Leading independent school Matthew Flinders Anglican College is sharing its innovative curriculum and teaching and learning approaches with educators across Queensland.
The College was recently invited to deliver workshops at the Big Ideas Summit, hosted by Independent Schools Queensland on 18 July, and also at the Innovation in Education Festival in Brisbane from 13-14 July.
The Big Ideas Summit is an opportunity for trailblazing independent schools to share their approaches and projects that are reinventing classroom learning.
Principal Stuart Meade said the College was honoured to share its learnings to benefit other school communities.
“Flinders is committed to providing a quality education for our students from Prep to Year 12 and to supporting our staff team’s ongoing professional development,” Stuart said.
“To achieve this, we have a number of innovative curriculum and teaching and learning programs that are having positive outcomes,” he said.
“Attending leading conferences is a great opportunity for our Flinders team to share ideas, but also to learn best practice from other schools so that we can continue to develop as an accomplished, well-resourced and inspirational staff team.”
Innovating with data gathering to develop students' soft skills
At the Big Ideas Summit, Flinders’ Head of Analytics and Academic Performance, Mr Greg Blanch presented a workshop on how the College is teaching students to gather and use technical and enterprise data to inform their learner profile.
Greg said, “Matthew Flinders Anglican College is one of a handful of schools in Australia who is actively and explicitly guiding its students to develop their soft skills alongside their academic growth.
“Framed by the Flinders Learner Traits, or 6Cs (communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, character and citizenship), we teach our students how to build their Learner Profile and gather a range of personalised data as they journeys from Years 7 to 12 at Flinders, including:
- student’s self-assessment of strengths (using survey instruments)
- teacher ratings of the student’s trait skills (rubrics)
- student’s completed micro-credentials and
- student’s possible career orientations (subject and trait GPAs)
Greg said, “At Flinders, we strive for our graduates to be young people of Character, Contribution, Academic Excellence and Leadership, so it makes sense that we develop a practical program to teach our students how to achieve personal growth in these areas.
“It’s all about preparing young people for life beyond the school gates and for the workforce of the future, where employers and tertiary institutions will be looking for well-rounded individuals,” he said.
“We teach our students how to discover their strengths and challenges, and then set regular goals to grow in these areas.
“Our program also encourages students to join co-curricular clubs and projects at Flinders that will help them develop specific skills to achieve their goals and learning intentions.
“Along the way, students also build their General Capabilities, as specified in the Australian Curriculum, to equip young Australians to live and work successfully in the 21st century.”
Building a generation of entrepreneurs with heart
At the Innovation in Education Festival, Flinders’ Head of Primary, Mrs Trudi Edwards and Head of Emerging Technologies and Innovation, Mrs Laura Bain co-presented a masterclass on ‘Building a generation of entrepreneurs with heart’.
Trudi and Laura shared how the College is cultivating problem seekers and solvers of the future through embedding human-centered design thinking into its i-Impact and I-care programs.
Trudi said, “Our i-Impact and I-care programs see our students embracing the phases of human-centered design and in doing so, refining their social and emotional intelligence. They are also ideating and prototyping innovative solutions to real world cultural, social and environmental issues.
“We also empower our students to integrate emerging technologies in meaningful ways to support them to embrace a spirit of enterprise, entrepreneurialism and social justice so that they can make a positive impact in the world now and into the future.”
Cultivating curiosity at Flinders through Wonderations
Flinders also presented a second masterclass at the Innovation in Education Festival, with Flinders’ Head of Information, Literature and Resource Services in the Primary School, Mrs Shona Henderson exploring the topic of ‘Cultivating Curiosity’.
Shona said, “We were thrilled to share with other passionate educators how our new ‘Wonderations’ framework encourages our Primary students to be curious, collaborate to formulate questions, find answers and use their own voice to share findings, all the while enhancing their curiosity and developing a sense of wonder in our world.
“Our Wonderations framework is an exciting approach that inspires students to be active learners and to ‘own’ and experience the wonder of learning through a teaching and learning cycle where their imaginations are stimulated through unique and novel artefacts,” she said.
“We deliver these Wonderations in our brand new Wonderarium in the Flinders Primary School, which is a beautiful, technology-rich learning space that invites students to explore more than just books; it also seeks to engage creative and critical thinking and experience and a sense of awe.”
To learn more about Matthew Flinders Anglican College on the Sunshine Coast, please visit www.mfac.edu.au