Gippsland Virtual Learning Networks

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

The Gippsland Virtual Learning Networks (GVLN) commenced with a group of rural schools (Orbost Secondary College, Bairnsdale Secondary College, Mallacoota Secondary College, Swifts Creek Secondary College, Cann River Secondary College, and Lakes Entrance Secondary College) working together to ensure the provision of a broad range of VCE subject offerings in hard to staff and specialist subjects. This group of schools formed the East Gippsland Virtual Learning Network.

From the outset, the East Gippsland schools recognised the need to expand the virtual learning program to offer enrichment units to students in Years 7-10. This thinking has now extended into the other virtual learning networks within the South East Victoria Region (SEVR). A second network evolved  consisting of  five schools from other parts of Gippsland (Maffra Secondary College, Neerim District Secondary College, South Gippsland Secondary College and Yarram Secondary College). This network is known as the Gippsland Rural Schools Virtual Learning Network. These schools were connected through other programs running within Gippsland, most notably the Learning Local, Learning Global Project which was a network of schools developing sister school programs with China.

The arrangements within these two networks create opportunities for students to access challenging and engaging online subjects, lessons and collaborative projects at all year levels. It creates a community of learners for students from similar contexts, enables rural students to remain connected to their community and ‘home’ school, and yet broadens their learning horizons. This occurs through interaction with authentic learning experiences and collaboration with peers locally, nationally and globally.

The goal of the combined GVLN Blended Learning approach is to join the best aspects of both face-to-face (synchronous) and online (asynchronous) instruction.

At VCE level, the virtual learning classes offered include VCE English Literature, Music, Accounting, Physics and Legal Studies, History, Biology and Chemistry, although course availability depends on student demand and a subject teacher volunteering to link students in to their existing class via video conferencing.

At Years 7-10 levels, the networks have provided opportunities for extension and enrichment subjects including Debating, Graphic novels, Forensic Science, Environmental Sustainability, Psychology, Animal Behaviour, CAD design and 3D printing, and music performance, along with extra curricular special interest student groups. There have also been numerous opportunities for students to engage with collaborative projects through national and international organisations, including Questacon, iEARN, NASA and the National Gallery.