Located in Chifley in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, Matraville Sports High School (MSHS) is a well established government co-educational secondary school that has specialised in sports education since 2001. Demographically diverse, with a third of the school’s 300 students being from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background, MSHS also has a large number of students from lower socio-economic backgrounds or with disabilities.
Despite the unique, complicated needs this posed, until 2018 staff were using multiple third-party providers to manage different schools requirements, from academic reporting to student wellbeing, and had no learning management system in place. There was a growing desire among members of the school community for a platform that would provide learning management functionality whilst easily connecting with other school processes, for example parent and carer communication.
Principal Nerida Walker had heard about Compass through a number of sources, including a recommendation from timetabling software providers Edval and a member of staff at MSHS, whose child attended a school partnered with Compass. After receiving positive feedback from another NSW Department of Education secondary school, Walker commenced discussions with the Compass team, including a demonstration of the platform for IT and admin staff at the school. Impressed by the breadth of functions and ease of use the product could provide, as well as the flexibility and support offered by Compass as a business, the school decided to go forward with implementation.
Walker acknowledges that there were initial challenges when implementing Compass, but that these were addressed with care and urgency by the Compass team, and human error in the platform was very easy to identify making it simple to rectify. Smoothing out these early ‘teething problems’ very quickly resulted in the school community having the platform they were looking for: the single, centralised nature of Compass providing the most immediate and profound benefit.
For example, many of MSHS’s Aboriginal students will attend additional educational support programs beyond the school gates, for instance offering homework support. Previously the school would upload work for students to a shared drive, but through Compass’ Learning Tasks module there is far greater ease of access and transparency around what activities and tasks need to be completed. Additionally, teachers will add activities to their schedules, including summaries of work to be completed, which parents and carers or tutors have access to. This allows everyone to have a clear picture of what is expected of students, inside and outside the school gates.
Even better, as Compass is also used to log welfare and wellbeing concerns, and all the information collected feeds into semester reports without manual collation, it’s possible to develop a holistic understanding of each and every student. This makes it far more than a simple tool for managing the day-to-day activity of the school.