How have they found this extended period away from their classrooms, teachers and friends?

We’ve gathered some of their written and illustrated responses.

A long holiday but without friends

My name is Giovita and I’m seven years old.

I live in Melbourne but I was born in Italy.

I can speak four languages, including English, Chinese, Italian and Sign Language, which I study at school.

Coronavirus is like a holiday for me, but at the same time I’ve been studying from home since April.

The thing I like about remote learning is that I can write or read whenever I want to without a schedule.

The thing I miss the most are my friends – both seeing them in class and playing with them at home or at the park.

I’m very happy because this is my second lockdown, but this time my teacher has sent me a letter with her photo so I can have her in the house with me and not miss her.

With this photo, we can also play together or watch cartoons.

But I hope that coronavirus ends soon because I want to go back to school and to my friends.

Giovita Goci, Grade 2

“I really hope that we can return to normal soon”

My name is Gioele, I’m 12 years old and I’ve lived in Melbourne for six years.

Today, I’ll talk about what my life has been like during the coronavirus pandemic in Melbourne.

My sister and I haven’t attended school since mid-March; even though the situation was still normal in Australia, my parents made the decision based on the situation in Italy.

Soon after, Australia’s first lockdown began and my school started remote learning, with iPads and computers, listening to and watching the teachers’ lessons on the webcam.

From the beginning of the second semester until the last two weeks, when I received the news that we would continue studying from home, I wasn’t happy at all.

But hearing the bad news coming from Italy, America and the rest of the world, I realised that staying at home would be safer and then I started to feel a bit happier.

In the meantime, the school holidays began and COVID-19 infections increased a lot in Melbourne.

I was very sad because, for the first time in my life, I didn’t go anywhere, not to the zoo, nor to Luna Park.

I didn’t even go for a walk around Melbourne like my family usually does.

But the saddest thing for me was not being able to return to school for the beginning of the new term, and not being able to see my classmates again and talk about our adventures like we usually do.

I’m still studying from home and it’s been about six months.

I try not to think about it, but I pray and hope that there will be less and less infections and deaths, and that we can return to normal soon.

I wish this for me, my sister and my little brother, who I hope can go back to kindergarten and play with other children his age.

I hope my mum can go back to work, and all the doctors and nurses, the supermaket workers and everyone else can return to their normal lives.

Gioele Goci, Grade 6

A drawing by Estelle Kelly, 7, who studies at St Fidelis Catholic Primary School

“An experience we won’t forget”

I’m Anthony and I go to Parade College.

Today I’m writing to you about what it’s like to be a student during these days of restrictions.

This year has been very different from all the others, obviously because we’ve had a lockdown.

During this period we’ve had to study from home, an experience that we’ll never forget because it’s nothing like we’ve ever done before.

Basically, when we’re at home I’d say that we feel more relaxed than if we were at school.

It’s because so many people see their house as a place to rest, even if they’re working.

However, when we’re physically in school we’re probably in a better headspace to do our work more effectively.

Some things I like about home schooling are: we don’t have to get up too early in the morning; and we don’t have to take transport to get to school (because sometimes this uses our energy before we start the day).

During this time I’ve liked that I can eat a nice hot lunch, because if I were at school I would’ve eaten sandwiches or a cold lunch every day.

But remote learning hasn’t been easy for many reasons.

The first is that we’ve faced more problems with technology than if we were in school.

Even though we stay at home for most of the day, we’re tired because we have to face different problems, mainly with our emotions.

This is because we’re not with our friends and teachers.

When talking specifically about Italian lessons at home, I’d say that not much has changed because when we want to learn a language we have to practise it daily.

For someone who only speaks English, perhaps their level may decline a little during this period, but for someone who speaks the language with their parents, I don’t think anything changes.

Anthony, Year 9

All the ingredients to live well

In my opinion, remote learning is a cafe, a refrigerator with lots of food, and a full stomach.

I like studying from home because I have a lot of free time, so I eat often, train a lot and always finish my homework.

Nicholas, Year 9