A year of confinement has been especially difficult for students as they move between online lessons and face-to-face classes.
Here, on the third day of our series, reviewing last year’s tests, two young people tell how they have coped with learning locked up.
Ella Pearson, 16, is a GCSE student living with her parents David and Natasha and her 13-year-old brother Harry in Newark, Notts. In January, Ella was told that she would not be taking her GCSE exams this summer.
“I was going at the end of March and we started taking our books home because we knew we might have to start studying at home. A week before, Mom and Dad were on vacation in Rome.
“Mom remembers that the taxi driver said that he thought people were exaggerating, saying that Covid was in Milan and Wuhan. All of Italy became the epicenter.
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“It was really weird not going to school. Mom helped me and Harry with homeschooling. It was all really strange and it was very difficult to adjust.
“We did our daily walks once a day for an hour. It was nice to get out of the house and I often saw my grandparents from a distance.
«We bake a lot of brownies and bread, Mom found someone on Facebook who was selling flour. We find happiness in little things like that. We also walked the rabbits in the garden.
“In August, we managed to go to Norfolk for a caravan vacation. It was very cold and very humid, but it was nice to get away. We usually go to Malta or Italy, somewhere hot, so we missed it.
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“Then, in September, we went back to school, just in the 11th and sixth grade. It was very nice to see my friends. It was very strange at first, the school was empty.
“When the rest of the school came back, the year groups stayed in their own blocks. Lunch was at different times and we had to queue for the school bus.
“In January, I was quite relieved to find out that we will not present GCSE. It seems there will be a lot of evaluations. But I’m also a little disappointed that I’m not taking my exams because I think I would have done quite well. We probably missed our prom as well. It’s been a strange year, that’s for sure.
“But I really want to go to sixth grade in September.”
Adam, 18: ‘I decided I was still going to college. I’d be better off learning ‘
Adam Ruse, 18, was at college in Burnley, Lancs, last March. While his friends postponed their university places, he began his studies in Manchester in September. He is now locked up in his mother’s house in West Yorkshire.
“When the virus came out I was at Burnley University. It was mostly course work, so it didn’t really affect me when the lockdown started.
«During the first confinement, I spent a lot of time in the forest. It had a positive effect on my well-being. Now I have gotten into long distance cycling. The other day I did 70 miles.
“Many of my classmates had just turned 18 when the pubs closed. By my 18 I would have had a party in Manchester at a colleague’s house, but they would have fined us, so I only invited two colleagues. No one could take me. for my first pint.
“In July, I decided that I was still going to college. All my friends have postponed a year, I was the only one who didn’t, but I’m so glad I did. What else could I do? There is a job, right? One of my colleagues had a job in a pub, he was fired and then fired.
“I thought I would be better off learning right now, using this time to learn.
“Student life is fine, but it hasn’t been what it should be. I haven’t been out once. I have saved a lot of money I guess.
‘The government made us have to go to a lesson a week, which meant that we had to go to Manchester, that students had to start paying rent and everything. If they hadn’t, people would have stayed home. .
«My course is Event Management. We are meant to do 50 hours of work experience, which includes going places and experiencing the nightlife, but obviously we can’t at the moment.
I go online for lessons, but it’s strange. There seem to be a lot of anxious and depressed students. This month I start in person. They told us to get tested before we go.
“My dad made me a T-shirt – Covid: Class of 2020. I wear it as a memento of these bad times.”