Gunnedah South Public School
When the virtual world becomes part of the normal school day.
Gunnedah South Public School’s embrace of digital learning didn’t stop at the classroom door: everything from school assemblies to music performances is now online.
At Gunnedah South Public School, in north-west NSW, students are so connected and engaged with their schoolwork you could almost forget COVID-19 had turned teaching and learning upside down.
Student achievements and birthdays are celebrated at virtual school assemblies developed by the student leadership team, and students have access to their own classroom channel, joining daily ‘meet nows’ to share work and receive feedback with classmates and teachers.
There is a virtual school library where students can talk to the librarian, browse online bookshelves and explore online exhibitions, and even a playground channel where, under teacher supervision, students can chat with their classmates.
Conscious that no child should be left behind because of the disruption to school life, Gunnedah South Public’s Aboriginal Education Team created an online space where all students could connect with each other, and a ‘Word of the Week’ video is released that celebrates the local Gamilaraay language.
Students with musical talents took part in the Gunnedah Online Music Eisteddfod Channel, while budding artists participate in an online art competition.
The school with the support from the P&C bought more than 400 laptops, and customised all 617 laptops to ensure every student had access to its online platform on an even playing field. It also provided USBs to children who didn’t have access to wi-fi so learning could always happen.
All of these online learning platforms have enabled the school’s teachers to adopt a tailored approach to regular classroom activities. High-achieving students, for example, are challenged with Extension Maths and Writing Channels, while other students are given additional support via individualised online lessons.
Teachers have developed step-by-step instructions to guide students through online learning platforms, and have designed self-explanatory, engaging and relevant lessons to make the online learning experience as smooth as possible.
Gunnedah South’s online revolution has even extended to school planning and administration. The school team remains committed to every student having access and success with schooling, no matter the location.