In the finaI week of Term One, Immanuel Lutheran College trialled its remote learning program, Staying Connected. Using Microsoft Teams, OneNote and other modes of communication, and the hashtag #HomeButNotAlone, the focus was on ensuring staff and students remained connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Immanuel was strongly positioned to enter such a learning environment given we have been on a journey of Blended Learning for the past four years,” said Principal Colin Minke.
"Students and teachers are very familiar with online learning and have used Immanuel's Learning Management System (SEQTA) along with applications such as OneNote and Seesaw extensively in recent times.
"Following a government directive, for the first five weeks of Term Two, teachers delivered Staying Connected in a full-time capacity before students in Prep, Years 1 and 2 and Years 10 to 12 returned to school," he said.
“Staying Connected was much broader than just a learning platform. It incorporated project-based learning, Christian Studies, specialist subjects, differentiation, learning enrichment and other elements of a high-quality learning program,” said Mr Minke.
“Teachers engaged with students online through interactive modes including Microsoft Teams for Years 4 to Year 9 and Seesaw for Year 3s; as well as more traditional means such as phone and email."
“Students of essential workers were still permitted to attend school and were supervised and engaged in the Staying Connected program of learning onsite,” he said.
“We understood that one of the most significant challenges for our students (and families) was the social isolation that came as a result of these measures. We were acutely aware of how being separated physically from peers could affect the wellbeing of children and so we developed a range of resources and approaches for families. These ranged from how to set up a successful learning environment to activities that encouraged interaction and social cohesion."
"We also took time to speak to our families and teachers who gave us feedback saying that Immanuel students are resilient; they enjoy exceptional relationships with staff and are active learners with a high level of engagement. They embraced activities like mindfulness, and experienced first-class teaching practices which allowed them to aim for excellence, every day."
“Over the past few weeks there has not been a lot of ‘normal’ in this situation. However, the things that underpin our community – the warm relationships, the high-quality educational delivery and the commitment to pastoral care and wellbeing – remain. We know that the things that make Immanuel special have been there throughout. Our mission and vision remain unchanged: Inspiring Learning. Building Community and Enriching Lives."
"We are thrilled to again be a Prep to Year 12 campus and embrace face-to-face learning once again," said Mr Minke.
"Remote learning with Immanuel was a pleasure for our family. While our daughters in Years 6 and 8 worked independently from us, in close consultation with their teachers during online conferencing, we had glimpses of classroom antics and atmospheres we would not normally be privy to and they seemed to make good academic progress. Our son in Year 1 was guided from a distance by his teachers while we took their advice in integrating fun, home-based interactive activities while still making good progress on this important leg of his learning journey. As per usual, Immanuel focused on the wellbeing of the kids and all of our children have come away with even more independence, more openness to share about their learning over the dinner table and have been otherwise unfazed by the unknowns of this time."
- Carley & Nic Walker (Parents)