Transcript of Transition to school statement – Part 2
Jacqui Ward – Early Learning Coordinator
Kelly Birket – Early Learning Advisor
Kelly Birket –Hello and welcome to the Transition to School Statement, part two Supporting a Continuity of Learning. My name is Kelly Birkett, one of the Early Learning Advisors in the Department, and I'm joined by my colleague Jacqui Ward.
Jacqui Ward – Hi everybody, welcome to the second session. Looking forward to talking with you more about how useful the Transition to School Statement is.
Kelly Birket –Before we commence, I want to acknowledge and pay my respects to the Ku ring gai people. The traditional custodians of the land I'm on here today. I'd also like to pay respects to the traditional custodians of the land you are on today as you access this presentation. I acknowledge the Ku ring gai Peoples continuing in connection to land, water and community. I'd also like to pay my respects to the Elders past present, and emerging and acknowledge any aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders viewing this presentation.
We mentioned these email addresses in part one. Jacqui and I can be reached by the first one, so please reach out if you have any questions or queries regarding this professional learning. Again, Jacqui read these in part one the same outcomes are addressed through Part two. Learners will develop a shared understanding of the links between the early years learning framework and the school curriculum. Learners will analyse how sharing information across the early childhood and school sectors supports continuity of learning, and learners will reflect on how the Transition to School Statement informs teaching and learning, and again, will be referring to people who work in the prior to school sector as early childhood educators and those that work in the school sector's school staff or school teachers.
Jacqui Ward – So the next section we're going to be talking about is completing the Transition to School Statement so you know early childhood teacher, focus or educator are focus in this section, but really useful for school teachers to know and understand the background of informing or filling in the information in this part of the statement as well. So kind of a bit of this presentation is split into sort of two sections. One the information going in and the second part with their information is going out and how it will be used.
So first of all, just wanted to sort of unpack and basically looking at this Statement itself and filling that in and how do we gather that sort of information. So first of all, the statement is set up for educators to have a think about and look at the learning outcomes, and in particular those points underneath children communicate effectively are a summary of the key components. Within the learning outcomes, so where you'll be gauging this information as to whether children can always usually sometimes or need support in doing this, is the information that you've gathered throughout the year on children to know about how they're progressing towards the learning outcomes of the Early Learning Framework. So talks and lessons in large and small groups is a derivative of the learning outcome number five children are effective communicators. The next one is represents thinking and ideas in creative ways, so that might be things about using language, rhyme, and rhythm. It might be about representing and drawing symbols that might be starting to children might be starting to draw letters and numbers, and represent their ideas again, those awareness of printed letters as well as sound so those beginning literacy skills and working mathematically working with mathematical concepts like numbers, patterns, and shapes. So this one is specifically being chosen as an example so that it's clear for both audiences to see some strong links between the learning that happens in early childhood and the learning that happens in schools. Again, the learning is there are strong links across all five outcomes and all key learning areas in the syllabus is, but this ones just, I guess a little bit easier to see. So again, I would encourage educators prior to completing this statement to review and I guess summarise their child's development across the time that they have been in the early childhood service and thinking about you know general behaviours. If we're thinking about categorising because sometimes we can be concerned and troubled by which one do we pick? Have a think about using these as main indicators, so always again, 100 percent of the time or most of the time across a range of different contexts, and without adult or peer directions, so you can choose that as your indicator. If you think you know most of the child time the child does talk and listen in large and small groups as well. If it's usually, it's most of the time in most contexts, but you know there could be times where you feel like that's still a bit of an emerging skill for that child. Sometimes it's maybe it's sort of, you know. Again, it's an emerging skill, more about half of the time the child is doing that and again sometimes without interaction and sometimes not, and the needing support is the idea that that child is not really demonstrating any of those behaviours independently and there's a high level of adult intervention necessary, so when categorising what a child skill development is like or how you know they can engage with this type of learning. These categories give the next audience an idea of whether or not that scenario of focus for future teaching and learning. So it's really important that we have a think about how we categorise those things.
Kelly Birket –And also the categories is a good discussion with your team to come to agreement as to you know, what do the educators in your service agree usually looks like. This is a guide here at the bottom of the slide. It's a really good opportunity for those sort of, you know, collaborative conversations and what in the school we call moderation. Yes, there's a great opportunity to discuss what is always what is usually sometimes and need support.
OK, so we'll move on to the next slide. Is that right? Jacqui?
Jacqui Ward – Yeah, that's great. So this is the section where it's really important for early childhood educators to be aware of how does this specifically linked to the science syllabus document. the English document, creative arts, mathematics and human society and environment? So have a think about you know, maybe doing some investigation. All of those syllabus documents are available on the NESA website. Have a look in there and have a little you know investigation as to what are some of the. I guess emerging ideas that overlap with science, English, creative arts, math, and history, so it's important I guess if you if you know where to next to be able to make an accurate picture of where children are right now. So again, having a look at what those documents look like and having a read, particularly in the early stage, outcomes and indicators of the syllabus documents, the syllabus documents run from kindergarten all the way through to year ten. So the main thing should be focusing in on that is that those starting indicators.
Kelly Birket –And if you want a little summary of, like for instance Early Stage One content for one of these key learning areas just start with this stage statement because it gives you a really nice summary of what it's expected that child will be able to do at the end of kindergarten so you know you can see where they're going, what the direction is.
Jacqui Ward – Yes, so I can't. I can't stress enough that its important. It's an important part of our professional work I think to know what the next stages again, if we think about it, you know from a developmental point of view for children in our early childhood settings we know what's the next step is going to be happening so it's similar with the with the development of learning content as well.
Kelly Birket –Absolutely.
Jacqui Ward – So the next part of the statement, again, that's really important here. And you need to consider the language in this section. It's intentional teaching strategies or recommendations related to this outcome. So that means that we're sharing some crucial expertise in the from the early childhood space to say these are the things, or the strategies that really work and engage this particular child. And this is also potentially an opportunity to identify high potential and gifted children or components of their development. So there's an opportunity to highlight you know things that a child does really well as well as areas that you know might need some further support. So this is a really important point. And again it is about a teacher voice here, so the first bit we're talking about children, what children can and can't do and teacher or educator voice here. So we're talking about what strategies worked well. So, what were the things that I had planned an intentions that I used in order to generate some successful learning outcomes for this particular child? So a really important part of that and thinking about the language that you use in this section so you know. Again, sharing those things that worked well and maybe even at times it might be worthwhile sharing things that you know didn't resonate with that child as well. You know, things that you know you know worked well for them to be settled, engaged and you know, really involved in the learning and really getting a lot out of it.
Kelly Birket –And this is also where if you've got a relationship with the Early Childhood Service where the bulk of your new kindy students are coming from, you can actually have conversations about what, what is this sort of key information regarding the teaching strategies that will be helpful to the kindy teachers? What in particular is it that they really want to know straight up and you could make sure you complete the statement with that information in it and that will increase the usefulness of the document.
Jacqui Ward – Yeah, it's a good. It's a good springboard, I think for conversations. As we said before, it's not the it's not the end of the journey I guess for supporting effective transitions it's a starting point for conversations.
And as we mentioned before in the Educators Guide, there's some examples for you as well, so it's a good resource to refer back to, to see the kind of language that might be used, and areas of how you might explain those indicators of where you put a child on the spectrum in terms of that areas of sometimes and needing support. There's an opportunity for you to unpack that in the box below in terms of teaching, intentional teaching strategies and recommendations.
This is just a little bit of a sort of an example of when we provide rich and meaningful information of how that supports. You know the teachers in the school space, how early childhood educators provide valuable information that supports the teacher to be able to be well equipped and ready to start working with that child in an informed way. So again, that bit where we're talking about the effective teaching strategies that facilitates that. Again, I'm going to emphasise it because I think it's really important to acknowledge early childhood. have educators have expertise in this area, and their experience can be in some cases quite long with that particular job. It may be a full year that child may attend a service that they have been in since a much younger age, so there's quite a body of knowledge that they have in order to inform the statement. Again, that idea that there's some particular successes with a strategy or an inclusion adjustment that would be really useful for kindergarten teachers to hear. Some examples are there that with the support of visual timetable, Ping is more settled, and able to predict the day's routine. How might a kindergarten teacher used that? They might start the year with the visual timetable in place, and again supporting children's learning in relation to maths around predicting times and events and all of those sorts of things. Saliha particularly enjoys role play, where she demonstrates she can use language for a range of functions, example descriptive, imaginative, procedural. So that's an example of, you know how you know in terms of the English syllabus, a child is using language for a range of functions, so again, the kindergarten teacher might say, well, I might use dressups as an option available during orientation sessions in our classroom to help Saliha, to feel comfortable and again to demonstrate her current skills. You know, again, that might be an area where she particularly opens up when she's in that dramatic play. Getting to support her to feel that she is known, valued and cared for as well.
Kelly Birket –And to build on those skills she's developed in the preschool and that will support the continuity. Absolutely.
Jacqui Ward – And then we've got some other examples. Some other appropriate statements that could include details of individual learning goals. That the child is achieved or working towards, suggestions about the next step in the child's learning journey, or recommendations about their future learning. If you remember back top part one we talked about, you know that the translation of Transition of School Statement is sort of like a creating a little bridge across planning cycles between the early childhood space and the school space, so that provides you know that sort of seamless transition into the new cycle in the new setting. And some examples are in the early childhood educator, there are educators and her family have worked with Gina this year on a self regulation skills and the kindergarten teachers talks to that. That's a great opportunity to engage with Gina's family on self regulation skills, how they're progressing, and whether or not they think they need some, plans for some further strategies and further support. Another example there from the early childhood educator is, Amir has really enjoyed learning about Cicada’s and is interested in learning about other insects, so lots of science related learning happening there learning about environment and life cycles and all that sort of stuff. The kindergarten teacher might use that as an opportunity to start that STEM learning, and I'll point out the insect books to Amir when we first visit the school library and suggest you select some for our classroom. Again that idea that there's a real connection with what children have. Learned about an experienced in their early childhood setting being visualised in the school setting. Again, making the child feel a sense of belonging to the school in small, little, discreet ways.
So we've got another some other examples from the Educators Guide as well, so some examples of how these things might be written. So shows an interest in learning some examples of teaching strategies might be providing learning environments that are flexible and open ended. Quite written with the active voice there, but reflecting with children on what and how they've learned in terms of focusing attention and concentrating when challenged. Shows wondering curiosity about their world. The teachers would use strategies such as planning, learning environments at appropriate levels of challenge where the child is encouraged to explore, experiment and take appropriate risks in their learning. So there's a little example if you're struggling to think of what type of things might you put in that intentional teaching box. You may have already put lots of intentional teaching strategies on your daily, weekly, monthly plans in your early childhood service, so again, it's not about reinventing the wheel for these statements actually looking at what information you've already collected on children, what information you've already documented, documented in terms of your plans for learning, and actually putting them within the statement itself. So if you'd like to find out some more information there, you can have a look at the Educators Guide on the website.
And also to making learning visible through strength based statements, we already have a lot of information in our Early Years Learning Framework. So in other words, how do we decide whether or not a child can do that? We've got the list in each one of the learning outcomes. We've got these tables in every one of them, so we've got an opportunity for examples of how this learning is evident when children do all these things on the left hand column. And then in terms of our teaching strategies we've also got a list on the right hand column there to say educators promote this learning when they do these things, so that's another source of information that you might draw on to fill in your Transition to School Statements. When you've used some of these strategies with children in your program and when they've been successful too for that particular child.
A little bit of a summary in terms of strength based statements across the five learning outcomes. So learning outcomes one again is that idea of identity and knowing yourself and that being a crucial part of being able to be a successful learner and achieve positive outcomes in your educational experience.
So developing confidence to express your feelings and ideas when asked, and showing a strong sense of care, empathy and respect really important when moving into that school space to have those identity components there. Learning outcome number two. Also talking about connectedness and contributing to communities so, often expresses interest in an opinion in matters that affect them so that idea of agency and beginning to be critical thinkers about fair and unfair behaviour. Learning outcome number two also has a strong connection to that general capability which is about sustainability. So learning to care for the environment and making sure that there's a connection between caring for the environment and being sustainable. Learning outcome number three again is focused in on well being strong connections there with the PDHP curriculum increasingly cooperates and works, collaborating with others that idea of regulating behaviour and personal and social and emotional development, and showing an increasing awareness of healthy lifestyles and good nutrition. So it's all about movement, an knowing what is healthy for our bodies. Learning outcome number four, confidences, learners lots, and lots of you know. Links and connections here to both maths and science and STEM curriculum here, so follows and extends their own interests with enthusiasm, energy, and concentration. So that idea that they also experiment, hypothesise, explore, predict all sorts of things happening in there, and persist with difficult tasks without adult encouragement. So that idea that they are creative and critical thinkers is really expressed in learning outcome number four as well. Learning Outcome number five, again, I think this one is probably the easiest one. Children are effective communicators to see some strong links. Demonstrates an increasing understanding of measurement using vocabulary to describe size, length, volume and capacity and takes on roles of literacy and numeracy in their play. Lots and lots of links in there and also you know, a link in there too using information, communication, technology and a range of media to represent their learning and their understanding.
Kelly Birket –Thanks Jacqui that's a really good summary of some examples of strength based statements. We've got a handout that accompanies this professional learning. That has additional statements and the key thing is that if you're having trouble knowing how to phrase something in a way that is positive, you can have a look and get some ideas.
Jacqui Ward – Yes, I think it's really important again to emphasise that strength based approach and why do we do that because it really sort of supports and facilitates our next teachers to be able to then build on capacity building as opposed to working from a deficit model. So we've got some examples of the other end that we don't want to do some deficit based statements in the next slide that we then could turn into strength based statements. Strength based statements I think give us room to work whereas deficit based statement is very much about. Yes thinking of having quite low expectations of children and very limited focus. For example the first one there, Jane will only settle with the children and an educator she knows. There's not much to go on with that. Whereas if we frame it in the sense of Jane shows a sense of security with familiar people with new educators, we found a gentle encouraging tone and asking Jane about her special interests helps increase her confidence. So there's room for there to be progression and development and ideas of where to go to when we frame it in a strengths based statement. On the next one is an example where there's again limitation there. Jake can hop and jump but not skip. Jake and confidently hop and jump, with reminders to concentrate and targeted encouragement during group activities. Jake is learning to skip as well. So again there's a real embedded component of what to do next and how to facilitate that learning. The last one John speaks Greek, Greek at home but can't speak English at the expected level for kindergarten. Again doesn't give us a real great bit of information to share with anyone or where to go. Where is John confidently communicates with his family and friends in Greek at preschool he can also echo English greetings and joins in singing simple repetitive songs. John responds to questions in English through gestures, single words or by pointing to relevant pictures. So there's lots of opportunities to go to there. In terms of opportunities to find out about what John's current skills are and how to progress those in the alternative strengths based statements.
Kelly Birket –Great thanks Jacqui, so we'll move on to the next section so this focuses on using the information documented in the Transition to School Statement. So I mean, this section mostly would be relevant to school staff, but it's really important that early childhood educators are aware of how the statement might be used so that they could tailor their information again to be more useful.
OK, so we've identified three fairly, I guess more prominent ways that the statement might be used. Your school may have many other additional uses, you know people do work very creatively, but these were three that really stood out for me. So the first is that the statements can be used to identify children who will require additional support and or require follow up and we will go into that a little bit more, in a second. The second is to plan transition practices. And the third way to use a statement is to unpack statements to inform curriculum design and delivery. So I won't. talk about that anymore because we'll go into detail in the next slides.
OK, so the image on the left is taken from the Transition to School Statement template. I think it's on the cover and the second image on the right is from page two. So the purpose of these questions here is to immediately alert, identify the school staff if this child is going to require additional support or adjustments, and these this might be support that's required. In the actual transition process, or it might be support when they commence kindergarten. The reason these have been, I guess these questions are earlier on in the statement so what we looked at before that was in section three. These are earlier, so that if a school is just immediate receives the statement, they might want to flick through and scan for this really critical information to support these children.
Jacqui Ward – And I think that's really important too for us to acknowledge from the early childhood audience what schools do with that information to is to make sure that, all of the forms are filled in and all of the resource is are available and ready to start for that ready for that child to start school in the following year. So that process takes some time. So if that information is made available as early as possible, then that helps schools to get ready, to be ready for that child.
Kelly Birket –And so that they could, you know, start learning from day one, be happy and have a positive start not to sort of be left hanging while the school puts adjustments into place. I mean transition is all about the school, knowing how they can be ready for the child, and I’ll read these dot points, so identify children who will require additional support. So if often a if the early childhood service in the school actually have a pre existing relationship, there's already probably been a sort of a verbal heads up that these children are coming, and perhaps putting paperwork into action that needs to be done, like perhaps an access request. If not, if you receiving this statement so there's an indicator of an additional need, initiate immediate contact with the child's family if not already, and the child service so you will need to clarify the information in this statement and gather additional information so that might be documentation or reports from any other services or professionals working with a child. And as you know, that has to happen with parental consent. I would suggest that if a child is flagged as needing additional support, you ask the service if you can visit the child while they're still in preschool and observe them in the preschool setting, because then you'll be able to see that their behaviours, how they engage in their learning styles in a setting that they're familiar with. And again, that's with approval from the family, and then finally, I would be looking to start developing an individualised transition support plan. So for instance, the child might require additional guided school visits they might require you know the opportunity to meet with their teacher one on one you know without other children around at that time, it's very individualised and also at this point it would be timely to start thinking as a support team, so perhaps the kindergarten teacher, school counsellor, or the last teacher about an IEP for when the child commences and getting the families input and collaboration on that as well.
OK, so I mentioned that another really prominent way of using the statements is to plan your transition practices. So section two of the statement engages the child and get some to consider their transition to the new school. So on the left there we've got the prompts and then the educators completes the child's responses. So have you visited your new school? Who did you go with? Is there anything you'd like to know about your new school? So that second question can actually then be used to know what sort of topics to address in orientation sessions, and would you like me to tell your new school teacher anything about you? Gives the school teacher really, really good insight into the child and also gives them a connection point so that when they meet the child they are able to actually bring something up that they know the child wants them to know and to ask them more about it, and that will develop their relationship.
Jacqui Ward – And of course, it's a great opportunity for children to have a really active voice in the transition process too.
Kelly Birket –Absolutely, absolutely and looking at, I'm analysing these responses collectively would give a school a really good set of data to inform their subsequent transition practices. I mean one other thing that jumps to mind for me is, if you're receiving this statement in December and the child responded, no, they haven't visited the school. I would actually follow up with the family and you know and do they not know about the sessions that have been offered. Is there a barrier to them coming in and just try to find out what's happening there.
Jacqui Ward – Great opportunity to build some relationships.
Kely: Absolutely, it tells the family and the child that the school, knows and cares about them and, wants to know about them. So this is section four of the statement. So the child is asked to draw a picture and talk about what it depicts. It doesn't have to be related to the new school or transition. The idea is that it gives the kindergarten teacher an understanding of the child's visual and verbal self expression. It's also a little bit of a heads up before best start because depending on how the child goes here, there might actually be no picture because the child wasn't, you know, wasn't able to do it, or I'm not sure how you know, depending on what is there and what the comments written by the educator are, that may influence how best start is delivered for this particular child. And then on the right there, the early childhood educator notes the child's description of what's happening in the picture and things can be made reference to you such as their grip. Their attention span, or any other insights little bit, again a heads up, and that gives the kindergarten teacher heads up as to what to expect from the child while working in class. But I would definitely say also, it's not included there, but a heads up as to what to expect in delivering best start to this child. Will adjustments need to be made? Perhaps you know that that will support the child to be comfortable in while doing the best start.
Jacqui Ward – Another opportunity to connect with their child too and talk about it. If you've already got the Transition to School Statement prior to some of you know, or in those early days of kindergarten as well, you know an opportunity to engage child that might be a little bit withdrawn or reluctant to you know, talk, or discuss anything.
Kelly Birket –Yes, I mean, as a kindergarten teacher, if I received a statement and perhaps the child hadn't engaged with this task, I wouldn't deliver best start initially to them, I'd probably give them a few weeks too, to settle so that they were feeling familiar and comfortable, feeling comfortable and there was a bit of a familiarity and a relationship between myself and the child, because when I do the best start you want the best data you want authentic data, so you need the child to be feeling comfortable.
OK, and the third point mentioned earlier was that the statements can be used to unpack. Sorry, you can unpack this statements to inform curriculum design and delivery. So if we read so will start in the first top left corner. So these are right across the top are comments that might be in the statement. So the first one to deal with conflict in social situations. Batu needs adult support to share how he is feeling. He is able to select the appropriate visual to communicate his feelings. So that if you go down, follow the arrow. The kindergarten teacher or the school might use that information to know that they might want to go and ask the service for a copy of the visuals that supported Batu? They might want to develop their own and they know to prompt Batu use those when communication is needed. If you go to the middle top box, this is perhaps a comment that might be in a statement. Ruby has well developed fine motor skills. She particularly enjoys creative experiences such as painting, collage, and drawing. And following the arrow down, the kindergarten teacher knows that supporting Ruby with familiar, enjoyable activities such as creative art. A choice of open ended outcome activities will support her and starting school. And finally, top right Aadesh can independently write his name. He is showing increasing interest and ability to write words by copying them from wall displays. So when he starts kindergarten. Aadesh might be expected to write his own name, because that's what he's able to do. So with continuity of learning there be there high expectation that he would continue writing his own name. Environmental print would be displayed and sight boards would be available to support Aadesh to continue learning, to write, so that by providing that information about what Aadesh can already do, the early childhood educator has supported continuity of learning because then their kindergarten teacher can make sure things are in place that will support him.
Jacqui Ward – So finally where drawing to a conclusion where we're just wrapping up and summing up and talking about some task to support learners to apply learning. So key messages from both sessions, part one and part two. Continuity of Learning is evident across the early years learning framework in the early stage one syllabus documents. So if you aren’t already convinced of that some further research yourself as learners might be worthwhile reading both documents and seeing where there's some connections for the school audience. Worthwhile dipping into the particularly the learning outcomes, the key components and all the examples of where evidence where children show evidence of this learning and how educators support it and in the school space. Those early stage one. syllabus outcomes and stage statements is really helpful as well across all the key learning areas. Quality information sharing supports that continuity of learning, and gives us connection points. If we want more information, reciprocal relationships support engagement with the Transition of School Statement when we know when is the best time to deliver it. What sort of information is really crucial for the audience that it's intended? You know that idea that we're connecting and unpacking how we use the statement and what's the best information. Providing rich and meaningful information that acknowledges the skills and knowledge that children bring to School. Ensures the statement is a valuable tool, so it's a worthwhile investment of time. And again, it's about sharing the information that you, as experts already have in the early childhood space. Using the information document in this Statement supports schools to plan transition practices as well as classroom teaching and learning. So there's lots of ways that the information can be used and there be opportunities for further connection. So if you are wanting to complete these courses and get registered hours as a teacher for professional learning, you would have enrolled in our courses online through my PL. And there's some tasks that you need to do to submit to get those registered hours. If you might have done this course online, these tasks will still be relevant. Might be just as a as a way of practicing and applying the learning. So the first task relates to educator early childhood educators and focusing in on selecting, and providing an example of how you completed this statement. So again, thinking about ways that you know. Can do that in a way that you are writing for your intended audience, so there's some steps there that you can follow and again upload that to your assessment submission If you wanting those accredited hours. Registered hours, sorry, and the next task two is for the school audience.
And again that's about thinking about for the school staff thinking about of a bit of a plan of action. How you might review your current school processes as the way you currently engaged with Transition to School Statements and what might need to change and how you might I guess, ensure the logistics of the information getting to the right people at the right time is you thinking about, how do we support that. In terms of your deliverable for this professional learning, you put together a bit of a document that talks about that particular action plan, thinking about what it early childhood services your students come from. Again, if there any local service doesn't complete the statement how you might engage with him to get some information about those children, or actively encourage them to do so. And when in kindergarten classes formed and is this is the Transition to School Statement used in that process, and when do the relevant kindergarten teachers receive those statements? And what would be the optimal time and process be, and maybe there are many points that you touch base with these Transition to School Statements. You know, maybe they're made available different planning points within the schools transition kindergarten allocation, class allocation. So again, once you've completed that to get your registered hours, you just need to upload and submit your plan.
So finally we value and appreciate your feedback on this course, so we'd love to hear from you in relation to that. So if you've logged on to the course through our website, the evaluation link will be there. If you've logged on through my PL, there will be information for department school staff, and department preschool staff to fill in a different type of evaluation there, so please share your feedback on whether how you think this course could be improved and whether or not you found the information rich and meaningful.
Last is some contact details. Please reach out if you got any further questions and do look at our website for further resource is in Professional Learning.
Kelly Birket –Thanks Jacqui and thanks everyone for joining us.
Jacqui Ward – Thank you
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