Dozens of year 9 students from the Scots College have escaped Sydneys lockdown to travel to their annual six-month outdoor education campus in the southern highlands, after the trip was approved by NSW Health.
Several busloads of students left the Bellevue Hill campus after being dropped off by their parents on Wednesday, shortly after Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that stay-at-home orders and remote learning for the rest of Greater Sydney would be extended a further two weeks.
Scots College students wearing plain clothes boarded buses on the schools grounds in Bellevue Hill. Credit:Nick Moir
Students will spend the next six months at the schools Glengarry residential campus in Kangaroo Valley, where they partake in an annual year 9 academic and outdoor education program, supervised by about 30 staff, including some casuals and others who live on site.
The program is described by the school as a rite of passage into manhood and requires the students to live without phones, games or television before they make a 200km return to Sydney by mountain biking, hiking and canoeing.
Headmaster Ian Lambert said that, as a precaution, the Glengarry campus would go into a 14-day lockdown when students arrived. Supplies including food will be dropped at the gate and masks will be worn inside classrooms.
Staff who live on-site will run the program in person, while those outside it will teach remotely for the first 14 days. Students had to return a negative COVID-19 test before they left Sydney, and will be tested again after the two-week period.
Those staff who live on campus and have children in the local school are not to have any contact with the boys or other staff during this time so that we can be in total lockdown. These staff will do their lessons online and the boys will be supervised in class, he said.
The College sought guidance, advice, and received approval from NSW Health for students to travel and commence their boarding at the Glengarry campus… Similarly, guidance and advice were sought from the Association for Independent Schools NSW in relation to the operation of boarding schools.

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