Family & Education

What we learned in the class of lockdown

Students from two secondary schools reflect on their enforced home-schooling after the past few months


Emily Ovits, year 7, JFS

It was just two weeks before the end of the spring term, I was told to clear my locker and take my belongings home with me, not knowing when I would return to school. Curiosity filled my head. Uncertainty washed over me. What was going to happen during these next few weeks? How would millions of children be educated from home?

Being at home, all the time, is definitely something new. Something that I had to adapt to, very quickly. Before I knew it, weeks turned into months. Home learning became my norm. An independent learner, managing my time effectively and developing my research skills have enabled me to progress during this unexpected journey. My teachers have been so supportive, always giving feedback and answering questions I may have had.

Despite these highs, not being with my friends every day hasn’t been easy. Zoom chats, FaceTime and WhatsApp are no replacement for seeing them in person. Real lessons aren’t the same as virtual lessons, there isn’t that atmosphere of eager hands flying up in the air and people racing to see if they had finished first.

This first-year rollercoaster has been an exciting yet bumpy ride, a journey to remember and an experience I will never forget.

Rafi Berke, year 8, JFS

Personaly I have greatly benefitted from school during lockdown. Although we are not learning as much academically, I feel we are able to learn more about ourselves and have some well-needed rest.

Because we have had less on our mind and less to do, we have been able find out more about what we enjoy, such as a hobby that we didn’t know we had or just learning to appreciate life more. I know some students haven’t found it quite so easy so I think it will also be great to get back to school.

I will feel really safe going back to school, as I have heard from older years that are already back who are enjoying it. I know JFS are putting in many preventative measures to keep the students and staff safe as well as fully complying with the government guidelines.

Shira Benjamin, year 10, JFS

The corona virus pandemic has brought its highs and lows on learning and school life. The start of the pandemic provided a sense of confusion and abnormality. Teachers, parents, students, everyone was perplexed at these peculiar circumstances.

Not knowing how long it would last, how much of the syllabus would be missed and how much face-to-face teaching time would be lost, we still had to persevere.

The “school day” began at 9 and ended at 12, and work piled up from all subjects, in order to not miss out on GCSE learning. Despite the struggles and hard work required to stay up to date and not fall behind, home-learning has provided many positives. More opportunities have arisen for both looking over work from the past and covering topics which needed assistance, as well as learning and honing different skills.

Overall, with the right attitudes towards this new, uncanny system, the majority of learning remained at optimum levels, overwhelming feelings were overcome and work pace was restored.

Sarah Clif, Year 10 JCoSS

 Originally, I labelled myself as “unproductive” during lockdown. The recurring days felt as if they too were skulking to the kitchen, snacking between lessons. All I saw when scrolling through Instagram was celebrities mastering skills and random people attempting charitable activities, yet I couldn’t even accomplish a simple assignment.

Work is difficult. At the beginning of lockdown, piles of homework — although I suppose it’s all “homework” now — grew bigger than ever; I became increasingly stressed about productivity. Undoubtedly, when we started working from home nobody had the same attitude as in their regular setting, so may have achieved less. But was that because nobody monitored us online shopping during lessons, or because we took extra time cherishing our warm, comfy pyjamas?

Honestly, I don’t know. But as we got used to our new situation, we adapted. And I’ve really never felt so lucky to have teachers at JCoSS who care about their students so much, often checking in with us and even hosting online live lessons, to ensure that we haven’t fallen behind in our work. They truly spend every moment of their working days guiding us, even if they can’t see what’s in store for the months ahead.

We may not think we’re doing our best, but considering the circumstances we’re currently in, I’d say we’ve all been productive.

Dana Goldman and Sam Rhodes, head students, JCoSS

Covid-19 hasn’t been easy for anyone, but as students in year 12, it has been particularly difficult, having to come towards the end of our school journey in an unimaginable way. But truthfully, we feel very fortunate that the school has gone out of its way to ensure that we are not hindered academically by this virus.

We have had our usual length of lessons online, following the regular timetable. Obviously, this isn’t quite the same as having face-to-face contact and being with our peers, so of course, we have missed out on the social aspect, but the school provided support pastorally as well as academically. As head students, we have adapted and tried to play our part as much as possible. One example is that we have introduced a series of webinars on mental health and wellbeing for students.


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