A lot of the conversations around school have been about ‘missed time’ and all of the ‘catch up work’ that will be needed when schools return to ‘normal’ in September. We don’t think that paints a fair or accurate picture of just how much students have learnt during lockdown. For our third edition of our ‘Student Voice’ blog, we asked our Year 8 students one question: “What have you learnt during lockdown?” Here are their answers.
At the start of school closure, I didn’t quite know what had hit me. At first, I just thought I would get a bit of time off school and it wouldn’t really affect me. Then I kept seeing the daily briefings and the number of people dying horrified me.
Lockdown has been hard for people. Families have not been able to meet up, grandchildren have seen grandparents through windows; it’s strange. Some people are isolated and lonely. People have started to work from home and children have had to learn to work with independence. It feels a lot different stepping outside and seeing all the deserted shops and restaurants.
I know most people are sticking to the rules, but I am appalled by the few who have decided to disobey the rules by meeting up in large groups. They are risking their lives as well as the hard-working doctors and nurses. It is selfish.
One positive thing to come out of this is that people have learnt how to work together and by doing so we can help our community. We should be thankful that we are alive and make the most of every opportunity.
The Coronavirus pandemic has encouraged us all to think about the priorities in our lives. I’ve been using this time to do things that I generally wouldn’t, things I’d normally neglect with the false excuse of not having enough time. But now, time really is of the essence. We seem to be bombarded with content on social media and are constantly stimulated by text messages. However, somewhere along the way, we’ve lost our ability to sit still and appreciate what is, rather than what isn’t.
With this time in mind I have started to take time out to retrieve what I had lost from the language that my Iraqi grandparents would sing to me in. I sometimes dream in my native language, Arabic. For a brief moment, I speak and hold conversations fluently. I then wake up and am ripped back into the present and I’m left confused and trying to piece together sentences. So I’ve started learning Arabic in lockdown. Through this journey, I began communicating with my family in Arabic and decided to spend money on Arabic stories and online courses to help. Within three months, I’ve reached the intermediate level and hopefully more to come. Lockdown has given me a voice I should never have lost.
During lockdown I have learnt to be more independent with both school work and home duties. I was able to deepen my knowledge in religion and discover an interest in animated books. One thing I still can’t comprehend is that my siblings haven’t killed each other yet! This goes to show lockdown has taught me responsibilities and maturity. Further on in lockdown, I have started to take a course in Italian on Duolingo. My sister and I spend 20 minutes every single day learning Italian. Throughout lockdown, I have also been completing many of my art pieces. I am about to finish my Sunset Collection. Sunset represents the rainbow which leads onto the NHS and the struggles happening around the world. I am grateful for having this lockdown as it ensures mine and my family’s safety and everyone else that has quarantined themselves. Also, thank you to the teachers for taking the time out to give us live lessons and for others who are continuing with extra-curricular events. It’s taught me that learning is a precious gift.
In Lockdown I have learnt something simple but important: do not be afraid. I have seen in lockdown people afraid of the unknown, the invisible enemy, the uncertain future. Being afraid does not help you.
One thing I have done that was ‘frightening’ is swimming in open water. It’s dark, it’s cold, it’s the unknown and you can’t see what’s coming. You feel vulnerable and isolated. Your mind plays tricks on you and it convinces you there are monsters; that there’s something that’s going to get you.
Even though you’re scared of something it’s important to try it and overcome those fears and take on new challenges. Whether that is swimming in open water, stepping out of the house for the first time post-lockdown or trying to take part in a lesson when you’re miles away from your friends, doing it is better than not doing it. You’ll remember how much fun it was afterwards rather than the fear that overwhelmed you before. After overcoming a fear, you feel proud and stronger. You’ll want to do it again. There’s nothing in the water that can stop you, no monsters. It’s just your mind.
What I have learnt during the lockdown – by Raeesa Mank
It was the worst of times, it was the best of times.
It was a time when schools closed down, it was a time when children found they could learn online.
It was a time when workers were furloughed, it was a time when parents had more time to spend with their family.
It was a time when the roads were empty, it was a time when the air became clean.
It was a time when you had to wash your hands for 20 seconds, it was a time when you got to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ every day!
It was a time when holidays abroad were cancelled, it was a time when people enjoyed the local countryside.
It was a time when hotels were emptied, it was a time when the homeless were given a place to stay.
It was a time when people fought over toilet rolls in the shops, it was a time when neighbours clapped for key workers.
It was a time when football matches were cancelled, it was a time when Liverpool’s win was delayed!