Gympie students Sonja Gourley, Ivy Robertson and Davis Mahoney (front) celebrate the return to normal school at Gympie West State School yesterday. Picture: Frances Klein
Gympie students Sonja Gourley, Ivy Robertson and Davis Mahoney (front) celebrate the return to normal school at Gympie West State School yesterday. Picture: Frances Klein

School’s back for term 2 … finally

THERE was a mixture of excitement, nerves and relief at school gates across the region today as thousands of students returned to the classroom after more than a month of learning from home.

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As part of the final “return to school” stage students from year 2 through to year 10 joined kindy, Prep and years 1, 11 and 12 students across the state who returned two weeks ago.

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Strict hygiene practices and increased cleaning of classrooms and play equipment were part of new practices to make the transition as safe as possible, education minster Grace Grace said today.

Gympie West State School students Amali Turner and Layla Sims were excited to join Prep student Ella Turner at school yesterday. Picture: Frances Klein
Gympie West State School students Amali Turner and Layla Sims were excited to join Prep student Ella Turner at school yesterday. Picture: Frances Klein

Gympie West State School principal Alana Scott said everyone had been very cooperative and the school was focusing on keeping everyone informed as students, parents and teachers returned to classroom learning.

Gympie West Year 5 student Amali Turner highlighted how big the change was for students.

“I’m really excited and nervous,” she said as she returned this morning for the first time in weeks.

“I feel like something really big is changing.

“Home schooling was really hard,” she said.

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Mother Shae Turner described the home learning experience as “horrific” trying to juggle her university studies with the demands of a Year 5 and Prep student and 3-year-old twins.

“ (Home-schooling) the different age groups has been really hard.

“It’s totally different learning for each age group.”

Normality could not come soon enough, she said.

Sonja Gourley, Ivy Robertson and brothers Davis and Keannan Mahoney were looking forward to all of their friends returning to school yesterday. Picture: Frances Klein
Sonja Gourley, Ivy Robertson and brothers Davis and Keannan Mahoney were looking forward to all of their friends returning to school yesterday. Picture: Frances Klein

Year 6 student Sonja Gourley, who had been attending school all term as the child of essential workers, was looking forward to seeing her friends again.

“Now we can play with all of our friends and we don’t have to be around computers all day,” she said.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk praised Queenslanders for their ability to adapt to home learning as the State worked to flatten the curve.

“(Students, teachers and parents) adapted quickly to embrace new digital learning tools so our students could learn from home and kept students motivated through these challenging times,” she said.

Gympie West State School student Amali Turner (Year 5) was happy to finally join her younger sister Ella Turner (Prep) at school yesterday. Picture: Frances Klein
Gympie West State School student Amali Turner (Year 5) was happy to finally join her younger sister Ella Turner (Prep) at school yesterday. Picture: Frances Klein

The health and wellbeing of students, staff and school communities would continue to be our top priority, she said.

Student attendance rates in returning year levels over the past fortnight had been between 80-84 per cent, the state government reported.

Year 11 James Nash State High School student Emily Turner said it had been a relief to return to the classroom.

“I’ve never appreciated a classroom setting more.

“I wasn’t able to talk to my teachers. I’m more of a face-to-face person,” she said.

Gympie Times


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