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Vice Principal – 6 September 2018

 

During the last fortnight, I have had the pleasure of witnessing many great learning activities offered to our students. I have seen classes from across the year levels in action as well as other activities that complement the formal curriculum.

On Wednesday 29 August, I was present at the Japan Study Tour Information Evening.  The students were so excited about the tour, which will leave on the last Wednesday of this term.

On Thursday 30 August, I attended Schools on Stage that was organised by Casey Council and held at Bunjil Place. Our students performed so well and were awarded first prize for their performances of two pieces from Footloose.

Last weekend our senior performing arts students participated in a weekend camp aimed at sharpening their skills as they approach their end of year performance exams for dance, drama and music.

At the same time, Year 9 students have been preparing for Outward Bound, which departs next Wednesday. We wish the Year 9 students all of the best for their journey!

Thank you to the staff for the energy, time and expertise that they offer the students of the College!

 

Student Progress Meetings

Thank you to the parents who supported the Years 10 and 11 student progress meetings on Thursday 23 August. We had many students in attendance and positive outcomes were achieved.

Thank you to the parents who are supporting the Years 7 – 9 student progress meetings today.

A reminder that on Thursday 20 September (2pm – 8pm), classes will conclude at 1pm to allow for student progress meetings for Years 7 to 9 and Year 12.

I would like to highlight that this is an incredibly important time of the year for Year 12 students and we are encouraging parents of all Year 12 students to make bookings for the student progress meetings on Thursday 20 September.

 

 

New learning spaces

As you are aware, the College is planning for the development of a number of new learning spaces. Currently under construction is the General Purpose Flexible Learning Area at Beaconsfield Campus and the Music, Drama and Dance Building at Officer Campus. Planning is also underway for new learning spaces for Berwick Campus.

As the College plans the new learning spaces, we prepare an educational brief that summarises the intentions of the new learning spaces. I share with you below a summary of elements of the educational brief that will inform a number of future projects.

 

The College is particularly focussed on offering students a highly differentiated learning program. This focus adopts the approach of:

  • Teachers knowing their students well
  • Students knowing themselves as learners
  • Articulating achievement standards to students clearly
  • Providing opportunity for students to achieve at an achievement level which allows them to demonstrate their growth
  • Providing learning opportunities for students to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding which facilitates growth
  • Ensuring that the learning program is differentiated and adjusted to meet the needs of all students

 

All subjects have documented achievement standards for different levels of achievement. Rubrics are used to evaluate learning and offer feedback for further growth in the future.

The learning program is designed to allow students to personalise their pathway. The College strives to offer engaging, inclusive, deliberate and purposeful pathways for all students. Students have choice and flexibility in their learning program and elements of the learning program are structured in multi-age settings.

 

The College recognises the importance of the relationship between pedagogy and well-designed learning spaces in its ambition for student achievement. Learning spaces at the College are to facilitate the implementation of the principles of the learning and teaching program detailed.

It is intended that learning spaces will facilitate the following opportunities for student learning.

 

Clarity for learning

Learning spaces will provide the opportunity for presentations to be made by either the teacher or the student.

Clarity around learning intentions will be offered.

Explicit instruction will also be offered.

Students will be set up for success through this clarity and instruction.

Multiple presentation mediums will be used, including multiple screens with wireless technology as well as other writable surfaces including whiteboards and glass. The teacher desk will be a small mobile desk. The use of the teacher and student devices, including stylus, will be a feature of this approach.

In many cases there will be no ‘front’ of the room as the learning space will allow students to be positioned in ‘collaborative mode’ for ‘presentation mode’. This will allow for an ease of transition into collaborative mode and maximum time spent with students engaged in active learning.

 

Collaborative learning

The College provides learning spaces (including break out and breakaway spaces) and contemporary learning tools to facilitate learning activities, which promote deep understanding and growth.

 

Students will be engaged in activities which are:

  • Student centred
  • Facilitating deep processing and active engagement
  • Collaborative
  • Creative
  • Interactive
  • Fostering critical thinking and reflection
  • Promoting high order thinking
  • Application based
  • Creating opportunities for real time feedback
  • Supportive of digital citizenship
  • Supportive of independence and interdependence

 

Learning activities that support the differentiated, purposeful and engaging nature of the learning program will see students working in groups and teams to collaborate. Student need for growth is supported and students are inspired through their understanding shared through collaboration.

 

Student voice, choice and ownership will be fostered through this approach.

 

At times, multiple classes will be engaged in similar learning activities at a point in time.

 

Learning spaces will facilitate this through:

  • Furniture: variety and choice, large group and small group
  • Screens: multiple with wireless connection to all or individual screens
  • Mobile teacher desks
  • Variety of large and small spaces

 

Independent learning

Students will have the opportunity to work independently for formative learning activities and assessment tasks as well as for reflection.

 

Learning spaces will facilitate this through the variety of spaces, intimacy of some spaces and the variety of furniture.

 

Learning spaces will be flexible and responsive to learning activities. The teacher will have choice in deciding deliberately the nature of the learning activities that link purposefully to the intended learning activities.

The learning spaces will link visually to:

  • Promote a culture of reflection, feedback and learning from each other – staff and students
  • Promote and create a child safe culture

 

Curriculum Review

Planning for the implementation of the College Curriculum Review Outcomes continues to take place. Teachers are working hard to develop differentiated, engaging and purposeful units of work for students.

 

Presentation Night

Please be informed that this year’s Presentation Night will be held on Wednesday 21 November. Parents of award winners and student performing, or involved in other elements of the night, will be informed in early Term 4 of their child’s involvement. More information regarding Presentation Night will be provided over the coming months.

 

Planning for 2019

Planning for 2019 continues to progress. We have analysed student preferences for the different subjects on offer and are now working on developing a timetable, which maximises student preferences.

Please also be aware that the College Calendar for 2019 is also being drafted. Shortly the College will present elements of the College calendar to DOSCEL for approval before publishing the dates to parents.

 

Blessings for the fortnight ahead!

 

Timothy Newcomb

Vice Principal

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