BACK TO SCHOOL: Chinchilla State High School Captains. Pic: Peta McEachern
BACK TO SCHOOL: Chinchilla State High School Captains. Pic: Peta McEachern

Back to school for local students

THE return of hundreds of senior students across the Western Downs was vital for their success, according to a Chinchilla deputy principal.

Prep and Year 1 students also returned to school Monday, May 12, as part one of the Queensland Government’s plan to ease COVID-19 restrictions.

Chinchilla State High School Deputy Principal Kelly Dorries said she was glad students were allowed back at school earlier than expected as it is a vital time for senior students learning.

“I’m very conscious that at the start of the year it’s more about knowledge and understanding and as they move into analysing and evaluation they can really benefit more from that teacher presence as the learning gets more rigours,” Ms Dorries said.

“I was very concerned about them and their motivation because it can be really hard when you’re at home and you don’t have the bells and structure.”

The transition to online learning was smooth for most students, Ms Dorries said, although there was no denying students received more help, feedback, and support at school.

“It’s important, all the things that are said in class, a lot more information is available from teachers - that makes the difference,” she said.

“Students can be a little shy to ask questions, especially in an email… they will hold back and won’t ask whereas in the classroom the brave person will ask the question and everyone else benefits.”

Year 12 student and vice-captain Jaimee Walsh said she was excited to return to the classroom and the structure of school.

“Online learning was a bit hard, I like being in the class room and I feel like in a school environment I get more done, and you can ask for help when you need it,” she said.

School captain Johannes Dickman said the transition back to school from online learning was easy and he looked forward to being able to catch up with friends.

“I really enjoyed online learning, I found it better in some ways, working at home you can go at your own pace do it in your own time I found that really beneficial,” he said.

Being the final year of school Alisha Griffiths said COVID-19 had affected a lot of the events the graduating students were looking forward to organising and being involved in such as the QP Ball, Formal, Athletics, and discos.

“It’s been quite weird… we’ve missed out on things we’d usually be doing… school events we had organised that had to be pushed back or cancelled,” Alisha said.

Ms Dorries said she hoped some events will still be able to go ahead.

“The information we have received is that into the future there is only 100 people allowed at mass events,” she said.

“We are trying to find innovative ways to do things, so I have no doubt that we will find a way to give them some type of a formal – it won’t be normal or traditional but we will still find a way to celebrate and make it special.”


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