“If you always do what you’ve always done,
you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
At the end of last year our senior management team took a good hard look at what was going on in our classrooms and decided to embark on a journey of change. It’s not that anything drastically bad was occurring, but we noticed that our students were not being given enough chances to make independent choices about their learning.
We wanted to change that.
We enlisted the help of Bek Galloway, an education consultant based out of Blenheim, who helped us form four key outcomes that we wanted to see happening within our learning spaces.
- A class culture where our students are regularly thinking, questioning & collaborating
- Teachers encouraging deeper thinking
- Ensure students are using their own questions
- Enable student voice, reflection & independence
To achieve these outcomes we all had to take a step back and challenge our ideas about teaching and what it looks like. What is best practice? What is the purpose of school? What skills do we want our students to leave our school with?
We are very much still in the early stages of this new approach to teaching, introducing bits and pieces at a time to ensure that it is done successfully. Our next step is moving away from timetabled curriculum designated periods and into flexible blocks of learning with multiple tasks and projects on the go across all areas of the curriculum at any time.
The idea of students designing their own learning tasks and plans has been a big mindset change for some of our staff but we are very fortunate that everyone is onboard and committed to the journey.
Any change always comes with a risk, But without risk there very rarely is a reward.
We know that our students will greatly benefit from our new approach to teaching and learning as they become deeper thinkers and lifelong learners. We look forward to the journey ahead!