Throughout this lockdown, despite the difficult times, I have tried to make the most of it. Online school, through staring at a screen for much of the day, was exhausting , so pursuits such as exercise were and still can be engaging. Since social contact is not a possibility right now, seeing people through calls and online platforms was uplifting. Even if just once in a while, when I did exercise, or went for a walk, it really boosted my mood. It can be hard to get motivated, so I used the 2 minute rule; say to yourself that you'll only do it for a short time, but then your body feels encouraged to carry on. This is a rule applicable to many areas, such as reading or baking, both of which have been favourite pastimes of mine in lockdown. Reading interesting books, although hard to get in these times, relaxed my brain from stress, and immersed me in a different world, also helping with ideas for writing. Another relaxing hobby I took up was baking at home with my family, and since last year, we have been baking a lot more in the leisure time we have had. The delicious items we've baked include: lemon cake, chocolate chip cookies, flapjacks, almond cake, apple and blueberry crumble and toffee apple upside-down cake (a mouthful both in speech and taste). I really enjoy baking, so to learn even more, I baked a cake by myself: a cookies and cream cake, with chocolate Oreo frosting. Also, in honour of Pie Week, we made a spicy chicken and vegetable pie; our first pie, in fact, and for a first try, it was great! These activities can be good ways to adapt to the 'new normal', until we can get back to the old normal, so let's keep on going to the finish line.
By Haresh, 7D
During the lockdown, I did many activities to try to keep myself from getting bored. One of the most memorable things I did was playing board games with my family, from Snakes & Ladders to Dominoes. My favourite game is Monopoly: the game is so interesting and there are lots of twists and turns. It is very engaging for me and my family. In addition, my mum and I baked a cake which was delicious. It was a two-layer cake and was covered with homemade buttercream and blue icing. Another one of my favourite things during the lockdown was going on bike rides and walks in the local parks. My family and I would spend at least an hour and a half at the park every week (it was so much fun). We also went on walks to the local high streets. One of the great things right now is that there are not many vehicles on the roads; it makes the air fresher, and the atmosphere is more tranquil. I am glad that online learning is almost over – it has been a long two months – and I am eager to meet my friends and teachers face to face again.
By Rohan (Year 7)
Life in lockdown was very boring at times, but a few easy and fun activities helped to pass some of my time. When I was bored in lockdown, I decided to pass the time with some activities. I baked cookies and cakes, which genuinely looked nice and tasted delicious. It took quite a lot of time, but that was okay for me because it helped me pass the time. Keeping yourself active during lockdown, would be important especially when you cannot exercise in PE due to the restrictions. Another activity I did to get some fresh air was going on lots of bike rides in the park. It helped me to get more active and get a break from sitting all day indoors. If it was a rainy day, then I would do some mindful colouring whilst listening to peaceful music and reading. It really helped me to be mindful and whisk my way off to another world. Some books that I read were His Dark Materials, Noughts and Crosses, The Lie Tree and Sabrina. Lockdown also helped me find some time to teach my sister how to improve in chess and allowed me to get to know my family a lot better as we spent more time together since we are in our own bubble. For example, we walked miles exploring our neighborhood and if lockdown had not started at all we would have never taken that opportunity. Instead of using the car we used our bicycles which was more environmentally friendly. I also became independent by doing household chores and helping my mum. In conclusion, lockdown was not all that bad. Yes, I couldn't meet my friends in real life, and online studying from home was quite different to what I was used to, but these fun activities helped me feel content.
By Keshaav, 8D
Over the months that we have been going through lockdown, I have begun to start finding new hobbies to pass the days away. One of these hobbies has stuck out to me the most, and one that I have been spending countless hours on every day. What I mean by this is that I have been spending most of my days making marble tracks with Ravensburger's Gravitrax interactive track system. I love making tracks with my Gravitrax and recording them. I also sent them to my friends and family and once I have finished, I break it down and make a whole new one! I have also been going to the park or going for a walk most days and online school has also been keeping me busy so I am normally occupied and getting through the pandemic bit by bit!
By Jahan, 7S
Clockwise, from top left: Jahan, Haresh, Keshaav, Keshaav, Rohan
During lockdown I did all the usual little things - read my library, watched telly and spent endless hours speaking to friends on the phone every week. Aside from that, I also carried out community service to help people during this time of worry, anxiety and poverty. Firstly, with my Dad, I weeded and planted trees in our local Addiscombe Railway Park. These trees help biodiversity and the environment by taking carbon dioxide out of the air and improve people's mental wellbeing. As they stroll through the park, they see young trees with small buds on their branches, waiting to burst out into blossom. It really brings a smile to my face. I have also helped contribute to people's physical wellbeing. On Wednesdays, I go with my Dad, to a local church to collect food packages and ferry them to the foodbank and occasionally to people's houses. It is a good thing, knowing you have helped someone not go hungry on a cold winter's day (not that going hungry on a hot summer's day is advised). I also help Croydon Nightwatch, which distributes food to homeless people. My Mum and I make three loaves worth of sandwiches every first Friday for people who need it. Aside from helping others during lockdown, I have also helped with household chores. My Mum is working for up to 13 hours a day and is on call on the weekends and on her days off. So, when I wake up, I put the kettle on. I take plates to the sink. I help with the laundry. Every little thing I can do to ease the burden on my parent's shoulders. All the little things add up.
By Kiran 8B
My experience of lockdown as a student has had its ups and downs as you would imagine. Being confined to our homes with no outside social interactions with fellow humans is tough and goes against our human nature. Nothing compares with going to school and experiencing the first secondary school year student life of interacting with friends and teachers. While a global pandemic has brought this all to a halt, I have been lucky enough to have a family that continues to support me during these uncertain times, who are always allowing me the time and space I've needed over these past months to study independently. My knowledge and experience in exercise and health has allowed me to continue to keep my health and well-being in check. Exercise has been my lifeline through these times, keeping boredom far away. With all this said, I've kept a positive head, always looking towards the current challenge of lockdown as an adaptive learning experience that we're all faced with.
By Tayyab 7H
My lockdown was not very interesting, yet we made the most of staying at home for a long period of time. As both of my parents worked in the NHS we weren't able to go outside as much as we'd like to.I was in front of the screen for most of my lockdown, attending online lessons or doing my homework. Sometimes I would make myself a sandwich if I was hungry. If the weather was nice, I would have a water balloon fight with my brother using a water balloon kit we bought last summer.
By Manuel 7C
In this lockdown, my main highlight was hatching and caring for my baby goldfish. I currently have two 1 year old goldfish. One is a male Black Moor (which are a type of fancy telescope goldfish) called Joy and one female, white Oranda (which is another type of fancy goldfish), called Pearl. When I got Pearl, I noticed that her stomach was pretty round. This is common in female goldfish, but what initially seemed worrying, was that her stomach seemed to be swollen. I thought that she had a stomach ulcer, which would need immediate attention, but I calmed down after I realised that she had a sac full of eggs!
By this lockdown, it had been a few months and Pearl still hadn't laid any eggs. But a few weeks later, I came downstairs, to see dozens of white/brownish eggs at the bottom of their tank. We quickly separated all the eggs - because goldfish eat their own eggs – and intently waited for even one, to hatch. After 2 or 3 days, I noticed small dots in the eggs, which in fact were their eyes! On day 5, I was lucky enough to see the first one hatch! I was so happy as I saw its tiny body dash around the tank, before finally sticking on to the side until its body grew. More fish hatched and by Day 7 there were about 100 fish swimming around in the tank. It has been about a month since they have hatched and there are about 50 baby goldfish (as many aren't fit enough to survive) that have grown quite big, and have even started to turn orange! I can't wait for them to grow!
By Raghav, 8H
The long, monotonous lockdown felt like it would never end and I was confined to the four walls of my home. However, I found different ways to entertain myself. Every day, after my online lessons, I enjoyed going on long walks with my family and had lots of fun playing table tennis with my dad on my dining table; we just had to place a table tennis top on it. Playing the piano which my dad bought for me in the middle of the lockdown helped me to relax and pass time. I was proud to develop my baking skills when I baked a delicious, chocolate sponge cake.
By Shyamak 7G
I usually play video games at home in lockdown on Saturdays. Everything works fine for me except having too much screen time. Suddenly, I decided to go on an adventure to visit London Bridge not by rail, nor by any motor vehicle, but by human powered bicycle because I feel I have nothing to do at home during lockdown. Unfortunately,HMS Belfast and London Bridge are hidden by the train bridge in my picture. Relieving boredom is easy thanks to this adventure. It took me just under four hours to go to London Bridge and back via Southwark.
By Houting 7C — picture below