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Pelican : November 2009
Conquering France in the holidays I have often heard from other curriculum leaders that it would be a wonderful thing for a school to be able to develop and implement an agreed and consistent approach to teaching and learning in their schools. This is what St Edmund's has achieved over the last three years through the IDEAS process. The '5Cs' -- Challenge, Create, Collaborate, Connect and Contemplate -- essentially provide us with a values framework from which we, as teachers, shape the learning experiences we plan for our students. Each lesson should incorporate one or more of the 'Cs' and thus ensure the contemporary relevance of all teaching. We are now into the 'actioning' stage of the IDEAS process, with the IDEAS committee looking at three broad strategies to 'action' the pedagogy through the coming years. The first element we are looking at is visibility. In order for the '5Cs' to be relevant, they must be visible to staff and students alike. Andrew Jones, our Head of Visual Art and IDEAS committee member has been working hard on developing framed promotional posters that are beginning to appear in strategic locations around the College. These posters exemplify each of the 'Cs', with images of students at work in the associated pedagogical activity. The second initiative to action the project is the development of a resource database of teaching and learning strategies that can be associated with each of the 'Cs'. Many of our faculties have existing versions of such databases but the idea here is to centralise them around the library and its services. This will not only give more staff access to the good ideas of their colleagues but will also empower the library to implement a level of quality control and resource enhancement that has not been seen before. The third strategy on the table at the moment is the co-ordination of professional development (PD) around the agreed pedagogy. Central to this idea is targeting PD activities that engage with the values. To allow individual PD to permeate the teaching culture of the whole school, we have scheduled for development a system that promotes sharing of insights gathered from external learning. These three strategies, when working together, will lead to the ideal consistency that is often dreamt of by curriculum leaders in education. John Alston Campbell Director of Teaching and Learning Collaborating. L to R: Year 6 Gold students Adam Vorpasso, Louis Blaney Brown and Jaime Molina. Leading the way with IDEAS 6 During the October holidays, 13 French language students, one history student, Mrs Aldis, Dr Widmer, Mrs Widmer and Ms James spent 17 days visiting France. I am sure I speak for the others when I say we have brought a little of France back with us. On our arrival in Paris, we were given a whistle-stop bus tour of the city and then it was off to our hotel in the 15th Arrondissement. The next five days were spent visiting the Musée D'Orsay (with its beautiful Impressionist paintings), the Louvre Museum, Saint Chapelle, Notre Dame, the Conciergerie, the Palace of Versailles, the Sacré Coeur and the Pompidou Centre. The boys became quite expert at managing this type of hectic but efficient travelling and were starting to transform into Francophiles, with many of them wearing French berets every day. Having 'done' Paris, we drove to the castle at Auvers -- where we learnt about the development of Impressionist art -- and then to Monet's Gardens in Giverney. It was wonderful to be able to see the gardens that inspired Monet's paintings in brilliant sunshine. Our next stop was the region of Picardie, where we were to visit the Battlefields of the Somme. Our mood was now more serious as we visited Villers Bretonneux and Pozières and realised the impact World War 1 had on both France and Australia. There was a huge crater left by an old explosion, and we saw remnants of the trenches as well as the British and Australian war cemeteries. We also visited a school in Villers Bretonneux that recognised Australia with a sign over its playground saying 'Do not forget Australia' because our soldiers had liberated their town during the Great War. At the halfway point of the trip, it was time to catch the TGV (very fast train) to Montpellier in southern France. Nervously, the boys met home-stay families in a village outside of Montpellier. Immersion in the local culture was now the order of the day for the boys, as they had to become part of this small community and speak French all the time. Despite their trepidation, they all agreed it was a worthwhile experience. In the daytime, we visited Avignon, the Papal Palace, the city of Arles, a Roman ruin and a famous Roman aqueduct. The final stage of the tour involved a trip to Nice and another to Monaco. Both were lovely seaside cities, and I suspect many of the boys have dreams of being rich enough to stay in Monaco as adults. All too soon, it was time to return home and, after a long plane trip, we arrived back to a very cold Canberra day. Where had all our lovely French weather gone? I can say without hesitation that the boys on this trip were a fantastic group. They were cooperative, good natured and excellent ambassadors for our College, demonstrating a true example of Eddie's Pride. Anne Aldis Head of LOTE Faculty Back Row : Jasper O'Keefe. Michael Kummle, Joshua Johnson, Thomas Schmocker, Jack Corley. Middle Row : Joseph McNally, Christian Lionis, Max Laidlaw, Harry Burk, Nathan Lee. Front Row : Timothy McInerney, Leon Rebello, Daniel Benbow, Nicholas Adams. '5Cs'