Headmaster's Blog

Reinventing Education

A lot can change in a week.
Last week we were preparing for the possibility of Off-Campus (or online) learning. This week all lessons are being delivered as if students are Off-Campus (and most are). Last week, I was taken by an article in the Sydney Morning Herald in which a student had a practise day of off-line learning from her school in Sydney. This week, all of our students are experiencing this for themselves.


This is a summary of her diary:
7.30 am: This morning I had a sleep in. Class usually starts at 8.30 am but today we had to be logged on by 8.20 am. We had to dress in our school uniform.
8.20 am: Period I – Drama. We had a live conference call with our teacher, then we were split off into groups to collaborate and finish the planning and writing for our assessment. It was almost like a big group FaceTime.
9.30 am: For French, we had to work on tasks that we had been set for our listening assessment, and then from 9.45 am we all had to check in with our teacher. My French teacher listened to us speak so that she could correct our accents.
10.55 am: Christian Development. Halfway through the lesson we had a live conference call. Our teacher had technical difficulties for the first 10 minutes of the live stream, because of the Wi-Fi.
12.00 pm: Lunch with my mum and my grandma.
1.10 pm: English: We began watching the Baz Luhrmann version of Romeo and Juliet. Leonardo DiCaprio was quite hot back then.
2.15 pm: During period 5 we had maths. There were a few technical glitches throughout maths as there was lag, and sometimes we couldn’t hear our teacher.


All in all, it was an amazing day. This is a great way to keep learning during times of crisis. I felt like an adult working from home using my device.
(Edited from the diary of a real student. Article By Lara Winsbury, Sydney Morning Herald, March 15, 2020)


At Wollondilly, there have been a few teething problems as we have switched to an Off-Campus Learning model. We expected some issues. Thanks to parents for your patience as we managed those issues. Amongst the scramble, there have been many moments of joy. Staff are exhausted but happy. I could not be more proud of the troops and their dedication to the cause. They report being busier than ever. There is an extra workload in updating or learning skills for online delivery and extra work on top of that in the preparation of different styled lessons.


Thanks to parents. It is a much easier scenario for Sydney households and their IT connectivity to manage online learning as in the example above. Quite another prospect for those in small villages or remote properties. (Thanks again to the staff for working with these parents to ensure the best possible outcome). Thanks for your goodwill, patience, enthusiasm and encouragement. Students have responded very well. It is easy to look at the example from the newspaper and imagine a girl in a quite exclusive club of willing workers. What surprises many (but not us) is the dedication and determination of our own students reflecting a commitment to quality learning.


We can do nothing about the Pandemic but we can control our response to it. God bless you all.


“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters to what lies within us”.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)


“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but
where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”.
(Martin Luther King, Jr.)


God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.
(Psalm 46)