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    Personal Story

     Learning-and-Teaching 

    Catherine Scheffer
    Year 12 Siena College, Camberwell

    Along with six other Siena students and two teachers, I embarked on an immersion to South Africa for two weeks last year, living with a host family while learning of the history and culture of the country. 

    I noticed that despite all the hardships of the women of Kopanang, they were some of the happiest people I had ever met. The children stood out in particular for me; happy over the slightest of things. 

    For example, the other students and I brought balloons, pencils and stickers, which had them ecstatic for days on end. 

    This ability to draw happiness from poverty and quite often, hunger and pain, motivated me to produce a series of drawings under the title Happy Sadness which will be featured in the 2015 Visual Arts Display during Catholic Education Week. 

    A young boy named Tyron, who was a member of my host family, personally inspired me as he was always happy despite the conditions he lived in. I grew very close to Tyron, as well as having a strong connection to other children I encountered.

    It was after my time at Kopanang that I realised how much we take for granted; food, water, safety, education and much more. 

    Without knowing the children it is impossible to depict their current state of poverty. These children’s facial expressions show us that money is not the key to happiness. 

    It is my duty to tell my Siena school community that ‘happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.’  

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    Learning and Teaching

    General Overview

    Two teams within the Curriculum & Secondary Services Unit work collaboratively to provide services to schools in the areas of:

    • curriculum, pedagogy and assessment policy and strategy
    • learning area strategies: Science and Languages
    • strategic advice to secondary schools and their school communities
    • strategic partnerships for learning, including Placed Teachers
    • reporting student achievement and progress
    • vocational education and training in schools
    • workplace learning. 

    Main Activities

    CEOM Learning and Teaching policy renewal

    In 2014, a renewed Learning and Teaching policy for the Archdiocese of Melbourne was developed in draft form. The new directions in learning and teaching, Horizons of Hope, outlines an overarching narrative that articulates our shared aspiration for learners and learning in Catholic schools. Developed in response to research conducted into our Catholic schools and also key findings from the Enhancing Catholic School Identity Project, Horizons of Hope provides directions for learning and teaching initiatives of the CEOM. Thirty-six schools and 14 CEOM teams were engaged in the research, writing and consultations around the development of Horizons of Hope.

    Inaugural CECV Languages Strategy

    Early in 2014, the Languages – Finding Your Voice 2014–2016 strategy was launched, which aims to ensure that the learning of an additional language will enable all young people to find their voice in a globally connected world. A large number of primary and secondary schools have attended credentialled and non-credentialled professional learning programs or been in receipt of grants through the year, with the ‘Leading Languages Learning’ program being a particular success, supporting school leaders to take a strategic approach to improving the quality of languages learning in their school and resulting in significant shifts in attitudes, understanding and learning.

    New Science Strategy

    In 2014, the new CEOM Science Strategy commenced. Science – Enabling Learning is designed to leverage the potential of Science to enable improved student learning across multiple learning areas, including literacy and numeracy. This CEOM Strategy builds on its own internationally recognised professional learning programs such as the Science Teaching and Learning (StaL) project, which seeks to foster student citizenship, philosophical inquiry and a deep moral purpose through the development of the whole person.

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    Other Initiatives

    • Development of online and print resources supporting curriculum innovation, including Curriculum Renewal in a Catholic School – Design Elements resources and a renewed Learning Schema .
    • Extension Education, including Placed Teachers.
    • Navigating the Intersections research project.
    • New Health and Physical Education PL Program for low-SES schools.

    Professional Learning Programs

    Program or Initiative Primary Secondary Total
    Contemporary Approaches to Primary Science (CAPS) 51 0 51
    Education for Sustainability 13 8 21
    Leading Languages Professional Learning Program 54 0 54
    Multilingual Language Learning Communities 73 25 98
    Languages Partnership Grants 47 26 73
    Navigating Intersections: Learning & teaching in Catholic schools 15 8 23
    Science (STaL) project: Emerging pedagogical leaders 10 11 21
    Science Partnership Grants 142 68 210
    Secondary Curriculum Renewal project (incorporating Postgraduate Certificate in Curriculum Leadership, University of Melbourne) 0 29 29
    Starting Science: Primary Connections Project 11 0 11

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