BYOD – Bring Your Own Device

All students should bring a laptop.

Our Mercy ethos is precious to us, and the College continues to ensure access of devices to all students regardless of financial constraints. Any families struggling to provide a device are encouraged to contact the school.

The demands of social media and the ubiquitous nature of the internet is an issue and one which is faced both inside, and outside of school.  At Villa Maria College we encourage a healthy and balanced lifestyle.  We promote the use of devices where appropriate and to complement traditional practices.  Downtime and activities away from a screen are important.  We encourage girls to use their time during breaks off-screen.  Policing of sites is difficult, as whilst we block some sites at school, a standard smartphone enables access.  In this area, we work to educate our young women around safe and purposeful device use.

Our BYOD strategies

We have consulted with our parent community and are working to implement the following strategies through our BYOD policies:

  • Reducing stationery in courses
  • Implementing digital citizenship courses for all Year 7-9s
  • Running orientation programmes for students at the beginning of the year in Office 365 and cloud-based filing
  • Loan devices for families experiencing financial strain
  • Recommending an entry-level device for girls, rather than more expensive options
  • Making our 365 system and anti-virus software available for free to all students
  • Using Onenote to provide student with formative feedback as they work towards final assessments
  • Using Onenote to make lessons available for students who are absent
  • Making loan devices available if a student’s one requires repair.

The specifications for a laptop are available on this webpage, Smartphones do not have the capabilities required.

Who to contact

If you have further queries please contact our Assistant Principal, Ms. Sarah Kirk, Villa Maria is committed to ensuring all students have equal access to education.  If there are financial barriers which might pose significant difficulties for you, please contact Ms. Brosnahan, Principal,  We will do our best to meet the needs and requests of families.

Buying a device

You may bring any device that has the specifications below.  If you are studying a specialised subject like L2 or 3 Art or Media, you will need a full Windows laptop.  Computing retail staff are aware of the types of device that work well at schools and will be able to help you choose.

You do not need to buy software.  Microsoft Office software (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Publisher, OneNote) is offered free through the College.  Once the girls start the College, they will have a Villa Maria Log-in and be able to download the software directly from Microsoft.  For girls starting the College in 2023, an Orientation Day will guide them through this process.



Android tablets and Chromebooks are not suitable for Villa’s network. Smartphones and iPads do not have the capabilities required.


The device you bring should be useful for your schoolwork so it needs the following:

  • Dual band wireless – 5GHz (very important!). Look for the phrase AC or Wi-Fi 5 (or greater)
  • Sufficient internal storage. 128GB minimum, 256GB recommended.
  • Sufficient internal memory for multitasking applications. 8GB or greater is recommended
  • A keyboard
  • 11” or bigger screen
  • Battery life of at least 8 hours
  • A bag and/or a sleeve to protect it
  • Anti-virus – free is Ok, like AVG (there are some good free online

Anti-virus software – free is OK

Only install an anti-virus program from a known and trusted source. Keep device software up to date to ensure your anti-virus program remains effective.

A list of anti-virus software can be found here:  Best 10 Antivirus Software 2019

Things to consider

Weight and durability – is it fit for being carried around much of the day?

A service contract – what happens if it has a problem – does your retailer have any replacements on hand to lend to you while yours is being serviced?

Insurance – make sure it is covered on your home contents policy.


Office 365 Software – how to download and install


You do not need to buy Microsoft Office software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, OneNote) as it is free through the College. Once the girls start at the College they will have a Villa log-on and be able to download the software directly from Microsoft.

Anne Fahey - software

Bring Your Own Laptop

You should bring your personal laptop to school and connect to the College’s wireless network.

It is your responsibility to safely use both Villa Maria’s and your personal digital equipment, ensuring respect for others and in accordance with school rules.

The security of your laptop is your responsibility.

Please note that repairs and insurance are not the responsibility of Villa Maria College.


The steps in having your laptop connected to the College wireless are:

  • Load your software – use the link above or check at the Library for information about Student Advantage for free Microsoft software
  • Install a working anti-virus
  • Read and sign a Responsible Use Agreement
  • Get a parent or caregiver to also read and sign the Responsible Use Agreement and return the signed form to Mr Walker or to the Student Office
  • Ask a friend or call at the Library and find out the password that allows you to access our BYOD Wi-Fi network