A sense of stability and confidence was important for Roseville College students, their families and staff during the months of unpredictability in 2020.
While there was a gentle buzz of excitement from the students as they carried books, artworks and instruments out the school gate to commence learning from home on 23 March, my conversations with their parents were vastly different,” explains Roseville College principal, Ms Deb Magill. She clarifies that Roseville College chose the term “off-campus learning” to remind the girls that school would continue with equitable rigour and commitment, just off campus.
“In total, Roseville College delivered an off-campus mode of learning for seven weeks,” says Ms Magill. “While our mode of delivery during off-campus learning was different, the work of Roseville College stayed the same: education, care, community. A sense of stability and confidence on our part was important for our students and their families, and our staff, especially when many other ‘normal’ aspects of life were subject to sudden and dramatic change.”
During this time of off-campus learning, students began their daily school routine at 8.20am (as usual), gathering online with their year groups for a morning roll call and attendance register. This precious 10-minute window of personal connection, before classes, was a forum for girls to share photos and enjoy light-hearted moments, such as birthday celebrations in virtual mode. The majority of girls donned school attire each day, which also helped maintain a sense of connectedness so easily lost when students and teachers miss face-to-face interaction, and our girls seized the opportunities afforded in this new environment.
Mrs Jane Sloane, assistant head of Junior School — curriculum and wellbeing, says it was “vital that Junior School teachers adapted to the unique online environment, which had ‘different rules’ to physically being at school”. She adds that there was intention around balancing the academic learning of girls in the primary years with their physical, mental and social wellbeing while away from school.
“Learning remained distinctly differentiated for girls of different ages and needs, even off campus, and teachers worked hard to provide authentic ways for our younger learners to inquire and engage in meaningful ways,” says Mrs Sloane. “It brightened our days to see smiling children who still loved ‘coming to school’, even though it was starkly different at the time!”
In Senior School, too, the learning was adapted — as creatively as necessary —
to the online forum, and much emphasis was placed on each girl’s adaptability, her digital literacy (to achieve the requirements of her learning) and,
most importantly, her wellbeing.
“We saw our Year 12 leaders, for example, quickly adapt their annual ‘Spirit Week’ event to an online format so all girls in Kindergarten to Year 12 could participate,” adds Ms Magill. “Our students, as learners and as emerging leaders, have proven themselves to be agile, creative and courageous. And our parent community has shown us trust, encouragement and goodwill.
“Isn’t it amazing that we look at seven weeks with such disproportion to the rest of the school year? At Roseville College, when that time ended, it was true cause for celebration. We were overjoyed to welcome back our girls; many of whom had expressed missing being at school and being among their friends and teachers. Still, what we learnt about our teaching, our capacity, our learning and our character during those seven weeks has enriched us as a community in ways we hadn’t imagined.”
Roseville College is an independent day school for girls in Kindergarten to Year 12, in the Anglican faith tradition. Founded […]