We’d like to thank all parents who time out of their busy day to attend our parent sessions. We hope you found the interaction as useful as we did. We received a number of questions before, during and after the sessions, which will be responded to individually. In the meantime, here are Frequently Asked Questions and our answers:
How do I know my child won’t have learning gaps during this time off campus?
Curriculum at UNIS Hanoi follows a ‘spiral’ design. This means that learning is spread out over time and opportunities exist in between learning new concepts so that students can consolidate their understandings, practice and improve. Following this revision and practice period, new and more complex/difficult content is added. In a spiral curriculum, concepts are visited many times throughout a year, and across multiple grade levels. This means that concepts are revisited again and again at a steadily increasing level of difficulty throughout the course of an academic year.
During the month of February, much of what is being learned are concepts that most students are already familiar with. When the students resume school, there are opportunities within the school timetable for teachers to assess each child’s progress and consider revisiting previous tasks if needed.
How are students being assessed?
Our Distance Learning programme is designed to deliver the same content your child would have received if they were in the classroom. As much as possible, teachers have redesigned their lessons to suit online learning. Teachers, Learning Support Teams and Counsellors are checking in regularly (sometimes daily) and are aware of students’ progress.
If your child is in Middle and High School, formative and summative assessments are still on the schedule. To check upcoming assignments parents can log into their Veracross parent portal, click on the ‘Assignments’ tab and view their child’s schedule.
Will UNIS Hanoi open during Spring Break, on Saturdays or extend the school year?
We are making every effort to open our school as soon as possible. However if we are forced to remain close in March, we will continue to deliver distance learning. We believe that our distance learning programme has supported the continuity of learning and that “learning gaps” have been minimized during school closure. When school opens, teachers will ensure that children who have not met the expected learning outcomes will have the time and support they need to meet these expectations. We have made some initial changes to the school calendar – our final professional development day and parent, teacher conference days will be regular school days and Wednesday dismissal time will be extended to the same dismissal time as rest of the week. We will continue to discuss this should school closure continue.
The work the teachers are sending is too much and we as parents are not teachers. What can you advise?
We understand the burden our current situation places on families, in particular parents who may feel as if they’ve suddenly had to become both parent and teacher to their child. Our teachers are looking to simplify instructions so that the onus isn’t on a parent to explain a task. Teachers will also recommend a time limit for each task. We also would like to remind all parents to do as little or as much as they believe they and their child can accomplish in a day. It’s okay to not do all the slides. For more guidance, please read our tips here. Also, please ask the teachers of your child for help.
What additional help is available for families who do not speak English as their first language?
In response to parent feedback, we have added to the Distance Learning slides, instructions and video with clear explanations for EAL students. Families have reported that this is the most effective way for our EAL students to understand instructions clearly. If parents are having trouble understanding the instructions, please contact your child’s homeroom teachers immediately.
If campus remains closed until the end of March, what plans are in place to support Grades 11 and 12?
We understand concerns regarding Grade 11 and Grade 12. First and foremost, please rest assured we are making every effort to reopen the campus to students. Additionally, we have been delivering synchronous learning to our IB Diploma candidates and increased face-to-face time with each student. Please know that learning is still occurring and students are still required to complete tasks and submit assignments as requested. We are also finding alternative ways to bring teachers and Grade 11 and Grade 12 students together until campus reopens.
As a School, we have reviewed the examinations timetable for Grade 11 and, in the unfortunate event we do remain closed until the end of March, we are able to reschedule mocks and examinations as these are decided by individual schools and not by the IBO.
We are working closely with Grade 12 families to make alternative arrangements for mocks in the unfortunate event we will remain closed in March. Final Examinations for Grade 12 students begin on Thursday 30 April and we are confident campus will reopen by this time. Additionally, we continue to liaise with the IBO and college and university admissions teams around the globe to inform them of the extenuating circumstances our students find themselves in.
We believe that our distance learning programme has supported the continuity of learning and that “learning gaps” have been minimized during school closure. When school opens, teachers will ensure that children who have not met the expected learning outcomes will have the time and support they need to meet these expectations. We have made some initial changes to the school calendar – our final professional development day and parent, teacher conference days will be regular school days and Wednesday dismissal time will be extended to the same dismissal time as rest of the week. We will continue to discuss this should school closure continue.