Australian first virtual high school a hit in the region

ONLINE LEARNING: Ayla Hausen (student) and Jenny Densley (teacher) are part of the internet-based Aurora College, operating out of Kyogle High School.
ONLINE LEARNING: Ayla Hausen (student) and Jenny Densley (teacher) are part of the internet-based Aurora College, operating out of Kyogle High School.

STUDENTS and teachers from the Northern Rivers are helping to create the Aurora College, Australia's first virtual high school for rural and remote students.

The computer and internet-based school offers selective classes in maths, science and English to cater for gifted and talented students, giving them the chance to study subjects not available in their own schools.

Students attend their high schools just like a regular student, but also get time away from standard classes to attend the Aurora College via the internet.

Students from rural schools across the state meet in a virtual classroom where they have an audio and visual connection allowing them to talk and see each other.

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They can also connect with each other via an email-based chat room.

Kyogle High School Year 7 student Ayla Hausen was accepted into the program after taking an aptitude test last year.

"It is a lot more independent, people go at their own pace," she said.

Aurora College students meet each other in person when residential colleges are held throughout the year.

"I made lots of friends when we all went to Sydney," Ayla said.

When she is finished with Aurora College, she does her other subjects in standard Kyogle High classes, as well as taking lunch and recess with the rest of the school.

Head English teacher at Kyogle High, Jennifer Densley, also teaches with Aurora College.

She said she was enjoying working with the new technology.

"It is a new and interesting way to teach students," she said.

Students form Mullumbimby and Ballina are also part of the Aurora College, the first of its kind in Australia.

The school will grow over time with a new selective intake added every year.



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