BENDIGO students have embraced the mobile phone ban in schools as they returned to face-to-face classes.
From the start of this year, all state primary and secondary school students have been required to turn off mobile phones and store them away during the school day.
The only exceptions to the policy are where students use phones to monitor health conditions or where teachers instruct students to bring their phone for a specific classroom activity.
Students have spent the majority of term two using technology like computers, mobile phones, and iPads to learn remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But Bendigo Senior Secondary College assistant principal Kylie Hand said the mobile phone ban was back in place at schools, just like it was before remote learning.
"The Department of Education and Training have issued advice to all schools to make it clear that the department policy remains the same," she said.
"The department also reiterated that schools are managed environments where we keep records of students and visitors.
"We can support contact tracing at school without the COVID Safe app. We're still encouraging students to use the COVID Safe app before and after school, but while at school, there is no need."
Mrs Hand said many students were excited to reduce their use of technology and devices.
"While technology certainly assisted students to learn remotely, so many are now saying they really value face-to-face contact," she said.
"The students say they are happy to have a break from technology - they are actually articulating that."
Marist College Bendigo principal Darren McGregor said his students have also embraced the return to classes.
"The technology the kids have been using at home is the same technology they bring into the classroom," he said. "I think probably the bigger challenge has been getting back into the routine.
"I know some of our kids were starting work at 7am and finishing at lunchtime. Those kids have found it more difficult to get back into the routine. But our kids are pretty adaptive around technology."
Mrs Hand said BSSC students have also adapted smoothly to the return of face-to-face classes.
"We have been so pleased at how well our students have transitioned back," she said. "It has been very smooth.
"We're very proud of not only how well they have handled remote learning, but also the adjustment back to face-to-face classes. It's a credit to young people. They have shown enormous resilience and adaptability."
Students in years three to 10 will return to face-to-face classes from Tuesday.
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