BYOD & Stationery

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 students with formative feedback as they work toward 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 Deputy Principal for Curriculum, Ms. Sarah Kirk, at Villa Maria College is committed to ensuring all students have equal access to education. If there are financial barriers that might pose significant difficulties for you, please contact Ms. Brosnahan, Principal, at We will do our best to meet the needs and requests of families.

Buying a device

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, Teams, OneNote) is offered free through the College.  Once the students start the College, they will have a Villa Maria Log-in and be able to download the software directly from Microsoft.  For students starting the College at the beginning of the year, an Orientation Day will guide them through this process.

The below devices are examples of suitable devices which match the required specifications. Our IT partner, Contrast Technologies, has made these devices available for purchase through their BYOD portal page which is linked below. These devices may also be found and purchased at local IT and Electronic retail stores.

HP Pro x360 Fortis 11

Lenovo V14-ARE

Microsoft Laptop Go 2

Apple MacBook 13″ Air

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

For a range of devices please visit the Contrast BYOD Portal Page


You may bring any device that has the specifications below. Smartphones, tablets and Chromebooks do not have the capabilities required.

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

  • Windows 10/11 or MacOS
  • Dual band wireless – 5GHz
  • Storage 128 GB minimum Solid State Drive (SSD), 256 GB recommended SSD
  • RAM 8GB or greater
  • A keyboard
  • 11″ or bigger screen
  • Battery life of at least 8 hours
  • A protective bag/sleeve
  • Free antivirus software

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.

Resources & Software

How to connect to College wireless

  • 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


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.

Stationery Requirements

Click the links below to download a printable stationery list.