Bishop Tyrrell College focused on developing twenty-first century competencies

COLLABORATIVE EFFORT: Students in Year 7 brainstorm for their Global Citizenship Service Learning Project last Friday as part of the Deep Learning curriculum.
COLLABORATIVE EFFORT: Students in Year 7 brainstorm for their Global Citizenship Service Learning Project last Friday as part of the Deep Learning curriculum.

Bishop Tyrrell is a Deep Learning School and for the last 18 months has been implementing core elements of this exciting new curriculum across its student population.

The Deep Learning Curriculum is a global partnership of approximately 1000 schools across 12 countries that fosters teaching focused on developing twenty-first century competencies.

Those competencies are known as the six "C"s - creativity, communication, citizenship, critical thinking, character, and collaboration.

Students develop the six global competencies through different learning partnerships, pedagogical practices, learning environments, and digital technology.

"Essentially, Deep Learning is a learning experience that helps students to be good at academics and good at life, so they can be the positive problem solvers and global citizens of the future," Deputy Principal, Tania Lloyd, said.

"Our goal at Bishop Tyrrell is to foster Deep Learning so that students can learn to contribute to the common good, address global challenges and flourish in turbulent and complex times."

This semester students are working together in small teams on a Global Citizenship Service Learning Project.

Global Citizenship Service Learning Projects focus on "real-world" important global problems, issues and needs - things like kindness, environmental conservation, inclusion, reconciliation and helping refugees and homeless people.

"Learning is deepest when it connects to students' lives - who they are, how they fit into the world, and how they can contribute back," Tania said. "In a world that is forever changing, it is more important than ever to give our children chances to feel powerful and in charge of aspects of their life. One way we can do this is through service learning projects."

Service Learning Projects use materials that children are familiar with through play (Legos, blocks, art materials, etc) and repurpose them so children can explore, imagine and create in new and dynamic ways.

They also require children to use what they know about reading, writing, mathematics and other content areas (e.g. history, physical activity, music and science) towards an end they have chosen.

"The projects are unique as they have a secondary goal to do good in the world," Tania said.

Last Friday afternoon, the school devoted the entire afternoon to brainstorming project ideas.

"They can be global or local," Tania said.

"For example, the school has a strong relationship with Anglican Care.

"COVID-19 has made it hard in terms of interaction in person but perhaps a local project idea for our younger cohort might involve making songs, stories or videos that we can share with the community.

"A reconciliation statement for community might appeal to older students; thank you cards for emergency workers, or a play exploring an appropriate theme.

"The College teaches Japanese as its main language so another project might be to design and plant a Japanese garden."

WORKING TOGETHER: Students in Year 4 are focusing on the topic of Inclusion, and are pictured here practicing empathy for people who are vision impaired.

WORKING TOGETHER: Students in Year 4 are focusing on the topic of Inclusion, and are pictured here practicing empathy for people who are vision impaired.

The goal for this project is that it be completed by students collaboratively and independently.

Teachers and families are serving as consultants on the project (suggesting resources, giving feedback etc) but the students are the project leaders.

"We hope to hold a Virtual Open Day on September 25 for all student projects, and depending on the situation then, hopefully a showcase presentation evening can be held after that," Tania said.

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