(VIDEO) Marist College leads the way
Marist College will be the first Canberra school to reopen to all students next week as headmaster Matthew Hutchison pulls up stumps on remote learning.
A total of 1660 Marist boys will don blazers and file into classrooms next Monday in a considered move the school leader said offered the best learning and care for students.
“It is a risk of course,” Matthew said.
“We considered all the ramifications but what really led our thinking was that Canberra currently has no COVID-19 cases. The community are sometimes looking for us to lead in these areas.”
School leaders were particularly influenced by the nation’s chief medical officer who has consistently argued it is safe for schools to open. Marist will implement protective measures to avoid an infection outbreak.
Mum-of-four boys Anna-Louise Kimpton has three sons at Marist and said the whole family is delighted school will soon be back.
“My husband and I work so it will relieve enormous pressure on us with work, home and family,” Anna-Louise said.
“Our boys range in age from a five year old in kinder to a 14-year-old in Year Eight and managing their different needs has been a challenge. To get back into the school routine will be great.”
An ex-Daramalan student who taught at his alma mater for two years before forging a 30-year career in Sydney and Melbourne, Matthew said students had effectively missed out on a chunk of learning.
“It is true to say that teachers will have to re-teach a significant amount of the material they have taught since schools were shut,” the experienced educator said.
The real value of face-to-face teaching, he explained, was being able to check for understanding.
“I teach a Year Nine maths class and in a classroom you are forever scanning, walking around seeing the work students are producing and looking at their body language,” Matthew said.
“The critical part is that informs whether you continue what you are teaching or you realise you need to re-introduce the concept.
“That ability to check for understanding is really very difficult online. I could have the boys playing video games while I teach them and I say ‘How are you going boys?’
All Catholic students back by June 2
PRINCIPALS at Canberra’s 29 Catholic systemic schools will determine which children return when they reopen on Monday May 18. It is likely all students will be back by Tuesday June 2.
Students at the Archdiocese’s 27 New South Wales schools will begin returning from Monday May 11.