Now and into the Future

4/4/2018
Professor Stephen Heppell visits St Lukes

When UK Professor Stephen Heppell came to town he was taken on a tour of one of Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta’s most innovative schools, St Luke’s Catholic College in Marsden Park.

The school, which opened its doors to its first intake of 86 Kindergarten to Year 6 students last year, now has 335 K-7 students and 33 preschoolers.

St Luke’s Principal Greg Miller said the school is focused on encouraging curiosity in children so they can “become creative contributors and innovative problem solvers for a changing world’’.

Professor Stephen with Greg Miller and Greg Whitby

Mr Miller highlighted the College’s six pillars of learning: Witness in the way of Christ by living the Good News as revealed through the Gospel of St Luke, Manage self, Relate with others, Communicate and Collaborate with peers and experts, Think Creatively and Critically through deep and rigorous reflection, and to be Digitally Literate.

What differentiates St Luke’s is that K-4 students wear a sports uniform, they use no bells and don’t have a merits or awards system as they believe in the power of intrinsic motivation by immediately positive feedback to students who are doing something good.

STEM activities

 

“Our learning spaces are designed with agility in mind and allow for access to multiple points of focus,’’ Mr Miller said.

A tour of the school highlighted contemporary learning at its best with students working in a variety of settings including café-style work booths, soft lounges, wave chairs, cube chairs, amphitheatres and even stand-up options.

Prof Heppell was very impressed by the school and its innovative learning spaces describing it as “brilliant’’.

“I am excited about what you have done here,’’ Prof Heppell said.

“You can see the school encourages better learning as the students are colonising and engaging with each other.”

“I have found students are very proud of their school and, when asked, will enthusiastically show you their work and the parts of the school they engage with the most.’’

As the school continues to expand, Prof Heppell highlighted one of its biggest challenges being: how to allow the students to make the school their own.

He suggested: on the big screens have the screen saver set on the students’ best pieces of work and have the students conduct the tours, which will get them to learn and use the vocabulary of the school.

“Let the students build their own journey,’’ Prof Heppell said.

“Like the staff you have to live it like you tell it.”

Posted By CathEd Parra at 4/04/2018 2:00:48 PM
 
   
  
 

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