Learning and Teaching
In efforts to constantly improve, the College is supporting a large number of initiatives, linking with our strategic intentions. Staff professional learning has taken on a new prominence as a way of attending to:
- improving student learning outcomes;
- contemporary learning and teaching; and
- structures and systems to support learning.
This thinking has been supported with an organisational restructure, whereby leadership roles in the learning and teaching area have been configured in a new and unique way from 2015.
The following is a snapshot of the substantial performance development activity currently in train.
Professional Learning Teams
All teaching staff are this year engaged in Professional Learning Team activity, within small teams of four to five, using an action-research model. This model of learning, recently endorsed by Professor Patrick Griffin of the University Of Melbourne Graduate School Of Education, sees our teachers identifying an area of practice for further research which links with a perceived need and aligns with the College’s strategic plan.
A wide range of focus areas for research have emerged across the 22 teams, including:
- Use of student notebook computers for personalising learning.
- Challenging tasks to develop 21st century learning skills.
- Literacy models for practical subjects.
- Language immersion (CLIL) methodology implementation in primary.
- The role of feedback — what does quality feedback look like and how does it benefit student learning.
Teams will present the results of their research at the end of the year.
In December 2014 all teaching staff were issued with a notebook computer, accompanied with two days of highly structured professional learning activity. This work continues into the beginning of 2015, with all teachers required to complete Digital Learning Certification, ensuring sufficient preparation for the effective deployment of notebook computers to Year 9 students in Semester 2. Major upgrades in infrastructure are being progressively introduced in order for teachers and students to feel confident about the quality and reliability of the provided systems and services.
University of Melbourne Network of Schools
The College’s application to join the UMNOS in 2014 was successful, resulting in a team of four staff joining schools across the Catholic, DEECD and Independent School sectors this year investigating research-based approaches to improving student learning.
Leading Languages Learning Project
The Languages Department has developed, with the support of external funding, a detailed plan to introduce innovative language immersion programs over the coming five years.
Post-Graduate Certificate in Curriculum Leadership
Three staff have joined a Catholic Education Office sponsored initiative, connected with Melbourne University, investigating contemporary approaches to junior arts education.
Secondary Curriculum Literacy Network
A small group of teachers has joined the SCLN, with a view to spearheading school-wide approaches to literacy improvement at De La Salle.
Encouraging Persistence, Maintaining Challenge
A Monash University program geared at improvement in mathematics. Starting at Year 8, the intention is for the methodology to be applied more broadly in time.
Year 9 Review Committee
Following the review and re-design of the curricula program at Year 10, a review committee was assembled to examine the College’s Year 9 program. The work of this committee has spanned several months, including extensive research and site visits of leading schools. It is expected that recommendations will emerge from this committee for a new program, with a staged implementation from 2016.
Mr Mark Gustincic
Deputy Principal – Learning and Teaching