Business almost as usual for Coffs Coast schools as teachers continue to ensure that students keep learning

Students at a number of schools were already learning online.


SCHOOLS have been very much in the news since the beginning of the pandemic and local schools and teachers have been working hard, and smart, to keep their students learning.

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As schools closed, teachers were forced to re-think the way classes were delivered.

At Woolgoolga High School and Sawtell Public School, teachers and students were already using a range of online learning resources, but, as schools closed, according to Woogoolga High School Relieving Principal, Lu Nickell, “Teachers had extra work because they had to change their planning and develop new learning resources”.

Both Lu and Michael Hepi, Principal of Sawtell Public School, felt that a positive outcome from school closures was the way teachers worked together to offer a variety of learning activities such as video lessons, video challenges and home science experiments.

Some families needed support with online learning, so Woolgoolga High School loaned laptops to many families and sent packages of classwork to others, while Sawtell Public School kept in regular communication with families to ensure their well-being.

Some students thrived online, but others missed the social aspect of face-to-face interactions, particularly younger primary school students.

Now that students are back at school it is almost business as usual in classes. Thanks to the efforts of teachers, students maintained continuity with their learning, with literacy and numeracy being a focus at junior primary level.

However, restrictions on visitors result in guest speakers, P&C nights, fund-raising events, excursions, graduations, formals and other events not happening.

Michael Hepi summed up the feelings of principals across the Coffs Coast when he said, “I couldn’t be more proud of our students, teachers and families for their resilience and adaptability.”


By Andrew VIVIAN

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