Synergetic and evolving
Our focus in approaching the mandated Australian Curriculum is to hold tight on the standard and allow for curiosity, creativity and action to influence how we get there.
This approach creates co-ownership for staff and students, allowing their passions, involvement in design, and personal experiences to impact teaching and learning. The purpose is to allow curriculum design to be synergetic and evolving based on the skills and interests of the staff and student cohort during a moment in time.
If we know the end purpose, the path we take to get there can be innovative, personally connected and meaningful, resulting in personal growth for both staff and students.
Contemporary learning approaches prioritise the individual learning experience, aiming to shape opportunities and learning tasks to meet the personal capacities, needs and interests of each student at a specific moment in the individual’s educational development. Adelaide Botanic High School is committed to engaging students in learning tasks which are about connecting, creating, communicating, coordinating and collaborating.
To this end, the school’s educational program is:
- Focused on fostering students as innovative and creative learners with the capability to express these qualities as they progress beyond the school into further education or employment.
- Intentionally designed to draw on the rich array of natural settings and facilities in close physical proximity to the school.
- Embedded within the fabric of city life, responding to and benefitting from the diversity of activity that naturally occurs in a major city centre.
- Based on the belief that young people have a range of experiences, thoughts, ideas and perspectives that can enrich decision-making processes and outcomes, thereby fostering the school as a community of learners.
- Infused with the agility afforded by mobile and digital technology, which is seamlessly integrated into the student’s experience to enable them to shape and engage with their learning environment.
Actively involving students
Adelaide Botanic High School’s established practices engage students in goal-setting, planning, self-monitoring, critical reflection and evaluation, actively involving students in the assessment process as an integral part of all negotiated learning.
With an integrated physical, social, cultural and technological environment, the school offers students a unique opportunity to develop intellectually and personally, through more authentic learning tasks directly related to their own lives and the lives of those around them. Greater scope to participate in the wider world beyond the school boundary requires a pedagogy that prioritises and develops the student’s ability to be aware, compare, evaluate, listen, empathise and act.
New and more engaging
The school’s location provides teachers with a mix of educational resources and the opportunity to teach in new and more engaging ways. The school’s educational program and physical facilities attract teachers and leaders committed to initiating pedagogical processes which emphasise exploration, research, initiative, individual responsibility, and collaboration, both within and outside the school community.
Blended learning environment
The blended learning environment, incorporating both on-campus and off-campus activity, is a feature of the school’s daily operation and was critical to its physical design. The school’s location in the dynamic CBD allows students to connect with enterprises, universities and research organisations and experience first-hand SA’s emerging defence, space, high tech, cyber and creative industries.
Learning spaces are used by students in their own preferred ways, while accommodating physical movement by teachers and students to promote greater collaboration and peer-to-peer learning. In addition, the school engages with relevant community, industry and professional groups who reinforce the dynamic nature of the school’s learning program and contribute to the growth of the school’s learning community. In these ways, the learning culture is nurtured.
The use of new technologies and telecommunication media ensures students are provided with a seamless ‘blended learning’ environment, where direct person-to-person relationships are complemented by interaction with other individuals, communities, materials and learning activities remote from the school in time and space but accessed online.
Connected Teaching and Learning
This diagram of the building’s Level 4 is a great example of the interdisciplinary nature of the school. No two floors are identical; each has its own personality.
The diagram shows how the space planning supports not just a STEM-focused curriculum, but an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning across all learning areas.