Photo: aerial view of Carmel College, with Lake Pupuke in the foreground, and the Hauraki Gulf and Rangitoto Island in the background.
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Carmel College is an integrated Catholic school for girls from Y7 to Y13 on Auckland’s North Shore in New Zealand, founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1957. As a Mercy school, it is governed by the five core Mercy values of care of the poor and vulnerable, compassion, justice, service, and respect for human dignity.
Carmel is fortune to have great teachers and students who are hardworking and enjoy success academically, as well as in a wide range of co-curricular activities. The Carmel community is proud to be actively involved in the wider community, helping to support services such as De Paul House and Hospice.
Given Carmel College has been an all-star ParentPaperwork user for over a year, we asked the Personal Assistant to the Principal, Deborah Goudie, to take a moment out of her busy schedule to tell us about Carmel and how they are using technology, specifically ParentPaperwork.
ParentPaperwork: You’ve been in your role at Carmel College for five years, Deborah. What have been your fondest memories so far?
Deborah Goudie: “Experiencing the students on mass is something quite special. Throughout the academic year, there are a number of occasions when the whole school assembles, such as for the Dedication Mass at the start of the year. There is a great sense of community and positive energy at these events.”
When and how did you come to hear about ParentPaperwork and what appealed to you about the platform?
“About this time last year, an email was received by the college giving a brief synopsis on how ParentPaperwork worked and advising that David Eedle [CTO of ParentPaperwork] would be visiting Auckland if we would like to meet him. The possible benefits from ParentPaperwork seemed too good to miss out on, so we took him up on his offer.”
Would you say that Carmel College is using ParentPaperwork in any unique way?
“I can’t say that we’re using the system in a unique manner, as such. One of the unexpected spinoffs is that parent email addresses are now kept up-to-date. Feedback from parents and teachers has been positive too.”
From your experience of ParentPaperwork, do you have any advice for other users?
“Depending on the student management system that schools use, it is important to have lists set up in SMS that can be pulled into ParentPaperwork. This reduces double entry.”
“I would also say, if you have a problem, do not hesitate to email ParentPaperwork because response rates are excellent and, even if we don’t get the answer straight away, ParentPaperwork always pulls out all stops to sort the issue as quickly as possible.”
How do you see the future of technology in your school?
“Technology in schools is well-embedded now. The New Zealand Ministry of Education has indicated they will be incorporating digital technologies into the curriculum in the next year from Y1 through to Y13.”
“ParentPaperwork is now how we do business at Carmel College. Other technologies used are based on the Google platform, such as Google Classrooms and Google Forms.”
What would you say are the biggest challenges for educators in terms of technology?
“Internet security, educating students about appropriate use of technology, and guiding them to optimise the benefits from technology.”
If the magic teacher fairy could grant you three wishes, what would they be?
“Wish number one would be not having to send out so much paperwork in the first place. Then I’d like to have people respond when we do send out the paperwork and really need an answer.”
“Also, reducing the bureaucratic workload would be a big one, such as all the reports for various agencies and stakeholders.”
“However, seeing the students grow, almost exponentially with developments in digital technologies is exciting. Students are creating adaptations, applications and their own opportunities – in some cases, writing their career paths.”