Student Centred Learning at Findon High School is based on the following four key principles:
- Learning is Personalised where the teacher knows each individual student
- 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 doesn’t stop when the bell rings
- Students Take Ownership – no decision will be made without students
‘Yes’ is the default position at Findon High. Students understand that if it’s not too expensive, not going to take overly long to achieve, or not going to hurt anyone then yes it will 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?
In 2018, the entire school engaged in building a vision for Student Centred Learning. This will continue to evolve in 2019 as our understanding grows, 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 becomes positive citizens within our community.
The vision is to create around 150 electives. Students continue to study English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities, as well as having the opportunity to study PE, Arts, Technology, and Home Economics.
In 2019 there are no year levels, as we know them today. There are no bells. Students will 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 2019 is able to demonstrate the capability to work at a higher year level equivalent because they demonstrate higher levels of competency, then this is where they will go. Having said this, there is flexibility put into our structures to support the student working at a lower level if they require additional support.
All students at Findon High School will have a Learning Plan by the end of 2019. This is a document that enables the individual student to achieve their best and reach their potential. We want to ensure that every young person has a broad range of opportunities to fully develop their skills and capabilities. We see each and every student as unique, with their own potential – therefore it is our responsibility to help them to achieve their goals. Students, with their families and the school, work together to create a Learning Plan. This document outlines a chosen pathway for their secondary schooling, identifying specific goals, aspirations and learning challenges. It is important to note that the Learning Plan is reviewed annually and includes the option to be flexible if the student wishes to change their chosen pathway.
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 coaches 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 presenting a series of proposals to the Department as part of the Building Better Schools funding program where our school has been allocated $10million. This will include a purpose-built music and performing arts facility; the creation of an Advanced Manufacturing Centre capitalising on partnerships with industry and the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia, where students are given the opportunity to become the entrepreneurs of tomorrow; the development of a new Year 7 learning space, and building upgrades at the entrance to the school.
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.