Rouse Hill High School
Virtual reality helps keep traditions and school community alive.
Some school traditions are worth keeping hold of even in the toughest of times, like student recognition and teacher-parent nights.
Award nights have long been a powerful way to reward students for their hard work and achievements, and to share those achievements with the broader school community, and parents and friends.
But when COVID-19 pushed students into remote learning, at first it seemed almost impossible to continue with this great tradition.
Recognising the importance of whole school events, Rouse Hill High School in Sydney’s Hills District decided to take its assemblies online to keep the community connected during the pandemic. Interactive live stream assemblies included messages from the principal and senior executive engaging the community, Anzac Day commemorations and wellbeing messages from the school captains.
The school then broadcast a student recognition assembly incorporating pre-recorded video messages from faculties and year advisors celebrating student achievements. They were played in each classroom and students were presented with certificates of achievement. Photos of the award recipients were then posted on Facebook to spread the good news about their achievements.
The school also turned to the virtual world to continue with parent-teacher nights, which had become more important than ever due to the extra load on students' shoulders thanks to remote learning, and the stresses associated with social distancing and virus testing.
Parents could book a timeslot to join a Zoom meeting with teachers to discuss their child’s progress.
When it came to the school’s most senior students, the traditional Stage 6 subject selection evenings were replaced with a series of subject-specific video links designed by expert teachers to tell students about the requirements for each subject.
Students could book interviews online to talk to head teachers about their subject choices or submit questions via Google Forms.
Thanks to its decision to combine the traditions of the past with today’s technology, Rouse Hill High has emerged from remote learning with its school community intact.