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Learning Beyond the Bell

‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’. (Chinese proverb)

At Ambrose Treacy College we aspire to develop highly literate students who know how to learn, problem solve, create, critique and reflect. The concept of ‘learning beyond the bell’ is fundamental to the College’s extra-curricular programs, including its academic extra-curricular program.

The Homework and Study Centre for Years 7-12 began in Week 3 and is an excellent opportunity for students to take responsibility for their own learning. The Homework and Study Centre is a free service for students of Ambrose Treacy College whereby academic support and mentoring is provided to students in the Westcourt iCentre. The program is designed to build on the academic culture of the College through the provision of an after school academic mentoring program. The boys are encouraged to work collaboratively to support each other with their learning. The research is clear that students learn best when they learn collaboratively and in doing so, they also become the teachers of others. In this sense, the program encourages students to come along with their friends (or to make new ones) and to complete their homework, and assessment tasks by supporting each other with their learning goals. The Homework and Study Centre is open from 3:15pm – 4:30pm from Tuesday to Thursday.

Year 10-12 have had an opportunity to reflect on their own learning at the inaugural Three-Way Conversations – Academic Mentoring evening. The purpose of Three-Way Conversations was to involve parents, students and teachers in a collaborative discussion about academic goals and strategies. While there are many factors that contribute to improving student learning, research tells us that feedback is amongst the most significant influence. Without these meaningful conversations, a report card becomes merely a transcript of results and the opportunity to improve or celebrate learning success is lost. The response to the evening was very positive as students, parents and teachers valued conversations on academic progress, academic goals, areas of development and strategies of improvement.

Throughout the term, students will also actively participate in a range of high impact seminars and workshops from Elevate Education. The Study Skills Programs provides specific strategies to help students increase motivation, build confidence, and lift exam performance. Junior school programs include improving memory recall in exams, taking ownership of their time and responsibilities and helping students transition to high school.. Senior school programs include managing time effectively and avoiding procrastination, helping students stay motivated across the year and maintaining well-being.

Although the above opportunities may provide learning opportunities that teach our students the skills and strategies of independent learning, the challenge is getting students to apply what they learn. I call all students to ‘learn beyond the bell’ and accept increased amounts of responsibility for their own learning by actively engaging in the resources and opportunities available at Ambrose Treacy College.

Dallas Moffat
Assistant Dean of Learning
Students Development and Learning Analytics