The most significant project for Term 4 will be a focus on restructuring units of study in all subject areas. I have written previously of the College’s Curriculum Framework, which is Dr Robert Marzano’s Art and Science of Teaching. We have used this Framework for two years now, but at a fairly basic level. That is, our interest has been on clarifying for students in each lesson, a learning goal and some success criteria. Teachers have worked with students to ensure they understand clearly what it is they are meant to achieve during the lesson for that day. Once the lesson is almost completed, how can the teacher and students ascertain if this has been achieved successfully?

Most teachers, in most classes, are proficient in setting and monitoring lesson objectives. As such, they have a strong grasp on the first of Marzano’s 9 Design Questions. Now, as the staff begin to move their focus to the 2nd and 3rd Design Questions, there are considerable implications for the way we design and present our units of study. The advantage of this, will be the use of a common terminology across the school when it comes to curriculum design. Students will become used to hearing terms such as:

  • Exposures to new knowledge
  • Assimilation and accommodation of ideas
  • Development of automaticity

All of these terms are examples of different phases of learning. This is relevant in practical based subjects such as Physical Education or Design Technology, as well as in knowledge based areas such as English and Maths.

By applying these phases to the way teachers present their skills and content within a unit, the students will benefit from a logical and systematic development of ideas and abilities as they progress through their subject areas.

Mr Christopher Campbell - Dean of Teaching and Learning