A term like no other: Learning at Home

No one foresaw or planned the events of 2020, but the way our College community responded has seen us at our best.

The BBC spirit continues to thrive, undiminished and undeterred by the challenges we have faced and those still before us. Indeed, it appears the greater the challenge, the better we respond.

It was a very different start to 2020, unlike anything our boys – or any of us for that matter – have experienced before. As the global COVID-19 pandemic bore down on Australia towards the end of Term 1 and the country was thrown into lockdown, the education sector, like many others, stared down the greatest disruption it had faced in generations. Never in the history of education has an online mode of learning been delivered to all Queensland students.

With challenge, comes opportunity. Opportunity to learn and build skills, knowledge and understanding. Opportunity to thrive. We constantly ask our boys to rise to challenges that are presented to them in a
classroom context and we expected nothing less of ourselves as a College.

“The times demanded this of us, and we responded,” said Headmaster, Mr Paul Brown.

“As a College, we rose to the challenge to deliver continuity of learning, care and co-curricular programs through our Learning at Home model and thanks to our collective foresight, preparation and hard work, we transitioned to this model without our boys missing a single scheduled day of tuition.”

Reflections from our Students, Parents and Staff

“The shift to Learning at Home provided an opportunity to foster a unique sense of individual responsibility, self-management and maturity. This allowed me to develop my self-motivation and organisational skills when attending online classes and doing personal study. All of this was made easier thanks to our teachers’ adaptability to the changed learning environment” – Year 12 Academic Prefect

“I wish to express my heartfelt thanks and congratulations on just how wonderful the Learning at Home experience has been so far. We have been completely blown away by the attention to detail and effort that has been invested to ensure that the experience is inclusive, engaging, productive and fun for the students. The teachers really are doing a fantastic job online, and I know this is a reflection of countless hours of meticulous planning by teaching and administrative staff alike. Please make sure you are all getting enough sleep to stay well!! It’s easy to lead people and organisations in good times. It is the very best leadership that shines through in difficult times” – Middle School Parent

“Our silver linings were having dinner together as a family every night and saying grace. Life slowed down so we made the time. Our children realised how lucky they are to live on the land and also how much they missed their mates, boarding school and life at BBC. As our boys weren’t off seeing mates they spent more time with their father. Making fences, gates, ploughing, fixing machinery. Wonderful skills learnt” – Boarding Parent

“I just want to say “Thank You”. Thank you to the teachers, support staff and all those involved in getting the online learning program off the ground. The amount of work that has gone into the new program shines through in many ways. I have been so impressed, grateful, relieved, motivated and happy and I have every confidence in the program. There is structure, the boys are clear on what they need to do. I can see the interaction, the questioning, the reasoning and the banter, all rolled into one class. The teachers are there for the boys, accessible, and they still genuinely care. The communication continues whether it be email updates, OneNote, discussions in class or follow-up conversations, all the teachers care and the boys feel it. Of course we want our boys to get back to school, back with their mates, back in the routine, back into their sports etc, but for now, we are embracing this new way of learning” – Senior/Middle School Parent

“I wanted to pass on my thanks to you and your staff for keeping us so well informed during this challenging time. I think the school has done an amazing job in preparing all our boys for online learning, I have a son in Middle School and another in Junior School and they both appear more than prepared for what lies ahead. I also appreciate the regular communications that the school has sent out to parents to keep us abreast of the school’s plans so that we can ensure we are preparing our boys at home for the change in learning” – Junior/Middle School Parent

“The experience my son has had Learning at Home has been outstanding and a huge credit to his teacher and to the leadership you have shown in supporting this initiative. We are incredibly appreciative and feel extremely fortunate that you are offering this platform at this time, prior to most schools being ready to offer this form of learning. We have no doubt that many, many hours have been put in. Our son is quite excited by the change and has managed independently, which has been very helpful as I am also working from home. I feel he is maturing very quickly through this experience and has been forced to manage his time, prepare, and organise himself. He will perhaps acquire skills through all of this that we could never have imagined” – Junior School Parent

“A definite silver lining for our family was the outstanding way in which BBC responded and adapted to the new circumstances. It was a very student-centred response and at all times we felt that our son was
being supported to the absolute best of the College’s ability, in both his learning and also his wellbeing (and as a boarder who hasn’t been able to return yet, this support is continuing). A massive thank you to the entire BBC community!” – Boarding Parent

“I would like to say how impressed I have been with the College’s stance, communication and evolution in such a short period of time. I have seen and heard a lot of schools scrambling during the last couple of weeks. The fact that the decision was made for us to go online next week, the day before the government’s announcement that other schools are going student free next week, shows the Executive Team’s touch on the pulse of the situation. Even though it has been a lot of extra work, I feel we are poised and ready for success, giving our students an advantage over many schools. I am proud to be a BBC staff member!” – BBC Teacher

“I can’t help but think that BBC has been one step ahead of this unfolding situation since the very beginning. This is not luck or accident! This is great planning and proactive intelligent resourcing! I am beyond
thrilled with the outcomes being achieved in my Microsoft Teams lessons and my students are even thanking me… not just for continuity, but for the human aesthetic and interaction. Working remotely is not
without its challenges… and I’ve not worked harder in recent years than I am now; but, I am loving it and I am grateful. Grateful to the whole College that I have the resources and the skills to rise to the challenge. Thank you for your calm, controlled and decisive leadership” – BBC Staff member

“I found the Learning at Home online platform to be extremely versatile and alongside our teachers we adapted very quickly to make every lesson feel as ‘normal’ as possible. This period highlighted how much I take simple student and teacher interactions for granted; such as walking between classes, assemblies, and lunch breaks with my mates. It certainly is good to be back at the College” – Year 12 Academic Prefect

“We move forward into our new normal having captured these innovative approaches to education that will inform our practice and help us thrive now, and into the future” – Headmaster, Paul Brown