Teaching and Learning
We need to prepare children for their future, not our past.’
With this statement, author and keynote speaker Mr
Dan Pink challenged the audience at the 2012 Australian
Council for Educational Leaders Conference to provide our
learners with opportunities to develop the skills that will
equip them for the world in which they will live and work:
st Century fluencies such as problem solving, creativity,
analytical thinking, collaboration, communication, ethics,
action and accountability. Our professional learning
programme in 2012 has focussed on building the capacity
of staff to embed these fluencies in learning programmes.
The year commenced with the Annual Combined Ruyton
and Trinity Grammar School Professional Learning Event,
this year hosted by Trinity. ELC, Junior and Senior School
staff from both schools attended a presentation by Mr
Michael Griffin, a leading Music educator, who talked
with us about the relationship between motivation and
achievement, and reminded us of the importance of self-
esteem and happiness in our students (and ourselves) if we
are to build intrinsic motivation. Creating ‘flow’ experiences
in our classrooms where students are completely immersed
in their learning requires learning to be authentic, relevant
and engaging for students.
The digital learning environment provides many
opportunities for this style of learning, and has been
identified as a focus area for Ruyton in the 2012-2016
Strategic Directions.Working with Digital Learning
Consultant Ms Sylvia Guidara to develop Ruyton’s Digital
Learning Strategic Plan provided members of the ICT
Committee with a wonderful professional learning
opportunity.We were challenged to think outside the
square and re-imagine learning without boundaries of
space and time. The digital learning vision statement,
Digital learning will engage, inspire and transform learning
and teaching at Ruyton Girls’ School’,
provided a focus
for a full staff professional learning day with Sylvia at
the commencement of Term 3, and the launch of our
first Innovation Project titled iCollaborate. Each term
six or seven small teams of teachers have collaborated
to explore the iPad as a teaching and learning tool, and
the recommendations of these teams will inform future
directions in digital learning using mobile devices at
Ruyton. A number of staff is also exploring other digital
learning strategies including the use of blogs, wikis,
blended learning and the flipped classroom, either
individually or in small teams.
As the digital world becomes more significant in our real
world (although - as the Velveteen Rabbit would ask -
what is real?’
the values we uphold in our society must
be reflected in online communities. Digital citizenship is
much more than cybersafety and in 2012 Ruyton has joined
the Generation Safe network, an organisation which offers
resources and expert advice to help navigate the realities
of today’s digital world. Through a 360
self-assessment, we
have explored all aspects of digital citizenship, including
policy and leadership, education, technical infrastructure
and e-safety accountability. The iCitizen staff group will
continue to work with staff, students, parents and our
wider community to further develop programmes and
strategies to ensure our digital integrity.
The Ruyton philosophy states in part
we aim to foster
the individuality of each student in a caring and safe
environment, nurturing intellectual, physical and social
qualities essential for growth’.
Providing learning
experiences that are personalised firstly requires an
understanding of what personalised learning is, and
in 2012 all Senior and Junior staff have contributed to
the development of a personalised learning philosophy
statement for Ruyton, and, with this, a shared
understanding and ownership of what personalised
learning means.
Strategies for Differentiation
was the focus of the Staff
Professional Learning Day at the commencement of Term
and we were fortunate to have this workshop facilitated
by two of our Ruyton staff, Mrs Radmila Harding and Ms
Katie Tribe. It has been wonderful to hear so many teachers
talking excitedly about the new tools and strategies they
have been implementing to further differentiate learning
for our students as a result of their own learning on the
staff day. This is professional learning at its best, and
reflects the dedication and professionalism of the Ruyton
staff. Concurrently our Junior School classroom teachers
and Senior School Pastoral Care leaders attended a hands-
on workshop relating to Restorative Practices, and once
again these staff have been most generous in sharing their
learning and experiences with their colleagues.
In addition to these many whole School initiatives we
are fortunate to be able also to provide our staff with
opportunities to pursue professional learning which both
supports them in achieving their own professional goals
and is aligned with the School’s strategic directions. The
Ruyton staff represent a true learning community and this
is wonderful modelling for our student learners.
Mrs Cathryn Furey,
Director of Learning
Annual Report 2012