Session 1: Panel of Principalship
What is it really
like to be a principal and how do you get there? Join this interactive session to hear from AHISA Principals as they share their personal and professional journeys as leaders of Australia's independent schools.
Session 2: Evidence-informed Decision Making for Wellbeing Programs: A School-University Partnership
Michelle Mckersey, Moreton Bay College, Qld
The benefit for schools in using evidence to inform how wellbeing science and positive psychology are integrated in classrooms and staff rooms is well-documented in wellbeing literature. However, most applications in schools do not meet this benchmark. Based on a partnership between The Moreton Bay Colleges and the University of Adelaide, this workshop will explore the benefits of developing a school-university partnership to adopt a research-informed approach to wellbeing.
Participants will explore why and how a school establishes a partnership with experts in the field, the ethics and risks associated with wellbeing measurement and the mitigation of these. The processes of implementing wellbeing measurement through a school-university partnership and using data from surveys completed by employees and students to future-proof the Colleges’ wellbeing strategy will also be explained. Additionally, participants will be invited to examine de-identified data from the Colleges and consider next steps for employee and student wellbeing. This workshop will provide participants with an understanding of the processes used to transform evidence into wellbeing strategy.
Session 3: A Whole School Approach to Wellbeing: A Framework of Principles and Practice
Angela Drysdale, Nikki Townsend & Annette Box, St Margaret's Anglican Girls School, Qld
A whole school wellbeing program at St Margaret’s AGS has been evolutionary in its development. Guided by the school mission and values the school committed to addressing the first iteration of the National Schools Framework with a particular focus on anti-bullying. Programs such as Kids Matter and Mind Matters provided the evidentiary foundation and guidance for the development of a school-based social and emotional health and wellbeing program. Key aspects of the whole school program were identified and included leadership, service learning, the camp program and faith-based learning.
In 2018, a school-based working party identified the principles (five areas) and practice (six aspects of wellbeing) which was formalised in a Student Wellbeing Framework and launched in 2019. The development of the framework has ensured consistency of principles and practice from Prep to Year 12.
The framework emphasises a distributed leadership approach with all staff and students responsible for developing an ethos of care. This is clearly articulated in a supporting document named, St Margaret’s Way. Data has been collected annually about the program throughout its development. More recently a weekly survey has been introduced which provides regular and specific data to assist teachers in supporting their students.
This presentation will share the development of the framework, research and organisations that have influenced the school-based approach and detail the core principles of the program. The presentation will drill down and present the associated practices and resources used to implement the framework across both the Primary and Secondary Schools.
Session 4: Thinker Centred Learning
Ross Phillips, Strathcona Girls Grammar School, Vic
This workshop is about developing Visible Thinking in our schools. It will introduce participants to the Understanding Map (Harvard Project Zero) and a selection of Thinking Routines while explaining how Strathcona Girls Grammar is embedding Visible Thinking techniques in its classroom practice. This contrasts with traditional teaching which often attempts to transfer knowledge from the teacher to the student. Unfortunately, one person’s understanding cannot be transferred to another simply by passing on knowledge. It also fails to accommodate the different starting points of learners, and values being correct above students exploring possibilities. Visible Thinking helps students build understanding and importantly, Visible Thinking invites students to look behind the curtain and understand how thinking happens.
Participants will engage in the collaborative use of thinking strategies in this interactive session. They will:
1. Form a basic understanding of Visible Thinking, including how it supports student learning
2. Be introduced to a variety of Visible Thinking strategies
3. Collaborate in groups to put these strategies into practice
This workshop will be of interest to those wanting to encourage their students to become lifelong learners whether new to Visible Thinking or familiar with a range of thinking routines.