The curriculum offered, and the pedagogy used to deliver this, is always age appropriate and based on Marzano’s The New Art and Science of Teaching.
As students progress through the College, they receive greater control of and responsibility for their learning through the elective program offered in the College’s standard curriculumand the opportunity to engage in a wide range of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. Readiness for learning and assessment is an important part of our curriculum, with specific learning outcomes and skills necessary for student success identified and formally taught in every subject from Years 7 to 12. The Professional Learning Communities Program identifies focus areas to be addressed through collaborative planning and lesson observation. The College’s vision statement highlights its desire to be innovative. This focus is evident in CHAC’s ongoing assessment and review of programs and practices to ensure they are founded on solid research and are aligned with the latest available information. The introduction of cross-curricular subjects – Flight and Big History, the future problem-solving subject – Changing Tomorrow, the entrepreneurial subject – The Project, and a robotics and coding subject – Robotics and Programming, are indicative of the College’s commitment to remaining at the cutting-edge of educational offerings.
CHAC’s expansion into enterprise and entrepreneurial education specifically deals with those skills identified for the 21st century. The College partners with organisations such as the Ideas Hub at The University of Queensland as well as several private organisations to provide enriching experiences for students. CHAC’s engagement with the broader community enhances students’ opportunities and reinforces the College’s leadership in entrepreneurial and innovative education.
CHAC Primary students engage in high quality learning opportunities through the expert delivery of the Australian Curriculum. In 2019, teachers and students focused on investigative approaches to learning and upon the development and implementation of digital technologies, coding and robotics within the classrooms. Students in Years 5 and 6 were provided with one-to-one access to devices, with early years and Years 3 and 4 students accessing one device for every two students. A high level of engagement with technologies provided greater opportunities for the development of skills and understanding.
Differentiated learning is a priority for Primary students, and they are provided with support through the Learning Enrichment and Gifted Education programs. Each student’s needs are met through small group and individual intervention strategies. Students in Years 7 to 10 participated in an annual three-day entrepreneurial program that involved external providers and experienced CHAC staff. This program was very successful in 2019 and has been reviewed and repurposed for 2020. Planning is completed for a new curricular offering at the College in 2020 and beyond—the one-semester Year 10 elective Psychology will give the students more options as they move into their Senior Studies. Introduction of such a subject reflects CHAC’s desire to develop a relevant, future-focused curriculum, linked to the real world, with opportunities for students to direct their own learning.
In 2019, all Senior Secondary teaching staff completed the first three QCAA Accreditation Courses, with several completing all seven available courses. This will enable teaching staff to successfully develop internal assessment items and prepare students for the Senior Secondary External Assessments in 2020. Teaching and learning programs are completed for Units One and Two. Planning for the new QCE Senior Curriculum’s assessment program is complete.
CHAC continues to build the capacity and professional foundation of its academic staff through a comprehensive, targeted professional development program that is aligned closely with the College’s Strategic Plan.
The College continues to embrace Marzano’s The New Art and Science of Teaching and all staff received a copy of the book. The 4-Conversation Framework for staff review and development is an important component of the Professional Reflection, Review and Development Program, which is enhanced through four targeted conversations, one conducted each term. The purpose of the 4-Conversation Framework is:
• To develop a culture of continual personal reflection and improvement
• To provide personal feedback to inform individual staff development and improvement
• To develop a collective focus on staff development and improvement
• To align CHAC’s practices and processes with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers and the mandated expectations for teachers
• To provide teachers with the opportunity to discuss their role, their strengths and talents, professional development opportunities and areas for improvement.
The program was reviewed at the end of the year and many successes were reported. It was found that staff had taken greater responsibility for their professional development and review, supported by their colleagues and the conversations undertaken with their direct managers and the Senior Leadership Team. The four
conversation topics are:
• Conversation 1 – Climate Review
• Conversation 2 – Strengths, Talents and Opportunities for Growth
• Conversation 3 – Learning and Development and Innovation and Continuous Improvement
• Conversation 4 – Climate Review revisited
CHAC teachers are dedicated to their own professional development, targeted towards ensuring the College is well prepared for the new Queensland Curriculum and preparing students for the external examinations at the end of 2020. In addition, the professional Learning Communities Program gives staff opportunities to support each other in their classrooms, developing new resources and pedagogy, all for the benefit of students.