MSB9159_Bennies Buzz_NOV-2016_hi-res - page 20

A group of Year 9 girls from Mount St Benedict College have
led the development of a College mobile app. With features
including bus arrival notifications, canteen specials, daily
notices and the College newsletter, the girls’ ambitious
project has been an important foundation in building their
leadership skills.
The inspiration for the app came while the girls were
participating in the College’s inaugural Year 9 program
‘Leadership without a Badge’ in 2015. During the Year 9 Camp
and then over subsequent Pastoral Care sessions, students
were challenged to make a difference within the College
community, identifying a need and how they could initiate and
develop a change.
The ‘Year 9 App Group’ focused on the well-being of new Year
7 students and any issues or concerns about starting at the
College. Whilst brainstorming ideas that might make them
feel more supported in their new environment, they identified
missing a school bus as a stressful situation and focused on
how they could alleviate this.
Using the program frameworks, the girls embarked on an
extensive consultation process including presenting to their
house group and their year group. At each stage the girls had
to refine their brief based on the feedback received including
additions for the app.
The girls were also encouraged to seek advice, support and
approval from professionals within the College. The College’s
Head of ICT was a key mentor for the girls, involving them in
briefing the developers as well as the pilot and subsequent
launch of the app.
The girls ran the app development as a mini project,
all taking specific roles and following a basic project
methodology. For most, it was the first time they had
worked in this way. Being introduced to terminology such
as ‘business requirements’ and ‘change management’ were
new concepts for the girls, but seeing the project through to
the end demonstrated to them the power and importance of
good planning and teamwork.
When asked about their key learning points on the project,
two of the student leaders on the ‘Year 9 App Group’ said they
were grateful to have built up their teamwork and project
planning skills and could see the importance of having a
reliable team in place.
The girls are pleased that their work on the app has been
of benefit to the College community and are excited about
Students Lead MSB
App Development
further stages planned with personalised content e.g.
individual student timetables.
One of the most popular functions of the app has been the
ability for bus departure notifications. Students have the
ability to select which bus they wish to be notified about.
When that bus arrives at the College at the end of the school
day, the app will notify the girls that it is ready to board.
To date there has been a positive response to the app with
over 500 students and staff downloading the app since the
start of the school year.
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Bennies Buzz
Summer 2016
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