Primary students are back
Published in The Ararat Advocate, Ararat's weekly newspaper published by West Vic News Pty Ltd.
ARARAT’S youngest students dusted off their school uniforms on Tuesday and headed back to the classroom.
Students streamed into school gates with smiles from ear-to-ear in anticipation of reuniting with their friends and teachers.
Ararat West Primary School principal, Terry Keilar, said it’s fantastic to have students back where they learn best, nine weeks after the second round of remote learning began.
“It's been great to see the kids return, talking with friends and catching up with people,” he said.
“I'm proud of parents and students for the efforts that they put in working from home, it was really pleasing to see the kids engaging.
“We were really happy with how [remote learning] went. We felt that people were a little bit more comfortable moving into it and we felt that we had greater levels of engagement which was absolutely fantastic.”
Teachers have also been a major component of the remote learning environment, adapting their teaching style and methods of delivery.
Ararat 800 Primary School principal, Ryan Oliver, said teachers have done a phenomenal job in engaging students and juggling their own families at home.
“As a community, not just the teachers but the students and the parents, we went into remote learning the second time around with a much different attitude, it was a lot more relaxed and I think we understood what we were getting ourselves into,” he said.
“In terms of student outcomes, we saw an increase in student engagement and we saw a different level of calm.”
For now, students are back spending time with friends and learning face-to-face with teachers. Both principals are planning to see the year out at school.
“I would hope that we could continue on face-to-face learning because that's really where we want to be and it's really where the students want to be,” Mr Oliver said.
Mr Keilar agreed, “It's the best possible structure for them to be learning so it's extremely important. Hopefully, we're able to see the term out in this format.”