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Ready, set, go! – Online education at St Paul’s to set the eLearning benchmark

Date: April 15, 2020

St Paul’s Anglican Grammar School is well-positioned, prepared and ready to continue the education of students in Term 2 thanks to a tried and tested online Learning Management System, MyStPauls, which has already been used extensively at secondary levels since 2016 and from Prep to Year 6 for over a year.

To ensure that students get the very best from an online education in these unprecedented times, St Paul’s has implemented a number of innovative practices and ideas, which enabled Year 12 students to complete their Term 1 of learning and assessments online through MyStPauls, regardless of the Victorian Government’s decision to end Term 1 early.

The MyStPauls platform was specifically chosen for its ability to allow students to interact in an eLearning environment. In the weeks succeeding the end of term, St Paul’s staff added the use of video and video conferencing to their learning and teaching repertoire – doing so with great enthusiasm for the possibilities offered; not the least of which is comfort offered to students by ‘seeing’ teachers and classmates in a virtual environment.

St Paul’s Principal, Mr Cameron Herbert said “From ELC to Year 12, our St Paul’s quality education will not be compromised by online learning. We know that as we move into the future a quality education will continue to be the best gift any parent can give their child. Every year of a child’s education is an important developmental stage and we will continue to make sure that these milestones and achievements are met. The commitment of our St Paul’s community to quality education has never been in doubt and our shared values will see us through this period as well”.

The wellbeing of students is a priority at St Paul’s and this continues to be a key focus throughout the online learning experience. Teaching staff are adjusting individual student programs as required and are supporting children emotionally, as well as academically. To monitor the wellbeing of students in this new learning environment, regular wellbeing surveys are being held online and any school pastoral issues identified from these surveys will be quickly followed up by pastoral care staff. Students are facing many challenges in this period of online learning and virtual social contact, and pastoral care staff will reach out to any students who find the online environment challenging.

An online school day is following a similar structure to that of a classroom; from a morning message outlining the day for junior students; to the marking of rolls at secondary. The school’s counselling team is continuing to support students and their families, making referrals and conducting their usual range of services via telephone. Regular assembly, Chapel and pastoral care activities are also being placed online. Instrumental teachers are prepared to conduct individual and group lessons online, as is the St Paul’s Academy of Music. In addition, St Paul’s staff are currently working hard to adapt many other co-curricular activities to ensure students continue to benefit from this vital part of the St Paul’s offering.

Mr Herbert said “St Paul’s has a significant role to play for our students and families and we take this responsibility seriously. Times of adversity strengthen us and positive opportunities for growth arise. Our confidence and genuine optimism for the future will help our students adapt to the changes they face and heighten their adaptability, creativity and resilience”.