Student Centred Learning at Findon High School empowers students to individually develop and lead their own learning
Student Centred Learning at Findon High School is based on the following four key principles:
- Learning is Personalised – where the student will be able to choose their own pathway
- Learning is Competency Based – this enables a student to move at their own pace demonstrating their mastery rather than moving through the curriculum and allows the teacher to respond to the students’ personal interests, needs and challenges
- Learning Happens Anytime, Anywhere – learning is not limited to the classroom only
- Students Take Ownership – students take responsibility for their learning and are the main driver of their education
‘Yes’ is the default position at Findon High. Students understand that if it’s not too expensive, not too timely, or not going to hurt anyone then yes it can be done.
A key priority for the school is to create a point of difference from neighbouring secondary schools. This point of difference is Student Centred Learning. Student Centred Learning is by no means a new concept but to do it authentically, means to break the mould of a traditional education system and remove the barriers that currently exist within schools.
What does this mean for Findon High School and what will change?
Since 2018, the entire school has engaged in building a vision for Student Centred Learning. This vision and journey continues to evolve as our understanding grows as well, particularly from the perspective of the students.
The school has completely redesigned the curriculum in the middle years following extensive consultation with the school community. Still retaining the Australian Curriculum framework students can undertake a broader range of electives in line with their individual passion and aspiration. The core focus is on empowering students to become literate, independent, numerate, critical and creative thinkers, which in turn enables them to become positive citizens within our community.
Students will continue to study English and Mathematics, as well as having the opportunity to study a broader range of subjects under the main categories of STEM, HARTS and Health. Ideally, as students take greater ownership of their learning through Student Centred Learning, the vision is to create a wider selection of electives for students to engage in.
Since 2019 there are no year levels, as we have previously known them. Students will be referred to as either Foundation, Intermediate or Graduates. Findon High School has no bells which contributes to the students’ development and time management. Students have the opportunity to enter a subject based on their interest and capabilities, not based on their age. For example, if a student starting at Findon High in 2021 is able to demonstrate the capability to work at a higher year level because they are able to demonstrate higher levels of competency, then in consultation with the student and the caregiver the opportunity will be offered to study at a higher level. Having said this, there is also flexibility put into our structures to support the student working at a lower level, that if they require additional support then the student may stay at that level until the basic understandings are met.
All students from Foundation to Intermediate will be required to participate in a Learning Exhibition where they will be asked to prepare a presentation in which they demonstrate their learning from a minimum of three General Capabilities. The General Capabilities consist of Literacy, Numeracy, Critical & Creative Thinking, Personal & Social, ICT, Intercultural Understanding and Ethical Understanding. We want to ensure that every young person has a broad range of opportunities to fully develop their skills and capabilities. The Learning Exhibition also aligns with the future direction of SACE which will be requiring senior students to complete a Learner Profile which also encompasses the General Capabilities.
There is a transition towards students taking control of their learning, rather than the teacher being the possessor of all the knowledge. Students are given the opportunity to create new electives that enable them to further explore their passion and personal interests. Fundamentally, throughout this process, teachers are the facilitators or mentors, guiding students through the learning process so that the learning process goes deeper rather than delivering a premediated curriculum where time constraints inhibit independent, critical and creative thinking.
In a Student Centred Learning environment students work at their own pace, are required to take responsibility for their own learning and are required to manage their own time. The school is not removing the existing support structures, but is providing students with the necessary life skills required in the real world when they graduate from Findon High School.
Proposed new learning environments will create flexible learning environments thus supporting the philosophy that learning can take place at anytime, anywhere. The school is currently engaging with appropriate departmental people around the approved funding of $10 million as part of the Department for Education’s Capital Works Program which will deliver upgrades. The key focus of the program is to provide learning areas more suited for the delivery of contemporary pedagogy in order to improve learning outcomes for our students.
This will include:
- refurbishment of existing infrastructure to provide flexible, contemporary learning spaces
- a focus on the Technical Studies area to enable it to be able to deliver Advance Manufacturing opportunities for our students and create opportunities to establish partnerships with industry
- the development of a new Year 7 Learning Space
- an improved street presence and connectivity to the community to make a positive statement about public education
Student Centred Learning is the vision for Findon High School, and is the way forward in educating our young people in the 21st century. Please contact the school to arrange a tour with the Principal to see Student Centred Learning in action.