Learning and Teaching
‘Doing what matters is easy. Only doing what really matters
is very difficult.’
This was the key message fromMr Ben Jensen of the
Grattan Institute as he addressed the staff of Ruyton and
Trinity Grammar School at the commencement of 2014.
His keynote address focused on strategies to change
learning and teaching behaviours in order to ensure that
student learning is at the centre of everything we do. This
presentation laid the foundation for a year of wonderful
learning opportunities for both staff and students and
Ruyton, and challenged us, as educators, to ask ourselves
each day, with each action we take,‘
how will this improve
learning and teaching?
With the ever-changing digital landscape providing
wonderful opportunities and tools for learning, 2014 has
seen the implementation of a key component of the Digital
Learning Strategic plan in the transition to new devices,
including iPads, throughout the Junior School and in Year 7.
Our teachers have embraced the opportunity to utilise
these tools to enhance and support learning for students.
During Term 3 all teaching staff worked in Teacher Inquiry
Groups to undertake a range of action research projects
exploring how digital tools could be used to personalise
student learning. The commencement of Term 4 provided
an opportunity to share and celebrate these projects with
colleagues. Another highlight of Term 3 was the privilege,
for both staff and the wider School community, to hear
from Professor Carol Dweck of Stanford University.
Professor Dweck is world renowned for her work on the
importance of approaching all facets of life, including
learning, with a growth mindset.
Supporting our Curriculum Deans as leaders of learning has
been yet another professional learning focus in 2014.
Through a unique programme developed in collaboration
with educational consultants Dr Bern Nicholls and
Annelies Hoogland of EDUCAA, a number of our Curriculum
Deans have undertaken the International Leadership
and Management Programme (ILMP) Middle Leaders
programme. In this way they have received ongoing
coaching, support and professional development working
with Bern and Annelies at Ruyton. Junior School staff
have continued to work with Ms Andrea Muller to further
develop an inquiry-based approach to learning across
Each year, when selecting the theme for the Ruyton
Foundation Masterclass, our goal is to present a
programme which extends our knowledge, deepens our
thinking, challenges our perceptions, links with our
curriculum, touches our hearts and helps us understand
how we can make a difference as individuals and as a
community. Our theme for 2014 certainly met all of these
criteria, with the striking title ‘
We will call Australia Home
- Seeking Asylum
’. The Masterclass began with a compelling
performance by Unit 3/4 Drama students portraying the
chilling story of a family’s flight from Syria to Australia.
Mr Julian Burnside AO QC addressed the Senior School
and then joined a ‘Q and A’ style panel alongside three
remarkable women making a difference in our community.
The questions that our Year 11 and 12 students addressed to
the panel were deep, challenging and insightful and the
ensuing conversation between the panel members
provided a rich and unique learning experience.
The Learning Enrichment and Achievement Programme
(LEAP) provides a unique opportunity for students in Years 7
and 8 to develop a diverse set of skills that equip them for
learning in the 21st Century. This long-standing programme
constantly evolves and in 2014 the focus has been the
exploration of a variety of digital tools to equip students
with the skill-set required to be creative, collaborative,
communicative, inquisitive, agile, adaptable and ethical 21st
century citizens, through a problem-based learning
approach with a focus on ‘Growing Up Digital’.
At Ruyton we acknowledge that students learn in many
different ways and we strive to develop an understanding
of each individual as a learner. The Individual Learning
Department plays a key role in supporting teachers to
personalise learning, with staff taking on a consultancy role
in the classroom to work alongside teaching staff and
students. Mrs Radmila Harding, appointed in 2014 as the
co-ordinator of Gifted and Talented Programmes at Ruyton,
has worked closely with individuals and groups of teachers
and students throughout the year, and was the recipient of
the 2014 Ruyton Award for Educational Research. Radmila
undertook a research project titled
Girls, Technology and the
Classroom - with a Twist of Giftedness
, and presented this
research at the 2014 Asia Pacific Conference on Giftedness
held in China, as well as to Ruyton staff.
2014 has certainly been a wonderful year of learning for
the entire Ruyton community, with a focus on what really
matters - ensuring student learning is at the heart of all
that we do. I thank all the staff for their enthusiasm
Mrs Cathryn Furey,
Director of Learning
Annual Report 2014