This year, pupils and teachers all over the world have developed new skills and met new challenges as never before, as the Covid-19 outbreak required schools and educational programmes to move to an 100% online environment. The same situation goes for the St. Paul’s Foundation: candidates in the preparation course for the 2020 entry selection process also have all their lessons and exams remotely, with the support of volunteer teachers from St. Paul’s.
Remote learning started in late March and it was a brand new experience for many of our candidates, who had never had all their subjects taught online before. “It made me a bit anxious about how everything would progress. Such a new and ambiguous reality for everyone”, says Antonio. But with hard work and resilience, it took only a few lessons for them to adjust and classes now run smoothly. “In the beginning it was different, like every conversion process, but I think that we adapted incredibly well”, Gregorio adds.
And if “bringing school home” initially sounded like a good opportunity to work in familiar, individual spaces, it can also be a bit distracting. Elisa says that “at home you can get more comfortable, but it is not the best environment for having classes as there are more noise and objects surrounding you.”
But some tricks can make the adaptation easier. Ana Claudia shares her tips. “I need to find a quiet place. In my case, I chose the kitchen because my parents work in the living room. I also keep the notebook, pencil case, water, etc. by my side, so then I do not need to leave my seat during my study time. With all that ready and organised, I can focus on the classes and on the tasks”, she explains.
In the end, remote learning – both as part of St. Paul’s Foundation preparation course and at the candidates’ respective schools – has brought them a new perspective regarding the academic routine. “After the quarantine started, I realised that the struggles I had to face in my busy daily routine were worth it, and now that I don’t have that routine anymore, I have begun to appreciate it.”, says João.
The St. Paul’s preparation course continues until late May and is the final stage of the selection process, with the final scholars being chosen in June. It is hoped that the chosen scholars will join St. Paul’s for the 2020-21 academic year.