From Acting Deputy Principal – Teaching & Learning, Ms Gabrielle Smith
EREA Leaders of Learning Conference
On Thursday 10 September, educators from across the country met online for the EREA Leaders of Learning Conference. I attended, along with Director of Curriculum, Ms Lynsey Porter, and Acting Director of Junior School, Ms Gaby Bransby. The conference was organised by Waverley’s Ms Elizabeth Watson, who is currently in the EREA Acting Director of Learning role. The theme for this year’s gathering was ‘Our Voice in Learning – Creating Alternative and Preferred Futures.’
Throughout the conference we had the privilege of hearing from students across the EREA network. They shared their off-campus learning experiences with us, reflecting on the opportunities, challenges and uncertainty that they’ve been faced with this year. Our young people focused on the role of technology, as well as how they stayed motivated, managed distractions and remained connected with teachers and peers.
We actively participated in a session called Futures Thinking, which asked delegates to reflect on the nature of change in our schools during the pandemic, around four paradigms:
- No change
- Marginal change
- Adaptive change
- Radical change
Reflecting on change led to planning for alternative and preferred futures in learning with Professor Sohail Inayatullah, a professor at Tamkang University, Taiwan (Graduate Institute of Futures Studies).
Professor Inayatullah is Inaugural UNESCO Chair in Future Studies. He worked with us to realise, as educators, we need to reflect on – and evaluate – this year from the following angles:
- The pandemic disrupted our thinking and has forced us to be agile
- The issue is not what’s happening now, it’s what we do with this opportunity
- Do we go back to what we’ve done or do we use this as an opportunity for radical change?
Year 12 Major Works
Throughout Week 10, we showcased our Year 12 Major Works. This included works and performances from the following subjects:
- Design & Technology
- Industrial Technology – Multimedia
- Visual Arts
We would like to congratulate our Year 12s for their hard work and exemplary efforts, especially considering the challenges of 2020. We would also like to acknowledge our dedicated teachers, who have supported students with their projects and provided additional help during remote working.
Lastly, to our parents, thank you for supporting your sons’ HSC journeys.
Teaching & Learning Highlights
This edition’s Teaching & Learning highlights include the build up to trialling our new learning management system and Languages students exploring Spanish language, food and culture. Three Waverley teams took on this year’s Write a Book in a Day challenge. You can read more on this in Mr Roberts’s article, including reflections from three of our Year 7s who got involved.
Introducing Canvas – From Innovation Coordinator & PDHPE Teacher, Ms Kaitlyn Downey
We’re excited to announce that we will start trialling our new learning management system at the beginning of Term 4 2020. Canvas will be rolled out to a number of classes and departments across the College.
The decision to upgrade from Powerschool was made to ensure that our students have access to the latest, most advanced online platforms to support our commitment to dynamic and visible learning.
Canvas is an interactive online platform that allows students to access resources and content for lessons, streamlines assessment submissions and facilitates different learning experiences within the classroom. This includes discussions, collaborations, peer reviews and the creation of digital content.
Throughout 2020, staff have been undertaking Canvas training sessions on all aspects of the platform. Recently, they have been designing exciting new courses and resources for Years 5 to 12. We will continue to deliver Canvas training in Term 4, at our Staff Professional Learning Day.
We’re looking forward to introducing Canvas to the wider College community. If you have any questions about this transition in the meantime, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
Spanish – From Head of Languages, Ms Priscilla Quintana and Languages Teacher, Mr Daniel Kroll
Our Year 11s were recently treated to an inspirational presentation by one of our own teachers, Mr Robert Tall. As a talented young footballer, Mr Tall was selected to live and train in Catalonia, Spain, when he was 14. He kindly shared his personal experiences with us regarding mastering a new language, appreciating cultural differences and living away from home. He also spoke about making lifelong friendships, developing transferable skills such as resilience, teamwork and camaraderie, and enjoying every opportunity that was presented to him during his travels.
Students were also able to look at some very interesting memorabilia, including a figurine of ‘Los Cules’. As a final treat, everyone sampled some Magdalenas, which are a Spanish lemon cupcake, light and fluffy, and perfect as a snack for morning tea! Next term, students will be able to put their sporting skills into practice and participate in a friendly but competitive game of fútbol.
Years 8 & 9
During Term 3, Year 8 students have been studying Spanish food and drinks. They were given the opportunity to create an authentic dining experience in class by performing role plays and ordering a three-course meal and drinks. This also gave our young men the chance to exchange opinions and broaden their friendship circles by engaging in lively discussions about their favourite Spanish foods. Due to the success of this event, Languages will be looking at working with the TAS department next year, to create a cooking experience that reaffirms cross-curricular learning for our Year 8s.
Year 9 Spanish have also been exploring Spanish cuisine and ordering in a restaurant. They’ve enjoyed learning about the culture around mealtimes in Spain, and the traditional dishes served at desayuno, comida y cena (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Naturally, there have been some nerves when engaging in role plays, but our students are really developing their confidence with speaking Spanish as well as a greater appreciation of the advantages of being able to communicate in a second language.
Term 3 Progress Reports – From Assistant Director of Curriculum, Mr Chris Soden
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