- MacKillop is an Innovative Teaching & Learning Environment.
- MacKillop is an Agile and Flexible Learning Environment.
- MacKillop is a purpose built school for these reasons; large shared spaces, shared teachers, large class groupings of students who can be smaller group targeted, and learning to live and collaborate in 21st Century inspired working environment.
Students in Prep, Year 1 and 2 learn how to learn first, before gradually being eased into this contemporary way of learning.
Students in Years 3 – 6 are immersed in learning and teaching methods, styles and spaces that require them to be independent, cooperative, collaborative and creative. They need to be critical thinkers and problem solvers. This is the school environment you have chosen for your child.
This hasn’t changed since Day 1 at MacKillop Catholic College in 2016. We are not a traditional school. Why would we prepare our students for the past? We are not using traditional methods that you or your own parents experienced at school. We use technology for a blended learning environment, just like your children will have in secondary school and their workplaces. Educators working as a team, and with more students, allows us to target and individualise the needs of all students. We differentiate, target, extend and support the learning of all students through varied instruction, collaboration and common goals. Our aim is to prepare students for the world in which they will live, learn and grow.
The flexible learning environment reflects current research and knowledge on 21st century teaching and learning practices which helps to prepare students for the skills they will need in the future such as collaboration, communication, critical thinking, problem solving, character, citizenship and creativity. The overall aim and purpose is to improve student learning outcomes.
How do students learn in a ‘flexible learning’ environment?
It is empowering for students to understand themselves as learners and have control and responsibility over where they learn. In a flexible environment, students build independent learning behaviours and develop a strong understanding of themselves as learners. Students are given the opportunity to take advantage of both indoor and outdoor learning environments and the space enables students to work in a variety of ways and areas. Students can move around, work at tables, on the floor, in small groups, on stools, as well as standing.
We are working with all students in an ongoing capacity to help them build their skills in independence and understanding of themselves as learners and how they learn best.
MacKillop Learning Spaces
Large, open and flexible learning areas can be rearranged to create distinct learning areas that suit different students. Sometimes we use retractable walls, special furniture, inside and outside areas and quiet withdrawal spaces.
By the end of 2021, we will have two more buildings like our Montague building. Ideally, these new Montague buildings will house our Year 4, 5 and 6 students, who have the independence to work in single cell class spaces or open learning environments. Students tend to gravitate toward areas, furniture and seating arrangements where they feel most comfortable.
Our learning zones for middle and upper primary students are utilised in a variety of ways; both student chosen, and teacher led. Sometimes our students need their own desk and space. Especially when students are younger, so you will see this more in the junior spaces, but even some older students learn better by themselves.
Sometimes our students need more encouragement to problem solve together. As our older students get ready for the “real” world, these collaborative skills are life-giving and life-changing. As students grow older and more familiar with their own learning style, they will begin to make “How I Learn Best” decisions themselves.
We use the spaces and vary our instruction and learning activities based on the needs of our students and the content being covered. Our learning areas, and teaching practices, help develop our students as trusted and independent learners. Because, one day very soon, that’s exactly what they will need to be in the world we are preparing them for.