Celebrating first year of virtual classrooms for regional students

15 October 2015

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli has congratulated staff and students on the success of the virtual school Aurora College and highlighted new possibilities for regional students in 2016. In its first year of operation the selective high school has enriched student learning across 40 communities in NSW.

Next year, the virtual school's enrolment is predicted to nearly double to more than 200, with new subjects including Japanese and Italian for Year 11, and HSC subjects being taught for the first time.

"This innovative new virtual approach allows students, regardless of where they live, to study in selective streams or pursue challenging senior subjects locally," Mr Piccoli said.

"Students in rural and remote communities deserve the same opportunities as those in the cities. Virtual learning at Aurora means that academically gifted students from communities like Cowra, Eden and Coonamble are already benefiting from options they never had before."

Andrew Strachan, the father of a Year 7 student from Goulburn High School, complimented virtual learning and his son's involvement with Aurora College.

"By combining his Aurora College studies with those of his home school, Mackewin can remain part of the local community, while accessing a level of education that suits his particular learning needs," Mr Strachan said.

Partners like Bell Shakespeare, the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN), All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO), the State Library of NSW, and Macquarie University provide extraordinary masterclasses for students.

Next year, 63 students will start Year 7. New students will come from a range of high schools including Tumut, Maclean, Broken Hill and Moruya.

Other senior subjects available include extension Maths, History and English, Physics, Economics and Agriculture.

"Bringing this virtual education facility to fruition has been a major exercise but it offers regional students unprecedented subjects that are both engaging and challenging," Mr Piccoli said.


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