Posted by Kambala
During Week 9 of Term 1 2020, Kambala Year 11 and Year 12 students remained at School whilst Prep to Year 10 students transitioned to remote learning. In this article, Head Prefect, Kirsty Beattie and fellow Year 12 students Lucinda Alder, Xanthe Christopher and Emelia Kloster, share their insights into this unique learning experience.
Q: What is it like being at School during this time?
KB: The current COVID-19 pandemic is something that we (nor anyone) had envisioned for the year of 2020. Whilst we may have pictured the beginning of 2020 differently, we are grateful for the School’s ongoing support, guidance and assistance during this challenging time. It is an uncertain future and in facing something so out of our control, we have found support in our peers and been motivated by our teachers, who are working tirelessly to minimise disruption. We have never experienced the likes of online learning or school with the absence of Prep to Year 10 students. However, Years 11 and 12, reaching the end of their schooling career, are continuing their studies on the school grounds, working hard, keeping each other motivated and staying positive.
Q: Do you feel your daily routine is normal, all things considered? Why/why not?
EK: As a cohort we believe that – assisted by the School’s unwavering support – we have been able to successfully maintain the sense of continuation and routine. During the school day, we are fortunate to have classes running as normal, under the guidance of our teachers. Although, many of our extracurricular activities have been cancelled or adjusted through this period, according to government regulations, many of us have still found ways to relax and stay stress-free through exercise, music, socialising and keeping up with the latest news!
Q: What has remained the same?
XC: Whilst we are faced with lots of new challenges, Kambala has done a wonderful job of ensuring that we are receiving a fantastic education, as per usual. Teachers are providing us with unwavering commitment and support. In turn, girls are maintaining an exceptional level of focus and determination to work to the best of their ability, especially going into such an important examination period.
What is different?
LA: Whilst initially as the younger years transitioned to remote learning, Years 11 and 12 have remained at School and in the past couple of days, both Years 11 and 12 have moved to remote learning in order to practice social distancing for the better health of the broader community. Whilst remote learning is something completely new (not only to students, but also our teachers) it is evident that it has been effective in enabling us to continue with our learning throughout this challenging period. It is different not having your peers an arm’s reach away, in class or at recess and lunch, and not being able to see our teachers face-to-face. However, thanks to Zoom, we can all ask our teachers questions and even spend virtual time with our friends at recess and lunch!
Q: What support have you received from the School with regards to helping you deal with this situation i.e. studying in School with other students off site?
KB: Kambala has been particularly helpful in accommodating students who are learning remotely through engaging in ongoing communication. We are fortunate enough to be able to utilise Zoom, a video conferencing platform which has aided face-to-face remote learning. Video conference calls make it seem as though the students are in the classroom. This has helped a number of students keep up with their study during this difficult time. Students who are not able to attend examinations are also granted the opportunity to participate in the exam online through programs such as Education Perfect. The resources and opportunities that our teachers have provided us with during this difficult time have been extremely helpful.
Q: Any advice for other Year 12s studying HSC and IB in this current climate?
KB: Whilst of course the current situation can at times be distracting or confusing, we can also make it a time to focus on our studies, work more independently and critically and get ahead on work. Some advice would be to stay connected with those who make a meaningful and positive impact on your life; parents, family, friends, teachers or coaches. Stay focused on the task at hand – whether this is completing homework, studying for a test or being proud of the small things you accomplish – without thinking too much into the uncertainty of timing of events in the future. Your teachers are also an amazing resource full of expansive knowledge and are always more than happy to help. Remember to ask your subject-specific teachers, Year Group Coordinator or counsellors if you are feeling overwhelmed or need help with your learning throughout this challenging period.
About the author
Kirsty Beattie is Kambala’s Head Prefect 2019/2020.