Deputy Principal - Teaching & Learning

Parent/Student/Teacher Interviews
It was great to see so many of you at our recent interviews. These interviews provide you with an opportunity to engage in a conversation about your child’s strengths and areas where they can continue to improve. I hope that by attending you were able to gain valuable insight into your child’s progress. If you did not attend these interviews, please make sure you put our 2018 dates in your diary. We do encourage all families to attend – the more the merrier!
 

Interim Reports
Interim Reports will be sent home on Friday 15 September. In the past, they have been sent home before our Parent/Student/Teacher Interviews. We used to have separate interviews for Year 11 and 12 students, however now that we do all interviews at the same time it’s too late for our senior students to have interviews after the interim reports. We understand that this can make it hard for families to decide whether they need to come, but as we really like to see everyone, we don’t feel the interview required/encouraged column on our reports was necessary.


Subject Selection Update
Subject Selection is now closed. There will be an opportunity for students to make changes after their subjects have been released. This will happen in Term 4.
 

School Improvement Plan for Teaching & Learning 2017
Our whole school strategic plan for 2017 – 2020 was written last year and one of the actions for learning and teaching is to develop a school wide language and approach to the habits and skills we want to develop in our learners. This conversation has begun and we hope to be able to share these skills and habits shortly. We have considered many things; Building Learning Power, the Victorian Curriculum capabilities, social and emotional learning and our school vision of CLEF.

We see this as an exciting time and there will be many opportunities for links to be made right across the College. We look forward to discussing these skills and habits with you in the future. We will also be looking at how we teach, develop, measure and monitor growth in these areas.

 

Project Based Learning
Following from our School Improvement Plan action, the teaching staff spent our recent professional development day exploring how we can develop classroom strategies that focus on skill development and personalise learning. The particular focus was on a methodology called project based learning, or PBL for short. Fundamentally, PBL is a form of student-centred learning where students select, plan, investigate and produce a product, presentation or performance that answers
a real-world question or responds to an authentic challenge. PBL is very different from
“doing projects” or simple inquiry tasks. Effective PBL is purposefully scaffolded to ensure
that curriculum standards are properly addressed, while providing for rich, open-ended
driving questions that allow for creativity and student choice. A project takes, on average,
about forty “teacher hours” to properly design. This thorough planning in advance means
that during the projects, teachers are freer to devote their planning time to adapting to the
individual needs of students as they arise
during the project itself.

 

Projects Project-based learning
Supplemental to a unit – teacher teaches the content, then students begin the project The project is the unit, or a major vehicle for teaching content standards within a unit
Task is based on following directions from the teacher Task is open-ended and involved voice and choice
Instruction is guided by the text book or teacher-generated plan Instruction is guided by student-generated “need to knows”
Typically done individually Involves a mix of individual and collaborative work
Done independently, often at home Done with teacher guidance, much of it in school hours
Focused on the product (often called “the project”) The project includes a sustained inquiry process and the creation of a product
Not authentic to the real world or to students’ lives Authentic to the real world or to students’ lives, or both
Focus on content Focus on content and skills

The day generated many ideas about how we can improve our current work with PBL in Year 9 classes and Year 8 Humanities. Our intention to provide further training to all staff and more tailored training to teachers in specific areas where we will continue to build our use of PBL as the primary teaching methodology. For 2018, we will extend our use of PBL to include Year 7 English and Humanities.

As we continue to explore and learn more about PBL, we will continue to share our findings and ideas with the school community.

Daniel Buttacavoli & Jodie FitzGerald
Deputy Principal – Teaching and Learning