Helping students to learn, learn, learn

Tuesday 12th September, 2017



Vanessa Harvey is Head of Learning Development and Site Co-Ordinator at Oakwood’s Launceston Campus in Tasmania and loves this time of year. It’s when Year 10 and 11 students are picking subjects for 2018.

“I think this is a very exciting time because they are able to guide their learning into paths about which they are excited,” she says. “It’s the beginning of the process towards life after school. My favourite part about working here is seeing that growth and development of our students towards their goals.”

Having taught in other schools, there is a common theme that Vanessa echoes from other teachers who work at OneSchool .

“The main difference between working at Oakwood and other state and/or private schools is the active involvement of the Community in their children’s learning,” says Vanessa. “The Community has a deep investment in the school, support events within the school and take a strong interest in what is happening with the students’ learning. Also, I really enjoy the size of the school because it enables you to get to know each student well.”

Vanessa has been at the school since 2015 so like a lot of recent employees, the virtual classroom is a newish experience that she is coming to terms with as a teaching tool.

“Teaching via VC has taken a little getting used to but if we expect the students to be life-long learners, we as staff, should lead the way,” she says. “I enjoy trying new things, and I believe using the virtual classroom technology ensures all our students have equal access to all subjects, regardless of their physical location.”

Overall, Vanessa finds both the students and parents excellent to deal with over the course of the year.

“I find the students have inquisitive minds and are developing stronger skills in self-directed learning,” she says. “I have found the parents to be extremely supportive. They want the best for their children, and so do we.  Parents and staff are working together towards the same goal – helping students to learn, learn, learn.”