What have we learnt from the Class of 2021?

– Nancy Polykandritis, Program Operations Coordinator

On January 13, 2020, fifty-two Year 11 Students attended their first Skyline Masterclass at Trinity College. The Residential as we like to call it gave these high ability Students an opportunity to stay on campus for three nights with a focus on learning more about themselves, learning about one another and discovering what it’s like to be a Skyliner. Fast forward six lockdowns and over 150 days of remote learning, these same Students are preparing for their year 12 exams.

The pandemic saw Skyline pivot to the successful delivery of an online version of the Program. Despite the fatigue from long school days of remote learning, we saw this group of Skyliners attend online Masterclasses during their school holidays and engage more than ever with one another and Skyline.

So, what have we learnt from our Skyliners? We have learnt that they are resilient, they are leaders, they are motivated, they build each other up and they haven’t lost their sense of humour in lockdown. They are passionate, they are innovative and creative, they are independent, and they show up.

We also learnt that many Skyliners have required help in accessing the basic tools to enable remote learning with desks, chairs, reliable internet connections, laptops that are not shared or borrowed being among the most required resources. Additionally, recurring lockdowns have resulted in many of our students not being able to work part-time which has given rise to food and housing insecurity. The good news? Thanks to the continued support and generosity of our community and the Covid-19 Fighting Fund, our students have been able to access much needed support, particularly those students who have found themselves living as independent minors in the midst of a global pandemic.

In spite of the many challenges that lockdowns have presented, our Skyliners have connected with us and they remain committed to finishing their VCE journey. And while we could not have imagined that the Residential would have been the only opportunity for us to meet face to face in the last twenty months, we continue to be inspired by this talented group of fifty-two.

In the words of one of our Skyliners:

The resources, the people, the potential and opportunity that I am given, my life can be so much more.

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