The Examiner | Friday 29 March 2019
A FORMER banking call centre has been transformed into an education hub.
Oakwood School in Launceston has recently refitted out the property, at the Technopark at Kings Meadows, over the past 12 months. Oakwood School is a school used by the Brethren community, who typically restrict access with the wider community and use of technology.
The school has campuses in Launceston and Hobart, and is part of the global network of OneSchool established by the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church.
As part of OneSchool Global's ecosystem, Oakwood School delivers a mainstream education to Brethren students, utilising Zoom video conferencing to provide students with choice from a broad range ofsubjects.
Oakwood Launceston regional principal Damien Barry said the campus was unique because it was built around a "learning centre of virtual classrooms."
"Our learning centre is connected to all virtual classrooms working in tandem," he said.
"We are the only school in Australia that has a learning centre attached to multiple virtual classrooms."
Oakwood Launceston was established in 1995 and offers education to Brethren students from grade 3 to year12.
Mr Barry said all the spaces within Oakwood School are versatile and adaptable to cater for different students, year levels, subjects andteachers.
"Our primary school and high school are under one roof, creating exceptional opportunities for collaborative learning and mentoring.
"You do not get this opportunity at larger school campuses,"he said.
Launceston's learning centre offers a range of different learning and collaboration spaces as part of the school's self-directed learning approach.
Mr Barry said this approach required students to prepare themselves ahead of class, for example through watching prescribed video or pre-reading course material and bring to class questions to seek guidance from their teachers. Teachers at the school were non-Brethren members who have years of experience working in independent and government schools. Mr Barry said the success of the development of the campus and its ongoing operations is largely due to the partnership between the school's professional staff and the supportive Brethren community.