What does learning look like at SCAS? I would suggest that perhaps learning has changed significantly since our parents attended school. It has definitely changed significantly in my 30 years of teaching. Over the past 3 years we have been exploring the notion of Deep Learning. Deep learning refers to learning that is meaningful, significant and purposeful. It can be thought of as learning that sticks. We now refer to this work as ‘Plus Results’, maintaining a high academic standard of results but at the same time ensuring we add a ‘plus’ into each child’s education. This plus is based on the foundation of 6C’s; character, citizenship, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and communication. The school has moved a long way in this journey, undertaking a large amount of staff professional learning that is now impacting in classrooms. Whilst we have not yet achieved all of our goals the following statement unpacks a vision of where we are heading in this area. We are excited by this work and the potential it has to redefine success at learning for our students to ensure they are well equipped for the challenges of their future.
Learning at St Columba: A Vision Statement
Learning: purposeful and significant, a way of being
Learners: curious, independent, self directed, work at the edge of their understanding
Teachers: facilitate meaningful learning experiences aligned with the curriculum
Support staff: provide logistical backbone
Environment: inspiring, collaborative, safe to take risks, mistakes make learning visible, enables belonging
St Columba is a deep learning community where we are all learning together. Our students are engaged in learning that is purposeful and significant to them. They are curious students, who take time to notice and to wonder and drive their own learning. The teachers facilitate this through the use of real world examples that provide direction to align learning with the curriculum. The support staff provide the logistical backbone to bring this learning to life, enhancing the teachers efforts to create an environment for student learning where we are comfortable taking risks, where we learn from mistakes and where we continuously work at the edge of their understanding.
The St Columba Learner:
- Is collaborative, showing respect in contributing their own ideas, listening to others, providing feedback and working together to solve problems and create successful group dynamics.
- Is a critical thinker, asking questions, making connections between ideas, building new knowledge, evaluating information and solving authentic problems.
- Demonstrates character, persevering in the face of challenges, showing respect for themselves and others and taking responsibility for their own personal growth and wellbeing.
- Clearly communicates, presenting ideas utilising a variety of strategies as appropriate to the audience, listening and responding appropriately and asking questions and making connections to enhance understanding.
- Is a citizen engaging in real world issues, developing solutions to problems, showing empathy and compassion for others as active members of their community
- Are creative and entrepreneurial, developing innovative ideas and solutions and communicating these through appropriate platforms to authentic audiences and leading people to create deep change.
Learning at St Columba:
- Is authentic, linked to the real world providing purpose and significance for students which in turn enhances student well being.
- Utilises multiple modes of pedagogy, providing opportunities to create depth through richer units that enhance students choice and responsibility and organically develop students talents.
- Is student driven; student curiosity provides stimulus and direction for learning paths, students participate in the construction of what success looks like and students are adept at assessing their own work and the work of their peers against success criteria, giving, receiving and responding to feedback.
- Is visible, student mistakes are celebrated and progress in learning is publicly celebrated.
The Learning Environment at St Columba:
- Is safe and respectful, students are safe to take risks and challenges are used to build success.
- Is collaborative, partnerships are formed within and across classes, across grades and with external organisations.
- Leverages digital, enhancing interaction with peers, families, community and global experts. It provides access to real-world problems facilitating collaboration and the production of knowledge to enhance deep learning.
- Has physical spaces that are diverse, with multiple dimensions providing opportunities for small groups to collaborate, for individuals to work independently and for classes to gather and share and celebrate knowledge.
Mr Paul Rikmanis
Director of Teaching and Learning