Tips for the return to on-site schooling from Templestowe Heights Primary School

Children are feeling calm and more confident as a result of new approaches to drop-off and pick-up at Templestowe Heights Primary School.

As all students have returned to on-site schooling across Victoria, they have been adapting to life back at school.

Principal at Templestowe Heights Primary, Rhys Coulson, said teachers had noticed how much calmer children had been since the school introduced 15-minute windows for parents to drop off and pick up their children.

Children are grouped by house colour and parents allocated one of two separate times in the morning and the afternoon for drop-off and pick-up.

In the past, they would have a 10-minute window and it was a bit rushed,' he said. 'Now the children are ready and so settled at the start of the day.

Because parents can't come onto the school grounds for drop-off, children have been forced in a way to have more independence, walking here on their own. It's a big shift.'

At Templestowe Heights Primary School, Mr Coulson said parents had been really supportive and understanding of the new health and safety measures.

To help spread the message among students before returning to school, captains Gemma and Sidney starred in a video showing their peers how to practise good hand hygiene and cough etiquette at school.

The videos have been so successful in strengthening student voice, Mr Coulson said the school would continue this approach for school assemblies.

Additionally, connection with students through lighthearted videos by teachers and staff would continue - having fun and a sense of humour were keys to getting through the uncertainty of the pandemic, he said.

To capture and assess discoveries made during the six weeks of remote and flexible learning for potential ongoing use, the school was conducting two student surveys and asking staff and students to think about 'what to keep, what to stop, and what to start.

There was an enormous amount of work in remote and flexible learning. We don't want all that hard work to go to waste,' Mr Coulson said.

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

Following an independent analysis of the experience at schools across the state, an education summit will be held in July to discuss lessons learned and investigate what improvements can be made to the education system as a result of the remote learning experience.

Principals, teachers, parents and students can submit feedback through a community consultation survey.