Bourchier St builds on solid foundation

By Sharon Wright

The implementation of an innovative school-wide learning platform two years ago has assisted the smooth transition to remote learning for Bourchier Street Primary School families.

Assistant principal Gary D’arma said the platform included each student having their own digital learning portfolio that allowed teachers to post work, and students to share evidence of learning with their parents at home.

“This platform has the ability to push out daily individualised lessons, including instructional videos to all students,” Mr D’arma said.

“The model encourages students to work at a pace that suits them.

“Teachers and parents can provide feedback on all student learning and this can be provided in written, voice or video formats, allowing even our youngest learners to access the feedback.”

With the system already in place, the teaching team worked together to establish a remote learning plan that, while challenging to implement, was designed to ensure continuity of learning.

Devices have become an essential communication tool to connect learners and teachers, with staff hand-delivering many devices to students to ensure learning opportunities were not lost.

Physical education, the arts and Italian lessons have also been incorporated along with daily challenges so that students spend time away from devices, ensuring a healthy balance.

“Another strategy to increase our engagement has been our specialists day. We have invited the whole school to join in a day dedicated to physical education and the arts,” Mr D’arma said.

“We have had live drawing and yoga classes with hundreds of students, we recorded cooking classes and held an epic dance party where students requested songs that were live streamed throughout the households in our community.

“Our PE teacher has been conducting live workouts on Facebook for families, we have had nightly stories being read on Facebook by different teachers and our kids have planned, recorded and produced their own TV shows and podcasts.”

Principal Denise Howley said with more than 8000 posts a week and more than 85 per cent of engagement in online learning activities, the interactive nature of education was paying off.

“We are excited about returning to school and optimistic that this experience will further strengthen the already excellent quality of teaching and learning we have currently at Bourchier Street Primary School,” Ms Howley said.

“We have so much to be grateful for, and welcome the next challenge!”