Over the past ten weeks, along with many schools around the world, AISHK has implemented, developed and aimed to enhance online learning for our students. As online learning begins to be adopted and rolled out in Australia, AISHK has been invited by peak bodies in NSW and Victoria to share our experiences, advice and specific aspects of our online learning programme. AISHK has been honoured to provide insight on both our positive experiences and challenges of this journey, so as to support, learn from and lead other schools and key associations in Australia.
The Association of Independent Schools of NSW (AISNSW)
AISNSW has invited AISHK to share aspects of the planning, delivery and ethos of our online learning programme. AISNSW is the peak body supporting and representing independent education, specifically independent schools including across the range of rural, metropolitan areas of NSW, offering services in:
- advice and consultancy
- professional learning
- funded programs and projects
- support for students with diverse needs
- research and data
- advocacy and partnerships
AISNSW also works with governments, statutory authorities and a wide range of other educational stakeholders on behalf of over 480 independent schools, their boards, their principals and heads, their executive, their teachers and support staff. These schools educate over 200,000 children from the increasing number of families choosing independent education.
AISNSW Principal Insights
Our Head of School, Mark Hemphill, has been invited to share, from a leadership perspective, his experiences of online learning. Working directly with the AISNSW Leadership Centre, Mark assisted in contributing to resources the Leadership Centre is preparing for AISNSW Principals. These tools and resources will be utilised to to support online learning in NSW independent Schools. Mark is one of a select group of NSW Principals who has been interviewed and offered his views on online learning which will be shared with other NSW Principals.
Learning From Home in K-2
AISHK Head of Early Childhood, Cathryn Moore has been working with AISNSW to provide insight for their webinars and resource hubs related to learning from home, for Reception to Year 6. Cathryn has been invited to reflect on and share key developments during the growth of our online learning, over the course of Term 1. Aspects covered include:
- Building and coordinating effective online learning timetables
- Maintaining a balance between teaching and pedagogy, ensuring that online learning remains engaging
- Adapting to the evolving need for a balance between pre-recorded instructional videos and live learning
- Incorporating learning support and our Learning Enrichment Centre (LEC) into the online learning programme
- Implementing whole-school or divisional activities such as Jump Jam and Assemblies to create a sense of community, and connection to the school and peers, rather than just the classroom teacher
Learning from Home – PDHPE K-10
AISHK Head of PDHPE R-12, Kath Ellis, and PDHPE Teacher R-3, Andrew Wookey were also invited to be part of an expert panel in regards to delivering PDHPE lessons online. Kath and Andrew provided the unique educational context of AISHK and Hong Kong, with specific examples of adaptive online pedagogies that have been used within our context.
Both teachers provided advice on how to deliver and sustain the PDHPE online learning program for all students, particularly younger students who have yet to physically set foot onto the school campus for the 2020 school year. Navigating and overcoming obstacles of delivering a largely physical key learning area of the curriculum in an online learning context was also discussed.
Australian Association of Mathematics | Mathematics Heads of Faculty Network in Victoria
At the end of Term 1 Term, the Australian Association of Mathematics enquired with its network as to whether any member of their discussion group intended to provide online teaching of Maths.
AISHK Secondary Head of Mathematics, Robyn Gregory, advised that Maths at AISHK had, at this stage, been taught online for ten weeks. Robyn shared and recommended specific aspects Google Suite which have proved to be suitable and successful for teaching online.
Subsequently, Robyn was invited by the Coordinator of the Mathematics Heads of Faculty Network in Victoria to join a network meeting, via Zoom, on Tuesday April 21, to talk about what AISHK has been offering in Secondary Maths.
As the realities and learning curves of using technology would have it, unfortunately, when the date and time arrived, Robyn was unable to access the Zoom Meeting due to a technical issue. Hence, a very good illustration about the vagaries of technology; it so regularly fails at vital times!
Robyn’s presentation went ahead in the form of a lesson video recording, using Screencastify. The presentation outlined the roles played by Google Drive, Google Classrooms, Google Meets and Google Forms in online teaching and learning of Maths. This was shared with teachers to view if and when it suits them.
This experience in itself was a an example of a very valuable aspect of our teaching at this time. As teachers record lesson videos, students have a valuable record which can be viewed or reviewed, at their convenience. Another key point highlighted for the teachers who are just embarking on this process, is the value in students learning to verbalise their Maths as they discuss online with their teachers and peers. A chance to truly think about this wonderful subject in more depth and not just churn out textbook exercises!
Whilst we all look forward to returning to school physically, AISHK looks forward to more opportunities during online learning to join forces and share our experiences and expertise with colleagues, associations and industry leaders both locally and internationally.