Education Future Forum

In partnership with McCrindle Research, SCIL hosted the Education Future Forum at Northern Beaches Christian School. This was an opportunity to blend social research and educational practice within the context of an innovative school. The participants came from across Australia and there were also two people from Canada who joined us for the day. 

Prior to the day participants logged their top three issues and this data was translated by Optimice to present this Interactive Network Map to identify and track the key issues that educators are facing in school today. This was an outstanding tool – easy to add the information and very easy to read and pinpoint ideas. It was also an excellent way of engaging the group.

“Excellent - good introduction to ‘reshaping’ and influencing traditional thinking.”

The day commenced with Mark McCrindle presenting the key research findings on Generation Z, today's students and tomorrow's employees. Stephen Harris followed, and talked about changing school to engage and inspire students. The focus of the middle session on place, pedagogy and people were short-sharp presentations from architects James Ward and Andrew Duffin, Anne Knock, Steve Collis, Mark McCrindle and Stephen Harris. These drilled down into key issues.

The final session was an opportunity for the participants to play with their top three ideas, such as open-space, mobile devices, teacher quality and building a school.

“Very interesting day! Felt very catered for; lots of stimulating learning encouraged through presentations.”

Following this successful day, we are now making plans for Education Future Forum in March 2014. Hope we see you there.


Tour of the SCIL Building

Stephen Harris, Principal of Northern Beaches Christian School, gives a short tour of the SCIL Building, an open-plan, multi-modal learning space for student-directed learning. The SCIL Building features spaces and furniture than foster a range of learning modes and styles.

AITSL Awards

Congratulations to Stephen Harris
Australian Secondary Principal of the Year (NSW) at the 2011 Australian Awards for Outstanding Teaching and School Leadership

MELBOURNE, Australia—October 13, 2011—Today at the Australian Awards for Outstanding Teaching and School Leadership, Northern Beaches Christian School Principal Stephen Harris was announced as the Australian Secondary Principal of the Year (NSW), from NSW candidates representing the Government, Catholic and Independent education sectors.

The Awards, organised by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership in conjunction with the Australian Government, recognise extraordinary practitioners in five categories, focusing on educators who create opportunities for students and approach their work with a high level of passion and commitment. One candidate was selected from each state and territory, as well as a national recipient, from candidates across all education sectors throughout Australia.

Stephen Harris was specifically recognised for his ability to lead staff and students at Northern Beaches Christian School and through the work of Sydney Centre for Innovation in Learning, where he has embedded a culture of pervasive change and transformation, and an environment for learning that thinks beyond normal constraints.

Of the award Stephen Harris said, “As Principal I have valued the immense trust that I sense from the NBCS wider community—students, staff, parents, Board members and friends alike. Receiving an honour such as this gives me confidence that NBCS is headed in the right direction as we seek to provide an education that is strongly focused on relationship, excellence and engaged learning.”

21st century schools

So the essential skills of the 21st century schools include collaboration, problem-solving, analytical thinking, creativity and resilience. These skills can be more effectively taught and modelled in a school that should look and feel significantly different from the experience of one teacher and 30 students locked in a room all day learning from texts that will need to be reprinted in a couple of years.
— Anne Knock in an opinion piece for The Sydney Morning Herald

Recent Presentations

Stephen Harris recently presented at the Vancouver Symposium on Christian Education for the 21st Century. His keynote and pre-conference presentations have been made available to download from their website: