12 May 2020
Education, school and tutoring in the face of Covid-19
Last updated: 22 March 2021
Many students found it tough during the learning disruptions associated with Covid-19. And consequently, we saw an increase in Sunshine Coast families looking for English and maths tuition and learning support, which has continued into 2021.
As the coronavirus social restrictions intensified, our minds kept coming back to the sever setbacks that some students would cop if their education was disrupted. We know it’s important to parents too, not to let students’ hard-won gains fall by the wayside.
During this trying time, ELC was supporting, motivating and progressing our students’ learning. We kept an eye on student progress through their assigned schoolwork, and kept the momentum of their progress ahead of school maths.
Good news for many ELC students was that the learning they had done with us ahead of the school curriculum lessened the effects of school closures or absences. That’s one big benefit of extended learning in any circumstances.
Our Mooloolaba tutoring centre is open with hygiene precautions
After some weeks of remote learning in Term 1, students have been back attending ELC in our student-limited in-centre sessions since the start of Term 2 2020.
It was terrific to have so many students able to return to in-person learning. This is much more effective learning, and feels much closer to normalcy than the online learning many students dealt with.
Even with the extra hygiene precautions, from our students’ perspectives, attending their lesson in person is pretty much business as usual.
- They still ask us about content they haven’t understood from school. Recently, this need has increased as students realise what they missed during home-learning. We don’t want gaps to be a barrier to learning future content.
- They still use their time here to work ahead of the curriculum to boost confidence and avoid potential difficulties down the track.
Students are certainly grateful for the ease of interacting face-to-face after all the screen time, video lessons and remote learning. There is a renewed appreciation from students for just how much they benefit from their weekly session at ELC.
How did students cope?
As well as getting physical exercise, and keeping up friendships, keeping children’s brains active and engaged is an important part of mental health. Cooped up at home, boredom and motivation became big challenges for many students. So, we’re glad that most extra-curriculars have resumed now.
Some students have needed more-than-usual support with their school maths after schools moved to online learning, because those students rely on the physicality of being at school, interacting, in a class, with a teacher up the front in order to learn. ‘Left to their own devices’, so to speak, even some motivated students found it hard to learn at home as effectively as they do in a classroom. Beside that, I think many parents saw first-hand just where their children’s academic weaknesses were, and they want to target those now.
We’re pleased to be supporting those students now that they’ve come through this period, unlike anything most have experienced.
On the other hand, some students noticed little impact to their schooling, except the excess of spare time they had, unshackled from the requirement to physically attend classes. They had already learnt ahead of their maths curriculum with us, so they were confident in handling the work as it was assigned. They used their time efficiently to get schoolwork out of the way, and spent the rest of the day surfing. Good on them!
We’ve been able to maintain the pace of their progress ahead of school. For these students, this has been an opportunity to see just how far ahead they can go without the usual distractions of school.
And as for the distance education and home school students who we supervise, well, they were right in their element. Remote learning was business as usual for them.
How were Year 11s and Year 12s affected?
School closures especially affected Queensland’s Year 12s, already finding it tough as the guinea-pigs in the curriculum transition from OP to ATAR. Not to mention that 13 years ago they were the first Preps in Queensland, AND then the first to do Year 7 as the first year of high school rather than the last year of primary school!
To ease the stress, QCAA allowed schools to skip one of the three planned internal assessments in most subjects. Thankfully, their final external exams went ahead as normal. There were hiccoughs with the rollout of the first external examination period, during which we supervised several exams at ELC, but after they finish their review, we’re hopeful that 2021 will be smoother. (Updates and more info on QCAA’s Coronavirus FAQs page.)
For seniors who needed more maths help than school could provide, we recommended the following QCAA-suggested online resources, which will remain useful post-Covid:
- Eddie Woo Mathspace and WooTube
- Khan Academy Mathematics Videos and Exercises
- Desmos Graphing Calculator and Lessons
- Geogebra Maths demonstrations
- Underground Mathematics Resources
- M1 Maths lessons
Resources lists are available for ALL subjects to help students cope.
Need support with school?
Schools made tough calls on how to react to the new coronavirus, and their remote learning strategies varied hugely. So, we’re happy to be distanced from the pressures and politics of that, and able to consistently support students in-person in our centre with the increased safety precautions (which we have adjusted throughout the last 12 months to suit Government regulations and common sense).
If you can see that remote learning due to social distancing restrictions caused hassles for your child, they’re certainly not the only ones. Let them know that. There are many in the same position.
Let them know that they can have help to catch up (and get ahead) if they want it. Our program is more than just maths tutoring, or English tutoring; it’s holistic student coaching – the psychology has to be in place before academics can flourish.
We still have self-imposed limits to the number of students in our centre at once, so that students can spread out. But we monitor the health directives closely, and we have been opening places gradually.
So please talk to us now about how your child is coping – the sooner knowledge gaps are found and filled, the less the student falls behind. And it’s easier to prevent a student from falling behind than it is for them to catch back up to their peers.
First Posted:12 May 2020
Last updated: 22 March 2021