Senior students at The Riverina Anglican College say it has been an "eerie" return to the classroom this week amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Preparing to sit their HSC exams in just a few weeks, school captain Marina Gabra and academic portfolio captain Jordan Hawke walked through the gates again on Monday, for the first time in several weeks.
"It's very eerie, it's really quiet without everyone else here," Jordan said.
Up to 95 per cent of the school's year 12 students arrived for the recommencement of campus activity on Monday. But their classroom environments have had to be altered drastically.
At the entrance to every room, students are encouraged to sanitise their hands and desks have been moved to avoid any close contact.
"It's a lot safer now [without other year groups], we can keep the 1.5 metres between us by being in larger classrooms and keeping the desks spread out," Marina said.
"We're all sitting alone, it's good preparation for the HSC actually."
Already a very stressful time in their school careers, the looming exams amid the health crisis is making for some grand anxiety for the students.
"I'm a bit nervous about the HSC, I guess we all are but we're all in the same boat so I don't feel disadvantaged," Marina said.
"Coming back to school feels a bit more normal but it's been a disruption. For me, [learning from home] I found it hard to keep organised and go to classes.
"I was a bit tempted to stay in my pyjamas all day, but I had to get motivated to study."
But while the disruption feels enormous, principal Paul Humble pointed out that outside the school holidays, the transition off-campus was relatively short-lived.
"It's only been 13 days that they haven't been in classrooms, I think it's important to keep that in context," he said.
"It doesn't take away how stressful it is, and how it's compounded with the worries about their family, their grandparents, I don't say that to diminish the concerns.
"They are all a bit stressed obviously and that's understandable with all the uncertainty, particularly with the practical courses. There is no substitute for face-to-face learning with their teachers especially when going through something complicated."
During those two weeks of online learning, half the teachers at the school continued on campus while the other half worked from home. Mr Humble remained on the site and said the experience was entirely "bizarre".
"It's not until the kids aren't here that you really notice what an important impact they have on your day," he said.
"None of us sign up to be teachers teaching remotely, we all want to be back with the students."
Beginning next week, year groups will return to classrooms via a rostering system.