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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

the curriculum.

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

and support.

Mrs Cathryn Furey,

Assistant Principal,

Director of Learning

Annual Report 2014