CHARTING COURSE to innovative learning

At the 2018 Queensland Adventist Schools conference, I felt great pride when I witnessed Brisbane Adventist College staff receiving four out of a possible eight Innovation Awards. This is quite something if you consider the ten schools at the conference and close to 300 staff members.

What impressed me just as much was the encouragement from other BAC staff members who cheered each recipient as the awards were announced. They claimed the recognition as an unexpected reward for the diligent work they have been doing to continually improve our College and our teaching and learning practices.

INNOVATION AWARDS 

Early Career Teachers: Kirsten Groves. You may have seen a Facebook post from the beginning of 2018 about the flexible seating plan implemented by Kirsten Groves in her Year 3 classroom. Truly innovative and courageous, you can see and hear about it in Kirsten’s own words in this short video. Please see linked videos of other teachers are also being innovative in their classroom practices and subject areas.

Experienced Teachers: BAC Sports Academy. The BAC Sports Department  Martin Rutkowski, Shelley Matthews, Aron Sleight and Afi Lama were honoured for their innovative approach to developing BAC sporting excellence. Read about the academy and some of the exciting results across the board from BAC Sport 2017 here.

Non-Teaching Staff: Colin Leeson (Gold Award). College groundskeeper Colin Leeson received a Gold Award for his innovative landscape design and collaborative approach to his job, involving teachers and students in tasks and projects around the school. Under his guidance, students learn important life skills and contribute to a happier school environment. This has strengthened our sense of team and school pride.

Administration: Leanne Entermann (Gold Award). I was surprised and honoured to also be singled out for an award for innovation in Ministry Advancement. It recognised our strengthening connections with local churches and the community, and the annual Principal’s Prayer Breakfast, which aims to focus on our shared mission of readying our students for this life and the one to come.

COMMENDATION AWARDS  

Head of Business Phil Mead was acknowledged for developing the concept for the BAC2Business Convention for Year 9 to 12 Business students. The program features panellists and keynote speakers from a wide range of businesses and has become an annual feature of the secondary Business curriculum.

Head of Enhanced Learning Jane Hansford was acknowledged for her gifted and talented program, Think Tank Thursdays. In this program, Primary students are encouraged to choose a topic which they study in great depth and share their findings with their class and teacher.

These awards convey some important messages about our College. Firstly, they say that we prioritise our students and look for ways of making learning ever more meaningful and relevant. Secondly, they demonstrate that we’re prepared to put in the extra time and energy to make this College a special place for students. Thirdly, these awards are a testament to the way we as a professional learning community learn and grow together, thoughtfully implementing innovative, evidence-based models and approaches. Finally, these awards speak of the trust that our students place in us to lead them on curious, intellectual, character-forming journeys, and the trust that we have in one another to provide quality feedback and support. We are extremely blessed to be part of this BAC family, and look forward to the future.

AUTHOR: Principal Leanne Entermann writes a series of articles called Charting Course in which she talks about topics important to the future direction of the College.