It’s great to be back

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Holy Spirit Primary Carnes Hill students with Principal Br Nicholas Harsas. Photo: Holy Spirit Primary Carnes Hill
Holy Spirit Primary Carnes Hill students with Principal Br Nicholas Harsas. Photo: Holy Spirit Primary Carnes Hill

SCS students welcomed back to the classroom post-lockdown

Teachers have been welcoming more than 70,000 students across Sydney Catholic Schools back to the classroom this week, after over three months of learning from home during the COVID lockdown.

While some restrictions are in place, including around school assemblies and masks are mandatory for teachers, schools will nevertheless be able to go ahead with end of year school formal events for students in Years 6 and Year 12, while adhering to public health rules.

“There’s been a really strong focus on student wellbeing and less emphasis perhaps on curriculum in these early days.”

The Principal of Holy Spirit Primary school in Carnes Hill, Br Nicholas Harsas fsp held a special welcome back event for students, complete with balloons and a red carpet to help ease the transition back to the school campus.

“They’ve come back very happy and excited to be here because I think it’s that face-to-face, real-life experience of socialising, learning, praying and sharing the faith together, since there’s a big difference between trying to do that virtually and doing it face-to-face”, he said.

Kindergarten and Year 1 students from Holy Spirit Primary Carnes Hill. Photo: Holy Spirit Primary Carnes Hill
Kindergarten and Year 1 students from Holy Spirit Primary Carnes Hill. Photo: Holy Spirit Primary Carnes Hill

Students from kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 12 returned to classrooms across NSW on Monday 18 October, while students from Years 2-11 returned a week later on Monday 25 October.

Public health rules are being closely observed with students only allowed to mix within their own year group to help with contact tracing if a COVID outbreak occurs.

“They’ve come back very happy and excited to be here because I think it’s that face-to-face, real-life experience of socialising, learning, praying and sharing the faith together …”

The Principal of Good Shepherd Primary School in Hoxton Park, Brendan O’Connor said there has been a deliberate focus at his school this week on easing the students back into the routine of classroom learning again.

“There’s been a really strong focus on student wellbeing and less emphasis perhaps on curriculum in these early days. It’s been really helpful for the students to be able to talk to each other about their feelings around coming back to school, what may be triggering anxiety for them”, he explained.

Good Shepherd Primary Principal Brendan O'Connor sanitising students hands as they enter the school gates post lockdown. Photo: Supplied
Good Shepherd Primary Principal Brendan O’Connor sanitising students hands as they enter the school gates post lockdown. Photo: Good Shepherd Primary School, Hoxton Park.

“They missed the opportunity to be able to spend that quality time in play together and I think play has been a huge factor in a healthy return to school”.

Mr O’Connor said many students and parents are particularly pleased that school formals can still go ahead this year, while observing all the public health rules.

“And we look forward to more announcements over coming weeks, that we’ll be able to have more formal opportunities with larger groups- either in the school setting or outside, where we’ll be able to gather as a community and mark other special occasions again”.

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