There are numerous articles and many research papers which argue that schooling needs to shift its focus from high stakes testing to a greater focus on the social skills and enterprise capabilities each student requires for a changing world. In fact, Bill Lucas from Mitchell Institute declares capabilities are the new currency for success in life.
In Australia, the importance of these skills and capabilities are expressed through the seven General Capabilities of the Australian Curriculum. These “… play a significant role in the Australian Curriculum in equipping young Australians to live and work successfully in the twenty-first century.”
St Luke’s is a next generation community establishing the new normal for preschool to post school learning as part of an extended school day, 6:00am to 6:00pm. The General Capabilities are foundational to the St Luke’s Learning Statement, which, in part, reads:
|Within a safe and secure environment, literacy, numeracy and faith formation are viewed as strong foundations to assist young people identify and solve problems. With each person taking responsibility for their own learning, all learners participate actively in a changing world where they are obligated to:
St Luke’s has translated the General Capabilities into these 6 Pillars of Learning (above) which shapes our approach to programming, assessment and reporting. This is because “social-emotional development is not ancillary to the work of educators, but foundational to it” (Adams, 2016). Such a belief has resulted in many questions including:
- How do we bring to prominence the development of social skills and enterprise skills so necessary for a changing world?
- How can we engage align real time formative feedback for students and parents?
- How can we ensure social skills and enterprise skills are prominent in programming, reporting and assessment?
As a result of asking these questions, students now engage in ongoing self reflection and peer critique about their progress along the 6 Pillar continuum. Furthermore, when they offer these reflections via the online application Seesaw, parents are notified in real time with some posting comments of encouragement. These digital artefacts have resulted in a developing folio of evidence, some of which will be used by each child at our upcoming Student-led Conferences with parents and teachers.
The General Capabilities offer an excellent reference point for our school community when nurturing curious, faith filled children to become creative contributors and innovative problems solvers for a changing world.
As always, comments and feedback are welcome.