Students stoked to return to class

Grade three-four students at Briagolong Primary School were happy to see their friends again after a two-week absence from class.

Liz Bell

THE have been celebrations in schools across Wellington Shire as school students went back to class on Wednesday, following the end of two weeks of lockdown and enforced learning from home.
Parents, teachers and students have embraced the return to the classroom and face-to-face learning.
Briagolong Primary School principal Mark Donald said the school’s 87 students had missed their friends and their teachers, and were more than ready to return to class.
Mr Donald said the lockdown had been difficult for everyone, and the entire school community was glad to see the students back in class and the school full of energy again.
“Yes, all the students were pretty excited to be back on Wednesday, and I’m sure parents are glad to be getting back to a routine,” he said.
Under the new restrictions, students (over 12 years) and teachers across Victoria are required to wear masks while at school, in class and outside.
Sale College principal Brendan Staple said the school had been a “lonely” place without students, and everyone was happy to be back on board.
However, he said the lockdown had affected some students in ways that may not be immediately obvious, unsettling routines and affecting motivation.
“If there are any more lockdowns after this it will do doubt have a huge impact on students, particularly the Year 12s, so the school’s approach is one of ‘kindness, encouragement and compassion’, because even though they have been supported,
these kids have been through a lot of disruption,” Mr Staple said.
He said mask wearing in the playground was a challenge for some students, but that the school was ‘part of the community’ and mask wearing was part of the community expectation.