From the Principal
I have offered my ‘From the Principal’ article this week to our Deputy Principal (Teaching & Learning) K-12, Adam Majsay, who writes below on his thoughts about what is valuable about learning for our students.
What we value in learning
Learning at Emanuel School is different. We focus on learning that has life-long significance for every student, with relevance and transferability beyond the parameters of any single discipline. Over many years, Emanuel teachers have explored a range of teaching frameworks, capturing the best of each, to form the basis of our own Emanuel teaching philosophy.
At the core of Emanuel’s approach is the fostering of a culture of deep and authentic learning in which student’s thinking is drawn out, valued and made visible. Building on robust, research-driven approaches, our teaching draws on an interconnected framework of learning partnerships and student-centred, innovative pedagogy. A key characteristic of our practice is learning that leads to students’ acquisition of deep learning competencies – collaboration, communication, critical thinking, creativity, citizenship and character.
How and what we teach
With approaches to teaching anchored in the research of Michael Fullan, and Harvard University Project Zero’s Ron Ritchart and Mark Church, Emanuel’s learning philosophy provides for deep, authentic learning opportunities which future-proof our students for an ever-changing, unpredictable and complex world. All of this is possible, while maintaining a firm grounding in the content knowledge (the ‘stuff’) of each subject discipline and the value of explicit instruction in supporting student learning.
How our teachers learn
Teacher professional learning at Emanuel is guided by the principle that for our students to grow as deep thinkers and life-long learners within a culture of exploration and innovation, the School must also provide that environment for teachers. Our in-house professional learning Focus Groups place each teacher in the role of learner, embarking on personal, year-long inquiry action research projects. Our teachers meet fortnightly and dig into how they each create rich learning experiences for their classes, building students’ capacities for deep and authentic learning.
How we provide feedback on student learning
Regular, timely feedback is one of the most important factors contributing to student growth in their learning. Formal, summative feedback, through academic reports and parent/teacher interviews (3-Way Learning Conversations), is one highly visible mode of input into student learning. On the other hand, ongoing formative feedback – feedback for learning – is that in-the-moment input which supports students taking the immediate next steps to build on what they have already achieved. Both are important.
As a School, we continue to reflect on and work to refine our processes for supporting students as learners through the types of feedback we offer, and the ways and times in which it is given. We’re in the process of reviewing our academic report models in both Primary and High School. Parents in Primary have already provided valuable insights into our K-6 report model, and shortly, input from High School parents and students will also be sought, as we seek to continually enhance the quality of the feedback our students receive to support them on their learning journey.
Emanuel School’s vision is to be a place ‘where the individual excels’. Our team of dynamic, expert educators continue to inspire me each day, as they demonstrate their commitment to enabling our students to embrace their individuality and uniqueness as learners, to foster creativity and innovation, and to equip our students with the capabilities that will see them thrive, for life.
Welcome back to Emanuel
We welcomed 22 Emanuel School Alumni to our annual Careers Space event on Wednesday morning. Our alumni shared their post-school study and career experiences and advice with our Years 11 and 12 students and thoroughly enjoyed stepping back into the Waxman Gates in Stanley Street. Thank you to Claire Pech, Careers Advisor and Sonia Newell, Development Officer – Alumni & Community Relations for organising and hosting the event.
The oldest child in your family will have brought home a copy of the 2020 YearBook this week. I hope you enjoy paging through this wonderful collection of our students’ artwork, photographs and reports from what was a very challenging year. Thanks to the valued advice from the High School students’ Sustainability Committee we reduced the number of YearBooks printed and distributed this year and have also developed a version which you can access online. To ensure our students’ privacy you won’t be able to download this version, so please keep your printed copy safe for posterity.
To the Years 3-6 IP students who shared their Chamber Music performances with each other on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.
To the Senior Choir for their High School Assembly performance this week of We are the World by Michael Jackson.
Quote of the week
The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.
– Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace.