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14 April 2020

Back to school fact sheet

Term 2 will begin on Wednesday 15th April, with Tuesday the 14th a pupil-free day.

Term 2 is going to look a little different for students, parents, teachers and schools. The Victorian government has declared that all students who can learn at home, must learn at home.

This is a summary of what you can expect in government schools. If your child goes to a non-government school, contact the school for more information.

Learning at school

Which children can go to school?

  • Children on specific days when they are not able to be supervised at home and where other arrangements cannot be made
  • Children in out-of-home care
  • Children deemed at-risk by Child Protection and/or Family Services
  • Children identified by the school as vulnerable
  • Senior secondary (VCE and VCAL) students who are attending school to complete arranged practical activities that cannot be done at home

Rural and regional school bus services, “school bus specials” operated by PTV, and the Students with Disabilities Transport Program will all continue to operate for those students who need to attend school on-site.

At school, hand sanitiser will be provided and physical distancing will be enforced. Classes will be limited to 10 students.

Teachers will provide the same learning programs for students who attend school and those who are learning from home.

Staff, including teachers, who are medically vulnerable or who live with someone who is medically vulnerable will not work on site. Schools will be expected to consult with staff to make arrangements on how on-site staffing will be managed.

Parents can support their child to learn at home by…

  • having a routine and setting expectations
  • making sure your child has a space to work in
  • providing a level of supervision suitable to your child’s stage of development
  • monitoring communications from teachers
  • checking in with your child often to help them manage and pace their work
  • monitoring how much time your child is spending online

More information for parents is available at the Department of Education’s Home Learning webpage.

Students of all year levels should…

  • regularly monitor digital platforms for announcements and feedback from their teachers
  • do their best work by completing tasks with integrity and academic honesty
  • do their best to meet timelines and due dates
  • communicate openly with their teachers and tell them if they have any concerns or issues
  • collaborate and support their classmates
  • continue to abide by their school’s behaviour guidelines.

Families can expect that schools and teachers will…

  • give students and parents/families information about how and when they can contact teachers
  • make regular contact with students and families
  • create and communicate a schedule or calendar that shows what’s expected of students – for example, what students will be asked to do, by when
  • give regular feedback to students and families on student learning progress
  • avoid overwhelming students by giving them too many learning activities at once – for example, a whole month’s work
  • plan for a blend of synchronous (in real time) and asynchronous (not in real time) online learning opportunities, if students have access to technologies
  • balance individual activities/tasks with collaborative ones that support students to engage with each other online – if appropriate and technologies can facilitate it
  • include a variety of activities/tasks – for example, creative, reflective, analytical, shorter and longer.

For more information, see the Department of Education’s advice for teachers here.

Learning expectations and workload

Prep to Year 2 students

Students will be provided with activities to complete along the lines following:

  • Literacy activities, 45-60 minutes
  • Numeracy activities, 30-45 minutes
  • Other learning, play-based learning and physical activity for 30-35 minutes

Year 3 to Year 10 students

Students will be provided with activities to complete along the lines following:

  • Literacy: 45-60 minutes
  • Numeracy: 30-45 minutes
  • Physical activity: 30 minutes
  • Additional curriculum areas such as science, humanities, art, music, health: 90 minutes

Senior secondary students

Senior secondary students must complete a defined number of hours and complete defined activities to meet the coursework requirements for VCE and VCAL.

This will differ per subject and per student.

Schools and teachers will provide learning resources and tasks that enable students to develop and demonstrate the learning outcomes required for the VCE and VCAL courses being undertaken by the student.

This may include attending school to complete practical activities that cannot be completed at home.

Changes to the VCE

  • The GAT (General Ability Test) will move from June to October or November.
  • End-of-year exams will be postponed until at least December.
  • School-based assessment tasks will be reduced where possible to relieve some pressure on students as they move to remote and flexible learning arrangements.
  • Universities will be asked to delay the start of the 2021 university year to account for impacts of coronavirus on senior secondary students.

The VCAA is issuing teachers and schools with information about how to manage the learning programs and assessment that is required for the VCE. Contact your school for more information about this.