How PLC Sydney made the most of remote learning.
The coronavirus induced transition to remote learning presented a huge range of challenges to schools and families, with many parents fearing that their children would be disadvantaged by the disruption.
But at PLC Sydney it was far from a bad experience. In fact, it was a great win for us, thanks to swift action and a lot of hard work.
By the time NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the closure of schools as part of the non-essential services lockdown, PLC Sydney had already taken classes online.
We actually started on the Thursday before the premier made it official on the Monday. We decided when the curve really took off that we would try to avoid having a case and look after our staff [who] were particularly vulnerable because of adult-to-adult transmission.
Using Zoom video conferencing software for lessons and Google Classroom for homework and assignments, the school of almost 1400 students didn’t skip a beat. Even the technology cooperated, with PLC Sydney encountering far fewer problems than anticipated.
The hardest part was keeping students engaged with learning, especially in the early years. For Years 3-12, it worked really well. We were primarily concerned for the young ones, as they needed more assistance.
Dr Paul Burgis is the current Principal of the Presbyterian Ladies College, Sydney. Paul is married and has three daughters and lives in Drummoyne, Sydney. In his leisure time he enjoys reading history, theology, philosophy and poetry, supporting the Cronulla Sharks and wild bird photography. He worships with his family at Drummoyne Presbyterian Church.