Students from the Dandenong Ranges Steiner School received a nice surprise recently, with school supply packages being sent straight to their doorsteps.
With parents unable to visit the school and collect materials during Stage 4 restrictions, staff decided to send ‘delivery angels’ to drop each child’s materials for the coming weeks.
The contactless delivery was done in late August, after teachers gathered the package materials, organised which suburbs needed to be covered, scheduled delivery times and prepared travel permits.
Within the packages, students found pencils, art and craft materials, books, puzzles and more. Some of the delivery angels even had gifts waiting for them as they dropped the materials off.
Staff member and school parent Vaishnavi Nanjappan provided some insight into the challenging year faced by staff, parents and students.
“Earlier in March, when we started Term 2, none of us anticipated having to do remote learning. Yet we all did a marvellous job in getting into the rhythm of remote learning, hoping it would last only for a few weeks,” Ms Nanjappan said.
“By the end of the term, we were relieved and filled with joy to be back on campus, even though it lasted only for two weeks.
“Contrary to the belief that children would be happy to find any reason not to go to school, the children were thrilled to go to school and meet their friends, teachers, see their classrooms and everyone else who is a part of the school.”
Ms Nanjappan said despite the difficulty in moving online, the school community had done well to adapt to the obstacles thrown at it this year.
“In Term 3, when the whole thing happened the second time around, we got into the routine of remote learning, as if it was second nature, familiar with having to get our children’s schoolwork downloaded or printed the previous night,” she said.
“Now, each day starts with the rhythm set by their teachers with morning circle, the main lesson of the day, the practise lesson developing skills, as well as craft and music lessons.
“The children have gotten used to the new ways of staying as closely connected with their teacher as possible, either through a short video lesson or through a small group call, with their teacher and friends, or listening to their teacher telling them a story via a recording.
“This is enough for them to get transported to their classrooms. Class teachers have been so dedicated in making sure they keep the usual daily and weekly rhythm’s well in place.”
The Dandenong Ranges Steiner school has also been running a beyond the classroom series of articles for parents during remote learning.
The articles give parents an overall look into what is happening within the school and also seeks to support them in home learning.
To find out more about the Dandenong Ranges Steiner School, visit www.drss.vic.edu.au or follow Dandenong Ranges Steiner School on Facebook.