It is a truth universally acknowledged that 2020 did not go to plan and the changes brought about by a worldwide pandemic have impacted every part of daily life and community. Yet some are looking at the positives which came from the challenges, notably principal of Canowindra Public School Ms Sharon Hawker.
Speaking to the Phoenix, Sharon explained how the restrictions highlighted the need for longer periods of in-classroom learning.
“We weren’t locked down for very long,” Sharon said. “But because there were no other interruptions for the rest of the year due to events being cancelled such as sports, incursions and excursions, we caught up with the learning that kids had missed.”
In fact, the school increased their learning, thanks to some COVID relief funding from the NSW government.
Intensive Learning Support Program to put an additional full time teacher on to run special programs with all students to catch them up on lost learning last year,” Sharon said.
Sharon remarked that the school has already seen the benefits of focusing on in-classroom learning without being bothered by constant events, with test scores returning positive results at the end of last year and plans to keep up the pace of teaching.
“We have decided to simplify this year,” Sharon said. “Sometimes schools can get a bit out of control with people coming in and going out. We are going to simplify all of that. At the end of the year, a lot of kids had grown and we put it down to the fact that they were staying at school and there were more things happening in the classroom.”
The school resumed educating last week, welcoming 23 new kindergarten children over two classes taught by Mrs Jess Swords and Mrs Janelle Pearce.