DISTANCE LEARNING – STAKEHOLDER SURVEY RESULTS

Thank you for the taking the time to fill in the distance learning survey just before CNY.

We have analysed the results and these can be found on the following table by clicking HERE.

The results are very positive and whilst we can celebrate all the things we are doing well, we are also conscious there are things we can tweak or development further.  We have shared all the individual feedback to the appropriate teachers so that they can look for trends and, if appropriate, respond to individuals to provide additional support or to seek clarification regarding a comment.

The table, with the link above, represents responses from close to 150 parents, 40 staff and 150 Year 4, 5 and 6 students.  It is the most comprehensive survey we have done since our distance learning provision began.

Some interesting points to highlight, from my perspective:

  • It is really pleasing to see so much alignment between the children, staff and parents in terms of our provision.  A majority of the questions saw similar response rates across the 3 stakeholders.
  •  As a community we all feel our children, including the children themselves, that the children’s well being has been appropriately and strongly supported
  • Students responded lower in areas of the work being engaging and challenging (either too easy or too hard) and this is something the staff have worked hard to address and will continue to work hard to address
  • 78% of parents feel we have got the balance right regarding the amount of Zoom lessons, but 5.8% want less zoom lessons and 15.9% want more zooms provided.  This is in contrast to the children where 82.2% felt we have got the balance right but 13% felt there were too many Zoom lessons.  Only 4.8% wanted more zoom lessons.   Staff either felt we had the balance right or provided too many Zoom lessons (11.1%).
  • The ESF app seems to have made life easier for everyone but I know there are more features that we as a school could be tapping into so hopefully, in the coming weeks and months, you notice the app being even more beneficial.
  • Finally, 91% of our parents, 96% of our staff and 93% of our children felt that the children have continued to make progress in their learning.  This is very pleasing as the fear was that our children would not progress.  The assessments that we continue to give to our children highlight that our children, are indeed making progress.  Often in line with the type of progress we would normally see if the children were in all the time.  That is a credit to everyone involved and a testament to how hard everyone is working.

RETURN TO SCHOOL UPDATE

The return to school model we are currently implementing has proven popular with all our stake holders.  We have only received positive responses from children, staff and parents regarding having the same year groups in each day for the whole week.  Whilst we would prefer to have all the children in all day, everyone is appreciative that we are making the best of the situation/restrictions we have been presented with.

In regards to an update, EDB have made no further announcements and at this stage are requiring all schools to continue with the current model.  They are not accepting applications from primary schools to provide all day lessons for their primary aged children, face to face, so we cannot even push for a full day using the current timetable model.  We have certainly indicated we are ready to go as soon as possible so that know ESF schools can move quickly once they allow us to apply.

Please note that any “through” school that has primary and secondary aged children may be allowed to have secondary students in school for the afternoon but no school, including through schools, are allowed to have primary aged children in school all day.

The model/timetable for the foreseeable future is as below –

You will note that March 22-26 is TBC.  That is simply because we are hoping by then that the EDB will allow us to bring in more children or at least allow us to have the children in all day.  Obviously this will depend on the ongoing Covid situation in Hong Kong.  If the model is to continue, then Year 2, 4 and 6 will come in that week with Year 1, 3 and 5 set to be the year groups in the first week of Term 3.

SCHOOL OFFICE – STAFFING UPDATE

We are still in the process of finalising staff in the Office and hope to have everyone in post by the end of this term.

For your reference and information we have the following staff working in the office:

  • Mia Barnett – Office Administrator – office@peakschool.edu.hk – full time
  • Pam Stanley – Office Manager – General – office@peakschool.edu.hk (works Monday and Thursday)
  • Nicole McMahon – Admissions Officer – admissions@peakschool.edu.hk (works Tuesday and Fridays)
  • Leo Ng – Finance Officer – finance@peakschool.edu.hk – full time

We appointed a PTA administrator just before the CNY holidays but unfortunately she withdrew at the last minute.  Mia Barnett has kindly agreed to support Patrick and Erica (PTA Chair and Vice Chair) in terms of organising the buses until we can find a replacement.  We are hoping to have a PTA Administrator in place in the next week or so as we have already made an offer to someone who is in a position to start on short notice.  We are just checking referees and finalising the appointment.

By the end of the term, ready for the Term 3, we will have in place a full time Office Manager and a part time PTA administrator.  Mia and Leo will continue full time in their respective roles.

NATIONAL SECURITY LAW – IMPORTANT UPDATE

You should have received a message from Belinda Greer, our CEO, regarding an important update about the National Security Law (NSL).

I have shared the content of her message below in case you missed it but in summary, it is business as usual for us at Peak School and the NSL will have little impact on what we do on a daily basis as we will remain politically neutral and continue to respect the law of the land.

Message from Belinda Greer

I want to provide you with clarification on how the recently published Education Bureau (EDB) guidelines and curriculum arrangements for safeguarding national security pertain to us.

As an international school system, ESF is not required to adopt the approaches set out in the EDB National Security Law (NSL) guidelines, which are intended for schools that deliver the local curriculum.

All schools, however, including international schools, are expected to be politically neutral, to provide a safe learning environment and to nurture good citizens. In doing so, all schools are expected to work within three fundamental principles that underpin the NSL guidelines:

– Professional code for staff, supporting the need to live by the law of the land;
– Safe management of schools, with measures in place to prevent a breach of the NSL; and
– The need for students to understand the concept of national security and to know about the NSL.

These fundamental principles align well with our current practice. Importantly, we continue to have autonomy over curricula, learning and teaching approaches and quality assurance and we are not expected to introduce new ceremonies, such as flag raising, where this is not current practice.

EDB has confirmed that our practice is not subject to control or monitoring. This means that our teachers will continue to celebrate Chinese culture and facilitate age appropriate factual discussions about Hong Kong and the laws of Hong Kong, whilst remaining politically neutral, as we have always done.

Belinda Greer, 25 February, 2021

RETURN TO SCHOOL PLAN – AFTER CNY

Like you, the teaching team at Peak School was delighted to hear this week that we can increase our provision from 1/6 to 1/3 based on maximum capacity.

For Peak School that 1/3 means we can bring in 3 year groups each day.

After considering the different options and models available to us, we have decided to go with the model that has the children come into school for 1 week and then complete distance learning the following week (as per the model below). 

Rationale:

  • provides a sense a normality for students with peers, class teacher/EA and specialist teachers thus allowing time for socialisation; and
  • improved opportunities for teachers to monitor and evaluate child wellbeing.
  • greater number of consecutive days in school with class teachers/EAs and specialists thus allowing deeper learning, consolidation of learning and progression of new learning
  • this model may also help to reduce possible transmissions by keeping those on site more consistent for the week
  • children have had very limited continuous extended time in school these past 12 months
  • addresses the concerns raised by parents and staff regarding children not engaging the day after they have been in school under the 1 day alternate model which we ran last academic year (responding to stakeholder feedback).

Please note that we have gone with the Year 2,4,6 / 1,3,5 split so that the children will be spread out across the school (only 1 year group downstairs and the year groups upstairs are separated by a number of classrooms).

We must still adhere to the EDB plan we submitted in September 2020 in regards to our practices and approach to socially distancing both inside and outside the classroom.  This includes all our safety measures which will remain in place and be maintained.  

The daily schedule will remain unchanged and children coming into school will arrive via bus from 8am onwards and those being dropped off or walking to school can arrive anytime after 8.20am.

In the afternoon the buses will start to leave at 12.15pm and parents picking up their child/ren can arrive anytime after 12.25pm.

If you have any questions please email these to office@peakschool.edu.hk and we will look to answer any that come in.

YEAR OF THE OX

ESF Year of the Ox Virtual Art Gallery and E-Card

To celebrate the upcoming Lunar New Year, more than 300 students from 18 of our schools crafted imaginative greeting cards and artworks for our ESF Year of the Ox Virtual Art Gallery, which launched today (Friday, Feb 5) and runs until February 26.

From colourful cartoons and nature-inspired collages to beautiful paintings and dynamic digital art – each thoughtful creation is a joy to behold. We hope you will join us in exploring this fantastic online exhibition and experiencing the remarkable creativity of our students.

You can click here to visit the gallery. Each student’s artwork was also put forward to be our ESF Year of the Ox E-Card. ESF CEO Belinda Greer led a judging panel in the tough task of narrowing down the array of entries for a staff vote. I think you’ll agree the chosen artwork is fantastically festive.

You can view and download the e-card from the ESF website. We hope you will enjoy sending this heart-warming card to your family and friends. Thank you and Kung Hei Fat Choy.

A Reminder of the Links

Gallery

https://www.esf.edu.hk/year-of-the-ox-art-gallery/.

E-Card

https://www.esf.edu.hk/year-of-the-ox-ecard/