Making the best of remote learning


Western Port Secondary College captains and vice-captains, from left, Simon Jones, Harry Hainsworth, Caitlyn Gillon, and Wiki Tate. Picture: Supplied

WESTERN Port Secondary College students embraced the brave new world of remote flexible learning during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Years 11 and 12 VCE and VCAL students, who returned to school last week, had direct instruction with subject teachers as a class to ensure a continuity of learning over the past seven weeks.

“We tried to keep the structure of the timetable similar for students while working in an achievable and sustainable way during remote learning,” principal Chris Quinn said.

Lessons were held on the Microsoft Teams platform with students logging in for lesson plans at 9am each day with their names ticked off on a roll before they joined in a 15 minute home group session.

Live virtual classes of 30 minutes included direct instruction from the teacher followed by students putting into practice the work studied.

“Our senior students have started really well with the return to their VCE and VCAL programs,” Mr Quinn said.

“It is important to recognise what our students and staff have achieved despite the disrupted start to term.”

Students are scheduled to return to the school on Tuesday 9 June.

Senior students were asked how they found the remote flexible learning program: Ethan Andrew: “At the start I didn’t want to do it, but as it went on, I found out it wasn’t that bad.”

Harry Hansen: “It was a struggle for not only me but for my teachers and peers. However, with the dedication of teachers, students and parents, we got through it all and are now coming back to school to do great things.”

Emily Smart: “RFL has been a wild ride honestly. I have my moments with different classes; some are easier than others. It was hard to always stay motivated because I found that I had more distractions at home.”

Wiki Tate: “I started RFL really well, woke up early, got work done and stuck to a routine but, over the past couple weeks, it got harder with studying for SACs as well as trying to learn new content by myself.”

Liz Dowler: “The beginning was a challenge, but once I made a study planner I regained confidence in remote learning without the classroom environment.”

Returning to school is another hurdle, with Mishka Lee admitting to being “a little bit nervous, because things will be quite different at first”.

Harry Hainsworth sees it as enabling him to “get a lot of stress off my chest”.

Cory Ponyeim said: “Honestly, I’ve never been so excited and impatient to return to school and see all my friends and do face-to-face learning again.”

First published in the Western Port News – 3 June 2020


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