College adapts to online learning

WelCom May 2020: Online learning during Covid-19 lockdown has worked well for Sacred Heart College, Napier. Term two got off to a digital start on 15 April with students adapting…

WelCom May 2020:

College adapts to online learning Archdiocese of Wellington
Sacred Heart College head girl Lucy Dinneen does schoolwork online from home. 
Photo: Supplied

Online learning during Covid-19 lockdown has worked well for Sacred Heart College, Napier. Term two got off to a digital start on 15 April with students adapting diligently to studies online.

Principal Maria Neville-Foster says this time of uncertainty has involved the school monitoring and maintaining student and staff wellbeing. ‘It’s not enough to just put a load of content knowledge online and expect our girls to pick it up. There’s more to teaching than content; ensuring lines of communication remain open and keeping their faith alive and connected is really important. Starting each day with prayer and posting regular updates from within the Catholic community locally and globally form a key part of this.’ 

Despite the abrupt end to ‘normal’ school on March 23, planning had been well underway to prepare for online learning. For those without devices or internet the school issued laptops and hard-copy course material. ‘Where we haven’t been able to do face-to-face, teachers are connecting either through email or phone to make sure the students are okay,’ Mrs Neville-Foster said. 

The school day has mostly remained the same with students attending five classes through Microsoft Teams, with breaks in between. Deputy Principal Elizabeth Ross said the same format was chosen to ensure as much continuity as possible. ‘Not only are students learning and engaged, but continue to receive social contact.’ 

Mrs Neville-Foster said, ‘Our teachers have been working on altering their [NZQA] programmes, to ensure the girls aren’t disadvantaged. I am proud of our students and staff and how quickly they have adapted.’

Head Girl Lucy Dinneen says attending school virtually has been a positive experience. ‘Everyone has looked out for each other.’