SMC Home Learning Update

Tēnā koutou katoa, parents, caregivers and whanau,

Here we are again…We know that lockdown brings a different set of challenges for the family unit and it’s important that we put the wellbeing of the family first. We understand that this will be different for each individual family, and we hope that online learning can happen in the least stressful way possible. Teachers are accessible during school hours, so please encourage your child to get in touch if they need support. Students should have had their first online conference and should be set up with a suitable workspace at home.

Below, we have collated information to give parents and caregivers support with several links to helpful resources.

New students

We know that for our Year 7 students learning from home with Sancta Maria College systems will be a new experience.  Our Year 7 teachers are here to support their classes and their main objective is to help our students feel connected and supported.  If you need any assistance, please reach out to your child’s homeroom teacher.

Home Learning

We have designed the student timetable with flexibility and wellbeing in mind. The conferences should allow time for the students to clarify the learning that they are focussing on but it also allows time for the students to work independently at a pace that suits them. Teachers are accessible during school hours to answer questions so please reach out if support is needed.

We ask that students are organised for their conferences, sitting up at a work station (table/desk), dressed appropriately (no pyjamas) with their cameras turned on. Having their cameras turned on means they are engaged with their learning and aren’t playing games or watching YouTube on their phones.

It is understandable that sometimes students won’t be able to make a conference. We ask that students communicate with their teachers if this is the case. Teachers will record their conferences for students to watch at a time that is suitable if they are unable to attend.

Please encourage the students with their learning by engaging with them about what it is that they are doing and when they must complete set tasks. Helping your child prioritise work and giving tips for managing their time can be really beneficial for them.

Please check out these Top 10 Tips for Successful Distance Learning

School Device Loans

We now have been given authority from the Ministry of Education to distribute devices/laptops for senior students who require them under Level 4 restrictions. When we move to Level 3 we will then look at providing contactless pick up for digital devices for junior students and all other resources needed for learning from home.

If your child does not have access to a device at home in order to complete their home learning, please contact Chris Sullivan

The devices that the college has are only a limited supply so their availability will be on a priority basis. It is also important to remember that these devices are only to be used for learning and are the responsibility of the borrower.

Digital Expectations & Etiquette

We know that online platforms and technology are incredibly beneficial for your child’s learning and crucial during lockdown. However, prior to lockdown the pastoral team saw a spike in misuse of technology across all levels of the school, but particularly at Year 7. This is incredibly disappointing as we have only just had expert guest speaker John Parsons talk to the students about the importance of internet safety and their digital footprints last month.

The misuse of technology is having a detrimental effect on learning and relationships. Unfortunately, the majority of pastoral issues we are dealing with at school spill over from messages sent on social media platforms (outside of school time). Social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok and Snap Chat are all platforms that users must be over 13 years of age to access and are banned for all students during school time. We ask that you help us to stop these negative behaviours and ask that you are vigilant when it comes to your child’s presence online – particularly over this lockdown period.

There are parental approval controls for both Apple and Android that allow you to approve the download of apps so you know exactly what is on your child’s device. Netsafe have some fantastic parent resources and if you were unable to make it along to the John Parsons talk his website contains links to resources and videos that you will find useful.

Please support us by looking closely at the apps and media your child accesses. If you have any concerns please contact your child’s Dean via email.

Wellbeing Resources

As with our 2020 lockdown experience, Sancta Maria College aims to provide a supportive learning environment during this difficult time. We understand that families will have their own unique set of challenges and often the adults in the household will also be trying to juggle working from home as well as domestic responsibilities.

Disruption to the usual routine can cause anxiety in young people. We encourage students to limit their social media use, get regular exercise, keep a routine, socialise with friends online and think about ways they could help other students during lockdown. This could be through peer support or simply sending messages of kindness to their sports team or classmates.

Below are a number of helpful resources for parents.


Our school counsellor is available for students to reach out to anytime during lockdown on the student phone – 021 246 3545

0800 What’s Up is a not-for-profit phone counselling service that has been helping children and young people across NZ for the past 12 years.

Kids can call 0800 942 8787 from 1pm – 10pm Monday to Friday, and from 3pm – 10pm on Saturdays and Sundays

Online Resources

Ministry of Education – talking to young people about COVID-19

I AM HOPE is the youth and community focused support group run by The Key to Life Charitable Trust, started by Mike King

Nathan Wallis has some helpful videos on his Facebook page for parents and whānau

NZ Mental Health Foundation – Tips on looking after mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19

Health Promotion Agency to help New Zealanders recognise and understand depression and anxiety

School Grounds & Events

Please do not enter the college for any reason as the school is closed during Level 4 Lockdown.

During this time we will not be undertaking any school related events.  Once we know more from the Ministry of Education we will be able to advise when school will open and events will be rescheduled.

Please remember to be kind to one another, be patient and reach out if you need support. As a community we can help everyone navigate through this together.

God Bless,

Senior Leadership Team

Joshua 1:9 – Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.