11
autumn 2013
English Talent on Display
Last year we were thrilled to hear the news that Year 12
(2012)
student, Anjali Bethune, had won the prestigious
John Button EssayWriting Competition, announced
during the MelbourneWriters’Festival this year. Her
essay,
Increased immigration will benefit Australia’s
future
discussed the positive elements of a ‘big Australia’
and revisited the asylum seeker debate. As the daughter
of a Sri Lankan immigrant herself, Anjali was able to
bring passion and conviction to her writing. Her essay
was well-argued and coherent, using expressive and
compelling language. Of the award, Anjali said,
To win
this prize was a great honour, as I believe Australian
politics and policy are amongst the most important
things in which the youth of this country need to become
involved. Many of us will soon be on the electoral roll, and
I think it is imperative that we all take advantage of our
democratic right to free speech, which many in this world
are not fortunate enough to have.’
Ruyton offers many
opportunities for students to excel within the
curriculum and at external competitions, including both
writing and public speaking.
In November we celebrated four prize winners in the Boroondara Literary Awards, Phoebe Condon, Janet Davey,
Helena Mileo and Dyan Taylor.The Isobelle Carmody Awards also saw students fromYears 7-11 achieving wins and
Highly Commended awards:Year 7: Sophie He - Highly Commended, Annie Fang - Highly Commended, Rachelle
Papantuono – winner for her piece
For Sale.
Year 8: Maddie Crump - Highly Commended, Jessica Richardson – winner
for
Through my Eyes.
Year 9: Jane Flood - Highly Commended, Sophia Currie - Highly Commended, Laura Marshall –
winner for
Sinister Vengeance.
Year 10: Gillian Lim - Highly Commended, SarahWatling - Highly Commended, Mimi
Kieu – winner for
Magic in the Next Town.
Year 11: Betty Xiong - Highly Commended, Zoe Hutton - Highly Commended,
Janet Davey – winner of the Isobelle Carmody Competition of 2012 for her piece
The Broken Symphony.
Scripsi is a
collection of the best poems and short stories written by our Senior School girls and copies are available at the School.
What is Personalised Learning?
The Ruyton philosophy states that
Ruyton is a dynamic learning community dedicated
to the pursuit of educational excellence and personal fulfilment.We aim to foster the
individuality of each student in a caring and safe environment, nurturing intellectual,
physical and social qualities essential for growth’.
In his book
The Element
(2009),
Sir Ken Robinson writes
education doesn’t need to be reformed, it needs to be
transformed.The key to this transformation is not to standardise education but to
personalise it, to build achievement on discovering the individual talents of each child,
to put students in an environment where they want to learn and where they can
naturally discover their true passions’.
Terms such as ‘personalised learning’ and
student centred learning’ are used widely in current educational literature, but
unless we make meaning of them in our context it is impossible to transform
learning and teaching.
During 2012 Ruyton staff worked collaboratively to explore what personalised
learning meant at the School, and how this translated into the classroom and beyond.
We developed a Ruyton Personalised Learning Philosophy statement, to underpin
both the curriculum and pedagogy.
Ruyton acknowledges that students learn in
many different ways and strives to develop
an understanding of each individual as a
learner. Girls are empowered to engage in a
variety of rich learning experiences designed
to develop independence and promote risk
taking in their learning.They are supported
and challenged to reach their full potential
intellectually, physically, emotionally
and socially.
Mr Vic Zbar for the Centre for Strategic
Education identified three key elements
which are fundamental for school
improvement in the area of personalised
learning: assessment for more personalised
teaching and learning, differentiation of
instruction built on a consistent base, and
professional learning and data to support
the approach. At Ruyton we are well on the
journey to personalised learning.
Mrs Cathryn Furey,
Director of Learning
As part of our approach to personalised learning, Individual Learning at Ruyton
supports girls across the ability continuum, but focuses on students who have
additional learning needs at either end of this spectrum. Individual Learning supports
girls who would benefit from enrichment and extension where an extra learning
challenge is beneficial.These girls may be brought together as like minds to explore
areas of interest.We also aim to support girls who may experience difficulties. For
example, while some students may be great at verbalising what they have learnt, they
may not be able to express themselves in the written form quite so readily. Difficulties
with memory or processing may present a barrier to learning.The Individual Learning
teachers work with class teachers and students to develop strategies to enhance
student learning.
Our first task in Individual Learning is to identify students who would be assisted
by our input.We then work with these students, their teachers and families to
consider strategies to enhance each girl’s learning experience in order to optimise
their academic outcome. It is my aim as the Co-ordinator of Individual Learning to
provide for students in our care in the most enabling and inclusive manner possible.
Ms Margaret Young,
Individual Learning Co-ordinator (Prep-Year 12)
Good Role Models
At Ruyton we are always seeking ways to ensure
that our teaching is relevant and that we can
provide good role models for our girls. For the first
time, past students participated as leaders on our
Year 7 camp and were warmly received as
wonderful role models by the younger girls.We
are grateful to 2012 alumnae Natalie Gnoato, Lucy
Green, Anna Martin-Truelove and Imogen Shute
for giving up their time.
Confident, Resourceful, Resilient