Critical and Creative Thinking

Learning With Soul: Derrimut PS

Level F, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
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Derrimut PS was purpose-built around collaboration with campfires, caves and watering holes allowing for students and teachers to come together and learn. The caves are for deep thinking; the watering holes to share information; and the campfires for when students are telling their learning journey.

Pedagogical practice was strengthened through the school’s involvement in the NPDL Partnership as they used the tools, strategies and processes – like the Collaborative Inquiry Model – to provide a framework for the learning, providing insight, oversight and foresight on learning design. The Six Competencies - Collaboration; Critical Thinking; Creativity; Citizenship; Communication; and Character – combined with the SOLO Taxonomy to enable students, teachers and the school leadership team to have a conversation about student learning and understanding, skills, and depth of thinking. As one student says in the video, these frameworks help students to identify “where we are, where we can improve and what we should try to do next”.

(see Ideas below for further information)

Ideas for using this resource

Through this work, teachers have seen growth in student self-efficacy through self-assessment and understanding that they have to provide evidence to justify that growth. The pedagogical approach and High Impact Teaching Strategies (HITS) build students’ metacognitive capacities through well structured lessons, setting of goals and explicit teaching. Learning is teacher-framed, and student-led, with co-constructed goal setting, and burning, open-ended questions combined with evidence-based practice to inform learning design. As one teacher says, “we know our students before we can start designing” the learning for them. Through this holistic approach, teachers draw upon the 6Cs, the Collaborative Inquiry Cycle and the Deep Learning Rubric to maintain consistency when planning for learning and in gathering data.

This approach has “privileged other ways of knowing, other ways of learning and other data sets to say our kids are growing and achieving”. (Principal, Derrimut PS)

Prompts for discussion:

  • Designing for learning at Derrimut PS is “teacher-framed and student-led”. What might this look like in your own school context?
  • How have the HITS Setting Goals, Structuring Lessons, Explicit Teaching, Collaborative Learning and Metacognitive Strategies created “learning with soul” at Derrimut PS?
  • How might these HITS be fostered in your school? (You might like to start by focusing on one particular strategy - such as Metacognition – which helps teach students to think about their own thinking.)

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