Distance Learning Diary – by Holly in Year 6

Thursday 11 June 2020 | By Samantha Hockney

Holly in Year 6 shares an insight into what life was like before she returned to school last week, with her Distance Learning Diary.

Being a student at Teesside High School really helped me through lockdown. I particularly enjoyed home-schooling, it was really fun and interactive.

What did your home-school routine consist of?

My distance learning routine looked like this:

  • Firstly, I had a Google Meet with my form teacher, Mr Griffiths. He told me and my classmates the timetable for the day. I loved seeing all of my friends, it felt like some form of normality.
  • After the Google Meet, I watched Joe Wicks’ daily workout for half an hour, then I started on my English lesson.
  • By the time I had finished English, it was breaktime, so I skipped and hula hooped in my garden for 20 minutes.
  • I had another Google Meet for my Mathematics lesson. It felt like I was really in school!
  • Afterwards, I had my lunch and did a bit more skipping to get some fresh air.
  • After lunch, I did some IPC. I love IPC, it stands for ‘International Primary Curriculum’ and it is unique to Teesside High School. It includes: Geography, Science, History, Art and more. During lockdown, our topic has been called ‘Space Explorers,’ it has been extremely interesting finding out about space and different planets.
  • We have Enrichment most days. It could be: a make, a bake or a game, but all round it is a relaxing fun way to end the day!
  • That was my main daily homeschooling routine. It was also littered with other subjects such as Music, Guided Reading, Computing and more. A huge variety to keep me interested when studying at a distance.

Did you like distance learning?

Distance learning was great, the teachers boosted my confidence and I can’t say enough how much I appreciate all their belief in me. Also, I think I speak for everyone when I say a big thank you to all the staff at Teesside High School, you are admired for being key workers, and for also helping all of the key worker children!

I did enjoy distance learning but I do prefer to go to school and see all my friends and teachers in person, not over a screen. You don’t realise how much you appreciate this until it is taken away from you.

What did you like to do during lockdown?

I loved spending time with my family and talking to my grandparents over FaceTime. Also, finding out more about my parents’ work and appreciating what they do (I didn’t realise how hard they worked!) I loved being involved in the VE Day concert and singing Truly Scrumptious. My proudest achievement is raising £1235 for NHS Charities Together through developing my own version of the Eurovision Song Contest (this used a lot of my lockdown time!)

What kept you motivated?

Probably the thing that is keeping me motivated the most is knowing that there is an end in sight, there will be a cure, that COVID-19 won’t be a worry anymore and I will be able to see my family and friends again.

Did you learn anything new during lockdown?

I learnt how to do french skipping, how to juggle and a range of new skipping and hula hoop tricks. I also feel that I’ve developed more independence through learning more about baking and cooking and helping around the house.

What did you miss the most?

I miss going on holiday and going on day trips. I miss seeing my friends and family, going to restaurants, parties and my friends’ houses. Before I returned to school, I missed the teachers and my friends and just the all round friendly nature of Teesside High School.

Have you taken time to reflect on what you have learned from this experience?

I have learned to live life to the full and not to take anything for granted, because not everything or everyone is always going to be there. So live in the moment. I’ve also learnt that not everyone has been as fortunate as myself during lockdown, so always remember where you can to help others.

How would you prepare your future self for an event like this?

I would prepare myself by really understanding how to stay safe and the importance of hygiene. Also, understanding the different things that help me to be happy and to stay calm. Focusing on what is important to me and by having things to look forward to that make me smile.

How is school now that you have returned?

School is different in lots of ways, but also very much the same. The first day back was really welcoming, all the staff were there to reassure me, even though they were wearing masks. The social distancing spots made me feel better about coming back to school and didn’t make me worry about spreading germs. Within minutes, the virus was forgotten and I was back into school work and it felt like I’d never been away. The teachers have been amazing, the lessons are as fun as ever and I particularly enjoy ‘social distancing rounders’.

I couldn’t have been part of a better school to go through this difficult time with, both distance learning and now social distancing. Thank you so much!