14 Feb 2020

Message from the Principal

Dear Parents,

As you may well be aware, the Hong Kong Government has today made the announcement that they have extended the suspension of in-school classes until March 16 and students should not attend school before that date. This means that our KGV online learning programme will carry on and we will do all we can to promote learning and connect with our students during this challenging time. ESF has produced a guide to online learning which sets out our pledges to you – and also contains practical ways in which you can support your child while they are learning from home. You can access it at https://www.esf.edu.hk/learning-from-home-guide/

At KGV School we have been seeking, listening and acting on student, parent and staff feedback over the past week and as a result, we have made significant refinements and improvements to our online learning procedures. Thank you for the positive comments and feedback that have been flowing as a result of these modifications. Again, I would like to acknowledge our teachers for their resilience, adaptability and willingness to deliver on this online environment and ensure learning is progressing strongly.

Our expectations regarding KGV Online Learning

I would like to reinforce our basic expectations regarding our online learning programme:

  • All students (+/- 3 hour HK time zone) are expected to log into a Google Meet at the beginning of every lesson, every day and interact with the teacher and follow teacher directions.
  • All teachers will be online via Google Meet for the duration of each lesson (1 hour), and will be engaged in activities such as explicit teaching, class discussion and individual feedback;
  • Before the first lesson each day, all students should read the online learning log published to Lionel at 7.30pm the night before. The learning log details the scheduled learning activities for the following day;
  • All students (+/- 3 hour HK time zone) are required to log into the Google Meet during Tutorial time each day (including Monday morning), to check in with their Tutor regarding individual academic engagement and general wellbeing
  • We will continue to keep you informed (via the note system on LIONEL – see below) if your child does not meet these expectations.

Clarification regarding the issuing of NOTES via LIONEL

Some parents have expressed concerns about the generation of notes to their child via our Lionel learning management system. To clarify, the ‘Notes’:

  • Are simply email notifications shared between school and home;
  • Contain positive messages of encouragement, as well as point of direction and/or clarification;
  • Are not necessarily a cause for concern, but often just a means to share information;
  • May at times, carry information which needs further clarification, so please let us know. We all appreciate that the situation is changing constantly, and feedback and updates from parents are really important. As you can appreciate, we are trying to coordinate information across subjects and teachers who are all working to support the individual student. The ‘note’ serves to ensure that the Tutor and the parent are aware, for example, of a missing piece of work and/or absence and often just requires the parent to kept informed.
  • Are not used as a disciplinary record, but rather a way to capture on-going communication between school, our students and home.

Kognity Text Books (www.kognity.com)

Kognity is a series of ‘intelligent’ text books which we have recently purchased by KGV due to their specific suitability for our Year 12 and 13 students. This school investment in the Kognity system for all Year 12 and 13 students provides an additional structured online curriculum resource to support learning at home during the class suspension period and beyond. Teachers can assign tasks and monitor engagement and progress. Students can see their progress, areas of strength and areas requiring more work, and they get instant feedback. This is a significant investment to support student learning at this time. We recently trialled this product and the feedback from the Year 12 and 13 students and staff was very positive.

Online Expectations

There has been some false reporting that KGV students are required to wear uniform during the online Google Meet sessions. This is incorrect, and our actual expectations were communicated on Monday 3rd in our ‘Student Guide’ (student guidelines) which states that:

“You must connect with your teacher using Google Meet at the start of your scheduled lesson. Your teacher will be available for the whole lesson so you can get help, explanations or ask them any questions. Your teacher may be teaching and explaining content at the start of the lesson and could be recording it, so please join with your microphone and camera switched off. You should use your device in a communal area at home and ensure your background and dress are appropriate. You can switch the camera and microphone off. It will work on your laptop or from any mobile device”

Sense of Community

It is important that we do all we can to stay connected and support each other as we appreciate this is a challenging time for all in our community. The situation at home is not easy and this can cause extra strain within families. A reminder that students have access on our KGV Counselling service and students can reach our wellbeing team atstudent.support@kgv.edu.hk. Students also have daily contact with their tutors through tutor time and email.

So we can continue to serve our students and community the best we can, please look out for and complete our weekly KGV Online Survey to be emailed out tomorrow. This survey helps us to consider what we should keep, start and stop doing as we look to tweak and evolve the programme to support our remarkable students.

Best wishes and please stay safe.

Kind regards

Mark Blackshaw
King George V