Our Week in the Early Years: 7 – 11 September

Dear Parents

I am aware that you will have received a wealth of information this week with regards to the exciting news of class resumption, therefore will aim to keep my communication with you brief this week.

The Children’s Learning

This week has seen a great deal of highlights in our Early Years with the children in Nursery discussing names for their class pets and Reception children celebrating the culmination of all their party planning with their class pet birthday parties. Our children in EY1 have been learning to write instructions and created some fabulous sandwiches whilst our EY2 children have been continuing to reason and problem solve with numbers in their Place Value unit of learning for Maths.

Parent Focus Group

I was delighted to be able to meet with parents from across our Early Years phase in our virtual focus groups last Thursday. Whilst we are delighted to now be in a position to welcome the children back to school, we are highly aware that school closure and home learning is something we need to continue to consider given the fluidity of the situation in Hong Kong as well as knowing that shorter term school closures are something that have happened previously for reasons other than COVID-19. The discussion was therefore extremely productive in evaluating and celebrating the developments that have happened this year, as constructively discussing how to develop the provision further.

Our pre-focus group survey and resulting discussion demonstrated that different families have different needs with regards to how the home learning is delivered, however for our older children, there does appear to be a desire for more live time interactions between teachers and the children. Given that EY2 children will be continuing with their home learning programme until Monday 28th September, we have therefore looked at ways to enhance some live time learning opportunities for the children. Mrs Emily Sharman (EY2 Year Group Leader) will be meeting with the EY2 team on Monday and communicating with parents to explain when and how some live time lesson introductions will take place. The developments to your child’s timetable will be communicated on the hub and via Seesaw early next week. We recognise that a number of families much prefer the recorded sessions for the children and these will still be available for the children to access.

Further highlights from the focus group discussion included the overwhelmingly positive feedback with regards to the developments of Seesaw and how the children’s learning is accessed, the usefulness of feedback for the children via Seesaw and the success of the 1:1 sessions and activity packs in supporting the children’s learning. Some aspects that we will consider further (in addition to the increase in live time lesson introductions for our older Early Years children) include trying to ensure streamlined, effective and timely communication between home and school, more hard copy resources for the children in the activity packs, more detailed explanations for parents on how to support with specific learning tasks at home and consideration given to how our RWI programme is delivered in an online learning environment.

I want to reiterate my gratitude to the parents who joined the focus group, your kind appreciation of the efforts of our teachers and education assistants in doing their best to support the children during these exceptional times and the very thoughtful and productive discussion. It really was a pleasure to meet with you, albeit virtually!

Children’s uniform

We could not be more excited to welcome your children back to school over the coming weeks. I also appreciate that your children may well have grown since the last time we saw them in school (for some children this was February!). With that in mind, we will be taking a considerate approach to the children’s uniform as they return to school. We do have high standards and expectations of the children which extends to their uniform, however I appreciate that these have been exceptional times and you may not have been able to source everything your child needs in time for when they return. Whilst your child is expected to wear their uniform, we will be patient and of course allow for exceptions if you are not able to source their full uniform in time for their first day.

I wish you all a wonderful week ahead and look forward to seeing you and your children in person over the coming weeks.

With best wishes

Hannah Cole

Head of Early Years