St John's students Sarah Upton, Amy Shaw, Grace Bain and Fletcher Vaughan, pictured with principal Jim Brennan, are happy to be back at school.
St John's students Sarah Upton, Amy Shaw, Grace Bain and Fletcher Vaughan, pictured with principal Jim Brennan, are happy to be back at school.

Students return to Roma classrooms as restrictions ease

IF YOU ask the prep students of St Johns what they missed most about being at school, it’s a simple answer: playing and learning with their friends.

Preppies Grace Bain and Fletcher Vaughan were among the thousands of Queensland Prep, Year 1 and senior high school students who were allowed to return to classrooms today.

“I’m happy to be back with my friends and being able to play together again,” Fletcher told The Western Star.

St Johns principal Jim Brennan said it was like the heart had come back into the school.

“Schools without students are schools without a heart, they’re what we all join the profession for,” he said.

“The relational side you can’t underestimate. You’ve got peer learning, and the relationships between students and staff you just can’t replicate.

“You can only do so much through Zoom meetings.”

While years two through to ten aren’t expected to fully return to the classrooms until May 25, Mr Brennan said there had been a healthy number of students across the board today.

“We had 446 students at school today out of 761, that’s a good number,” he said.

“That’s a confidence in schooling in the Maranoa, but also speaks to the challenges of that too, with internet connection and also just those school experiences you can’t replicate.”

Year 12 students Amy Shaw and Sarah Upton were glad to be back among their classmates after a few weeks tasting the “real world”.

“There was a lot of responsibility, your learning was very much up to you and I guess it was a bit of a taste of what real life will be like when we’re out of school and at uni,” Sarah said.

“I think we were able to adapt, but we did miss that one-on-one contact, so it’s good to be back at school and have that.”
While the Year 12 formal was postponed, the students are holding out hope they will have their chance to get all dolled up.

“While we won’t be all sitting in assembly together for a while, we are hoping if there is some success across the state we might be able to get those things back,” Mr Brennan said.

“We’re certainly looking forward to things like formal still being able to go ahead.

“You only get one crack at Year 12.”


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