Life-Long Learning

Mark Richards | Director of Learning and Innovation

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”
― Henry Ford

This is the season of new beginnings, soon the cold, frosty mornings will melt away to the renewal of spring.  Endorsement, the first big event of the new QCE System is almost upon us, the Year 10s are currently in the midst of deciding their future path, visiting the Warwick and USQ careers day, and the Jumpers and Jazz festival is in full swing.  This can be a confusing and challenging time, but we are here to help.  The most important mantra at this time is to choose subjects you enjoy, you are achieving well in and that are prerequisites for University courses and careers.  Below is a link to a presentation I delivered to Year 10 parents at the SET Plan interviews, but it is relevant to any parent of students in Year 11 and below, who are interested in the new system.

 “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”
― Socrates

As humans we never stop learning and as a consequence, there is always a way.  We have to continue to expand and adapt our minds to cope with the multitude of new experiences and situations, regardless of our age.  When we talk about the lifelong learning mindset, we think about the cultivation of habits as opposed to just the achievement of goals.  One of the greatest gifts teachers can give students is developing their capacity and desire to learn independently.

It is worth noting that global curricula indicate a strong focus on the development of the following skills:

  • A vision of students as ‘lifelong learners’
  • Principles of ‘learning to learn’
  • The values of ‘innovation, inquiry and curiosity’
  • Learning areas that emphasis participation beyond school

Here at SCOTS PGC we aim to focus on skills, on the ability to adapt, create and innovate, to enable our students to acquire the ability to solve problems and think for themselves.  Our STEM and Maths Pathways programmes have these skills embedded and our co-curricular offerings expand the learning to outside of the classroom.  Learning in a digital world requires a commitment to continuous learning and reflecting, a process of adoption and adaptation.  It requires subtley, nuance and, ultimately, working together as part of humanity.  Hopefully the publishing of the Semester 1 reports will give students an opportunity to reflect and work towards improvement.  Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher directly, or their Head of Year, to discuss any aspect of the report.

“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”
― Albert Einstein

                Finally, a note about reporting in the new system.  We have changed the reporting process to align with the structure of the new syllabus.  A to E grades will only be awarded at the end of each semester and not for individual assessments.  This is because the new system is set out for grades to be awarded on multiple assessments combined.   Different assessments will have different total marks but the criteria sheets and expectations will be similar across all subjects.  I would encourage all parents not to wait until the end of semester reports are published to track student progress.  All assessments should be available on SEQTA, with feedback on how to improve, as and when they are scheduled.

As with any change of this magnitude, we will not always get it right first time.  I encourage any feedback on reporting and sincerely thank those of you who have already been in contact.  As a matter of course we will be reviewing the changes later in the year and making any adjustments necessary for next year.  If you have any questions or queries about the new system, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Marzano, R. J. (2000). Designing a new taxonomy of educational objectives. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.