We have had to pivot due to the COVID-19 situation and had our first online group classes via video / Zoom for the last two Saturdays of Term 1.
The classes have gone surprisingly well for something so new! The kids, especially the school aged ones, were good at talking & interacting on screen with the teacher and their classmates 🙂 Thank you to everyone for participating and to those who also provided their feedback.
Here are some screen snapshots of a few of last Saturday’s (4 April) classes. There were lots of screenshots and videos that we wanted to take of the kids while they were talking and interacting but due to privacy, we have not done so.
Snaps from the Early Learners class (3 years old and under)
Snaps from the Prep class (4 years old to School Year 1)
Hi families! Here is a massive update on how the current situation will be affecting our learning community.
From this Saturday 21 March:
Parents and children attending class must wash their hands with soap before and after class. The teachers will be doing the same.
Parents will have to sign in at drop off / before attending classes to make a declaration about their and their child’s health and that they have not been overseas or in close contact with anyone back from overseas in the past 14 days.
Change in classes for next Saturday 28 March and Saturday 4 April (last day of Term 1):
Classes will be online interactive videos held at the SAME class time on Saturdays, via Zoom. Parents and children attending will be expected to interact on the video with the teacher and with each other. And yes, we expect to be moving (or dancing) in front of the cameras!
We have provided links below with some additional info on NZ support for accessing affordable internet at home if that is a barrier to your family.
Online learning resources:
Li Ling has been working on setting up NiHaoCC and shifting audio files and resources to the student engagement app Seesaw. Many NZ schools are using this awesome app!
We would really appreciate your patience with everything that is happening now, especially as Li Ling is doing this voluntarily in her after-hours, so there is a constraint to what can be done by one person. (There has never been sufficient funding for staff to do much else apart from teaching and some prep – and there is much more happening behind the scenes!)
Saturday 21 March classes
We are fortunate that Ni Hao Children’s Community is lower risk compared to some larger places, as we have a maximum of 10 children in each class and our student population is young! We also have a lot less than a total of 100 people in & out of the classes over the Saturday school day.
However, to be extra careful, health & safety measures have been tightened up for classes and these will be immediately effective from this coming Saturday 21 March:
1.Parents will need to sign in at drop off / arrival to class to declare that to the best of their knowledge,
the parent and child attending class are well (have no virus symptoms), AND
the parent and child have not been overseas in the past 14 days, AND
the parent and child have not had close contact with anyone who has been overseas in the past 14 days.
2. Parents and children attending class MUST wash their hands before attending class, AND wash their hands after the class has finished. The teachers will be doing the same.
We think this is a great idea as school happens much better in person! However, because it is a high risk for NiHaoCC with only two teachers available and no other relievers if they are sick, no cash reserves and heavy reliance on Li Ling volunteering time to keep this going, NiHaoCC will be taking a slightly different and innovative route for the last two weeks of term, and going forward 🙂
Things are changing very fast in New Zealand with the Covid-19 situation, especially as it’s only just starting now, and we want to be proactive about this. So, NiHaoCC will move to a live video format through Zoom from Saturday 28 March! Please download Zoom onto your laptops or devices over this week.
It is expected that students will be interacting and talking online with the teachers and others in class. Some elements of the lessons will change (it will be a little tricky to play “tag” on video) but we will keep to the NiHaoCC philosophy and have all classes as interactive and engaging as possible, doing the best in this current COVID-19 situation!
There are positives about this!
This will prepare everyone for any possible social distancing, quarantines and lock downs in the future, seeing as things are just starting in NZ now and will be continuing a long / unknown period.
Even if you or your child is sniffly (which may or may not be a Covid virus!) and are stuck at home, they can still attend class, learn and interact with the others.
Video conferencing will probably open up classes to families where travel to Mt Cook has been a barrier for them. Others living outside of Wellington could potentially attend as well.
If you have any financial barriers to having internet access at home:
Spark Foundation offer Spark Jump, which is for families with no home internet connection and have children under the age of 18. You’ll also need to meet the lower income and eligibility criteria. It costs $10 for a pre-paid 30 GB data pack and you get a loan wireless broadband modem; the data-pack expires after 30 days and can then be topped up.
We are in the process of setting up Seesaw for NiHaoCC. This is a great learning engagement app for students and families, and widely used by NZ primary schools. Students are able to record what they do, teachers can assign activities and home learning resources to their classes, and parents can see what’s happening.
The set up is taking a while as we have to set up the 6 different classes / levels, upload resources and also add all the students to Seesaw.
We will be sending out unique QR codes for each child – you will not need to create any login to access Seesaw as will be able to scan the QR code on your device. It would be great preparation if you could download the Seesaw Student App (NOT the families app) from the Google Play or Apple Apple app store onto your device in the meantime.
Thank you for the patience
There is a lot happening and very much to be done by one person in limited after-hours, so we’d greatly appreciate your patience as we move into a different format and get things set up. Please send Li Ling an email if you have questions. Here’s wishing everyone good health – stay safe out there!
Yours in fun & engaged language learning,
the NiHaoCC team, Li Ling, Ay Dih, Yue, Chien-Chi
An after note, 21 March: News article on education going online worldwide! But our focus will always be on the kids and their learning, and tech will be a way of delivering it.
We’d like to warmly welcome and introduce a new member to our team, Yue (Cecilia) Pan 潘悦 Pān Yuè ! She is teaching our Early Learners and Prep classes on Saturdays while Nan is still stuck in China, though we are hoping that Yue will hopefully continue with us as an ongoing reliever / staff member too 😉
Yue joined our team in February 2020. She originally came from Mainland China, working as a journalist in Shanghai from 2002 to 2006. She moved to Wellington in 2006 and completed a graduate diploma in Psychology at Massey University in 2008. She then worked in a jewellery wholesale business until 2018 in Wellington, covering multiple roles including project management and office management. She loves the work she has been involved in and enjoys communicating with people.
Yue is a Wellingtonian, and has a husband and 8 year old son. She enjoys filling her spare time with a range of creative and active endeavours such as photography, video editing, reading and swimming. Yue is excited to be part of the team at Ni Hao Children’s Community and working alongside everyone to create and nurture a positive, uplifting, and successful collaborative learning environment.
Mandatory Quarantine for recent travellers to China
Anyone who has travelled to the People’s Republic of China for holiday or transit (to be clear, this excludes Taiwan) from 1 December 2019 until now, or has been living with with someone who has, MUST stay away from our classes for at least 14 days.
Anyone with any flu-like symptoms should also stay away from classes until they are well.
We are taking very conservative precautions as we don’t want to take any risks!
Our current staff in Wellington have not been near China in this period. We will have a couple of relief teachers observing school tomorrow from 9am – 12:30pm. Both have not been near China recently either.
On a roll and I’m thankful for a public holiday to get through things!
Your child’s 2020 level was included in their 2019 end of year Report and here is a reminder of where they should be.
There are 2 different class times for the Prep and Level 3 classes due to the larger student numbers at these levels for 2020, so please enrol into the one that would work best for your family for the year. First come, first served!
As per 2019, enrolments are for a full school year, but fee payments are term by term. We are not taking any credit card payments, so if EnrolMy provide a credit card option, please ignore that. Only bank transfers per the charity’s account details on the invoice will be accepted. Please see our Fees page for payment dates too.
We have a backlog of people waiting to trial classes for 2020, but I don’t want to start that until returning families have done their 2020 enrolment and we know the remaining spaces available in each class.
Talk to your children about it…
Please assure your children that not moving up a level is not to be seen as a bad thing! The teachers have observed and assessed the children during the Term 4 classes in 2019. If the children don’t seem confident enough in the year’s materials, we prefer they are provided with further grounding in the level than be pushed to the next one prematurely. (On the flip side, if you think your child is not being challenged enough, please let the teacher know!)
We know children and families have their own timetables and demands that also affect language learning progress. For my children, sports tournaments on Saturdays made them miss far too many classes last year. They were initially a little disappointed to stay in the same level. I explained and they felt better and understood that language is not as straight forward to learn and upkeep as it is for sports and swimming! And it’s in their best interests to be at a level that suits them best and builds their confidence! 🙂
School Rolls 2020
Please contact us if your child’s name is missing (hopefully it isn’t!).
Phew! We have hopefully managed to find some help to cover Nan being stuck in China, but are still looking for more helpers and it’s still all a bit chaotic.
In the meantime, this post includes the schedule for the 2020 school year. Term dates follow after.
For families who were enrolled last year, Li Ling will send a mass email with a reminder of the class levels that your children should be attending in 2020. These levels were also included in the end of year Report that your child would have received in December.
Li Ling is also trying to get the enrolment system, EnrolMy, set up with the classes for the year. We will be asking families to enrol using this system, including all returning families as we do not know for certain which families are committing to 2020. Thank you so much for your patience!
We last used EnrolMy in 2018 and stopped as it was getting too complex. So, some families may still have accounts with EnrolMy and you just need to login again or reset your password. EnrolMy has been upgraded a fair bit and it looks like it will be easier for the teachers to keep track of students, take attendance, and communicate with class families with the upgraded system/app. Well, we hope anyway!! 😉
This schedule has been set for Term 1 2020 and is expected to remain the same for the entire school year. We may look at adding more classes later in the year depending on teacher availability and student demand.
The school runs on SATURDAYS during term time.
Early Learners (3 year olds and under, parent/caregiver accompanied):
Saturdays 9am-9:45am, Room 4
Prep (4 and 5 years olds, and School Year 1’s):
Saturdays 10am-10:55am, Room 4
Saturdays 11:40am-12:35pm, Community Room
School Years 2-8, Level 1:
Saturdays 9am-10:10am, Community Room
School Years 2-8, Level 2:
Saturdays 11:20am-12:30pm, Room 4
School Years 2-8, Level 3:
Saturdays 10:20am-11:30am, Community Room
Saturdays 2:50pm-4pm, Community Room
School Years 2-8, Level 4:
Saturdays 1:30pm-2:40pm, Community Room
School Term Dates
Term 1: Saturday 15 February to Saturday 4 April
Term 2: Saturday 2 May to Saturday 4 July
Term 3: Saturday 25 July to Saturday 26 September
Term 4: Saturday 17 October to Saturday 19 December.
❗️Important announcement: Due to the Coronavirus, having one teacher stuck in China’s lockdown, and the many complications that arise because of this, we will be changing the start date of Term 1 to Saturday 15th February.
We don’t know right now if we have to cancel classes due to the lack of teaching resource and are trying to figure how things will not only work for the start of term, but up to the end of Term 1, as we will potentially be missing one teacher until end-March / early-April due to flights stopping and subsequent quarantine measures.
The timetable is also yet to be confirmed and we hope to confirm something late this week.
Any registrations for observations or trials will be delayed in processing as we have to focus on getting classes organised first.
👉 Other changes happening:
🗓 For the enrolment process, families who can enrol for the full 4 terms will be prioritised first. Enrolments will be via the EnrolMy system in the future to assist with admin.
🧾 Fees will also be increasing by at least $10 per term as they have been too low for too long and cannot cover the amount of time being spent by staff on preparation and planning for the classes, or other overheads.
⚠️ We will also be putting further precautionary measures in place since we have a young community: any family who has visited China or had a member visit China in the past month will not be allowed to come to class until a 2-week period has passed.
王楠 Wáng Nán started in November, and we’re really happy to have her as a teacher at Ni Hao Children’s Community and part of our team!! She has moved from Palmerston North to Wellington for this role too, which we are really grateful for.
Nan is a registered teacher in New Zealand, currently completing a postgraduate diploma in Education at Massey University, with eight years of language teaching experience and a well-rounded skill set from organisational and problem-solving skills to communication and management skill.
She believes that learning is a lifelong process. Teachers should expose the students to experiences that allow them to test their understanding of knowledge and strengthen learning capabilities or encourage new learning skills to emerge. To make this happen, she strives to act as a guide instead of a lecturer in the class, offering her students various interactive learning activities to deepen their understanding of knowledge and opportunities to develop their learning skills in a stimulating and inspiring environment. She also believes that all students are unique and must have a stimulating educational environment where they can grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. Therefore, it is her desire to create this type of learning atmosphere where students can meet their full potential.
A very warm welcome to Nan – you’ll be seeing more of her at school in 2020 🙂
Applications are now open for our Mandarin Chinese Language Teacher roles! We are looking for two permanent part-time teachers to start in Term 4 and to also build a pool of on-call casual relief teachers.
Mandarin Chinese Language Teachers
Permanent Part-time and On-Call Casual Relief Positions
We’re looking for experienced, enthusiasticand creative educators to join our non-profit community language school. Enjoy working with children and making learning experiences relevant and fun? Passionate about languages? Have a good voice and don’t mind dancing to songs in front of children and parents? Looking for part-time employment? Flexible work hours and the ability to work from home?
These classes have been fun for the family – they have had quite an impact in making learning Mandarin enjoyable and something to look forward to. The children learn so much better with the creative and hands on way the classes are run….The 3 year old is starting to feel so comfortable with Mandarin that it is no longer seen as “foreign”, and interchangeably swaps the Mandarin words for English words in everyday conversations… the 7 year old is starting to do that too! They also have impromptu Mandarin singing sessions at home of the songs and rhymes that we learn in class.