All smiles as school returns

Tessa Randello

The rain could not dampen the spirits of Liddiard Road Primary School students as they returned to the classrooms on Monday.

Prep to Grade 6 students bounced through the school gates, to see their classmates for the first time in more than two months.

Annelies Agustin, the mother of Prep student Ari, said although she enjoyed remote learning she was keen to get back to normal.

“Ari has been really excited to come back to school we have been counting down the days of holidays until he can return,” she said.

“He has been missing his friends a lot as well, we had a really positive experience with home schooling and the school has been so supportive, but at home we are no replacement for his friends.”

Liddiard Road assistant principal Lisa van Rooy said it was great to have students back on campus.

“It’s really terrific, there is nothing like seeing all their smiling faces as they come in the gate. Lots of them were eager to come back here nice and early and ready to go,” she said.

Ms van Rooy said despite the challenges schools have had this year the parents, students and school staff have been able to take it in their stride.

“Remote teaching has been a learning experience for the staff as well, especially for some who haven’t been as competent with technology,” she said.

“But, the teachers have really grown into it and the staff have supported one another, the teachers have done their best and made sure the well-being of the students has been the main focus while also encouraging and supporting the parents to do the best job that they can.”

Ms van Rooy also said the staff will continue to use some of the successful strategies from remote learning in the classroom.

“There’s been some children who have thrived with the online learning, so we have had lots of discussions about why that is,” she said.

“One of those new ideas is that we have started a lease agreement, so that all of our students from Grade 3 to 6 will have one-on-one devices and will be using Google Classrooms so that we can capitalise on the learning that occurred during remote learning.”

Parents at Liddiard Road Primary School are not allowed on site and the school is dismissing Prep to Grade 2 students without older siblings 15 minutes early to avoid congestion at the school.

From Monday October 5, regional and rural students enrolled in Prep to Grade 6 in standalone primary schools returned to on-site learning.

From today, regional and rural students enrolled in Prep to Grade 6 in P-12 schools will return to on-site learning.

All school students, including Years 7 to 10 and VCE and VCAL students will return to on-site learning, from October 12 in regional and rural areas.