Shining a new light on learning and teaching

Last year the teaching staff reflected on the kinds of learning behaviours we value in the boys and girls and the skills that they would require to fully equip and empower them to make valuable contributions to the contemporary world.

The new learning behaviours that have been used to shape learning this semester are:

Self-Regulation – The ability to ‘own’ their learning and foster positive work habits and commitment to learning in order to meet the demands of the subject.

Communication – The ability to express oneself with authenticity and confidence and the ability to process and interpret information.

Critical and Creative Thinking -The ability to ask the right questions, to rethink and think anew and to approach tasks with curiosity and imagination.

Collaboration – The ability to influence and empathise with others, and to evaluate, analyse and incorporate the ideas of others.

Openness to Learning – The ability to be flexible and adaptable in thinking and attitude. Understanding the importance of exploring and experimenting and to work positively through times of failure.

The introduction of these new learning behaviours has seen a shift in the focus of teaching and in the thinking of students about their learning. The shared language and the resulting understanding about learning has facilitated the dialogue between teachers and students about learning and the kinds of behaviours that facilitate quality learning.

Teachers have been embedding these behaviours in classroom activities, homework and assessment tasks. Semester 1 reports will provide students, parents and carers with a teacher’s impression of student demonstration of these learning behaviours. This is communicated using a progressive continuum outlined at the beginning of student reports. We hope that this change will provide a new focus for your discussions about learning.

We are very interested in the extent to which these new learning behaviours improve the communication about student learning with parents and carers. During Semester 2 parents and carers will be invited to attend a Principal’s Morning Tea that will focus on providing parents an opportunity to share their understanding of these new learning behaviours and to provide feedback on the information that these provide about student learning.

Mrs Helen McDonald
Deputy Head of Berwick Grammar School – Teaching and Learning