This week’s opinion piece is about how Hampton High has changed because of Covid
By Molly G, School Prefect
Since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, there has been a massive overhaul and shift regarding all aspects of life. One of the most notable for us students is the complete change in almost every part of our typical school life. From struggling with slow, unresponsive Microsoft Teams lessons, to a total shift in the timetabling and schedule of our school day; it is fair to say that the current school year has taken some adjusting to for pretty much everybody.
For one, online learning has definitively become a staple diet of 2020. After schools closed in March, many primary and secondary schools were forced to transition to online platforms, such as Satchel (Show My Homework) or Microsoft Teams in order to keep vital learning going. An online survey completed between April and May of this year, including 4,000 parents, found that “Primary and Secondary pupils were each spending about 5 hours a day on average on home learning”, as reported by the Institute for Fiscal Studies. However, while many students were able to comfortably access these online platforms and resources, it is essential to remember that these conditions did cause disadvantage to some; the same report found that students from lower income families were likely to spend much less time online learning due to a multitude of reasons – many could not or did not have access to the internet or a workable device to carry out work on, or there were other responsibilities preventing them, such as taking care of siblings.
While all of this has proved significant to students throughout the country, how did it impact on Hampton specifically? Well there has been a great deal of change. Recently, the rule of wearing face masks in the communal areas of the school has been introduced in an attempt to lessen the chance of transmission. Each year group now has its own “bubble” and must stay in their designated area of the school for the duration of the school day – which was admittedly a strange sight and sound during lunch for the first week or so, and a stark contrast to the packed hustle and bustle of the canteen that now seems a lifetime ago!
Overall, it seems fair to say that so far this year has been startlingly unique, and although it has been unpredictable, stressful at times, and very new at some point, things will return to some semblance of normal, even if we are unsure when. Education in general has seen a huge shift and we can only look to the future and see what happens next, while not forgetting the huge impacts that this crisis has had on everybody.