So here we are again, back inside for a third national lockdown in the UK. However, schools have shut again, unlike the second lockdown. Remote learning has returned to our lives as we wake up and start up our electronic devices at home rather than taking a morning walk (or sprint if we're running late) to the classroom. I asked a student and two teachers from Thames Christian College for their thoughts on the third lockdown. 


"I think this time round, in contrast to lockdown 1, we have been put into a difficult position as educators. Last time, we were nearly at the end of the year, so for exam classes there were only a few weeks left for evidence gathering and we had a really firm idea of what grades year 11's were going to get. This time, we are still teaching content in some subjects and we still don't know how OFQUAL wants us to present the evidence. So we are full speed ahead...but to an unknown destination! Nevertheless, as Thames teachers we are determined to win for our pupils and we love the engagement and determination we have seen from so many students. Lockdown 3 will not defeat us!" one teacher responded.


"It’s nothing we haven’t been through before, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. We’ve all been affected by the lockdowns last year, but since we’ve experienced it for such a long time, it becomes more tempting for us to break the rules and do what we want." one student replied. 


Another teacher replied: "I think the third lockdown has been perhaps the hardest - simply because we associate a new year with new beginnings - yet it seems like we have gone backwards. Similarly, I find myself checking the news and seeing other countries who have "done it better'' (Australia, New Zealand etc.) and I can't help thinking what has gone wrong here. 


From an education perspective, I realise how lucky Thames pupils are because they have access to a laptop and can get online; most are also driven to do well. However, I worry about pupils from my previous place of work and other deprived young people who would have been severely disadvantaged by the third lockdown - some may not have done a proper lesson for around a year now."


One more student had told me: "It's very hard to focus on school and it's boring not being able to meet friends. I think that there's more benefit out of physical school work because you don't get distracted by events happening around you at home."


As we are all tested once again in these troubling times, we must continue forth and comply so that we can all meet again later on. As tough as 2021 has started, it's still early days, with January just finishing. However, the recent snowfall gave everyone a bit of positive spirit, showing that it's not all bad. So let's keep soldiering forward and beat the virus. Better days are still to come in 2021!