STRENGTHENING OUR STRATEGIC PILLARS

CREATIVE EDUCATION

On Tuesday 23 July, Geelong Grammar School strengthened its commitment to Creative Education with the official launch of the Centre for Creative Education, held at Toorak Campus. The event was attended by our Principal, Rebecca Cody, as well as our respective Heads of Campus, members of School Council and special guests Professor Joanne Cys, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Division of Education, Arts and Social Sciences, University of South Australia, and Professor David Cropley, Professor of Engineering Innovation at the University of South Australia and a key advisor and research partner of GGS since 2015.

The Centre has been established to conduct applied research in creative education within the GGS community, and for education providers and universities. "This research will be applied in the learning and teaching programs, initially at Geelong Grammar School," the School's Coordinator of Creativity and Innovation, Dr Tim Patston, said. The School's Creative Education team has grown significantly in the past 12 months with the appointment of four full-time staff - two researchers and two collaborators - and Dr Patston sees the next 12 months as critical in the School's development of curriculum, our ability to measure its efficacy and the implementation of the RISE framework. 

Professor Cropley was full of praise for the Centre and recognised the importance of the School's commitment to Creative Education for this and future generations of students. "The Centre for Creative Education at Geelong Grammar (School) is one of the first responses to the challenges of digital transformation in education, and its impact on the future of work," Professor Cropley said at the launch. "This Centre recognises that if young people are to find a productive place in the future work environment, then their capacity for creativity – their ability to think divergently, to solve open-ended problems, and to deal with ambiguity – will be as valuable as their ability to read, to write, to add, and to subtract." 

Collaborative Prep as a learning tool

Molly-Cole-at Creative Ed

Collaboration is integral to Creative Education and the School has introduced collaborative prep (learning) to all Senior School boarding houses in 2019 and is in the process of doing the same at Timbertop and in Middle School. One of the School's Senior School day houses, Allen, introduced collaborative prep last year as part of a pilot project. Molly Cole, a current Year 11 student in Allen, spoke at the launch about her experience with collaborative prep. "When collaborative learning was introduced into Allen house I immediately dismissed the idea, assuming it would compromise my time for individual study and therefore my results," Molly said. "So, it was with much trepidation that I went along to our first collaborative prep evening. I was not only pleasantly surprised, but I was inspired." Collaborative learning sessions require students to be comfortable to both admit when they don't understand something and explain/ share their knowledge with their peers. "It can be much easier to understand new information or concepts when they are explained from a student’s perspective as the student language we use when we explain something to each other differs entirely from the adult language used in class.," Molly said. "Equally, I have found that explaining the information is of huge benefit not only as far as cementing knowledge but gaining confidence in that knowledge, which is particularly beneficial in subjects such as maths and chemistry."

POSITIVE EDUCATION

On Thursday 1 August, the Institute of Positive Education will launch their Positive Education Enhanced Curriculum (PEEC) at an event in McComas Hall at Toorak Campus. The curriculum, aimed at students from Early Learning (four years of age) through to Year 12, offers over 280 developmentally appropriate lesson plans and has been designed in consultation with developmental psychologists in the field of positive psychology. "This is a valuable resource for any school that is interested in increasing the wellbeing of their students" Justin Robinson, Director of the Institute, said.

Research shows that teaching life skills consistently will increase wellbeing and academic achievement in different social, economic, and cultural contexts. PEEC will enrich teachers’ foundational understanding of Positive Education so that students can flourish.

The curriculum has been piloted at Geelong Grammar School and Bacchus Marsh Primary School, and has also been delivered to international partner schools in Hong Kong and Dubai.

For more information on PEEC, contact institutecurriculum@ggs.vic.edu.au