St Luke's Anglican College Principal Craig Merritt is working with teachers to provide a holistic online learning experience.
St Luke's Anglican College Principal Craig Merritt is working with teachers to provide a holistic online learning experience.

Bundy school embraces online learning

SCHOOLS are working to change the way they teach students amid the coronavirus crisis and one school in Bundaberg is feeling well prepared for the online switch to learning.

On Monday the Queensland Government announced schools would go online for the first five weeks of term two with the rules being reviewed on May 15.

Schools would remain open for vulnerable children and the children of essential workers.

Principal of St Luke’s Anglican School Craig Merritt said the college began getting some students familiar with an online system after the Bundaberg floods.

“When the big floods hit Bundaberg in 2011 and 2013 our school realised when everything had closed that we had to find a way to ensure we could continue providing an education for our students.

“We then moved into an online learning management system for our senior students and since about 2014 they have been using this to do their work in grade 10, 11 and 12,” Mr Merritt said.

“The online learning system has been particularly helpful when students are away or sometimes they might have to help their parents on the property but they can still be engaged with the lessons online.”

Mr Merritt said the teachers and staff had spent the last four weeks focusing on what an online platform would look with students from Prep all the way to Year 12.

“Our teachers have been fantastic in the way they have reimagined and redesigned the online systems to not only include educational support but pastoral and spiritual support as well,” he said.

Regarding access to laptops, Mr Merritt said they had done an early audit to find out what students had.

“We started communicating with parents when coronavirus information started coming out.

“We did an audit finding who had access to what technology and were suggesting for parents to review internet access and data plans to be prepared.

“Any parents in primary who need access to a device can take that home and grades 7 to 12 already have their own portable device.”

Mr Merrit said they knew there would be some hiccups but they were feeling ready.

“We feel quite well prepared to go on to the online environment and have made sure our IT team is here to prioritise any issues anybody has,” he said.