From Mrs Stathatos
The past fortnight has seen us launch into Term 3 with gusto, as students and teachers continue working together in classroom environments and in co-curricular activities to further student learning. The line of sight for our Year 12 students is the end of year examinations and the number of weeks left in the school year before they begin is shrinking! Students are working steadily to complete set work and revise. Equally, all students are engaged in their learning and are focusing on their learning tasks to clarify their knowledge and skills. The importance of being present at school, being active in the learning environment and responding to feedback for improvement is crucial.
The Victorian Government’s improvement agenda is always present in the working lives of staff and teachers have had multiple opportunities to increase their knowledge and skills through the professional learning programs on offer. The Communities of Practice organises teachers into groups who diagnose student learning needs and address them through an improvement model and by identifying professional learning needs to support their expertise. This work is currently happening at the college. Equally there is a primary/secondary school initiative which focuses on a particular method of practice and seeks to understand how it is approached in both settings and what is useful about similar and different approaches. This activity is also engaging staff. Today, five schools in the Maroondah Secondary Schools Partnership participated in a professional learning day at Norwood Secondary College in its fabulous new gymnasium. Norwood Secondary College, Bayswater Secondary College, Heathmont College, Melba College and Ringwood Secondary College staff attended professional learning around Student Voice, Agency and Engagement and learnt so much, not only form the key note speaker and workshop presenters, but also from the panel of students who represented all schools and who gave voice to their experiences of learning while articulating how they would like their voice to be heard for improved engagement. A summary of the program is below:
Student Voice, Building Agency and Engagement - Key note Greg Mitchell
How engaged are students in your school? Student Voice plays an integral role in how we engage students in the ownership of their learning environment and community. This keynote details how we can use Student Voice to get insights into their learning, through to taking active roles in creating positive school culture, resolving conflict, mentoring others and having more academic autonomy.
Strategies for Student Engagement - Greg Mitchell
This highly practical hands on workshop will follow on from Session 1, addressing in detail student voice strategies for engagement in the classroom.
Student Voice within a T&L instructional model - Kerrie Dowsley
This workshop will explore how, at St Albans Secondary College, we have worked alongside students to further develop and embed our instructional model, and to improve and monitor our impact in teaching and learning. We will outline the significant role our Student Learning Action Team has played in driving this improvement.
Student Agency in STEM - Dr Linda McIver
STEM skills are increasingly vital in the real world. In this presentation I will demonstrate a Data Science approach to STEM that uses real datasets and authentic projects to show students that they can do STEM, and that it is a vital tool for understanding, and even changing the world. Data Science can be used right across the curriculum, with examples such as History, Geography, English, Maths, and Science. Whether you play with existing visualisations like those at gapminder, use simple spreadsheet skills, or write your own code, you have the skills to use real datasets in your subject. Using Data Science to teach STEM gives kids the tools to create change.
Student Agency in the classroom - Narelle Wood
This session is a hands-on workshop exploring the different ways to develop student voice and agency within the classroom. It includes strategies for negotiating the curriculum with students, as well as strategies to enhance classroom dialogue with students, focussing on the what, how and why of students’ learning.
Q&A Student Panel – 2 Student Voice members from your school
- What does Student Voice look like in your school now?
- What would you like Student Voice to look like in your school in the future, when it is fully implemented?
The Maroondah Secondary School Partnership professional learning day was successful in its aim to bring awareness to all staff the importance of student voice and to work towards improving it.