Principals Update, Friday 20 August (Covid Level 4)


This message is to keep our school community up-to-date with the most recent developments regarding the continuing Covid lockdown.

Dear parents/caregivers

After an incredibly busy start to term 3, Covid has once again interrupted our learning programmes. Although the change in alert level was rapid, we have been preparing for this scenario all year and are well-positioned to move in and out of distance learning mode very quickly.

As you will be aware, we have been informed that the current lockdown will continue until at least next Tuesday 24 August.  We are anticipating that a sudden drop to level 1 or 2 is unlikely, and that a move back down through alert levels is the most likely scenario. This means that we are planning for online learning to continue past next Tuesday.

General Expectations

Put your health and your family first and continue to follow all government advice in order to stay safe.

Students should check their school email account and class Microsoft Teams site once a day if possible and respond to any messages from teachers. Staying in regular touch with their classes is important.

Remember teachers are also busy with their families, so please understand that they will respond to emails and messages and give feedback on work when they can. 

Advice for students learning at home

Work will be set for each timetabled subject. Teachers will provide learning materials and set tasks on a regular basis. This might happen on a day-by-day basis, or less frequently as blocks of work. Your teachers will guide you. You are likely to have around 2-3 hours of work to do per subject per week.

How you organise your time to complete school work is up to you, but we recommend that you:

  • Establish a daily routine, with blocks of time set aside for school work and plenty of breaks too.
  • Use a to-do list or planner to help keep track of tasks. It can be hard to stay organised so use tools to help (Office 365 has a really easy to use to-do list and also a more powerful planner app).
  • Keep in touch with your teachers – let them know when you have completed tasks, or if you need help.

Our Learning@Home guide and website give more detailed information to assist you in making the most of online learning.

Distribution of Devices

We are awaiting the Prime Ministers announcement on Monday to determine whether we need to widely distribute learning devices to students, most likely from the library on Tuesday. More information will follow on Monday afternoon/evening.

Contacting Teachers

  • In most cases teachers will set small, familiar tasks that don’t use too much data.
  • Teachers will try to provide at least one face-to-face discussion opportunity per week for each class, usually through a Microsoft Teams video conference.
  • Students should also be exercising and reading regularly. Assisting around the house is a great way to get some physical exercise!
  • If teachers get sick, they may need to pause the remote learning for a time.
  • If you would like to contact your child’s teacher, the school email address format is
  • Please note that teachers are unable to provide one-on-one support to students via video link.


I have had many students and parents contact me concerned about the adverse effects of a reduction in face-to-face learning time on their NCEA qualification.  

Thanks to its flexibility, NCEA allows us to maintain credible assessment outcomes by changing the ways we gather and record evidence, and to manage any disruptions to teaching and assessment of standards.

If disruptions continue for senior classes for an extended period we do have some options, such as:

  • Reviewing our programmes
  • Selecting suitable standards for remote assessment
  • Templates to integrate evidence gathering with teaching and learning
  • Resources for conducting remote assessment
  • Remote assessment of performance-based subjects
  • Managing internal assessment for students absent from school due to COVID-19.

NZQA may also look at altering the qualification framework temporarily and we may have to adjust pre-requisites into 2022 courses.  

The experience from last year shows that  even though some schools were closed for over seven weeks, the impact on NCEA was minimal.  Our students are resilient and very capable of managing a supported learning programme.


Please refer to our school website for updated information. The following sites are also useful:

The Ministry of Education has two website available to support learning from home: Learning from Home and Ki te Ao Mārama (in Māori or English).

These websites include resources for teachers, leaders, parents, and whānau. Resources span the learning pathway from early learning through to senior secondary, and more resources will be added as they are developed.

Other resources that might be useful:

  • ETV provides a huge range of recorded TV programmes and live internet TV from across the world. Have a look – some people think the selection is better than Netflix! Just log in using your Nayland College email and password.
  • Wheelers E-Books Thousands of new titles now available to read on e-books! Just log in using your Nayland College email and password. 
  • The Nayland College Library site also has a fantastic selection of links, including to the public libraries and is being updated almost every day.
  • Study IT – NCEA help from real students and teachers in Maths, English, and Science.
  • BBC Bitesize – Revision site aimed at students with the KS3 section being suitable for Juniors and the GCSE section for Seniors / NCEA.
  • BBC Teach – Great collection of short videos (usually from BBC TV shows), to support a huge range of subject areas and learning levels.
  • Alison – Huge number of online courses in a wide range of subjects: IT, Health, Languages, Humanities, Business, Maths, etc.
  • Khan Academy – Masses of great lessons in many subject areas, most supported by short, explanatory videos with tasks and activities to reinforce learning.

Please look after yourselves and I will be in touch again soon with more information as it comes to hand.

Ngā mihi nui,

Daniel Wilson

By Daniel Wilson