Douglas families and schools adapt to learning from home


Karlie Brady


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Prep student Indie is learning from home with help from mum, Danielle Scomozzon. Image: Karlie Brady.

Families across the Douglas Shire are adapting to a new home-schooling system with term two looking very different from any other.

At this stage, it is expected that most Queensland students will learn from home for the first five weeks of term with the exception of children of essential workers and vulnerable children.

For Cooya Beach mum, Danielle Scomozzon, the prospect of schooling her five-year-old daughter, Indie, who is a prep student at Saint Augustine’s Mossman, was daunting at first but they quickly got the hang of it.

“I was nervous at the start, but it’s fine, I thought it would be harder than what it is,” she said.

“The school has really put in so much effort and offered so much support and so far so good.

“I’m actually liking it, getting that extra time with her and having a chance to be involved more in her learning, so I’m looking at it from that perspective,” she said.

And as for little Indie, she said her favourite parts were learning her words from flashcards and chatting with her teacher and classmates online.

Principal at Saint Augustine’s, Paul Rayner, said the school is following the directions from the government and Catholic Education Services.

“The vast majority of our students are currently engaging in home learning,” he said.

The school has provided students with resource packs with learning done through a blend of online and hard copy material.

“Essentially there is a focus on English and maths revision for the first couple of weeks then as we all get familiar with online platforms we will be broadening our curriculum,” Mr Rayner said.

“An import part in creating the resource packs is that they are done in a manner where no parent is required to act as a teacher.

“The role of a parent is to provide a space in the home and provide enthusiasm, positivity, and encouragement,” he said.

Mr Rayner added that the entire school community has really embraced this challenge.

“There has been a remarkable spirit of collegiality, cooperation, patience, and understating that this is a new way of experiencing education.

“There is an enormous sense of gratitude to the parents, teaching staff, support staff, and most importantly the children for the way they have taken on this new way of way of learning.”

And for the parents who may be anxious by the current schooling situation, Mr Rayner said take your time.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel and every child will emerge from the experience and will be supported going forward.

“Education is a journey, it will have ups and downs but if we are patient, kind, and communicate with each other, then what we are going through isn’t going to be viewed as a disadvantage but rather a great experience for every child.

“They will actually get some terrific lifelong lessons out of this about endurance, persistence and overcoming challenges,” Mr Rayner said.

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