Where there is a will, there is a way, and staff and students at St Andrew’s Anglican College certainly have plenty of will.
Despite the many challenges COVID-19 has brought for schools, the Peregian Springs based school has chosen to use this unprecedented period to get creative and try new ideas in the co-curricular space.
Team sports, music groups, interest groups, training, competing, volunteering and all the additional things that usually make up the schooling experience are currently on hold.
However, recognising that not all lessons are necessarily learnt in a classroom and the important role co-curricular activities play in self-development and connectedness, staff at St Andrew’s have developed a range of additional opportunities for students to engage in online.
Although impossible to replicate the College’s extensive regular co-curricular programs – almost all students participate in at least one co-curricular opportunity at a time – students at St Andrew’s Anglican College are continuing to engage in a range of co-curricular activities, albeit in a slightly different format.
College Principal Chris Ivey said that introducing a range of co-curricular activities will help students develop resilience and keep them connected.
“Co-curricular opportunities are where students learn more about themselves, about working in teams, about achieving a goal outside of the classroom,” Mr Ivey said.
“It’s where they learn persistence, how to deal with failure, how to push themselves, how to serve others and so many other qualities we want each of our students to develop.
“Our students thrive on opportunities and experiences because they value the connections, both with each other and with our staff.
“If we believe this, then we need to find ways for these opportunities to continue in an online environment…many of our students are quite alone at the moment and we want them to stay connected both within and outside the classroom. The classroom is just one facet of learning.”
Beginning with a virtual cross country, the first range of activities has been released to students from Prep to Year 12, with more planned as the term continues.
So far more than 400 students have taken up the Virtual Cross Country Challenge, logging more than 2300km using the Nike Run Club app or other apps, and earning House points similarly to the annual gathered school event.
Other opportunities include:
- an online Open Mic using ‘Flipgrid’
- an art recreation challenge
- a Saints Soapbox challenge
- Service opportunities
- 100 Club with Brett Holman
- a drive-through library book collection service.
Arts Leader and Year 12 student Virgo particularly enjoyed the art recreation challenged, which involved students recreating famous artworks at home and taking photos of their recreations.
“I loved the art recreation challenge because I got to re-create the Creation of Adam with my dog. It not only was hilarious trying to get the photo together, but I felt a sense of community, as I knew others were doing the same activity,” Virgo said.
“It’s so easy to get distracted and be unmotivated, but with little activities your brain remains switched on and you get to have some fun.
“By staying engaged, it’s easier to transfer back into normal learning.”
College Principal Chris Ivey reflected positively on the past weeks as a learning opportunity and a chance to think outside the box, rather than just doing what has always been done historically.
“We are an agile school. We have a culture of always ensuring we stay on top of what is happening, one that looks to improve where appropriate and to reflect carefully. We are adapting all the time – this is just on a bigger scale,” he said.
“I have challenged members of the Executive Team and Senior Leaders to ask the questions…what have we learned from this experience that we want to retain? Are there some aspects of what we’ve done in the past that we don’t want to go back to? Let’s consider everything, staff, students, learning, pastoral care…everything.”Jump to next article