Students celebrate return to class after weeks in lockdown
By Brendan Rees
It’s been a while, but students are finally back in class with gusto at South Melbourne Primary School.
Students from Prep to Grade Six have been all smiles since resuming face-to-face learning in a staged return last month for the first time since June due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Learning specialist Maddy Morrison said the school community was “very excited” to welcome back students from October 18 after having been freed from online fatigue.
“The children settled in beautifully,” she said after they were greeted with music and “inviting messages” written by the senior students.
“Our students couldn’t wait to be back on-site, so attendance has been very strong.”
“They were thrilled to see their friends across all year levels and particularly eager for recess and lunchtime when they could play together.”
Ms Morrison said teachers had worked hard to prepare for classes with plenty of activities to help students “get back into the swing of working with their friends”.
They also discussed the changes students may expect when returning such as wearing masks indoors and reassuring them that their “beloved lunchtimes can still go ahead”.
“The masks have very quickly become second nature and just a normal part of the day,” Ms Morrison said.
“Teachers quickly learnt that we would need to provide some quick lessons around mask-wearing, including tips on how to avoid foggy glasses, how to store them when eating and how to project your voice through a mask.”
In class, students have been enjoying lots of group work, drama and games – with hands-on resources such as musical instruments and science equipment proving popular and a welcome change from digital learning.
It’s been a tough journey for students who have endured the world’s longest COVID-19 lockdown but the school community said it had been proud that all students had shown resilience during remote learning.
Teachers have also been praised for making sure learning remained fun and engaging.
In August, Preps celebrated 100 days of learning which was packed with virtual activities and a costume parade to mark the milestone •
Students from left, Danielle Parambita, Will Holmes, and Ashwath Vijayaragavan get back into the swing of classes. Picture: South Melbourne Primary School.