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Charting Course to Innovative Learning

Category: Option E Educating

Submitted by on Wed 31/01/18 07:51

At the Queensland Adventist Schools conference just prior to Term 1, I was proud to watch our BAC staff receive four out of a possible eight Innovation Awards. This is quite something if you consider the fact that there were ten schools at the conference with a total of close to 300 staff.

What impressed me most was the encouragement displayed by other BAC staff members who cheered on each recipient as the awards were announced. We proudly claimed this recognition, an unexpected reward for the diligent work we have been doing to continually improve our College and our teaching and learning practices.

Awards were won in the following categories:

  1. Early Career Teachers: Kirsten Groves. You may have seen a recent Facebook post 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 here.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Receiving commendation awards were two additional teachers:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 your children 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 implementating 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 we look forward to another exciting year.

PHOTO: Colin Leeson teaching Year 1 students the finer points of planting an ornamental garden on Arbor Day, 2017.

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.

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