Student Learning

Providing a quality teaching and learning program is a fundamental component of the College’s success. Students learn best in a positive and highly motivated environment. Our Teaching and Learning Model reflects our commitment to highly effective teaching and personalised learning. The BHSSC learning trinity embraces three interconnected themes:

 

            Learning to make a Life


Learning to make a Living

Learning to make a Difference

 



These statements encapsulate our beliefs about the role of education in the lives of young people. As a College we hold the following to be true:

  • All students are capable of learning
  • Effort is important
  • Learning will be influenced by emotion
  • Deep learning is a dynamic process
  • Learning involves risk taking and making mistakes
  • Our environment, including the company we keep, will affect our learning

 

In order to maximise the learning outcomes for all students, the College believes that it is important to:

  • Provide a safe and supportive learning environment
  • Establish high expectations
  • Communicate effectively
  • Model positive learning behaviours
  • Provide appropriate assessment and effective feedback

 

Provide a safe and supportive learning environment

For learning to take place, students need to feel connected to an environment in which they feel valued and respected. We establish and maintain a learning environment that encourages and motivates students to do their personal best by:

  • Creating a physical environment that is conducive to learning
  • Promoting risk taking opportunities for learning
  • Encouraging ownership and responsibility for spaces and personal behaviour
  • Providing autonomy within structure
  • Challenging students to reflect on their own learning
  • Showing empathy for the learner
  • Building positive relationships amongst all College members 

 

Establish high expectations

Motivation, instructional planning, teacher efficacy and consistency of high expectations create a climate that fosters and values respect, decency and success for all College members. Teachers use strategies to nurture their students through higher order thinking as they construct meaning and knowledge:

  • Establishing the big picture
  • Using good questioning techniques to keep students focused and directed
  • Challenging students to ask ‘Why?’ and ‘How do you know what you know?’
  • Expecting students to express their thinking and learning through speaking, writing and designing solutions
  • Ensuring that homework tasks link specifically to classroom learning
  • Building into instructional activities opportunities for movement and active student engagement
  • Using reflective dialogue to check for mastery and establish links to past and future learning
  • Employing cooperative and project based learning that encourages students to develop group process, time management, planning and communication skills along with content mastery
  • Explicitly teaching subject specific vocabulary and assessment terminology in order to maximise student access to understanding key concepts and examination success (Language for Learning) 

 

Use of Computers

  • The College is an innovator in the integration of ICT into the learning process. Our online progress reports and chronicle entries on COMPASS are living documents which continuously reflect and monitor learning behaviours, class work, homework and the quality of student work.
  • The use of one to one technology is supported across the College. Staff and students are encouraged to develop and extend their knowledge of online resources and educational programs to enhance learning outcomes within a framework of acceptable and responsible usage.

 
Model positive learning behaviours

As a College, we celebrate life – long learning. We understand the necessity of modelling the learning behaviours we expect from our students by:

  • Engaging in professional learning, collectively and individually
  • Reflecting on pedagogy in order to achieve best practice
  • Investigating innovative ways to deliver curriculum
  • Actively listening
  • Using language that is inclusive and non discriminatory
  • Focusing on improvement rather than results
  • Employing behaviours that support and build student confidence
  • Valuing team work and collaboration
  • Planning, monitoring, evaluating and reflecting on the effectiveness of programs 

 

Provide appropriate assessment and effective feedback

We use a range of assessment strategies and provide a variety of feedback sources that build consistency, competency and skill in our students. We do this by:

  • Recognising the importance of providing differentiated curriculum
  • Encouraging short and long term goal setting to sustain motivation and focus
  • Building on students’ interests and prior learning
  • Cross marking and moderating student work
  • Using rubrics and performance criteria to develop mastery 
  • Identifying strengths and deficits in student learning and using strategies to support the learner as appropriate
  • Allowing class time for self and peer assessment,
  • Using online testing, inquiry learning , oral or written feedback for specific learning tasks
  • Seeking evaluation and feedback from students  and other College stakeholders to inform and improve our pedagogy
  • Accessing a range of data to inform our picture of the individual learner, our cohorts and the College as a whole