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Perspectives: Deep Learning

School Vision: At St Columba, we will transform the lives of our students by offering the educational opportunities that will allow them to have lives of purpose, service and engagement.

“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”  – Plato

In 2019, our School engaged with the Association of Independent Schools (AISNSW) to explore and embed Deep Learning into our curriculum practices.

“To foster deep learning so that all learners contribute to the common good, address global challenges and flourish in a complex world.” – New Pedagogies for Deep Learning

Over the past 4 years, we have concentrated on developing the key dispositions we believe our young people will need to thrive in their future lives. These are referred to as the 6Cs of Deep Learning: character, communication, critical thinking, collaboration, creative thinking and citizenship. The results of our latest parent survey indicate that the progress in this work has become visible to our community.

Perspectives Survey 2021, Parent Responses

Deep Learning is a long-term project with the goal of having it embedded into our teaching and learning culture. Our work is exciting and challenging, it contributes to shaping the lives of our students through educational opportunities throughout their physical, emotional and psychological development. We are tasked with engaging students whose experiences and backgrounds vary greatly, as can their level of engagement or ‘buy in’. Our vision is for all students to have lives of purpose, service and engagement. Reimagining how we work with our young people is helping drive success in achieving our goals.

Our work in this area has expanded to include the New Metrics for Success partnership with The University of Melbourne. New Metrics for Success is a collaborative research venture between The University of Melbourne and selected forward-thinking schools to work in partnership to address the meta-problems faced by Australian schools today and in the future.

New Metrics is seeking to change the grammar of schooling, create valid and warrantable assessment tools, influence policy development and promote change: to transform what we value in schooling. We are working together to create new assessments and new credentials that capture students’ strengths and make what we value—the 6Cs of Deep Learning—visible to students and the community. In the coming years, our students will be issued with new credentials that will give a unique insight into their strengths as learners and the transferable skills they have developed in their educational journey with St Columba.

The development of St Coumba as a Deep Learning community is well advanced. In partnership with our parents and community, we are confident this work will continue, enhancing our ability to transform our students’ lives and contribute to them finding purpose, service and engagement.

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