Relief and excitement as school finally returns

By Morgan Dyer

Teachers, children and parents across the state breathed a sigh of relief and felt a surge of excitement on Tuesday as students from Years 3 to 6 returned to school.

After nine weeks of home learning, Shepparton's St Georges Road Primary School students had a spring in their step walking back into the school yard.

School principal Dougie Souter said there was an overwhelming feeling of excitement and happiness at the morning drop-off.

“We had teachers at all eight gates welcoming kids back into the school yard and greeting parents from the other side of the fence,” Ms Souter said.

“It was lovely to see everyone on time and young faces light up when they saw their teachers and friends.

“All our teachers went to a great deal of trouble to welcome students back into their familiar surroundings and make them feel at ease.”

Students will be directed to follow a range of new personal hygiene rules, including washing their hands before entering the classroom and sanitising their hands regularly.

Ms Souter said the school would focus on getting students back into a normal routine and re-creating a familiar sense of belonging.

“There will be no joint classes for now, but we will continue to conduct our weekly Friday assemblies via classroom video link,” she said.

“It’s important we build a sense of community and familiarity to assure students that school isn’t too different to what it used to be.”

Ms Souter said remote learning allowed her students, teachers and the entire school community to grow and progress.

“We were able to learn a lot about different digital platforms of technology and how to manage and connect with students in different ways.

“I think another great thing it did was strengthened the relationship between our teachers and parents.

“However one of the things we will really value now we are back, is the collaborative learning that can take place in a classroom again."

With just three weeks left until students go on school holidays, teachers will focus on understanding what each child has learnt over the past three months and re-establishing a starting point for next term.

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