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Home » School News » From COVID-19 to a new Declaration

From COVID-19 to a new Declaration


As our society slowly but inevitably emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing is becoming ever clearer: the world we return to will not be the one we left.

Over the past 20 months or so, we have faced, individually and collectively, a host of challenges, not only beyond our experience but actually beyond what any of us could have foreseen.

COVID-19 clusters have been met with lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, witnessing not only the greatest migration of office workers from the city to the home, but also the greatest shutdown of schools and learning centres in our entire history. Literally overnight, education moved online and curriculum and high-stakes examinations were revised to not only take into account the unique at-home learning environment, but also the wellbeing of students and staff alike. As we return to face-to-face classrooms, could these very same challenges be the actual catalyst required for us to rethink education in a broader sense, for us to recommit to high-quality schooling and for us to issue a new Declaration?

In 1989, the Hobart Declaration, and in 1999, the Adelaide Declaration, committed the state, territory and Commonwealth Education Ministers to work together to deliver high-quality schooling for all young Australians. These were followed in 2008 by the Melbourne Declaration, which acknowledged major changes in the world and, in 2019, by the Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Declaration, which emphasised addressing education gaps, as well as preparing students to thrive in a rapidly changing and challenging world. Although these Declarations are noble and important, and although the fundamentals of the Australian Curriculum are arguably sound, two criticisms seem universal and ever-lasting: our curriculum is overcrowded and our reliance on high-stakes examinations is not conducive to fulfilling the bold standards made clear in each successive Declaration. COVID-19, somewhat paradoxically, has created an opportunity for Australian educators to consider addressing these two criticisms.

At-home learning during COVID-19 resulted not only in changes of delivery, but also in what was being delivered. With considerations for the wellness of all, content was revised and reduced, differentiated assessments were introduced and collaboration increased. “Content-heavy” was universally understood as detrimental to both wellbeing and learning, and engagement was managed by a refocus on deeper learning, real-life learning, which made the exercise all the more worthy and worthwhile. The competitive and fast-paced nature of test results was replaced by a gentler, more thoughtful and deeper learning and teaching process that was differentiated to meet every learner’s needs. The curriculum was not slashed blindly, rather essential and fundamental elements were recognised for what they are, while other areas were jettisoned for the greater good.

It is my hope that the opportunity for deeper learning that came out of the COVID-19 crisis is not ignored, and we simply go back to what we were doing before. Educators have a wonderful opportunity to create a better learning ecosystem from the lessons of COVID-19, and truly bring to life the intent of all Declarations.

Words Mary Farah, principal, St Aloysius College North Melbourne

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Address 31 Curran Street, North Melbourne, Victoria, 3051
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Home » School News » The Best of Both Worlds

The Best of Both Worlds


Scotch College gives boarders access to an exceptional education.

Offering boarders access to an outstanding academic education is a point of pride for Melbourne’s Scotch College. The non-selective school, which has been educating boys for more than 160 years, has a strong history of providing regional students with a high-quality curriculum and excellent teaching staff in a supportive environment.

From creative arts, to science and technology, to foreign languages, Scotch College students have unparalleled opportunities in working towards achieving their maximum potential.

However, it’s not only the education that makes Scotch College an in-demand school for boarders from across Australia. Tim Byrnes, Dean of Boarding, says the students have the ‘best of both worlds’. “As well as wonderful classroom teachers, boarders have access to extra tuition, with staff always at hand, facilities to practice sports on weekends, study sessions and a great sense of community,” Mr Byrnes says. “Boarding at Scotch is the extra on top of an outstanding school education.”

Captain of Scotch College’s boarding community, Will MacKenzie, says being able to attend Scotch College means access to a high-quality education. “At Scotch, I’m able to study subjects at a level I otherwise would not have had the chance to,” he says. “The calibre of the physics department, for example, is just incredible. The teachers are very knowledgeable and offer so much support.”

Boarder and vice captain of the school, Alex Meggitt, agrees, adding that as well as an excellent curriculum they have many opportunities to excel outside the classroom. “The school supports you in finding and pursuing your extra-curricular passions such as debating,” says Alex. “This is something that will help me succeed in my career as I plan to pursue law at The University of Melbourne.”

Community is another huge benefit to boarding at Scotch College. Both Will and Alex credit Scotch College’s support network with helping them find encouragement, build resilience and excel in the classroom. “Our shared experiences mean we are an extremely tight-knit community and are always there for each other, socially, emotionally and academically,” Alex says.

Overall, boarding at Scotch College provides the means for regional students to access the best education available. “We have a strong commitment to boarding and will continue this tradition into the future, ensuring regional families have access to a unique Scotch education,” school principal, Mr Batty, says.

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Fees Tuition from $7750 (Prep) to $9691 (Year 12) per instalment (three times a year), boarding $24,657 per annum
Phone
03 9810******* 03 9810 4203
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03 9810******* 03 9810 4333
Address 1 Morrison Street, Hawthorn 3122
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Home » School News » Coding Perfect Scores

Coding Perfect Scores


30 Roseville College students have achieved Perfect Scores in GROK Learning’s NCSS Coding Challenge and Web.Comp, with many more students in Years 5–9 securing High Distinctions and Distinctions in the two competitions.

In the GROK NCSS Challenge, 24 Roseville College students placed top in the leaderboard of world-wide entries with Perfect Scores, and of these, seven students achieved Perfect Scores in two categories: Beginners and Intermediate.

“Learning to code equips girls to apply mathematical reasoning in a variety of new situations. It allows them to systematically break down each challenge to create a solution using code, and the girls enjoy the experience of using technology as a creative tool,” explains Ms Fiona Jostons, a Senior Mathematics teacher who integrated the NCSS Challenge into her Year 7 maths program.

Year 8 student, Rhea Jayaram, achieved a Perfect Score in both the Beginners and Intermediate categories of the NCSS Challenge and says she relished the opportunity to go beyond the curriculum to learn more about coding.

“I really liked doing something that was outside the curriculum and, most of all, I liked the challenges that combined art and mathematics, which allowed me to experiment with my creativity through code,” she says.

Kayley Tsui, Year 9, surprised herself by achieving a Perfect Score in the Intermediate category of the NCSS Challenge, a Perfect Score in both the Beginners and Intermediate categories of Web.comp, and a Distinction in the Web.comp Advanced category, adding that before the task she knew how to code in Python, but “now knows what each statement means and how they function, which helps a lot when I code now.”

The five-week NCSS Challenge is a collaboration between Grok Learning, The University of Sydney and the Australian Computing Academy. More than 17,000 students from around the world participated in the NCSS Challenge. They learnt to code by solving interesting and engaging problems.

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Type Independent
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Years Kindergarten - Year 12
Enrolment 830 students from Kindergarten to Year 12
Fees Available under ‘Enrolments’ on Roseville College’s website.
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02 9884******* 02 9884 1100
Address 27 Bancroft Avenue, Roseville NSW 2069
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Home » School News » Footy Boot Donation Drive for Indigenous Students

Footy Boot Donation Drive for Indigenous Students


Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of Caulfield Grammar School students, staff and families, more than 200 pairs of footy boots were collected to support Indigenous students in Kakadu, Northern Territory.

Students Murphy, Nikita and Yasuri collaborated with the Caulfield Grammar School foundation to implement the Footy Boot Donation Drive. The purpose of the Foundation is to inspire a culture of philanthropy across Caulfield Grammar School, and this initiative was a wonderful demonstration of the global citizenship and empathy inherent in the school’s students and the broader community.

Students participating in the 2022 Expeditions Program to Kakadu will hopefully see the impact of this philanthropic initiative for themselves, and they may even recognise their own pair of footy boots!

Murphy (at left) said of the experience: “I was lucky to visit Jabiru earlier in the year with our Year 9 Regional Expedition program and while there I noticed that the kids could do with some football gear. My goal for my Year 9 Community Project was to make sure every child in Jabiru received a pair of football boots so they could enjoy playing AFL with proper shoes. I learned from this experience that the people in our community are generous and willing to donate to a good cause.”

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Fees caulfieldgs.vic.edu.au/fees
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+61 3 9******* +61 3 9524 6333
Address 217 Glen Eira Road, East St Kilda 3183
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Home » School News » Falcon Scholarship for Enterprise for entry into Years 9 or 10 in 2022 – Apply now!

Falcon Scholarship for Enterprise for entry into Years 9 or 10 in 2022 – Apply now!


Calling all budding entrepreneurs – The Falcon Scholarship for Enterprise is open to new and current students who will enter Years 9 or 10 in 2022.

The world has changed over these past two years. Disruption has meant the world of work is fundamentally different, and we believe the skills needed tomorrow are agility, resilience, and the ability to think outside the box.

This is why The Knox School is launching The Falcon Scholarship for Enterprise. It wants to give students the opportunity to build these skills in an environment that allows them to thrive with dedicated opportunities to bring their visions to life.

In addition to the Personalised Learning experience of all TKS students, scholarship recipients will connect with each other while participating in challenging and engaging pursuits. They are provided important opportunities to shape their creative and critical-thinking skills while positioning themselves for better employment prospects for the future.

The scholarship offers a discount of 50 per cent off tuition fees and is tenable until the end of Year 12.

Why Entrepreneurship?

In today’s classrooms, more and more students are undertaking entrepreneurial studies and the benefits go way beyond making a profit. Students are learning how to budget, purchase stock, rotate stock, advertise and mark up stock. They are learning how to be creative, how to collaborate and how to communicate. But it doesn’t stop there.

Students undertaking business entrepreneurship also develop sophisticated analytical and critical-thinking skills.

Their study and subsequent understanding of how business advertise products effectively leads to a higher degree of analytical and critical-thinking skills as they interpret why certain forms of advertising work.

School-based business entrepreneurship explores the cause and effects of advertising while operating an entrepreneurial activity. This is especially true if the goal of that entrepreneurial activity is to seek and improve profit, most likely through using different advertising techniques. Students running their own business become engaged with the different methods and ideas behind loyalty schemes, targeted-demographic advertising, complementary product pricing and loss leaders.

Consequently, the students exposure to these advertising strategies results in a much deeper understanding of how they themselves can be targeted by big business and convinced to hand over their cash for products they often don’t need. As a result, business entrepreneurial students often develop a mindset positioned to think like ‘Shark Tank‘ and analyse like the ‘The Gruen Factor‘ resulting in a much higher degree of savvy consumer etiquette; they are not easily fooled. And that’s an awesome hidden benefit in this world.

Over the past few years, The Knox School has had considerable success in recognition of its entrepreneurial activities. The following successful outcomes have been launched from its entrepreneurial program:

  • Three Year 8 students represented Victoria in the Australian Video Game Challenge Coding Competition with their work exhibited at Science Works, Victoria (2019)
  • Two Year 7 students represented Victoria in the First Pitch Competition after designing a COVID-19 musical hand-washing device for small children (2020)
  • Four Year 11 students participated in the National Finals for the Conrad Challenge in Brisbane after developing a computer app for the gamification of healthy eating (2019) and made it to the semi-finals (round 2) of the world finals in the USA.
  • Four Year 10 WISE (Women in STEM Enterprise) Monash University, Finalist (2019)
  • Three Year 12 students represented Australia at NASA for the World Conrad Challenge (2018), and won their category at the world finals the following year, giving them the title of Conrad Scholars in 2019, after prototyping fingerprint technology for EFTPOS machines.
  • One Year 11 student won the Australian prize for the Stock Market Game (2019)
  • Two Year 10 students won State-level prizes for the Stock Market Game (2019)
  • Four Year 10 students contributed their thoughts towards redesigning the Australian Curriculum in Entrepreneurship with Foundation for Young Australians (2018)

Application Process

If your child has an interest in making ideas a reality, or if you believe they could use the essential designing thinking skills they develop in this program to succeed in life after school then apply for a Scholarship in 2022.

HOW TO APPLY

Visit the application page HERE

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Years Year 1 - Year 12
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Fees 12k - 16k Over 16k
$12,172 to $23,452 p.a. (including compulsory levies, camps and excursions)
Phone
03 8805******* 03 8805 3800
Fax
03 9887******* 03 9887 1850
Address 220 Burwood Highway, Wantirna South 3152
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Home » School News » Upskill … BY DESIGN | Camberwell Girls Grammar School

Upskill … BY DESIGN | Camberwell Girls Grammar School


Upskill … BY DESIGN is another way that Camberwell Girls Grammar School guides its students in their learning journey.

Finding time in the school calendar for new events to take place is always a challenge. However, a team of enthusiastic senior school staff at Camberwell Girls Grammar School was certainly up for the challenge to ensure the school could offer its new Upskill … BY DESIGN program.

Off the back of the 2020 COVID-19 lockdowns, the school made the decision to continue to run its Parent/Teacher Learning Conversations online, which in turn enabled the Upskill Program to run at the same time.

Head of Strategic Initiatives, Kate Manners, says the traditional format of Learning Conversations saw students go home at lunchtime to enable parents and staff to meet on site throughout the afternoon and evening.

“There is now no need for students to finish at lunchtime as parents and staff meet virtually for their Learning Conversations,” says Kate. “As a result, we now have six full days each year to carry out Upskill, which runs parallel to the Learning Conversations.”

To upskill means to expand your capabilities and this is exactly why the CGGS Upskill Program was designed. The program encompasses the delivery of accredited and non-accredited short courses, co-curricular experiences and other pop-up learning opportunities for all year levels – delivered by staff, industry professionals and, in some instances, students.

Across all year levels, students have the opportunity to achieve CGGS micro-credentials, certifying their achievements in specific skills or capabilities that contribute to their digital portfolio. Students can then share these qualifications with employers, industry and tertiary institutions.

Each year level participates in a bespoke program that is aligned with their learning spotlight – Belonging at Year 7, Identity at Year 8, Co-design at Year 9, Exploring at Year 10, Independence at Year 11, and Connection & Opportunity at Year 12.

“The learning programs recognise that as students move through the school, they become more independent, and their self-efficacy and self-regulation improve,” says Kate. “We know that we need to apprentice students in Years 7, 8 and 9 into those self-regulatory behaviours that are more prominent in our older students. Upskill helps to equip them with these capabilities.”

The content for each Upskill day is tailored to be responsive to the needs of each year level, for example, there is a focus on financial literacy for Year 10 students. This is an important life skill for women, but sits under a broader exploration of gender equality, a topic the school wanted to amplify learning around.

“Financial intelligence is about students being unapologetic advocates of themselves and their gender,” says Kate. “While exploring this topic isn’t a panacea to every issue affecting women, it does position our students to be empowered to pursue financial independence for themselves in the future and be forearmed against the challenges that may arise.”

As a school community, acknowledgement and celebration of Aboriginal culture is embedded as part of CGGS does. One of the Year 8 Upskill days focused on Indigenous Australian knowledge and traditions, which ties in with their spotlight of Identity.

“Some of our Indigenous students, including graduates from Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS), created a workshop called Deadly Learning for the Year 8s,” says Kate. “They took responsibility for leading the girls through the activities they’d designed, providing them with a deeper understanding of why it’s important to keep Aboriginal culture alive.”

For students who are keen to find part-time work, Upskill also offers barista, food handling, RSA and first aid courses – some of which take place online.

“Elements of each year level’s Upskill program also allow students to become more familiar with self-directed online learning, as the school recognises that workplaces are increasingly moving towards ‘team anywhere’ models, where these skills will be key,” says Kate.

Every Upskill day also has time dedicated to wellbeing activities. A block of time is set aside for wellbeing and is open to students, their families and staff. Looking at the mind, body and soul, a curated range of activities are intended to revive, refocus, recalibrate and reconnect and can all be accessed on a custom-designed website.

From yoga classes and colour by number, to motivational TED Talks, boxing classes and partaking in random acts of kindness, cooking classes and learning magic tricks – the list of wellbeing activities is endless.

Kate believes that schools are the cultural pulse of society, and therefore they need to be dynamic communities willing to be responsive to what the future is going to be for our students.

“While we’re only in the first iteration of this program, it certainly enables us to provide opportunities for our students to explore and operate in spaces that reflect the future, not just the now,” says Kate.

To know that this new learning opportunity was born out of how CGGS adapted to restrictions in 2020 makes the school very proud, it shows that with agility, a negative situation can be turned into a positive new opportunity.

For more information

Camberwell Girls Grammar School

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Type Independent
Day/boarding Day School
Boys/Girls Girl
Years Kindergarten - Year 12
Enrolment 780 students
Fees Over 16k
Year 1 & Year 2: $18,000.00 - Year 3 & Year 4: $21,500.00 - Year 5: $24,500.00 - Year 6: $24,750.00 - Year 7: $28,500.00 - Year 8: $28,900.00 - Year 9: $30,250.00 - Year 10: $30,250.00 - Year 11: $31,000.00 - Year 12: $31,500.00
Phone
03 9813******* 03 9813 1166
Fax
03 9882******* 03 9882 9248
Address 2 Torrington Street, Canterbury 3126
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Home » School News » Tournament of Minds: Girls receive Honours in State Final

Tournament of Minds: Girls receive Honours in State Final


Meriden girls have once again excelled at one of the school year’s most rigorous intellectual and creative challenges: Tournament of Minds. The school team topped the Regional Final for the third consecutive year before receiving honours at the State Final event.

Seven hardworking students represented Meriden in the State Final: Heidi Bartlett, Chantelle Ma, Alicia Wang, Vanessa Wu, Emily Yang, Talia Yin and Christina Zhou. They were tasked with developing a story that explored the consequences of a catastrophic event that would prevent people from seeing the colour red. Inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the girls interwove the story of this famous play into their explanation of red as symbolic of love, anger and danger.

Dr Phoebe Poon, Meriden’s Coordinator of Learning Link – Gifted and Talented, says the girls performed outstandingly in the challenge.

“Using a combination of rehearsed and unscripted material, each student demonstrated her ability to improvise and think creatively under time pressure,” Dr Poon said.

“The girls garnered praise from the judges for ingeniously embedding the fundamental principles of Language and Literature into their response. We are proud of the team’s strong results in the State Final and are also proud of the girls who represented Meriden so well in the Regional Final.”

At the Regional Final, Heidi, Chantelle, Alicia, Vanessa, Emily, Talia and Christina nabbed first place in the Language Literature Challenge for their masterful adaptation of Aladdin, which saw the fairy-tale hero take on a new persona as a gifted computer hacker. A seamless production, this video response gained a perfect score from the judges.

A second Meriden team, consisting of Kaitlyn Blair, Elaine Huang, Sienna Kim, Connie Liu, Jacinda Tjiantoro, Cordelia Xie and Audrey Zou, received Honours in the Social Sciences Challenge. Their film explored diverse views on the right of women to an education through mock interviews with famous thinkers including Socrates, Charles Darwin, Jane Goodall and Malala Yousafzai.

Over the course of the competition, 28 Meriden students from Years 7 to 10 competed. A revised, COVID-safe format was introduced, allowing participating teams to submit a film demonstrating their challenge responses, rather than the regular format of presenting to a panel of judges.

Congratulations to every student who represented the School in this competition.

For more information

Meriden

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Years Kindergarten - Year 12
Enrolment 1,500 students
Fees Over 16k
$19,950 (Kindergarten) - $33,240 (Year 12)
Phone
(61 2) ******* (61 2) 9752 9444
Address 3 Margaret Street, Strathfield NSW 2135
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Home » School News » The Gift of Music at St Andrew’s Cathedral School

The Gift of Music at St Andrew’s Cathedral School


At St Andrew’s Cathedral School music is central to the life of our school since our beginnings as a choir school in 1885.

At our school our commitment to developing musical talent works hand in hand with our pursuit of academic excellence in the context of a wholistic education. Our Christian vision of the world sees music as a gift, something that points to the existence of something else: something of profound beauty and transcendence beyond the here and now. We believe music frees us: helping us to look beyond ourselves in serving others who experience our performances.

St Andrews Music

“Music fires complex and widespread activity in many areas of the brain. It brings joy, enhancing wellbeing. I love that music unites us as we lose ourselves in it, and it brings diverse students together,” said Mr Ben Milis, Acting Head of Music in the Junior School.

But making music is also a challenge.

“There are no shortcuts in the development of genuine expertise,” said Dr Christian Watson, Director of Performing Arts at the School. “In a world where young people can be distracted by numerous devices that offer immediate gratification, music asks for the opposite—hours of deliberate, determined practice to identify challenges and work to correct them. But this asks for courage. Stepping onto the stage isn’t easy. That’s where the teaching of character comes into it.”

Strong relationships are so important. “Our focus is on bringing our students into a community bound to excellence,” Dr Watson said. “Our teachers and tutors have the perfect balance of outstanding educational qualifications as well as professional experience as performers. They’re also committed to investing in long term relationships—we know that the support of a devoted and expert mentor is essential in any successful music programme.”

Gift of Music

The school starts early, with a comprehensive Junior music programme. “Our students get to experience the wonder and challenge of learning an instrument for the first time, joining a choral group or band or ensemble, and we tailor our programmes to the needs and interests of our children,” said Mr Milis.

“Our city location also opens up a world of performance possibilities in world class venues,” said Dr Watson. “This ranges from carols in the Queen Victoria building, to recitals in our newly renovated Chapter House or a performance in the beautiful surrounds of St Andrew’s Cathedral or Sydney Town Hall.”

St Andrews students have access to international and national music tours, create musical theatre performances in professional venues, and benefit from working with an inhouse recording engineer. In the senior years the School offers both the IB and HSC as options, and a number of the School’s talented students have gone on to study at the most prestigious national and international tertiary performance programs,

Music and academic scholarship applications are open for students in Years 4-11 in 2023.

Other scholarships include:

• 2023 Academic (Years 5, 6, 7 and 11)

• 2022 Cathedral Choir (Years 3 boys)

• 2023 Indigenous (from Kindergarten)

To find out more about our music program and scholarships visit www.sacs.nsw.edu.au or contact our enrolments department at enrolments@sacs.nsw.edu.au or call 02 9286 9664.

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Type Independent
Day/boarding Day School
Boys/Girls Co-edu
Years Kindergarten - Year 12
Enrolment 1400 students
Fees Over 16k
Ranges from $20,588 (Kindergarten) up to $35,100 (Year 12)
Phone
9286 95******* 9286 9500
Address Sydney Square, Sydney 2000
Email
enrolme*******
enrolments@sacs.nsw.edu.au
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Home » School News » Thriving Online

Thriving Online


 

Barker’s Digital Learning Team, like all teachers and staff around the state, for that matter, commenced Term 3 firmly positioned in survival mode. We had a good set of tools and strategies in place, but nothing can overcome the feeling that we just need to “get through the week”.

Inevitably, we reach a point where we become more comfortable and familiar with our new modus operandi. It is here where we can shift the focus from surviving online to thriving online. Thriving online follows this example, placing wellbeing together with academic virtues.

Thriving Online represents a guide to good teaching and learning in an online context from PreK-12. The framework includes five domains: Wellbeing, Design, Agency, Interaction, and Feedback. Interestingly, these don’t just make for good online teaching; they represent good teaching, period.

Wellbeing

A common phrase in education circles is Maslow before Bloom. This refers to two models prevalent in education and psychology:  Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs and Bloom’s taxonomy of cognitive engagement. Put simply, Maslow before Bloom means that teachers must ensure students’ basic needs are fulfilled before learning can commence. While some students might flourish learning online, for others, it can be isolating and daunting. Having an awareness of this spectrum is vital. To thrive online, teachers help students feel a sense of belonging in their class, establish routines and norms, and emphasise individual goal setting.

Design

Like face-to-face learning, online learning should balance the need for teachers to engage in good direct instruction and the ability for students to learn independently and from each other. In the online environment, teachers can create this balance by conducting targeted video meetings on Teams to explicitly introduce and scaffold ideas, provide worked examples, and check for understanding. However, we also know that students then need opportunities to think and connect their ideas. For this reason, we keep our video meetings under 30-minutes and allow students time in lessons to develop their understanding.

Agency

Feedback from our online learning experience in 2020 revealed that many students valued the ability to work through activities at their own pace. When students are well prepared, we know that they value the ability to pick up where they’ve left off and work through an activity or project at their own pace. Agency can also come from more unexpected places, like the ability to watch, pause or rewind video content or from having the choice of several activities or topics from which to work.

Interaction

Interaction is often seen as one of the most challenging areas to tackle in online learning. We are lucky to be teaching and learning in a time where technology continues to make interaction and communication more accessible. Many teachers use breakout rooms in Teams to provide students with the virtual space to communicate and collaborate. Microsoft Teams has also become a real hub for asynchronous communication with students and teachers communicating over chat. Our focus for thriving online is to continue to look for ways where interaction, collaboration and communication are developed through learning activities.

Feedback

Feedback in online learning takes on new meaning and importance. In a face-to-face classroom, feedback can happen so subtly, almost subconsciously. When working online, students look for different cues from their teacher to make sure they are on the right path. Using tools like OneNote have helped by giving teachers access to student work as it is being completed. In our next phase of online learning, we will continue to develop feedback options by encouraging individual goal setting, peer feedback, self-assessment, and peer feedback.

Conclusions

Teachers and staff learnt a lot from our previous experience of online learning. While we learn more about the nuances of teaching and learning online every day, we are well-positioned to make the most of the challenges that are thrown our way. In 2021, we must set our sights on providing excellent learning opportunities for our students, no matter the context.

 

Andy Mifsud

Director of Digital Learning Barker College

Publish By
Religion Anglican
Type Independent
Day/boarding Day and Boarding
Boys/Girls Co-edu
Years Kindergarten - Year 12
Enrolment Students from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12 including 60 Year 10 – 12 boarders.
Fees Over 16k
Tuition from $25,000
Phone
8438 79******* 8438 7999
Fax
8438 76******* 8438 7609
Address 91 Pacific Highway, Hornsby NSW 2077
Email
enrolme*******
enrolments@barker.nsw.edu.au
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Home » School News » A Step Up to Step Out

A Step Up to Step Out


What differentiates the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at St Leonard’s College?

There is no doubt that the academic requirements of students in year 11 is a step up from year 10 regardless of the tertiary pathway chosen. The trajectory for the final two years of secondary school focuses on both academic achievement and social development to establish a strong platform for success and leadership at university and life beyond.

Renowned for pedagogical innovation, St Leonard’s College was the first Victorian school to introduce the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) in 1982. Our IBDP students graduate with a resumé that speaks to purposeful inquiry, empathy and contribution to community.

Developed over 50 years ago, the IBDP values breadth, depth and critical thinking. Breadth is reflected by the six subjects: Language A (mother tongue, in most cases English), an additional language, mathematics, a science, a humanities, and, a sixth subject which may be an additional science, humanities or language, or, an arts subject: Music, Theatre or Visual Arts. Depth requires three of these subjects to be studied at a higher level (vs standard level), recognising students’ strengths and interests. Critical and compassionate thinking comes through Theory of Knowledge (TOK), the Extended Essay and CAS (Creativity, Activity and Service). Students train across disciplines, building transdisciplinary skills applied to understanding, and acting knowledgably in local and global contexts. Learning extends beyond subjects and seeks to develop the character of young adults.

St Leonard’s IBDP results tell the story of great individual and collective achievements. Having a sense of purpose, confidence, resilience and effort sustained by trust in self, family and teachers are keys to success. What else distinguishes the IBDP experience at St Leonard’s College?

“The IB really forced me not just to care about facts but to understand where ideas come from and how knowledge can change and be used. Every assessment asks us to justify our answers. This has made me a more confident and precise speaker and writer, important strengths whatever field I go into.”

Adelyne S, Class of 2020

“Working with teachers for two years, they really get to know you and we get to know them. Working on individual projects of our own interest and design, we really learn to collaborate with our teachers, taking their feedback on board, organising our time and focus our attention to edit for our final submissions.”

Charlotte T, Class of 2020

A key point of difference of the IBDP is Theory of Knowledge. TOK invites students to consider where knowledge comes from and why others think differently; what informs the beliefs and actions of others. Students enquire into questions such as: Why do we seek knowledge? Should some knowledge not be sought on ethical grounds?

While a discrete subject, TOK thinking skills are embedded in all subjects to “encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.” (IBO Mission Statement) The views of parents, teachers and other experts are sought and investigated, valuing equally valid contributions to understanding.

St Leonard’s College year 11 students participate in TOK Camp, culminating in a presentation responding to their learning:

“TOK camp was a great way for us to connect as a cohort. I have learned so much about, and from, my friends. We had great discussions about important issues that interest and affect us now and will affect our future. Engaging in this kind of critical thinking has made me a better listener, more empathetic and more determined to find out what’s right, as well as preparing us really well for our Exhibition assessment.”

Sophie W, Year 11

Another distinguishing feature is the Extended Essay. Researched and written over twelve months, students craft a university class thesis guided by their supervisor. Each year, a number of students use this essay as evidence of serious exploration in their tertiary applications.

“The surprise of the Extended Essay is how much you learn. Not only did I learn how to research and structure a 4,000 word essay but to have really deep and meaningful conversations with my supervisor. They are interested in you, how your research is going, what you have learned and ask you questions that really make you think about the significance of your writing to a wider audience. In my case, I also learned a new software package. I am really happy with my essay. I know I can use it in interviews to show my deep interest in the subject as well as for the quality of my writing and research.”

Noah S, Year 11

Beyond academics, the IBDP promotes and values life balance. ACS sport, the College’s renowned music programs and theatre productions are just some opportunities our students have. Further, we encourage students to seek challenges, to participate in new activities and to take on leadership roles.

“St Leonard’s College makes us aware of how fortunate we are and encourages us to give back to our community. Being part of the food service with Lennie’s Van, coaching a junior team outside school, participating in beach clean-ups and teaching piano to kids within our community are things I feel proud of, which count as CAS and add to my CV when I apply for jobs and uni! My friends and I are looking forward to acting on our learning through the Active Bystander training to teach younger year levels in our school.”

Will M, Year 11

We are confident that with attitudes and capacities like this, that St Leonard’s College IBDP graduates will make their mark on the world while continuing their connection with us

Publish By
Religion Uniting Church
Type Independent
Day/boarding Day School
Boys/Girls Co-edu
Years Kindergarten - Year 12
Enrolment
Fees 12k - 16k Over 16k
$12,475 - $34,352
Phone
03 9909******* 03 9909 9300
Address 163 South Road, Brighton East Vic 3187
Email
enrolme*******
enrolment@stleonards.vic.edu.au
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