"Learning Plazas" at Living Faith Lutheran Primary
An initial visit in 2012 followed by two SCIL "Bootcamp Days" helped shape the path for Living Faith Lutheran Primary. Principal Jane Mueller says:
"Our innovative and trail-blazing colleagues at Sydney Centre for Innovation in Learning have greatly inspired Living Faith’s transformation, particularly in the areas of stimulating pedagogy and vibrant physical environments. Agile learning spaces, project-based learning, visible learning, waypoints, feedforward and service learning are just some of the contemporary concepts that are now embedded in the Living Faith culture. And this is just the start of the story.
The changing nature of the workforce has been the catalyst for an educational revolution at Living Faith Lutheran Primary School. As such, the development of entrepreneurial skills is an essential element in the formal education of the Living Faith student. Through a culture of improvement, coupled with the promotion of a growth mindset and a heart for service, Living Faith fosters within students a knowledge of themselves as both learners and change-making citizens. Living Faith graduates strive to be strong in creativity, collaboration, adaptability, critical thinking, global awareness and emotional intelligence. "
The school was recently featured in this news story: Classroom of the Future. In the article Mueller says “It’s all about shifting away from an era of compliance and moving towards one of engagement. Research teaches us that if a child is engaged they achieve higher and are more motivated."
TED Program at Mater Dei College, Wagga
Mater Dei Catholic College is High School in the major regional town of Wagga in NSW. In 2012, principal Mr Greg Miller engaged SCIL to guide the launch of a flagship innovative learning program and spaced called "TED". The program's title was derived from the word "connected", meant in an all-encompassing way: connecting space, people, information and learning.
SCIL assisted with initial team visioning and pedagogical planning and mentoring. Soon after the program launched we provided an interpretive report based on student data, and gave advice on programming & documentation. Of particular importance was facilitation around the logistics of shared, flexible learning spaces on a day to day basis, and the establishment of collaborative norms to exploit the potential of team teaching. Our input continued throughout 2013 and 2014, by which time the program had matured and become well known and influential in the region.
TED program leader Mel Cramp has remarked on the importance of a shared vision for making spaces work: "SCIL played a pivotal role in establishing a team dynamic for ConnecTED Learning, identifying key attributes of each team member and ways to best engage them so as to have ownership and a clearly defined way forward. SCIL also brought the team to a common and agreed upon understanding of what TED is."
Paideia at Cornerstone College South Australia
SCIL began a collaboration with Cornerstone College in South Australia in 2012 during a Middle Years training event. Teacher Leanne Filmer later said of this event "this was definitely the BEST middle school workshop I have been to. You explained the theory behind the pedagogy used, but much more importantly you outlined how we could implement some of these ideas into our classroom."
The school was planning a new Middle Years learning space, called "Paideia". This innovative space went on to win a Category 2 CEFPI Award.
In March 2013, Middle Years leader Mr Matt Pearce engaged SCIL for an immersive visioning day with key teaching staff. Mr Pearce and his colleagues flew to Sydney to observe a wide range of spaces and learning programs operating at Northern Beaches Christian School. SCIL provided facilitation and assisted the team in extracting critical insights to drive the lived experience of inhabiting Paideia when it opened. The insights included the importance of student ownership and choice, and potential for subspaces to be harnessed for needs-based learning.
Mr Pearce describes the impact these insights had: "Our visit to NBCS and relationship with SCIL have significantly shaped some of the decisions we have made when setting up our Middle School at Cornerstone. We have set up our Year 7 structure so that the cohort has a minimum of 22 lessons out of a 30 lesson timetable together. This allows a “village” type atmosphere where students can work with different teachers depending on choice. An example of this is in our Ancient Civilizations unit students choose which area they want to study and then move to whichever room where that topic is taught. In Maths we pre-test every topic and students move to different rooms according to their ability in that topic (not subject)."