Living, learning and looking out for each other

Living, learning and looking out for each other

From Food Technology to PE, boys are finding their feet in their home learning environments and still relishing being part of the QE community.

After some initial concerns about how they would deal with the workload, a number of boys have reported that they are managing well and, furthermore, enjoying the experience of working at their own pace.

Keon Robert, of Year 7, said: “Obviously it is not quite like school, but I am handling it well. The workload is manageable, but I am missing the company of my friends and classmates.”

He has particularly enjoyed working through eQE. “I find the Year 7 forums help me communicate with my friends during lockdown. We discuss various interesting and enjoyable topics, such as sport and politics. The forums can also be utilised to help us with our work. It shows that even during lockdown, the QE community is still willing to help others in need, via the internet.

“What I also enjoy about eQE is that I can access all the work that has been set with the push of a button. It has helped me get on top of my workload, and I am much more organised.”

Keon has been a keen participant in the PE department’s weekly challenges. “Not only has my fitness improved, but I have also seen an increase in my interaction with my family since they usually do the challenges alongside me.”

He took part in the Brave New World poetry competition and was delighted to win first prize. He has also entered an external competition – Galactic Challenge’s Digital Competition, “It caught my eye the other day, and my friends and I decided we could enter it. This is an extra-curricular activity I enjoy as we have regular online meetings with each other, and I can see how they are getting on.”

Keon’s Year 7 peer, Edward Muscat, has earned himself a mention in his local newspaper, the Islington Gazette. He and his parents, along with six other neighbouring families have raised more than £3,000 by running 85 blocks around their homes in a relay marathon, being careful to observe social distancing and, in Edward’s case, wearing a mask. The money raised will go to NHS Charities Together.

“I am enjoying learning from home,” he said. “It’s good to have the full day’s classes on eQE when I log on in the morning; all the resources I need are always available, and I can work at my own pace.

“In History, we are studying American history from the European settlement onwards, which I am finding fascinating. Food ‘tech’ at home is great, because we can eat it immediately! Physics is quite challenging as we are learning about forces, which is completely different from anything I have studied before.”

In addition to the marathon, Edward is doing a great deal of sport with his dad in the garden. He has found he has had more time to practise for his online Zoom piano lessons. And as well as eating the results of his Food Technology classes, Edward has also been brewing ginger beer from a starter kit. “It is fermenting nicely and should be ready any day!”

Music, especially the Virtual Orchestra and Choir, has figured significantly in the lockdown life of  third Year 7 boy, Leo Sellis. “I especially enjoyed the Virtual Orchestra because I love making music, especially the pieces we are performing, and I cannot wait to hear the outcome.

“I have also really enjoyed my Music lessons because we are doing theory, which is my favourite part. I am challenging myself by trying for Grade 6 since I have just completed my Grade 5.”

Leo has found home learning quite relaxing, but has acknowledged that it has occasionally been hard to learn new content without teachers’ immediate help. “I like working through eQE, because it means that I can have a slightly more relaxed timetable and be able to take short breaks whenever I feel I need one.”

He has also been taking regular exercise. “I like all the fun challenges I am sent by the PE department.”

He has found the Year 7 forums have given him an opportunity to broaden his circle of friends: “The forums are a good place to talk to people that I do not usually talk to at school.”