Being back at school is gift - Norfolk teen reveals lockdown woes

Wymondham College student, Louie Burkett, 14, home-schooling at his laptop at home in Thorpe End. Pi

Wymondham College student, Louie Burkett, 14, home-schooling on his laptop at home - Credit: Denise Bradley

How have our teenagers coped with lockdown, home schooling and the return to class? Wymondham College pupil Louie Burkett, 14, looks back on the ups and downs of the last few months.

I remember the evening when I watched TV and longed for the announcement we could go back to school. I sat in silence, hoping we wouldn't have to face yet more months of captivity.

Boris Johnson stood up, holding the sheet of paper, which would decide life for the near future.

Thankfully, he announced all schools would return on March 8, I could finally stop holding my breath, and focus on practising my French verb tenses.

But most importantly, normality had been restored, and I could see my friends. Something I’d been waiting for for months.

The next day, I had a spring in my step, while joining one live call to the next

My teachers were saying how pleased they are that we’re allowed to return, no more home complications.

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But most importantly for me, a clear difference between work and home, no more emailing to ask a simple question or un-muting your mic to feel apart of the outside world.

I called my friend that day, and we both agreed going back to school is by far the best news we’ve had during this strange period.

Keen runner, Louie Burkett, 14, from Wymondham College. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Keen runner Louie Burkett, 14, is looking forward to getting back into sport as lockdown lifts - Credit: Denise Bradley

It had been a long two and a half months away from school, with each day feeling the same.

Generally, I found home-schooling relaxing, compared to the stress of normal school. No more 7.30am wake ups.

The fact that I could wake up at ten to nine, 10 minutes before my first live lesson, was a bonus, despite having to rush down the stairs in a fit of urgency.

A Monday French lesson, when my cat smashed a plate while I had my microphone on was the the most embarrassing moment of my online school experience, the whole class paused, while I scampered to clear up the mess.

But I had more important concerns than my cat smashing a plate, such as not seeing my friends.

This issue was by far the biggest challenge of my home-schooling experience. Living in the 21st Century with no social contact for a teenager, it’s almost as bad as not having WIFI!

Thankfully, we managed to have a few Zoom calls, sharing our fascinating social calendars, while being stuck in a Covid lifestyle.

An early night was in order on Sunday, March 7 - the day before returning to school.

Sleeping was easier said than done when the excitement of returning to normality was playing on my mind.

A good supper, phone charged, and alarms set was my evening routine.

I was keen to wake up early, and attack the day while I could, before the government closed schools again.

The car journey in to school felt like it took an eternity, with every possible worry playing on my mind, such as taking a Covid test, whether my trousers were dirty or my shirt peppered with stains.

I soon realised these were of no consequence anymore, the buzz of school had taken over my mind.

School was different, no more year group mixing, limited to one area of the school and my face covered with an annoying mask.

However, despite these small tweaks to ‘normal school’, I couldn’t take being back at school for granted.

I finally felt like I was walking 10,000 steps again, and not to mention being able to play rugby.

For once, I could release my inner frustration while playing sport, instead of on my family members.

All in all being back at school is a great gift, which I’d been craving for months.

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