Professional Learning Communities: in Action - Round 2

Friday 9th August 2019

At the beginning of this term, we heard from another two of the PLC groups. They had the opportunity to share their initial thoughts and action points in their respective areas of professional learning.

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This article is the sixth in the Re: Teaching & Learning series of articles that explains the staff professional development programme and how this programme is having an impact on the development of the boys at the College.

The teaching and learning environment at John McGlashan College is designed to prepare our students for the diverse challenges and opportunities in this ever-changing world.

Two more PLC groups were given time to share their initial findings from their time together thus far. A few highlights from their sharing time are summarised below:

Time to provide breathing room

“A penny for your thoughts?” 

We were challenged with the notion of time. Do we provide enough time for our students to think, to process, to understand?  By providing students with enough breathing room to process the content and concepts that we are teaching and learning, we are in essence giving them time to think and reflect on their own learning.  It's like listening for and appreciating the sound of the triangle's "ring" amongst a symphony orchestra's collective noise.  Studies have shown that giving the students time to find their own "Aha..." moments actually deepen the student's learning and enables the student to connect the  content to other areas of their learning. We have seen significant benefits to facilitating breathing room in the classroom from a pastoral care point of view too. Better collaborative connections between teacher and student and between students were and still are a direct bi-product of this.  

Holistic Education and Wellbeing

“Healthy minds, bodies, and souls”

Part of the values that we have at the College are that we want to promote healthy lifestyles within our students. We want students to work hard and play hard, to be physically fit and experience the cooperation, satisfaction and enjoyment of the brotherhood that organised sport provides.

Sport plays an integral part of developing our student's healthy bodies. The ways our special character is communicated and displayed in our pastoral care systems, Chapel and Christian studies classes play a part in developing our student's healthy souls. Our curriculum and our teaching and learning philosophy play its part in developing a healthy mind in our students. 

However, it is essential that we continually take stock of how the students are feeling at the college.  We believe that it is vitally important that all students at the college feel safe and feel accepted for who they are, and where they come from.  We acknowledge diversity and we celebrate the individual and yet band together like a tight community. After all, "we few, we happy few, we band of brothers" is a slogan that is emblazoned on the gymnasium as is part of our culture at the College. Again, studies have shown that if a student feels connected and feels right then their behaviour is right. We get the first part sorted, then each student has a stronger platform to build their character upon. The desire is for a healthy mind for all students at the College.

The next article in this series will feature tips and tricks shared with the staff from the specialists that we have at the College.  We will hear from Melissa Bell our Specialist Classroom Teacher, our Learning Support team comprising of Donna Smith and Anita Veitch, our ESOL specialist Richard Mountain, our Junior, and Year 9 and 10 classroom specialists David Beazley, Michelle Roger, and Jo Mullenger and lastly our resident Technology Integration specialists Troy Shoebridge, David Beazley and Donna Smith. 

The students of the College are benefitting from the positive outcomes from the re: focus on teaching and learning.