Distance Learning Guidelines for Students

Before we start:

Look after every one in your ‘bubble’. Do your part for your family/whānau FIRST. The whole country is in LOCKDOWN and that also means we cannot enter the school grounds. This is to support the fight against COVID-19 – when we limit our interactions with others, by staying home, we break the ‘chain’ of infection. Remember, you are SAFE at home, not stuck at home…choose to be positive!


SHGC is a Google school. The use of the Google platform enables all of us to learn and teach anywhere, any time. The Google Classroom feature of the platform has been used for some time to support you with your learning. Distance learning enables teachers and students to remain engaged in learning from a distance! The policy and plan sent to students last week is also on the website. This document will summarise and clarify the expectations we have of students and teachers. Although we were in the planning stage of our Distance Learning Policy, the closure was announced much earlier than we anticipated. All your teachers have worked really hard, remotely, to support your learning as we enter into a lockdown period. There will be new learning in this for all of us, including you. Thank you for your patience and effort to do your part in this.

Your participation helps us to help you.

Expectations for Students:

Stick to a routine

  • Get up, get dressed, have breakfast and do it by a certain time such as by 9am.
  • Throughout the day, your teachers will be available to support you with your work.
  • Your learning will not follow the regular timetable, but you should keep to a routine.

Commit to a distance learning environment

  • Check your College email/Google Classroom daily.
  • If a teacher is unwell or unavailable, this will be communicated to you by email.
  • Make a plan for how you will manage your learning and follow it.
  • Find a space that you can set up as a good work environment.
  • Hide the distractions when you are in this space!
  • Turn off your mobile phone when focusing on learning!

Manage your well-being

  • Commit to 30-40 minute chunks.
  • Take regular breaks, get fresh air and exercise, drink water and eat as well as you can.
  • Make sure you have some variety in your day.
  • Make space for creativity and device-free time.

Support each other

  • Many of us need someone to help us to stay on track. Perhaps one of your family or whanau might check in with you to make sure you have a work plan, or maybe you and another student in your class could check in with each other.
  • It is crucial to set up good learning habits and set yourself up for managing screen time.
  • Check on friends who don’t have devices by calling them if you can. They may not receive these messages.

What about NCEA assessments?

  • We understand this is important and will provide you with information when we are advised by the Ministry of Education. Your teachers will have given some instruction around this already. We also need some time to work all of this out and are being supported by NZQA.
  • Focus on the things you CAN do for now.
  • There will be a national response for a national issue.

Getting help from your teachers

Your teachers will be using the Google platform (docs, classroom, email etc) to connect with you. While your teachers will be available during their normal school day to support you with your learning, do not expect them to respond straight away.

Be patient. Teachers have a guideline to respond within 48 hours but there is only one of them and many of you! It is expected that you will seek help if you need it. In the first instance, contact your subject teacher. Help includes pastoral support and well-being, so your CCM Companion can also be emailed. If you have been supported by a Dean or our Guidance team, you can continue to contact those staff too. It also includes learning support; if you have a Learning Assistant, contact them too.

Your teachers will post something in the Google Classroom or in some other digital way.


A few things to remember:

Distance learning is NOT Home-schooling…do not try to replicate school at home. It won’t work and your parents won’t be happy to be surrogate teachers! They are, of course, happy to support your learning…and will be delighted when school opens again!

You will be learning all kinds of things about yourself as a learner, and so will your parents. Be as self-reflective as you can be….we will want to know more about what drives your engagement with the distance learning experience, for example. We will be interested to know when you were disengaged, or even bored, and why? Keep a diary/journal of your experience…imagine your grandchildren having access to real historical sources? We are making history!

Even if you don’t manage to connect with your teachers as often as you would like; even if you don’t complete all the learning activities posted in google classroom; even if you don’t get much time on a device to do what you want to do for your learning….it doesn’t matter…we understand.

What’s going on at the moment is providing plenty of learning for all of us….and even if Snapchat, Tik-Tok or Instagram win the day when you’re on line…we understand.

In fact…
let’s choose self-love over self-loath;
let’s choose to create rather than criticise;
let’s choose to flow rather than fight.
And let’s give it our all rather than give up!

And if you really want to challenge yourself in this environment…spend an hour in SILENCE and then write about it.

Kia kaha. Kia toa. Kia manawanui – Be strong. Be brave. Be patient.