Virtual learning: the kids weigh in

Schoolchildren have spent much of the pandemic learning virtually. Here's how two kids find the situation...
23 February 2021

Interview with 

Che & Oak


A young girl writing with a pencil.


In the UK, schoolchildren have spent the past year moving between learning in person and learning virtually. Martin Khechara reports how two such kids are finding the situation...

Martin - I have two wonderful sons. One is 11, and he's called Che, and one who's 9 who's called Oak. Like many school-aged learners, they've been learning at home in the lockdown, so I thought I would ask them what it's like. Here's Che first, and then his brother Oak.

Che - For some reason, school is way funner when you do it on computers. But I can't play with my friends at break time. So yeah, no, there are downs and ups.

Oak - Same with Che. There's quite a lot of downs and ups. Like at the beginning of all the lockdowns, I was like, “oh, this will be cool, that means we don't have to do the long walk to school.” But now I feel like, “...oh”.

Martin - Che loves to build things and knows everything about transformers. You heard Oak too, he's the youngest, and he's an absolute genius gamer. But being indoors just isn't enough for him.

Oak - I really do miss my friends. At school we always used to have big play times outside and now we just don't have them outside. We just stay at home.

Che - Home is more funner, but when we're at school you can actually go outside. And because you have to keep concentrating when the next lesson's going to start, you can't really have the time to go outside.

Martin - For once they agree on something! And that is that they miss their friends. Here's Oak again.

Oak - I like being at school because I get to play with my friends. But home, I do get to have play times, I get to play with my own toys. I don't have to change into my school clothes as well, but also I can't do anything with my friends anymore.

Martin - The big question is, do they learn better at home or better at school? Here's Che again.

Che - In class there are a lot of distractions and a lot of noise, but at home learning, I've actually learned a lot, lot more because of the chat - nobody can speak on it and they can only type on it. And the house is silent.

Oak - I think I learn more at school because there's big representations on whiteboards and computers. So I would be like, "oh, that looks easy." But now Miss doesn't really do that much more representations and then I'm like, "I need help with it from my Mum".

Martin - I'm really proud of how my boys have been coping through the lockdown. It's such a big thing in their life for two people who are so young. I'm not worried though; I'm sure it's all going to be fine - eventually. They've both done absolutely brilliantly, but I think when we get back to school there's definitely going to be some catching up to do!


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