Christian LifeNewsPrimary SchoolSecondary SchoolVCE
Teachers always experience frustration when their classes are timetabled on a Monday or a Friday as the impact of Public Holidays is significant. Classes are lost to Labour Day, ANZAC Day, Queen’s Birthday, Good Friday, Melbourne Cup, AFL Grand Final Day and staff preparation days at the start of each term.
Add to this the other days when classes are replaced by whole school activities such as Athletics Carnival, Swimming Carnival, PST Interviews and then add in the impact of excursions and camps and you can appreciate that teachers often feel that it is a real strain to fit in the teaching and learning requirements of their subject area.
The challenge is always how to find the extra time needed to cover the class-time missed due to other worthwhile and valuable, but time costly events.
In 2019, we are introducing FLEXIDAYS as a way of solving this perennial problem.
Because we have a 10 day timetable it has been possible to allocate one day a fortnight to become a day for special activities. For Years 7 – 10, no core subjects are timetabled to this day, instead, students will participate in the following:
- Intensive Delivery Experiences: For example, in Week 3 of Term 1, Year 8s will have an Learning Intensive participating in a range of activities which address the requirements of the Year 8 Civics and Citizenship Curriculum. An Incursion run by Passport to Democracy will see students participating in a mock election, and debating issues relating to Australian Identity in a mock Parliament. The day will include assessment activities which will be reported through Schoology as part of our CORP (Continuous Online Reporting Program).
- Well-being Intensives: For example in Week 3 of Term 1, Year 7s will have their Resiliency Day. These days have been run for several years now under the guidance of Mrs Dumitrache and they have been highly successful. Year 10s will also participate in developing their leadership abilities and mentoring our younger students. This year Resiliency Days have been more closely aligned to requirements of the Health Curriculum. The days will continue to be a highly valued part of our educational program and running them on a Flexiday means they do not impact on the delivery of other subjects. This is a real win for our students.
- Whole School activities: The Athletics Carnival has been scheduled for a Flexiday in Week 3 of Term 2
- Extra-Curricular Opportunities: For example, Mrs Waters have for some years arranged for Year 10 students to gain training that equips them to take up Traineeships or VET Courses and/or gain employment once they reach 15 years of age or after leaving school. This training is sourced by qualified trainers and students gain First Aid, Responsible Service of Alcohol and Barista certificates. Running this training on a Flexiday means students gain the benefit of the training without it impacting on the delivery of their Mathematics, Science, English, accelerated VCE subjects etc.
- Excursions: For example, in Week 1 of Term 2, Years 7 and 8 are participating in an excursion to La Trobe University to participate in a range of activities meeting both Science and Geography requirements of the Australian Curriculum.
- Careers: Careers advice and preparation should begin as early as possible and be an ongoing discussion throughout every student’s time at school. Time has been set aside at every year level to facilitate careers focussed education including preparation for Work Experience for Years 9s in Week 1 of Term 3.
- Spiritual Development: More important than anything else is the faith development of our students. Time has been set aside to provide focussed experiences delving into life’s deep questions. What gives life meaning? Does God see me? How can I strengthen my walk with God? For example, Term 3 Week 10 is a combined Spiritual Retreat for Years 9 and 10 run by Mr Waters.
We are confident that Flexidays will result in some of the richest learning that takes place in the College in 2019. This innovation sets Northside Christian College apart as a cutting edge educational institution and demonstrates that our staff are thinking constantly of how to be develop better structures, how to enable students to have better learning, how to be more effective teachers in the learning space.
Angela Eynaud, Director of Teaching and Learning