Where the heart is at St Joseph’s

Home Learning was thrust upon everyone in haste with few of us knowing for how long. Yet the community of St Joseph’s Primary School, Charlestown, has embraced the change wholeheartedly.  When speaking with parents and students, one key word is reiterated  relationships.  

Time at home has allowed families to grow together, appreciate each other and learn together. Not only learning through the school tasks set, but learning how we as Australians have united to support each other in this time of need, and learning how our faith can connect us all.  

The relationships between the students and teachers and between the teachers and parents has also deepened as we unite to take learning to a new phase. These relationships have been strengthened by various platforms: phone calls, emails, Zoom meetings, Compass, wellbeing clips on Facebook, the continuation of school assemblies filmed by our Year 6 school leaders, and of course through the learning platforms of OneNote and Seesaw.  

St Joseph’s has embarked on this journey of home learning by listening to the needs of the community and establishing a whole-school approach.  

This journey has not been smooth sailing for all, but many families are finding the right balance of working from home as well as supporting their children to learn. Many families have also found a new appreciation for quality time together, creating a comforting environment and looking out for those in our community who are in need. 

Despite missing the social interaction from face-to-face, we have embraced the connection that technology provides.  

Our school values  strive high, live like Jesus and care for our environment  have never been so pertinent as the present, and the staff of St Joseph’s are proud our community has certainly reflected these values and united us.  

Below are some reflections from parents and children about home learning. 

LukasI like home learning as there is less noise. I miss my friends and teachers. 

LincolnHome learning is fun. I miss playing with my friends. 

Ava and Ruby“[We] enjoy home schooling because you can sometimes wear your PJs, you can eat whenever you want, and you can have your dog with you when you work.” 

Angela and Richard (parents)“No morning rush. It’s giving the girls independence to get their work done when and how it suits them. We have been going for walks together most days including exploring some new locations. The girls are really looking forward to going back to school. They have been communicating with their friends on Zoom and Messenger for Kidsbut there is nothing like seeing them face to face. Getting back into school routine will be good after a big break. There are certainly challenges associated with home schoolingand I’m a teacher. Getting back to the classroom will have a lot of positives. I know a lot of parents have an increased gratitude for teachers since home learning started. 

Brianna HoustonWe have two parents working fulltime from home whilst home-schooling Marcus and Audrey. Thank God my mum and the children’s Nana Weez (Mrs Russell) has come out of retirement (formerly a teacher from St Joey’s). Mrs Russell comes over at 10am and school is in session. Marcus has become extremely technologically savvy through necessity. He loves talking with his mates and teachers via Zoom and submitting his work through SeesawWe have been getting active and even started a vegie patchWe are adapting to our new way of working and thank St Joseph’s for the continued support.”

Brooke: “It has been really interesting to see exactly where the kids are up to in their education and to get a better idea of their strengths and weaknesses. I am so grateful to the hard-working and innovative teachers at St Joseph’s for making home learning as easy and effective as possible.” 

Lauren: “What I like about home school is that I always get to see my mum and my family. I miss seeing my teachers at school and my friends too.” 

Emily: “During my time working from home I have liked being able to take breaks during my schoolwork to go and bounce on the trampoline. During my time working from home I have missed being able to see my friends at school.” 

Katie Turnbull: It's been really nice seeing where my kids are at with their learning by being more hands-on. I also find it frustrating and have a new appreciation for teachers.”  

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