RAVIÉS teachers greeted the children in the school drop-off area upon their return to Marie Help of Christians Primary School (MHOC) in Sawtell on Monday after a four-week absence.
Cheers rang out across the Mid North Coast when the lockdown was announced last Thursday.
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“We don’t know who was the happier, the students, the teachers or the parents,” said Margaret Ryan, acting director at News Of The Area.
MHOC teachers have spent the past four weeks teaching kids online through Google Classroom, creating interactive lessons that include instructional videos and audio commentary to make it accessible to everyone.
“But as creative and innovative as teachers are, there’s nothing like having kids finally going back to school,” said Emma Connor, kindergarten teacher at MHOC.
“We tried to make learning as fun as possible.
“Last week the kids pretended to go camping.
“They had a blast with their families making s’mores, making camping lists and going out to explore and observe nature in their own backyards.
“Many children have even set up tents inside their homes and spent the night there.
“One family ended up camping all weekend along their stretch of river.
“It was heartwarming to see families come together and enjoy the experience.
“Although being back in school is so much better for learning, the opportunity for children to reunite with their friends is even more important.
“The playground was buzzing with excitement as the kids could finally play together again. “
Margaret Ryan added: “It has been so difficult for the families.
“So many of our parents were trying to work from home while supporting their children in their learning.
“On top of that, they needed to make sure the kids got enough exercise as well as fun downtime.
“There are just not enough hours in the day.”
The children will be back in class one week before the spring school holidays.
“I hope Period 4 will see further easing of restrictions so that our parents and our wider community can come together to enjoy the end of year celebrations.”
By Andrea FERRARI