Earlier this year, despite anticipated disruption and uncertainty around COVID-19, Loreto College set-up and implemented an online learning platform to deliver a high standard of education in the case of a school closure. This blended online model, referred to as ViT@L (Virtual integrated Teaching at Loreto), commenced prior to the end of term. It has been integral to the successful delivery of an educational experience which has engaged not only students, but also parents.
A recent survey of the College community has revealed positive results for its online learning and community engagement platforms. There was considerable praise for the College’s implementation of online learning.
One senior student commented, “The effort that staff have made towards this program has been astounding and should be commended. It has been very much evident that the staff have our best interests in mind at all times.”
Parents and carers repeatedly referred to the enormous effort of teachers to stream lessons so that students could engage with them and be motivated by the live interaction.
A Year 12 parent noted, “The face to face interaction in every lesson has been extremely valuable in ensuring engagement.”
Ninety-three per cent of students endorse this belief with online learning meeting or exceeding their expectations.
A Year 9 student stated, “The lessons have been exactly the same quality as if we were at school and it doesn’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.”
Pre-recorded lessons also rated very highly as both parents and students acknowledge the importance of being able to review content after the class.
The College’s virtual learning space was created to ensure that students had access to high quality teaching and learning resources whilst studying off campus. As part of the implementation phase, Loreto teachers were upskilled in the online learning platform to ensure consistent teaching and learning across all curriculum areas.
Principal, Mrs Kim Wickham stated, “While the crisis has been challenging for many in our community, the gains we have made through the innovative use of technology in terms of teaching, learning and community engagement have the potential to shape our delivery of education in the future. All teachers and families are commended on their proactive uptake of collaborative technology.”
Loreto College also took the opportunity to re-fresh the Parent Portal, which provides a single login for parents to access important College information, access to ViT@L and other online initiatives that all contribute to a holistic education.
A Year 7 parent commented, “With children in different schools, I appreciate how easy it is to navigate and access the broad range of information and resources on the College’s Parent Portal.”
Throughout the COVID-19 experience, the College has been working hard to incorporate new versions of co-curricular activities that adhere to government regulations. These alternative physical activities include a Virtual Cross Country and a Virtual Family Fitness Challenge. Participating students received College House points, which contribute to school spirit.
The Music Performance Program has also created a number of opportunities for music students and families to engage in a virtual space via online music lessons, practice tips, a virtual choir. The popular annual Trivia Night will now also be held as a virtual event.
While Loreto College Coorparoo navigates the changing landscape of education during COVID-19, the school has used initiative and insight about its community’s needs to deliver a remarkable and meaningful educational experience conducted in an online space.
Loreto College Coorparoo has matured into one of Brisbane’s premier independent Catholic schools for girls. With a focus on educational excellence, within the Mary Ward tradition, Loreto Coorparoo belongs to a global network of more than 150 schools, seven of which are located throughout Australia.
A Loreto education sees students achieve high levels of academic, sporting, cultural and personal success because they are engaged with learning that is based upon a fundamental understanding of who they are and what it is that gives meaning to their lives.