Sacred Heart College

Student readiness for a technology rich future at Sacred Heart College, Geelong

By measuring its innovative ICT strategies against the school’s Mercy Education founding values, Sacred Heart engenders a culture where students are motivated, courageous users of technology.

The College depends on valued, respectful supplier partnerships with Apple and Compnow for its success.

Sacred Heart College, Geelong (SHC) is proud of its achievements, its nearly 1,500 students and 210 staff. As one of Victoria’s largest Catholic secondary girls schools, the College’s modern and dynamic environment equips students for a rapidly changing world.

Watch the full case study on SHC’s journey below:


The Challenge

Sacred Heart’s technology environment is to deliver differentiated learning that is accessible at all times.

The Solution

The College leverages Apple innovation plus Compnow expertise and industry knowledge for continuity of learning that prepare students for dynamic futures.

The Benefits
  • Future culture built on innovative, reliable Apple environment
  • Efficiencies of long term, trusted Compnow valued added service
  • Compnow full time, onsite engineer for rapid response fixes and deep tech-in-education knowledge
  • Compnow custom onsite break fix servicing program for high repair volumes school environments
  • Always accessible technology for maximised lesson impact
  • Students are confident tech users, adaptable for multi careers

Sacred Heart must stay in the driver’s seat in the way we teach and our students learn for confident futures. With increasing flexibility demands and hybridity, our relationships with external services providers, like Apple and Compnow, are ever more critical.

Mel Riley Deputy Principal – Pedagogy, Learning Design & Innovation
Sacred Heart College, Geelong

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The Challenge

Mark Pleasance, Director of ICT at Sacred Heart says: “We work with a diverse range of students and awesome teachers. Every decision we make is about educating young women to make a difference with their lives, and how to prepare students for the technology developments and workplaces of the future.

“Not only must we provide cutting edge technology, but also teach students the skills to use ICT ethically and responsibly – in a way that speaks to the values of our school, like courage and respect.

“Continuity of learning is the driver for our very strong ICT infrastructure. The whole environment must be adaptable and able to scale quickly. We need a structured and efficient way to service & maintain our device fleet.

“Critical to all of this, for us to support all projects happening across the school, we need partners that can expose us to the new and exciting technologies. Our learning can’t stop,” he says.


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The Solution

Richie McCann, Leader of Innovation and Networks at SHC, says: “Our culture is driven by innovation. To be futuristic we need key partners like Compnow. They’ve been integral to the learning journey of the school – in terms of procurement, technical assistance and advice. It’s the individualised care, the attitude they have in how they present everything – from a simple fix, to consulting with teachers on things to take back to the classroom – that sets them apart.

“As our students will move between multiple industries and jobs over their careers, we need to give them future readiness. The link between technology and teaching is vital to meet our needs, now and for tomorrow. Our Apple-based platforms allow students to experiment in collaboration, team building and creativity.”

Vital to The College’s 1-to-1 program – that requires 550 new MacBook Airs each year – are the service agreements it has with Apple and Compnow. SHC has AppleCare+ warranty and accidental damage, combined with Compnow’s specific extended warranty and onsite break fix servicing program that covers school environment high repair volumes.

For the past 9 years, the school’s Help Desk has been manned full time by a Compnow engineer who is responsible for parts ordering – from the school’s stock warehoused by Compnow. “That quick repair turnaround service structure is a vital cog in the technology continuity wheel. Students aren’t interrupted, or ever go home without a device,” Richie says.

Mark says: “With Compnow supporting us, when we see new technology emerging, we can trial it in a small way, with small groups of students or teachers and scale when we’re ready.”


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The Benefits

Mel Riley, Deputy Principal – Pedagogy, Learning Design and Innovation at SCH, says: “Because we farewell graduates into a technologically saturated world, we encourage students to take risks, be independent and able to self-modify and self-monitor. They thrive here because they have excellent resources and facilities.”

From a teaching perspective, she says: “Technology can be both a blessing and a curse in the classroom. While it can be an enabler, it can also be a disrupter. The worst thing to happen when you’re in the middle of a really great lesson, or depending on technology rich tools, is for there to be a problem with student devices or access.

“One of the pleasant surprises since joining Sacred Heart, is that I’ve never had an issue with connectivity or devices. Both student learning and my teaching, and the synergy that has to be present between those two elements, has never been interrupted. I don’t have to think about a Plan B. The seamless integration of technology into the nuts & bolts of the classroom takes a huge load off teachers.”

The single, Apple-based ecosystem drives Sacred Heart’s continuity of learning. Mel says: “One of the things I love about Apple devices is they talk to each other without you having to think about it – features like AirDrop make life very easy.”

And SHC’s strategy to have teachers and students on the same device means “we all talk the same language. From the 26 people in the classroom we can usually quickly troubleshoot ourselves. That’s very different to the BYOD experiences I’ve had in other schools.”

Even for getting larger fixes: “Often there are fractious relationships between IT services providers and schools. I’ve come into Sacred Heart and it’s collegial and seamless between our needs and Compnow’s service,” Mel says.

In support, Mark says: “Anyone can sell boxes, but the beauty for us is Compnow’s after sales service – in having them understand what we’re trying to do, who we are and why we do what we do. Compnow worked with our people to give them first hand experience of what it’s like in industry, how to work best in it, and get the most out of it. We throw curve balls at Compnow and they always come back with a structured method for us to achieve what we want to achieve.”

‘Shared values’ is a much touted phrase, but here there is genuine matching across the College’s Mercy foundation and Compnow’s 12 Pillars. Compnow’s greatly appreciated and deep involvement in the education sector is vital to SHC’s preparations of its young people for their futures. Compnow consistently exceeds the College’s expectations with additional small and large commitments. It has sponsored the newly built STEM program and Innovation Precinct. Compnow’s Development Team worked with the SHC Bradbury Club to turn their ‘Interesting Facts Competition’ into an App game for mobile.


From a student perspective, three articulate & confident young women contributed these comments:

College Captain Ella Goodwin says: “The Apple devices we have in the classroom are so intuitive to use – with features like AirDrop allowing us to easily share files – which is particularly important when we’re doing group projects.”

College Captain Georgia McCardel says: “Whether you can or can’t come to school on a certain day, you have online and hybrid options, so you don’t miss out on anything.”

College Captain Hannah Brady says: “Because we’ve experienced differentiated learning styles, we’re ready to take on different platforms when we go out into the workforce.”


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