Bolwarra Primary School student thrives while learning from home

Learning from home with his mum and pets on a property in rural Victoria has been a positive experience for Ezekial.

Ezekial, who is in Grade 5 at Bolwarra Primary School near Portland, has autism and mild attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Ezekial, student at Bolwarra Primary School
Bolwarra Primary School student Ezekial sits on the sofa at home with his cat, and studies on his tablet

Ezekial's mum, Tamara, said her son enjoyed being at school with his friends, and the routine of the school day.

But he found the school environment over-stimulating at times, and had difficulty staying focussed.

'School has always been a challenge for Ezekial,' Tamara said.

'He loves going to school but it's a big day for him and he does struggle to keep up particularly in writing and reading. Being at home on the property with his pets, he's in his comfort zone, and we seem to work well together.'

At school, Ezekial is supported by a teachers' aide in the classroom and also has speech therapy.

Tamara said the school had always worked closely with her to give Ezekial the best possible learning environment. This included creating special areas where he could go and sit to take time for himself when he needed.

'They've been amazing', she said.

But during learning at home – working with his mum in the mornings, when he is most engaged, and spending the afternoon outside playing – Ezekial has been more productive than ever. He is reading more and enjoying communicating with his teacher and classmates online.

Tamara said Ezekial seemed to have less anxiety about his ability to read and write at home and had given all tasks a go.

She said Ezekial's teachers had noticed his improvement, and the school's principal, Lee Gibbons, had reached out to discuss how they could work together to ensure Ezekial's progress continued back at school.

Lee said:  'As educators we have a responsibility to learn from this current crisis. One learning being that some students have flourished in this online environment. How then can we replicate that environment for those students when we return to face-to-face learning?'

The Department of Education and Training is working with students, teachers, principals and families to ensure lessons from remote and flexible learning are being captured and shared. 

Teachers, principals and families can download resources on the Learning from Home web page

Teachers, principals and families can also access advice on the staged return to on-site schooling on the Staged return to school web page.