katrina Munro said, as of yesterday, the school had two bubbles confirmed for Level 3.

Two teachers would be assigned to each bubble, and she and an administration staff member would also be allowed on site, Ms Munro said.

The school was able to pick teachers who did not have full-time classes and who had expertise in both the junior and senior school.

It meant the teachers would be able to develop learning programmes to suit their bubbles, which would be made up of pupils from a mixture of year levels.

One of those teachers is Alex Gilmore, who said learning would focus on literacy and maths.

But her main priority would be ensuring pupils felt safe and comfortable at school during Level 3, she said.

The Government’s guidelines for education under Level 3 say pupils in years 11, 12 and 13 should continue to learn from home.

Parents, carers and whanau who are visitors to the school should keep 2m apart from people outside their household.

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