What is the ‘new normal’?

As Principal Leader of St Luke’s Catholic College, I am constantly challenged and supported to collaboratively work with leaders, teachers, students and parents to co-design and establish a ‘new normal’ for preschool to post school learning.

Recently, I was asked to offer my insights into what the ‘new normal’ is. The comparative table below is by no means comprehensive, and nor is St Luke’s covering all of the ‘new normals’ listed below. However, the table offers a reference point, one which is continually updated and changed, just like a ‘start up’ I suppose.


 New Normal (or next iteration)

Religious Literacy and whole cohort Faith in Action. Experiential Religious Inquiry and personalised faith experiences.
Literacy: Speaking and Listening, Reading and Viewing, Writing. Literacy: Speaking and Listening, Reading and Viewing, Writing, Oral Literacy.
Numeracy: Number & Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, Statistics and probability. Numeracy: Number, Measurement, Geometric Reasoning, Multiplicative Thinking, Reflection.
Early Years Assessment EYA, AND, qualitative observations, assessment and feedback of social and emotional skills, and student independence.
Literacy and Numeracy Assessments ongoing throughout K-9. Egs? Running Records purely to find a ‘level’. Literacy and Numeracy Assessments EG: assessments that purely drive learning/using the information to inform the teaching not just to have a ‘grade’ attached.
Assessment of learning outcomes informing to A to E reporting. Assessment of learning outcomes to inform General Capabilities.
A top down, crowded curriculum designed and centred around Key Learning Areas (KLAs). A streamlined curriculum with core content, skills and knowledge driven by student interests and passions.
Moderated teacher assessment for  student achievement measured against syllabus outcomes. Moderated teacher assessment, self assessment and peer assessment validated by teachers for syllabus outcomes, general capabilities and dispositions.
HSC Exams and major works/projects to attract marks, bands and ATAR for university entry. Major works, projects and folios of work showcasing individual skills informing multiple post school pathways. No exams.
Separate, disconnected services on different sites. eg. Early Learning separate from primary separate from Secondary, seperate from High Needs School. Connected aligned services merging together on one site which allows for ‘funding continuity of learning’ for students, supported by connection across the services.
Teacher wellbeing leaders of large cohorts (Pastoral Care Coordinators, Year Coordinators, House Coordinators) genreally without health and wellbeing qualifications. Learning Mentors based in smaller, family based groups supported by in-house allied health and wellbeing personnel such as speech pathologists, occupational therapists, paediatricians, psychologists, etc.
Students’ birth dates define the learner’s journey… Students are grouped based on:

  •  Literacy, numeracy and academic standards.
  • self awareness of general capabilities.
  • level of independence and ability to self-direct.
  • ability to collaborate.
Learning revolves around curriculum (and mainly content) requirements… Student learning involves real world challenges which contextualises cognitive skills, technical skills, character strengths, and subject-area content.
The school day is divided into subjects… Subjects are integrated into self-interest projects. The school day is a balance between deep learning time for long-range projects, and time for self-paced mastering of core skills and content with ‘opt in’ small group workshops.
Static A-E grading and twice yearly reporting. Students work folios reflective with a mastery transcript and evidence of learning, accessed 24/7 by parents.  Learning Mentors communicate with post school industry and tertiary groups aligning student capability with direct entry post school pathway options.

What are your suggestions for the ‘new normal’. What’s missing from the new normal above? What are you doing that would constitute the ‘new normal’? What is your learning community doing that would constitute the ‘new normal’? Feel free to add to the table via the comments section of this blog.

Thanks for reading,