School’s back

By Daniel Hughes

Students can return to face-to-face learning this week, with schools returning as per phase one of the government recommendations.

Primary and high schools have been given the discretion for establishing which group attends on which day.

While each year group is expected to have at least one day a week at school, it is anticipated more days will be added to the timetable throughout this term.

Special consideration has been made however, with families who need to send their child to school every day.

No child will be turned away per phase one expectations.

Classes will be split across different spaces and break times can be staggered.

All children are expected to return full time from the start of term three.

For Finley High School, that meant introducing certain year groups on different days and practicing social distancing while in class and the playground.

Attending school for the first time since mid-term one was year 11 student Gemma Coombs.

Gemma was excited to see her friends and teachers again.

She said while the learning environment was different, she prefers the face-to-face learning.

“It was good to catch up with friends after nearly six weeks of not catching up with anyone,” Gemma said.

“It was good to have face-to-face teaching and in-class learning, and it was good to check in with the teachers as well, to see how they are.

“We got more work done in class because the teachers help motivate us.

“At home you don't really have that push to do your work, although I still did all mine.

“Overall, I prefer the school learning.

“In class we were socially distancing, the desks were separated about two metres with one student per desk, some classes had to be split between two rooms, and we had to hand sanitize going in and out of every room.”

In order to maximise its learning time for seniors, Year 12 will attend school four days a week, while Year 11 will attend twice.

It will also be increasing its lesson times from 50 minutes, to 100, allowing for longer practical and theoretical learning.

Year 7 to 10 will attend school once per week until further notice.

“I think it will be interesting having the staggered days at school,” Gemma said.

“It's good we've got a couple of days each week with Year 11 and 12.

“We can check in with our teachers and make sure we're on the right track and everything.

“It'll be interesting to see how it all goes.”

The school's principal Jeff Ward was also happy to reconnect with his students.

“It was wonderful seeing our students again,” Mr Ward said.

“It's great to have them back and the teachers have been looking forward to it as well.”