Virtual Schools Networks: VCE and Language Provision

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Eleven secondary colleges across the Wimmera District of Victoria developed a network of schools cooperating together to provide a guaranteed and viable curriculum through the utilisation of shared resources and a collaborative framework. A cluster of schools called ‘North Central Cluster’ also embarked on a similar project utilising video conferencing as the medium for synchronous delivery of VCE subjects, combined with asynchronous provision of online resources and materials.  By 2013 a network of 24 schools with 227 students was established.  The primary aims were to determine what were the leading practices, innovative solutions and best mix of resources required to address issues of educational disadvantage experienced by students, teachers and schools in rural and remote locations.

A key to this was the identification of ‘the best mix of viable and adaptable provision solutions in rural Victoria’. The project drew on the earlier local experience of online learning in the Grampians and the blended education delivery model operating in Canada to develop a framework.

The network structure continues to deliver VCE and language curriculum across rural and regional schools using video conferencing technologies. The project established a community of learning across the schools, standardised infrastructure, developed professional development for users (practitioners and students), and established protocols for assessment and student support.

The virtual schools network concept has grown to suit and address needs in local situations across Victorian schools delivering a large range of VCE subjects and language provision options for chiefly Primary Schools.

A range of video conferencing is used to deliver VCE subjects into small secondary schools and languages education into primary schools. All schools participating are equipped to receive and send video using their video conferencing technology. Using a blended learning approach, a normal class lesson is attended via a live video conferencing feed, which enables the teacher and students to interact with video and audio in real time as if they were in the classroom. Vodcasts, mobile technologies and a range of learning platforms supplement the face to face contact afforded by the video conferencing.

In 2015 there are 62 Victorian schools representing 2101 students spread across all regions involved in virtual language delivery using video conferencing technologies on a weekly basis. Languages include Japanese, Chinese, German, Indonesian, AUSLAN and Italian. Schools generally work in clusters sharing the one remotely located language teacher. 

 For more information, see: Grampians Virtual School