Times like these – lockdown through a child’s eyes

Missing friends, school and teachers, but enjoying spending more time with family; lockdown for children across the region has had both upsides and downsides. Educate finds out how children have been feeling.

Remote learning has been eye-opening to say the least. It has made me appreciate communication skills and how, in lockdown, it has challenged me to work and learn in new ways. I suspect I won’t be alone in thinking that, away from my class-mates and teachers, I now suddenly appreciate what I previously had in school. I will never take communication between staff and friends for granted again.

When I first heard that exams would be cancelled, I will confess to being devastated. I thought all my work and efforts had been wasted. I hope to study English Literature at the University of St. Andrews in September, and have come to realise that the effort I had put towards my exams has simply been transferred to the next chapter of my education.

This experience has forced me to be more organised, but what better way to prepare for the independence and responsibility expected at university than a programme of remote learning? It has made me appreciate technology’s ability to help us continue our what-would-be classroom lessons. You would think that classroom rapport is lost in translation over a video call, but it has in fact survived which has really helped me to stay motivated throughout these uncertain times.

A negative I cannot avoid however is WiFi… need I say any more? Being in a house with four other ‘Teams’ users can bring its difficulties! On refection, as unprecedented as these times are, it will certainly be a fascinating story to tell in the future.

Georgina Duncan – St. Mary’s College, Crosby

My quarantine so far hasn’t been very eventful. Although I have done some fun things like make a cheesecake with my dad. Wow that was so yummy! Even though it’s always good hanging out with family as we are all in the same house, sometimes you just want to be alone! Which is obviously normal for a twelve-year-old girl like me.

One thing which really upset me the most about going into lockdown is not finishing my first year of high school. I felt as if someone had just taken my freedom away from me even though I had just got it. Another thing on that point is that I had taken for granted just simply going to the corner shop and out with friends, basically just going out in general!

As all of the stuff I have mentioned so far is the bad side of this lockdown, there are some good things that will come from this global pandemic too. After this is all over, I feel that the world will no longer take for granted the simple things in life.

I would also like to say that parents are doing a great job keeping their kids learning which is most definitely the right thing to do. Something which is helping me learn in a fun way is something my mum came up with, projects! Each day my brother and I pick a subject, for example, space! We google lots of facts and create a fun poster all about the subject we choose.

Furthermore, quarantine may seem like the end of the world but all you need to do is stay positive!

Emily – Deyes High School, Maghull

When it was announced that school was closing and we would have to work from home for the “foreseeable future” I thought it was the end of the world but honestly it’s been so much better than I thought it would be. The teachers have all been great and are always there if any of us need anything and they continue to push us to be the best we can be.

Before we left school we were encouraged to help our class mates and keep in touch with each other. It took me a while to get my head round it all but I’ve settled in nicely to my new normal and got a routine going again.

Although I really miss my friends and family, there are many benefits to the lockdown: I’ve proven to myself that I can do the work on my own, I’ve learnt to trust my own opinion more as I can’t ask my teachers about everything, I’ve got more self-discipline as there are more distractions at home than in school that I have learnt to ignore and I’m loving the fact my school day doesn’t start as early and some days I get to do it in my pyjamas!

Working from home has pushed me to find new, creative and more interesting ways to learn and made me realise that just because it’s different doesn’t mean it’s bad or anything to be afraid of. While I’m really looking forward to things going back to normal, I’m doing just fine for now.

Year 10 student – Archbishop Blanch School

Hi, I am Samantha and I am Bickerstaffe CE School’s Head Girl. I’ll be telling you about my life in lockdown. During lockdown my mum has been doing home school every week day with me and my two sisters. In a way, it has been less stressful because I don’t have to get dressed each day a certain way or remember lots of different things to bring into school.

My favourite subject is maths because my mum taught me new strategies and she makes it really fun. I have been able to help my sisters when they get stuck sometimes. My mum said she’s been learning lots of things too.

We have been staying very active: we do our own morning exercise; one walk a day and a workout. Everyone enjoys doing the Tik-Tok dance challenges too. I also do BBC Bitesize, Purple Mash and Times Table Rock Stars. There’s something new to learn every day! We start school at 9am and finish at 1pm. In the afternoons we are free to play in the garden or be creative.

I have been keeping in touch with my family by messaging and FaceTime, we miss them a lot. We are missing our friends as well and can’t wait to see them all again.

I am not really worried about what will happen next. I am just going along with what I’ve been told to do. I think in a few weeks everything will start to get back to normal. We are staying safe and having fun while doing it. I hope you are too! Thank you for reading my lockdown story.

Samantha – Bickerstaffe CE Primary School, Bickerstaffe

My lockdown experience has been fun, happy and sad!

It was sad because my nan died in April and I couldn’t see her when she was ill. We also never got to have a proper funeral, only 10 people could go and because of social distancing, I couldn’t hug any other people in my family.

Both my parents are key workers, so they have been going to work. My sister is a student at university, but because it’s closed, she has moved back home.

My dining room is now my classroom. I use Google Classroom, Seneca and the online classes on Instagram, and my sister Leah helps me if I struggle. At lunchtime I have been making my own lunch, so my cooking skills have improved.

On April 25th it was my birthday. My mum arranged afternoon tea to be delivered and my other sister, who doesn’t live at home, came and we celebrated in my back garden, following the social distancing rules, which was strange as I couldn’t go near her.

Normally I do gymnastics, so my club have been doing classes through Zoom. I participate three times a week and this helps me stay active. Overall, I have felt a lot of different emotions. But I am happy that I can still see my friends using FaceTime and I know that they are all healthy and safe.

But I am looking forward to restrictions being lifted so I can see my family and friends properly.

Grace – St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School, St Helens

Life in quarantine is hard to compare to anything I have experienced. It has changed the way I live my everyday life from doing school work to socialising with friends.

Although the weight of exams and pressure that school brings about has gone, I can’t help but miss the school environment. I am finding myself less focused than in school, as well as not having a teacher at hand to ask for help and advise on work. On the other hand, the loss of a timetable has allowed me more time to explore subjects I am most interested in, which I have enjoyed. I have had extra time to practice my hobbies of art and piano.

It is not only school life that has changed but I have had to change the way I socialise with friends and family. I feel I have actually talked to friends and family more since the lockdown, calling and messaging them everyday. This has helped me to keep up-to-date with them and their lives and feel connected. In particular, playing countdown with my family over FaceTime has been entertaining. I feel it is important to stay connected with family and friends as it could be so easy to lose touch when you do not see them face to face.

I am walking my dog locally and it has made me appreciate where I live even more. I am feeling lucky to have a supportive family, who I get on with. I am also enjoying that my mum is baking more.

As it has only been a few weeks since the lockdown began, I have been able to enjoy my time at home. There is no clear answer as to when things will get back to normal, so it still feels a little bit unsettled as to what the future holds.

Sophie – Year 8 Rainford High, Rainford

Hi my name is Bianca, I am currently in New Park Primary School and in Year 6. Life in isolation is very different because when you’re at school you are used to sitting at a table with a few classmates, however at home you’re doing schoolwork with family.

Because we are at home , I get to play with my brother, Aiden more, but at the same time I miss my other family and friends. Before lockdown I was doing lots of sport activities after school like dancing, football and swimming. But now I am missing all these activities. Instead I try to go for a walk or play in the garden every day.

One thing I am enjoying is more family time, like game nights or movie nights. We also have a chance to have dinner together every night which before was challenging because of our busy life. I also enjoy craft activities and baking weekly, I recently made some homemade churros.

At home I don’t study as much as I would in school but I try to do about an hour of schoolwork and ten minutes of reading every day. My school and my teachers have been great sending me tasks and challenges. I have been trying to get lots of credits for Children’s University. I hope we can go back to school so I can say goodbye to everyone.

Bianca – Year 6 New Park Primary, Kensington

My last day of school was 11th March as I was symptomatic and wasn’t allowed into school, Mum was told I had to self-isolate for 14 days! I was really sick then Mum told me school was closing on Friday 20th March. A friend cleared my desk and brought around all my things, plus a large piece of paper which everyone had signed, because I’m Year 6 and I wasn’t in school to have my shirt signed. I cried as I missed this happening and can never get it back. I realised I might not have my end of school party or my SATs which we have studied hard for, and this made me upset.

The first week of home schooling was fun and I loved being with my mum; I was even on BBC News. But the second week wasn’t very good, I hated it and missed my structure. I just did not want to work. The news was hammering on about illness and death, it was too sad for me to take in. I cried for no reason on a few occasions.

I really miss my family so much , my paternal nan and grandad are stuck in Spain and my others are vulnerable. We can’t go out as my dad is also vulnerable, and this makes me scared for him. I have been singing to keep me occupied when I worry about things: my family, my friends, when I will be able to go back to school and all of the key workers.

I’ve made rainbows for our windows, cookies, brownies, painted pictures and dyed chair covers in rainbow colours. I’m excited yet nervous that I may have to go back to school as a Year 7 pupil (where do we buy a uniform, what colour is my tie etc).

This week has been great as Mr Moore has set up Microsoft Teams. We’ve had a maths class and a few meetings which was brilliant as I got to see my class mates and we all chatted about what we’ve been doing over the lockdown period, it was nice. All I want right now is to see my cousin Anna, I have missed her more than anyone. I just want to give her a hug!

Jessica – Brook Lodge Primary School, Rainford

At first, I was quite anxious about going into lockdown, because I would miss seeing my friends. Furthermore, I was scared that I would be behind on my studies and therefore find my GCSEs harder next year. However, over the last few weeks, I have started getting a routine again and have become more used to studying from home. I have enjoyed the live lessons that the Spanish department have been doing on Instagram and I have been working through the work on Google Classroom.

In addition to this, I’ve stayed in contact with my friends through video calls. To relax during lockdown, I have played video games, which gave me another opportunity to communicate with my friends.

I have started reading more, especially at night. Most days, I go for a daily walk, which I really enjoy. I think that going for walks and exercising is very important at the minute, because it will keep you both physically and mentally healthy. I also have missed seeing my grandparents and other family members, so hopefully I will be able to see them again soon.

A new hobby that I have taken up during lockdown is baking; it helps me to relax and I find it interesting. I have been using an app over the lockdown, which tracks my mood and I can see what activities make me feel happy. Overall, I am feeling quite good at the moment, however I am looking forward to seeing my family and friends again.

Daniel – St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School, St Helens

This has been a crazy past two months hasn’t it! All the kerfuffle over toilet paper! My quarantine has not been all bad actually, it’s been quite good – I don’t have to get dressed, I have been in my pjs the whole time (except for walks). My dad and mum make the best food! Like churros and roast dinners – sooo good! I have also had lots of time to play with my bearded dragon Ernie (he is more fun than my sister).

But on the serious side of things, for just a nine-year-old boy like me it can be quite overwhelming. You need to stay active; I have tried to do some exercise every day like a walk, playing in the garden or training with my WLM Taekwondo club online. I miss my teachers and friends; Zoom will never be like playing tag in the playground.

I think everyone needs to say a great big thank you to our parents for all the stuff they have done for us! Whether it is making us food, entertaining us or just keeping us safe.

In the future I think people will remember the time we all had to stay inside and appreciate simple things like seeing your grandparents in real life, but for now we all need to remember to wash our hands. It’s the best thing you can do at the moment!

James – St Thomas CE Primary School, Lydiate

In quarantine, I’m not allowed to go out for more than one hour a day, so for 23 hours I’m stuck at home. I like that I am learning new things; I have been able to bake more and I am learning to cook. I have also been more independent with school work as I am doing more  online subjects.

I don’t like that I cannot see my friends, so we are FaceTiming each other a lot more. I miss school the most, especially my teachers, friends and the structure.

We were supposed to go on holiday but can’t, so I’m spending more time in our back garden. The sunny weather has helped a lot, but when rain comes, even getting out for exercise is something that cannot always be achieved.

I’ve had to learn to become more aware of my surroundings and stay away from people. My mum and dad have had to think about when the safest time is to go to the shops.

One thing that has been hard is avoiding people who are not as careful. They think they will never get it, so carry on with their lives, and don’t think about all the people dying from Covid-19, which can make me feel annoyed.

After all of this, I hope not to take things for granted, such as seeing people at parties, going back to school and having toilet paper and flour!

Erin – St Anne’s Catholic Primary School, Ormskirk

When I work from my yellow reading chair in my sitting room, I see many things, and my mind drifts to many more. I see the natural world outside, attaining a beautiful sort of peace not seen for years. Indeed, the dandelions grow, bloom and turn into clocks with little disturbance, and it’s always mystifying seeing the white downy fluff in the air. Truly marvellous.

I see the house I live in, as I always see it every day. It’s become part of the woodwork (no pun intended) and, quite honestly, I long for my usual weekly grind to restart, so I can finally get off my lazy rump and do something with my life. Swear on my life, I shall never take routine for granted again.

I see and hear my family working around me, and I am proud for them. They’ve adapted to this so well, and they’ve helped me do the same. Suffice to say, our spirit hasn’t truly died either. I was recently granted the position of apprentice at Regenda following my supported internship, something I have worked hard to attain, and elation enraptured the household. Indeed, ‘twas just like the pre-quarantine days.

I think of my friends, both interns and students, and honestly, I’m worried. Part of my own brand of autism means that I am highly empathetic, and as such I’m concerned about the state of other people. Not everyone is good with change (not even myself to a degree), and I hope this state of emergency ends soon, just to help them start to rebuild their lives.

My thoughts are mostly quelled with a mug of tea and occasional Zoom meetings with my class, but they are but the most recurring and relevant. thoughts I have on a day to day.

George – Abbot’s Lea School, Woolton

Hello, my name is Paul Connor and I’m a student of Abbot’s Lea School. Due to the corona virus pandemic I have been absent from school for approximately six weeks. It has been a very unusual time for me these past weeks.

My daily routine has changed drastically. My whole life has been adjusted from my days mostly being centred around school hours (with the occasional half term) but now my day consists of basically the same timetable without fail – wake up, breakfast, walk/exercise, shopping, schoolwork, relax for the rest of the day. It’s like I’m going through my life without purpose.

I’ve missed seeing my family. Seeing family is important for me, especially for my mental side of things. Fortunately, I’m still able to see my dad who lives elsewhere, which I’m very thankful for.

My mental health? It’s…better than I thought it might have been. Of course, it’s been hard at times for me, but I feel as if I’m going through a good patch of my mental well-being at the moment (nothing to do with lockdown).

It’s still up in air when we are able to return to school. I’m going through every day oblivious to what changes to daily life will be made tomorrow, the day after, the day after that. Absolutely anything could happen. Life could change for all of us tomorrow. Who knows?

Paul – Abbot’s Lea School, Woolton

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