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Open Classrooms at Elsternwick

An opportunity to observe: Nick Pensa working with Year 7 Art student, Arlo Pangu

Elsternwick Campus has welcomed many new staff through its doors this year. While much information is delivered through the Induction Program and the Mentor Program, something harder to convey is the unique classroom culture at Elsternwick.

The Open Classroom days were one way in which we have strived to share the innovative and engaging teaching and learning happening daily in our classrooms. During these days, staff welcomed their colleagues into their classrooms to witness authentic teaching practices and share their classroom vibe.

The observations during Open Classroom days were guided by Appreciative Inquiry, a strengths-based, positive approach to development. The process was not about reviewing or judging the classes being observed, but rather highlighting the strengths of each experience and reflecting on one’s own practice.

This opportunity had the added benefit of modelling to our students the importance of sharing ideas and knowledge in the pursuit of continuous growth.

Courtney Hollis with Year 6 students Rupert Ockleshaw (L) and Adam Corral in Food Technology

How do we know our students are learning?

From our Early Childhood Learning Centre through to Year 9, the focus of teaching and learning at Elsternwick Campus remains the same, improving student outcomes through effective pedagogy.

From innovative units of inquiry to embedding empirically supported strategies into lesson planning, the commitment to improving student achievement is clear. But how do we know that our students are learning? Data-informed practice provides a vital link to answering this question.

Year 9 Design students sharing their understanding of design specifications

Across the campus, teaching staff are collaborating regularly to reflect on, share and develop means of collecting student data. Learning can be evidenced through students’ written work samples, contributions in class, or development of Approaches to Learning (ATLs) to name a few.

In addition to these sources of evidence are the newly collated analytics for teaching and learning - a database of student growth throughout their time at the College. In partnership with Dr Tim O’Leary of Education Data Talks, staff are being supported to make the most of this new and detailed information to enhance our students’ growth.

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