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Sir Joseph Banks High School

Sir Joseph Banks High School

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Future focused learning

Teaching and learning at Sir Joseph Banks High School is driven by research based, future focused learning methods. We have innovative teaching and learning practices with expert teachers who drive outstanding programs across the school. This is supported by inspirational spaces for futures learning including the Learning Hub, a creative and technological collaboration space.

Our futures learning is embedded into practice through:

Visible learning

Professor John Hattie’s extensive education research shows that visible learning strategies have the highest impact on student growth. Visible learning strategies are embedded in Sir Joseph Banks High School's mainstream classes following their success in our Enrichment Class model. Visible learning includes making the teaching and learning outcomes of the lesson visible to the students before the lesson is taught. This allows students to find the learning and helps them to consolidate their understanding of the learning. Other high impact strategies including learning goals and success criteria, explicit feedback, metacognitive strategies and efficacy are also employed.

Visible learning is an important focus of our Power Up literacy classes where students plot themselves on the visible learning wall and understand the steps to success for achieving the next level of learning.

Partners in learning

We adopt a partners in learning approach that includes the process of co-planning units of work and assessment tasks in consultation with our students. A partners in learning approach is also adopted in our Power Up classes where students know their place on the literacy continuum and teachers work in collaboration with the students to move them up to their next level.

Focus groups

Focus groups are conducted with our Enrichment students every term. The data and feedback collected from the focus groups determine the goals for our team planning where teachers meet to plan the exciting learning opportunities for the next term. Focus groups help us to continue our partnership in learning with our students. It is always exciting to hear how they love to learn and where we are making a big impact.

Project Based Learning (PBL)

PBL is a research based model of teaching and learning that is driven through our Enrichment Class and in mainstream classes. Projects are based on a real world concept with focus questions for students to investigate. Students find themselves in the driving seat of their learning with open questioning and research being a focus of lesson time. Students explore the answers to questions through their learning. Entrepreneurial and 21st century skills become fine tuned through the PBL process where students develop their products. An exhibition of learning takes place at the end of year EXPO day where students and parents celebrate the learning that has taken place.

Guided Inquiry Design (GID) is a similar process for discovering answers to questions. Students in Years 7 and 8 engage in GID through Learning Hub lessons with Ms Tran.

Goal setting

Goal setting takes place in a number of forms across the school. Goals are set each lesson using the visible learning model and personal goals/class goals are used in the Enrichment Class model. More recently, we have asked Year 7 Enrichment students to engage in conversations about how they like to learn and what type of learner they identify most with. Whilst we do not label them as a “type” of learner, we do ask them to reflect on their preferred learning styles so that we can best accommodate their learning. Alongside this, we have surveyed students and their parents on 3 goals to work on for the year. Students have a Weebly site where they can log their goals progress. This will be showcased to parents at the end of the year.


So many exciting opportunities are at our students’ fingertips in this area. This year, we launched the Year 9 STEM elective where all Year 9 students develop a STEM/STEAM project for 5 periods per fortnight. Ms Tran works with all Year 7 and 8 students to develop their skills in robotics, coding, Makey Makey, Arduino and electronics so every student can start to build their love of STEAM and STEM. Critical thinking days in Year 7 and 8 enrichment classes are designed with STEM and STEAM outcomes. This year, our Year 8 designed a light up cardboard city and the results were amazing. Our maker space in the Learning Hub houses our exciting STEM and STEAM resources and all students are invited to use the space at any time. Lastly, our Learning Hub and Ms Tran are so famous for STEM that they even teach teachers from our local schools about the exciting ideas STEM has to offer.

Pedagogy for deep learning

Deep learning is about students engaging in learning that is meaningful, real world and challenging. 

Progression charts for deep learning can be found below: