Students head back to school

By Jessica Ball

Tomorrow 10 students will pack their lunches, grab their school bags and head to Ardmona Primary School for the first time in two months.

They will be among thousands of students across Victoria returning to campus with Prep to Year 2 and years 11 and 12 expected to be present for roll call.

As a small school with a combined junior classroom, Ardmona's Year 3s will also join the historic day and teacher Jacob Tunks agreed with the two-stage return to school.

“The students will be more than happy to see their friends,” Mr Tunks said.

“The junior students probably need a bit more support with their learning just simply because they are younger.”

But Mr Tunks said it would not be school as usual.

“We'll be doing assemblies over the loudspeaker, staggering pick-up and drop-off times and making sure kids bring their own drink bottles and pencil cases rather than sharing,” he said.

“We're pretty lucky as a small school because we don't have large class numbers we can change the kids’ seating arrangements around and spread them out a fair bit.

“The playground will be the the interesting part, when we're on yard duty supervising the kids and making sure they playing safely."

Mum Nikia Snow will wave goodbye to daughter Indiana Blake at the Ardmona front gate.

“I think it's great because I found it a bit difficult because she's in Prep,” Miss Snow said.

“She had only just started to get into the swing of school and then it just sort of stopped, so that's been hard.”

With big sister Lilli in Year 4 continuing remote learning at home, Indiana is not too excited about going back to school.

“She's going to find it hard because Lilli's not going back with her,” Miss Snow said.

“It might be like going back and starting all over again just getting it back into that routine and getting ready for school.

“Once she walks in and she's there and I leave she'll go great guns.

“She's got a really good relationship with all the teachers and staff out there because it's such a small school, so it's kind of more like a family.”

Lilli on the other hand is disappointed not to be joining her sister at school.

“I prefer going to school because there's better routine and you get to work with your friends,” Lilli said.

But Miss Snow said she would continue to thrive at home.

“Lilli's teacher has got it pretty much under control, I don't have to do a lot because they communicate all day,” she said.

“It's been really good to watch what she's actually doing and participate in it.

“It's been hard, but it's been nice to see that she's really doing well.

“This has to be a wake-up call for parents to respect teachers a bit more because I have such respect for Ardmona, they do a fantastic job and they actually care about families and they care about where the kids are at.”

While Mr Tunks will return to campus to teach from Tuesday, Lilli and his other years 4 to 6 students will arrive back on Tuesday, June 9, when all students across the state are expected to return to school.