Schools plan for online lessons

Students face the prospect of lessons at home and without their friends.

Students face the prospect of lessons at home and without their friends.

Schools throughout the Bega Valley are preparing to continue teaching programs via online methods as the coronavirus crisis clock ticks.

While the messaging from federal and state leaders may have caused confusion for parents, there is an imperative to the preparations for online learning now taking place that will ensure education for all students will continue, even if schools are closed to all bar the children of essential workers.

Lumen Christi has said that in line with the NSW and ACT governments, Catholic Education encourages parents to keep their children home if they are able.

Pambula Public School principal Leah Martin has told parents the school remains open for those families who are involved in working in essential services, but all other families are encouraged to keep their children at home if practical.

At Merimbula Public School there were just 36 students on Tuesday and parents were thanked for following the Premier's advice, and keeping children at home should they not be required to attend.

Behind the scenes teaching staff are preparing for a new way of teaching and learning.

In a letter to parents, acting principal at Lumen Christi Shane Giles explained that low or minimal attendance of students at schools would support teachers in their preparation for remote learning for all students. This would be a single program of learning accessed in school or remotely.

At Merimbula though, staff have already published a full set of timetables for learning at home for this current week.

Some students are using Google Classrooms already and the school has said it will provide further information as needed.

The school said it has adjusted its usual lessons to provide simpler Learning From Home tasks as everyone transitions into the new way of learning.

"If things get too challenging, play a board game, do some cooking or reading together, belt out some tunes or have your own lounge-room karaoke," the school has told parents, but cautioned against too much screen time.

"Your child/ren are probably still coming to terms with the fact that they may not see their friends for a while (as we all are)," the school said.

"They may just need that extra bit of TLC from you. Remember, they too never had a summer.

"Be with your child, reassure them that they will be OK, that life can still be fun."