At St John’s College we help students in all year levels to develop discipline, a strong work ethic and learner agency via our ‘Learner Behaviours’ model. With the direction and support of education consultant Judy Petch (who leads our teacher professional learning program), our teachers developed the ‘Learner Behaviours’ model early in 2021. Ms Julie Hanos and Mrs Sarah Watson (our Year 5/6 teachers) were the dynamic duo whose design was adopted by the College staff; thank you and congratulations to Ms Hanos and Mrs Watson. All teachers worked together and engaged in professional reading and research to identify the attributes and skills needed for students to experience learning success. We used evidence to inform the development of our ‘Learner Behaviour’ model. To have agency in learning; students – from Foundation to Year 12 – must be able to plan, monitor and assess their learning (in age-appropriate ways). The learning abilities we have chosen to incorporate into our model are teachable and learnable. From 2021 all students were assessed against the ‘Learner Behaviours’ model in the interim and semester reports. Teachers continue to deepen their understanding about how students learn and their understanding of the function of the brain. If we have a deep understanding of cognitive processes that affect learning, then we are able to implement effective teaching strategies. In 2022 we will be taking the next steps toward implementing our ‘Learner Behaviours’ model. We will be offering community information sessions to help our parents and guardians understand how they can best support children’s learning at home.
The application of the ‘Learner Behaviour’ model fits well with the theme for 2022 which is ‘Growth’. In 2020 we focussed on renewing the school with a particular emphasis on affirming our vision, mission and values, improving our facilities and processes, as well as laying the foundations for improvements in teaching, learning and curriculum. In 2021 we focussed upon ‘Shaping Our Future’; new staff joined our school to further enhance the improvement processes, we spent time reviewing and redesigning curriculum, and we worked together collaboratively. We have achieved so much under the cloud of a pandemic! It is a testament to our staff and to our community that we have accomplished so much to renew St John’s College.
This year will continue to see the benefits of the improvements across the school. The theme of growth refers to our spiritual growth, the strengthening of our community, increased parent confidence in our school, student pride in our school, and student achievement. It also encompasses the professional growth of our staff as well as the further refinement of our curriculum and education programs.
His Eminence Archbishop Makarios and the GOAOA are continuing to provide funds to ensure we have the required resources in this third year of our rigorous school improvement program for which we are deeply grateful. We hope that the Greek community of Melbourne continues to feel increasing pride in St John’s College; the school is a testament to the vision of our ancestors, and we are sure they would be very proud of the school and our students – past, present and future. Our College is ‘forever excelling.’