About 90 per cent of year 11 and year 12 students returned to St Norbert College last week whilst only 20 per cent of younger students attended.
Public schools across the state started classes last week, as the government encouraged parents to send children back to school for term two.
Like all year 12s, Theresa Titus missed out on some of the rites of passage of being in her final year of secondary school – but she said teenagers around the world would trade places in an instant.
“It is more difficult for year 12 students to enjoy school with everything being cancelled,” she said.
“However, this situation has taught me that seeing friends, classmates, teachers and talking about things and enjoying the normal recess and lunch we’ve always had, is an advantage in itself – something that I know other teenagers around the world would trade for right now.’’
However, returning to school for year eight student Rhiannon Cox, who is the daughter of two nurses, has been in itself a new experience.
“It’s a bit lonely and a bit strange because not many people returned in the first week, but it is nice to be back at school,’’ she said.
“Coming back was interesting, instead of starting the day in homeroom, we went straight into class in a big room with a laptop, getting instructions from our teachers online.
“If we have a question, we type it up in the meeting chat or maybe speak on the microphone.
“I also made friends with a year seven student who started remote learning at school, so I’m talking to lots of students I might usually not speak to, so that has been good.”
Meanwhile, year eight student Sharie Fernandez, is continuing to learn from home.
“Remote learning overall is very different to what I’m used to,’’ she said.
“In all honesty I’m very happy to have experienced something unique like this, I enjoy not having to stress about waking up earlier to get ready and having free time on my hands if I’m ahead with the schoolwork.
“Some challenges about online learning are having to
really be independent and responsible that all your work gets done.
“Most of the subjects I do in remote learning I’ve adapted to doing at home and the workload is quite similar, if not lighter.
“But hopefully not for too long because I miss the environment, activities and feeling of being around my peers in St Norbert.’’
Principal Simon Harvey confirmed that Catholic Education WA will undertake a full review on May 11, to decide a suitable education delivery during the emergency period.
“The recent advice from the WA chief health officer, Dr Andrew Robertson, confirms that the risk of transmission of the virus in the school setting is low,” he said.
“Our staff have missed the vibrancy and excitement of having our students at school and we are looking forward to the time, hopefully in the not too distant future, when we will see a full return to our physical school site by all of our students.
In the meantime, we will continue to offer our students the very best learning opportunities, regardless of whether they are at school or at home.’’