Learning the St Joeys way

School captains of St Joseph's Catholic High School, Jayden Allan and Bianca Cacciola said recent times have been challenging but everyone had adapted very well.

"Isolation has taught us to be resilient when in crisis and allowed the school community to develop a closer connection with each other, even at 1.5 metres apart."

Online learning was quickly adopted and implemented by teachers who provided all students with equal opportunities to excel in their education at home.

Various precautions were used throughout the school community to minimise direct contact and spread of potential germs for the wellbeing of students and staff.

Double periods meant less movement around the school as well as cleaning desks, sanitisation before entering and leaving classrooms and additional cleaning during the day.

"Without a doubt COVID-19 has impacted our school community; however, it hasn't affected our learning but did restrict us from whole school activities. We made the best of a difficult situation and as school leaders, we implemented themed 'dress ups' every second Friday to maintain our sense of community, continue fundraising and have a bit of fun along the way. The school year of 2020 has not been the easiest one yet, but it is definitely one we will never forget."

Principal Amanda Wilson said teachers found the joy and appreciation of being in the classroom watching students develop and learn was reinforced when returning to school.

"It also highlighted for them why they chose teaching as a profession in the first place."

"What has been most important in students' education at the moment, particularly in the context of COVID -19, is the development of skills and abilities to discern and examine information for its validity and reliability, and identifying fact from opinion to make valid judgements and ethical decisions.

"They then put this into action to apply their knowledge in such a way that their actions create a positive contribution to the world - this is the attainment of true wisdom. The focus for Joey's teachers has been creating wise students, who can make a difference.

"Our staff are continuously supporting students both pastorally and academically as the pressure of the COVID experience for families has been varied. Many families have taken the time to decompress without after school activities and relaxed into a new routine. Some families experienced added pressures with everyone being at home, the strain of sharing internet connections and even the loss of jobs and stability. Our community is offering support to all families in these circumstances."