Ruyton Girls School Annual Report 2013 - page 18

Professional Learning
Education today is far removed from the ‘industrial
revolution’ model so many adults experienced, and while
our students certainly still need to develop literacy in
the traditional ‘three Rs’, these will only ensure success if
applied in the context of the ‘five C’s’: Collaboration,
Communication, Creativity, Critical Thinking and Curation.
Parents often comment on their excitement that the
learning opportunities their daughters have at Ruyton are
so different to their own learning journey at school. This
shift is not accidental nor is it simple, but requires strategic
thinking, planning and implementation. Providing effective
professional learning for teachers is pivotal, and like the
learning of our students, staff learning at Ruyton in 2013
has been diverse, stimulating and always aimed at
providing the best learning opportunities for our students.
In late January Ruyton hosted the annual Ruyton-Trinity
professional learning event. The
Australia in the Asia
White Paper by the Federal Government in 2012,
along with the identification of
Asia and Australia’s
Engagement with Asia
as a Cross–Curricular Priority in the
Australian Curriculum, both highlight the need to be
Asia-literate. Keynote speaker Ms Lindy Stirling worked
with staff to explore what is meant by the term ‘Asia
Literacy’ and to understand how we embed this in our
learning and teaching programmes. Later in the year, the
Ruyton Foundation Masterclass keynote address to the
Senior School by Dr Eeqbal Hassim, entitled
Asia Capability
and Intercultural Understanding as essential life skills in the
21st century,
provided further insight and perspective for
all of us as learners. The ensuing workshops, undertaken
by Year 9 students, involved exploration of the concept
of intercultural understanding with an Asia focus,
an opportunity to work with a Martial Arts expert, and
an interactive workshop with Ruyton parent Mr Andrew
Godwin, who shared his experiences of working in the
Chinese legal system.
The development of Ruyton’s Personalised Learning
Philosophy in 2012 has led to a focus on differentiation in
all learning programmes, with Curriculum Deans and
a number of other staff undertaking a series of workshops
on Formative Assessment with Ms Radmila Harding, and
collaborating with colleagues to put this learning into
practice in the classroom. A concurrent review of the
Individual Learning programme and Gifted and Talented
policy aims to ensure that every student is empowered to
engage in a variety of rich learning experiences designed
to develop independence and promote risk taking in their
learning, and that they are supported and challenged to
reach their full potential: intellectually, physically,
emotionally and socially.
In conjunction with the announcement of the digital device
plan for 2014 and beyond at the commencement of Term 4,
the staff Professional Learning Day included the rollout of
100 iPads to teaching staff and the opportunity to
experience the many ways in which iPads can be used as
‘enablers of learning’. Ongoing personalised professional
learning opportunities have ensured that the excited buzz
of day one has not diminished, as staff continue to explore
the scope of these devices and share their learning. Digital
Citizenship continues to play an important role in all areas
of curriculum, and as part of the 2013 Operational Plan, a
team of staff has worked with Digital Learning consultant
Ms Robyn Treyvaud to review the Learning Enrichment and
Achievement Programme (LEAP) at Year 7 and 8. The 2014
programme will see the theme of ‘growing up digital’
explored through the lens of personal identity and
intercultural understanding, while at the same time
developing student skills in the use of digital tools. Science
teacher Ms Nicole Volkmann was the 2013 recipient of the
Ruyton Award for Educational Research and her extensive
research into using technology to ‘the flipped classroom’,
along with recommendations for future learning and
teaching, was shared with staff late in Term 4.
The sharing of classroom practice is widely recognised as
one of the most effective forms of teacher professional
learning and involvement in the Australian Government
Quality Teacher Programme this year has seen a team of
teachers undertake a series of ‘focused classroom
observations’ to provide effective feedback to each other.
As the year has progressed this learning has been shared
with members of the reflective practices group, a voluntary
professional learning team who meet regularly to discuss
innovation and creativity in learning and teaching.
Ruyton is certainly a true learning community, epitomised
by this extract from a poem by Mr Allan Glatthorn.
‘What is learning? A journey, not a destination.
What is teaching? Not showing them what to learn
but how to learn.
What is school? Whatever we choose to make it.’
Mrs Cathryn Furey,
Director of Learning
Annual Report 2013
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