Lockdown 3: How Are You?
Every year, several of our pupils join in the Newsquest Young Reporters Scheme. This is a schools' programme giving pupils aged 14-18 the chance to write for a real online newspaper. The programme runs for eight months during the school year, with various opportunities offered along the way. At the end of the scheme, the young journalists are judged on the articles they have submitted throughout the year and an awards ceremony is held for the winners. Holly Timmis in the Lower Sixth has recently written an article for the scheme exploring how her peer group is coping with the ongoing restrictions of lockdown and on-line schooling due to Covid-19. Holly has alowed us to reproduce her article here.
“Although online school is not the most welcomed format of education for many, under the circumstances it provides structure and an enjoyable interlude to the days that all currently seem the same.
Bancroft’s School, despite not being able to welcome its students back, has made every effort to implement a routine and make life feel as ‘normal’ as possible during lockdown. Such efforts include adhering to the usual timetable and reintroducing extra-curricular clubs online via Microsoft Teams as a diversion to the monotony of the new way of life. Additionally, as always, the pastoral team at Bancroft’s has made their support for both staff and students clear and has also directed them to other outlets of support.
To explore different people’s feelings about the current situation and how they are managing to cope, I questioned several Bancroftians currently in the Lower Sixth (Year 12).
What are you doing to stay motivated?
Matusha : I try my best to get some sort of physical activity done everyday to keep me motivated.
Rebekah : Getting outside is really important when staying motivated, fresh air is what revitalises my concentration the most.
Alina : I am keeping myself occupied by doing work, exercise and looking after my mental health by relaxing.
Charlotte : I am trying to eliminate any distractions in the rooms that I work in and am trying to set a routine so that my day is structured.
What are you struggling with?
Matusha : It is hard to be productive as all of the days feel the same. An additional struggle I am experiencing is trying to spend time off of my electronics. This is especially hard now school is online as it forces me to use my device for around six hours a day.
Rebekah : Getting outside, even though it feels so rejuvenating, is made difficult at the moment by the weather and the limited daylight hours. Similarly, staying motivated to do work outside of school time and going back to the screen to do homework once school has finished is equally challenging.
Alina : I am spending a lot of time on screens and I would like to start decreasing the amount of time I spend on them. Also, my mental health has suffered due to not being able to go anywhere.
Charlotte : Maintaining interest in the topics as it is easy to get distracted and just have the lesson on in the background.
What are you worried about?
Matusha : I am worried about getting behind in school. Although the teachers are making every effort to inspire us to learn, learning at home is automatically more distracting than learning in a school setting.
Rebekah : I feel like I’m constantly stressing about the quality and depth of my learning. It is so much harder to motivate yourself to do any extra work when sitting distracted in your bedroom all day and it consistently makes me feel so unproductive.
Alina : I am worried about falling behind in my studies and not retaining the material.
Charlotte Hitching: Not knowing when it will be ‘normal’ again and when school will return.
Are you finding anything harder/easier this time around in comparison to the first lockdown?
Rebekah : Everything feels much more natural and fluid (perhaps it’s a shame it’s become so familiar!). The bad weather and the darkness mean it’s more difficult to get outside though.
Alina : Yes, I am definitely finding it harder than the first lockdown. I think it’s because for the first lockdown it was during the Fifth Form (Year 11) when our GCSES were cancelled. Therefore, the online lessons that were organised for us during that time did not feel as important as they do now in Year 12 which makes it more stressful.
Charlotte : We know how the technology works this time so that makes it much easier.
What are you doing in your spare time to stay happy and healthy?
Rebekah : Trying to get outside as much as possible and making the most of my spare time, trying not to waste it fruitlessly, I suppose that time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.
Alina : I like to listen to music because I find it calming. I also go on daily walks with my dad for exercise and talk to my friends several times each day.
Charlotte : Walks, reading books, talking to people and watching TV.
What are you excited for?
Matusha : I am excited to see my friends and get back to a somewhat ‘normal’ life.
Rebekah : The normality of not having to see my friends through a screen and having a lesson in a classroom.
Charlotte : Going back to school and spending more time with my friends.
Holly Timmis, L6