From the Principal - October 2020

From the Principal - October 2020

From the Principal – October 2020

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Future Schooling – Current National Considerations

Curriculum review is a constant. Much has been written about Queensland’s adoption of the ATAR system for our Senior students, subsequent changes to curriculum, and the skills and dispositions students need to master.

Less has been said recently about the continuing review of the Australian Curriculum, which forms the foundation for Prep – Year 10 schooling, and current discussions considering different types of interrelated curriculum knowledge.

Four different types of interrelated curriculum knowledge identified by Emeritus Professor, Alan Reid, are currently under discussion:

  • disciplinary learning,
  • interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary/transdisciplinary learning,
  • general capabilities and
  • meta-learning.

For parents, keeping updated with reviews and revisions helps to ensure you continue to develop an appreciation of the differences young people encounter in education today as opposed to when you were at school – even if that was in the not too distant past. The P – 10 Australian Curriculum undoubtedly prepares students with the knowledge, understanding and skills that provide a foundation to the corresponding Year 11 and Year 12 senior syllabus, but its intent is not solely to prepare young people for senior years and life beyond school. How we philosophically make decisions which create our learning environment and celebrate intellectual curiosity and pursuit, lie at the heart of the ‘purpose of schooling’.

As an independent school we have the ability to identify our key considerations which will nurture and engage girls from their earliest years.  

Year 12 Students Natsha Nair (left) and Leilani Leon (right), who were recipients of the Creative Generation Visual Art Commendation Award and Excellence Award respectively. 

With our current economic climate, the national media are keen to report on the purpose of schooling as an economic consideration – developing the workforce that Australia will need into the future so that our young people are globally competitive. Less attention is given to the purpose of schooling focusing on the development of young people so that they become ‘good citizens’ of society and of the Earth. Or the purpose of schooling being to educate the individual for social and cultural life, so that they can appreciate learning for learnings sake. Even less is said about socialization being considered a key purpose of school; notwithstanding recent reports on the toll on young people’s mental health in States where young people have been forced to continue remote learning for a significant portion of the year.

Year 12 Student Violet Todd and Year 10 Student Kenina Murtagh (left) recipients of the 2020 Australian Defence Force Long Tan Youth Leadership Award, and Year 12 Student Sophie Coleman, recipient of the Australian Olympic Change-Maker Award.

Curriculum innovation is an ongoing discussion. Our current planning for 2021 and beyond is informed by national discussion, what we know works to support girls’ individual talents, and our School Council’s Strategic Plan. We can continue, even more importantly during a time of great challenge, to go forward as a community with confidence in our balanced approach to the purpose of schooling capturing each key consideration which ensures we are an advocate for every student.

I look forward to continuing to provide you with insight into current future education considerations and leave you with the message from our Chair of School Council, in the preface to our Strategic Plan; Professor Brandis captures the concerns of the current time.

Our world is changing, and our challenge is to ensure that St Hilda’s School is prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that change brings.

More than ever, we need to be creative with our approach to learning and teaching and enrich, protect and nurture the lives of the young women in our care.

We have a responsibility to ensure a sustainable future for the school and remain relevant to the community.

St Hilda’s is an international community, and we will strive to leave a positive global footprint.

This means keeping abreast of new technologies and refreshing our infrastructure as required.

A key driver is the need for future women to be well educated, but to also demonstrate behaviours consistent with our motto of “Not for ourselves alone”.

Our plan for the next stage of the school builds on our traditional foundations and aims to ensure that every girl reaches her full potential. By workingtogether, this vision can become a reality.

Wendy Lauman

Love, Compassion, Forgiveness, Hope, Grace