The recent resurgence of coronavirus cases in Victoria have prompted the state government to implement Stage 4 restrictions, resulting in closures and a return to remote learning among the state’s schools.
With the situation gradually improving, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced earlier this month a slow and staggered return to face-to-face learning.
Rural and regional schoolchildren will the first to return to class in term four, but now they have something else to look forward to after months of pandemic-induced social isolation.
Yesterday, the state government has given the green light for school camps in regional and rural Victoria to resume operations, as long as they limit accommodations to single schools.
“School camps are an important part of a student's education and they will also provide a much-needed boost for school camp programs and accommodation providers across our regions,” Education Minister James Merlino said.
“Since regional Victoria took the step to ease restrictions we have been working with schools and health experts on enabling school camps to occur. This is a great outcome for students, regional Victoria and all the industries that benefit from school camps,” he added.
School camps provide important learning opportunities for students, including teamwork, resilience and confidence-building through challenge, problem-solving, connecting with nature, creative and imaginative play, and coordination and strength.
Dates set for return to school
The state government announced earlier this month that Prep to Grade 6 students in standalone primary schools in regional and rural Victoria can return to on-site learning on 5 October. Schools can also stagger the return of different year levels depending on local circumstances.
Year 11 and 12 students, and Year 10 students studying VCE and VCAL subjects can also attend on-site for the General Achievement Test (GAT), and essential assessments during this week.
Students in Prep to Grade 6 in P-12 schools in regional and rural Victoria can go back to face-to-face classes starting 8 October, while all other students, including Years 7 to 10, and VCE and VCAL students, can return to on-site learning on 12 October.
“Our schools have shown remarkable resilience throughout the year, and we’re hoping to deliver students in regional and rural Victoria as normal a Term 4 as possible,” Merlino said.