Learning in lockdown

Social distancing, strict hygiene practices, testing, isolation, lockdown. All synonymous with life during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

And although Catholic schools remained open for those families who needed to send their children, the new normal for the majority of students was learning from home, and for most staff, working from home. 

This time in history will go down like no other.  

As principal of St Aloysius Primary School, Chisholm, I wanted to try and capture the learnings and experiences of our students during the pandemic. As part of their home learning, children could enter a Corona Project in one or more of the following categories: 

Corona Times – a piece of writing to describe life as a student and young person during the lockdown 

Corona Flix – a short video account of life during the pandemic 

Corona Snaps – a photo/s that capture an aspect/s of life during this time 

Corona Masterpiece – an artwork, construction, song, dance, movement/skit about the pandemic 

Corona Care – an idea to help others who may be at risk or vulnerable during this time. 

I received more than 30 wonderful entries across the five categories. 

These ranged from poems, PowerPoint and Sway presentations, posters, models, constructions, paintings, diaries, skits, puppet shows, songs and videos. 

The students certainly showed great skills, talent, creativity and imagination in their entries. 

With the rise of the pandemic, education was transformed virtually overnight through the evolution of a home-learning model. Even though online learning at home became the new norm during this time, many leisure activities and hobbies common-place in years gone by made a comebacksuch as board games, model-making, jigsaws, letter writing, outside and imaginative play. The old became new again. 

Families were almost forced to spend more time together. Parents stepped up and helped take on the role of teacher. Staff working from home embraced new ways to teach through a variety of on- line platforms. Zoom meetings became a regular part of life. 

Students were taught important life-long skills such as self-regulation, independence and responsibility. Teachers, staff and parents worked amazingly well together during this very challenging and unprecedented time. Hats off to them all. 

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