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Learning Continuity for Trials and Full Enrolments during Lockdowns

We've all had to grapple with lockdowns this year and may have to for a while yet. So how do we ensure learning and development continuity at Mini Maestros?

Mini Maestros has 3 week trials so that the children can settle into the new environment.  It generally takes more than 1 week for a young child to familiarise themselves with new surroundings and feel comfortable before actively participating in class. Our strategy for 2021 and the possibility of further lockdowns is that (a) 3 week trials will be extended if interrupted by a lockdown so that new students will still experience 3 in-person lessons as they get used to our program, and (b) fully enrolled students (i.e. after the trial period) receive our Online Course as a back-up for their enrolment.  For them the Online Course takes the place of any lesson that is cancelled due to COVID related reasons or a student is unable to attend because of sickness.  As the Online Course follows the same structure of our in-person classes, the Online Course ensures continuity for carer and child in the case of lockdown.

Our Zoom sessions are a bonus for trial students and full enrolments and are intended to ensure social continuity in lockdown.

While some carers do have concerns about “doing screen time”, educational content delivered via a screen in the preschool and primary settings is increasingly commonplace.  We think what is important in respect of screentime is whether it is passive or active.   Our Online Course is designed for the parent or carer to watch and participate in together with their child, the Online Course will teach a parent or carer how to nurture different aspects of their child’s development – thus the primary contact during this screen time is between parent or carer and the child, not between the child and the screen   Just like in an in-person class, the teacher in the Online Class  directs the adults and children how to join in with the dances, play instruments, move in action songs and watch puppet/ prop activities and be active participants in the lessons. Far from passive screen time, the online classes encourage movement and interaction between adult and child. They are designed to provide further enrichment in combination with weekly in-person classes and to continue the term’s learning during a lockdown period. Our Zoom sessions allow for interactions with classmates.

We believe our Online Course is an important resource especially during lockdowns.  Social interaction through our bonus zoom sessions is also important.   During the unusual circumstances of this year our intent is to ensure continuity (both for the learning and development of our students and the welfare of our teachers and business).

We all hope that as soon as possible the lockdowns become a thing of the past and our in-person classes continue interrupted.

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