From the Deputy Principal and the bIBliotechJune 29, 2018
An incredible nine weeks has come to an end – our children have definitely engaged in a wealth of learning experiences during the course of this term. Recently I was reading an article regarding the International Baccalaureate’s 50th Birthday celebrations and it focussed on the question of ‘what does it feel like to have an IB education?’ I have been asked many questions regarding the educational outcomes of an IB school but never has the ‘feel’ been explored. When we explore the IB we focus on sharing how the teaching and learning engages students in an internationally minded community, we visualise inquiry and the journey our students are led on and lead us on, we celebrate the many triumphs and support during times of challenge. But in the words of Charmagne Braden its important feature is that it is ‘transformative in that student learning goes beyond the classroom in ways we might not even imagine’(http://blogs.ibo.org/blog/2018/06/11/the-transformative-nature-of-an-ib-education/). It is this idea of transformation which has led me to reflect on the weeks since my last entry.
Our Year 10 students may describe the feel of the past weeks as exhilarating, confusing, overwhelming, challenging and pure excitement as they have been involved in a wide range of ‘Choices and Challenges’ programmes to prepare them for their selection of subjects to be studied in Years 11 and 12. Our students have sat their first examinations, heard from various presenters outlining courses to be possibly studied, the various hurdles to be leap over to attain secondary graduation, visited tertiary institutes to gain a feel for the post-school environment, visited the successful Career’s Expo which the College annually hosts and begun to sit with staff and family members to make sometimes challenging decisions. But these students importantly have gone beyond the walls of their classroom to begin to make their future a reality.
You don’t have to move to far in the Junior School to gain a feel for the inquiry which is almost second nature to these students. Inquiry is able to take many forms but the best inquiry is outside of the classroom. Children have embraced the idea that ‘questions are good and the more the better’ (sorry Mums and Dads). Questioning allows children to deepen their understandings and importantly to make connections to the wider world, which assists in retention of information, motivation to learn more and fosters greater independence as learners. Researchers have noted that on average children aged between two and ten years can ask up to approximately 230 questions a day naturally. Questions are essential for us to foster as ‘you are helping your child to expand their view of the world, and to accumulate knowledge that will eventually make the world a better place to live in.’ (Essential Kids, 2012) and as IB Learners this is what we aspire for all our students. Inquiry has been flourishing in the bIBliotech in our upcycling room, where a ‘family’ made out of recycled materials ‘appeared’ one morning – we applaud the students for their creativity and especially those children who have been led to discuss the creations and have now begun their own upcycled journey.
Our Years 11 and 12 students I am sure are experiencing a different type of feeling, with the completion of their first semester examinations. We are proud of the manner in which our young women approached this culmination of their learning – students are encouraged to ensure that they have met with their teachers to have discussed their papers, reflected on areas for development but equally of importance areas of success, develop plans of action, have a restful break before returning to complete their next semester of work.
We were fortunate to host in the bIBliotech Bishop Don Sproxton’s meeting with our Year 6 Confirmation candidates and were privileged to spend time listening to the conversations that our students engaged in. We are proud of all of our students for their journey that have embarked on and as a community we congratulate you and your family on this commitment.
The Great Book Swap was held to raise funds for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation; the aim of the foundation is to provide much needed literacy resources for remote communities. Whilst many a student ‘snapped up a bargain’ in the swap, we were able to make a contribution to the programme.
Finally, in seeking to create feelings of positive feelings at this busy time, the bIBliotech hosted its final yoga session for the term. Where staff and students have been able to spend a lunch time each fortnight with our very own yoga instructor (Year 3 teacher Eloise Wilson) connecting mind, body and soul. We thank all for their involvement and congratulate you for committing to some ‘you time’.
I wish all students and their families a safe term break and look forward to your return, refreshed and ready to continue our 2018 learning journey.