Year 7-9

Director of Learning

As the first semester of learning draws to a close, it provides us with time to reflect upon an uninterrupted period of on-site learning. The year has started with gusto with all students enthused and engaged with their learning opportunities. Our junior curriculum embodies the defining features of 21st century learning with the critical future proofed skills of creativity, critical thinking, resilience, collaboration, digital literacy and problem-solving all prioritised to developing learner agency to empower our students. We are in the illustrious position of being one of only a small handful of Australian schools to deliver the Universal Learning Programme (ULP) through our partnership with the International School of Geneva. The grounding principles of the ULP are, firstly, deep understanding which develops pedagogical strategies, threshold concepts and universal understandings to enhance student cognition. Secondly, competence, based upon the development of skills, knowledge and attitudes through continual cycles of feedback. Competency has a focus on developing character, passion, mastery and collaboration. Thirdly, social impact, promoting students to make positive social contributions in their environments. The students in the forthcoming terms, will be undertaking projects as part of their learning journeys to demonstrate their abilities and commitment to their learning.

As part of the learning programme within the junior school, NAPLAN has punctuated the term with the testing of our Year 7 & 9 students’ levels in reading, writing, numeracy and language conventions. Our students adjusted to the testing superbly and approached the sessions in an extremely positive mood. It is important to highlight that the data that is reported from NAPLAN in Term 3, allows teachers to be data-informed and for the students to understand the next steps in their learning. Our approach to the data, assessment and feedback allows us to work closely with the students and prioritise the personalisation of their learning. On the release of the results, all families in Year 7 & 9 will receive a full diagnostic report from the tests undertaken.

As we look towards the final weeks of term, it is important to acknowledge the learning opportunities created by the teaching staff. A raft of authentic learning opportunities for the students to immerse themselves in have been made available. Some of the many highlights have included the Year 9 Humanities programme has seen the opportunity to embrace the Melbourne University Financial Literacy Program with undergraduate students delivering the skills of financial literacy. This included key topics such as, budgeting, saving, banking, types of debt, and consumer rights. The Year 8 Languages students have been participating in a language and culture exchange with our Sister School in Kyoto, Japan. The Year 7 Science program has the students visiting Melbourne Zoo as part of their learning on ecosystems.

A fantastic start to the year and we look forward to the learning that will be occurring for the remainder of the term as well as an action-packed holiday period!

Chris Needle
Director of Learning (Year 7-9)/Learning Leader HPE