Rural Schools Shine in Lockdown

by | Sep 10, 2021 | Bush Voices

Rural Schools are once again showing how their creative solutions to learning are helping students, families and communities takle lengthy lockdowns.

As most students continue a lengthy remote learning stint during Term 3, CEP has rounded up some of the stories from across rural Victorian schools of principals and teachers going above and beyond for their students and local areas.

In the Mallee area, local schools took turns challenging each other to dress up and read a story for Book Week.

Swan Hill Special School Principal Jodi Walters said the challenge originated at Beverford District Primary School, with schools then challenging others in their areas to continue

“Phil Cox at Beverford organised a challenge for teachers during book week for us all to dress up and take on the characters of a book,” she said.

“There were eight local government schools, including the secondary college, that created videos with teachers dressed up, reading a story.

“We took The Very Hungry Caterpillar and turned it into The Very Stressed Teacher, with me in a Sumo suit. 

“We also filmed and put up on our Facebook a wellbeing video that’s been very popular.” 

Lake Boga used digital enhancements for their challenge, using a Snapchat filter to emulate the titular character from The Very Long Nose of Jonathan Jones.

Mr Cox said the idea was about helping their school and wider communities get through to the end of lockdown.

“I had the idea because Book Week is really big in our local primary schools and they were a bit disappointed they couldn’t do it in person,” he said.

“A lot of schools did Book Week via Webex but we just had this idea for our local government schools to read a book each day so all our different communities could watch those with their kids and promote a bit of fun and put a smile on some faces.”

You can check out some more of the Book Week videos on Beverford District Primary School’s Facebook page.


Read on for more great stories of rural schools going above and beyond for their students and communities.


Nagambie Primary School

The principal spent a Sunday afternoon delivering donuts to each of his students’ houses as a surprise treat to help them through the week ahead. 


Moonambel Primary School

In addition to teachers checking in with their students, Principal Calvin Tromp makes himself available daily on Google Meet if students want or need to chat about anything at all.


Horsham Special School

Dedicated staff drive all around the district delivering work packs to students and food to families, prepared by the catering team.


Balmoral K-12 Community College

Principal Jo Amott connects with her community through videos uploaded on the school’s social media site, with options for students to produce their own. Recently, students were encouraged to upload videos of themselves telling “dad jokes” for Father’s Day.

Tallangatta Secondary School

Alongside encouraging students and families to get involved in ‘Steptember’, Tallangatta SC uses “Kahoots” with their home groups as an opportunity to compete against each other in weekly fun quizzes. The school’s student leadership also developed the school’s RUOk Day video which was shared as part of the, ‘Festival for Healthy Living’, Royal Children’s Hospital Mental Health coordinated-DREAMBIG musical festival. To remind everyone that every day is the day to ask RUOk? and support those struggling with life’s ups and downs, messages were put together from students, staff and community members including the local police, butcher, baker and librarian to the health centre, ambulance officers, local IGA and more. Watch the video here:

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