Harrison School - The Big Picture- Engaging Students

We are one school. However, we have a structure that allows for the management and organisation of the large student numbers that will be enrolled at our school to ensure all are feeling engaged in the school community

We have two sub schools that have an entry section (Preschool/Kinder) and an Exit (Senior School Year 9/10)

  1. Junior School (P-4)
    • Preschool-Year 4 to break down the transition from Preschool to Kinder and to connect learners to higher order and challenging learning.
  2. Secondary School (5-10)
    • Middle (Year 5-8) /Senior (Year 9-10) to develop stronger transitions and to enable students to grow into secondary/tertiary education.

On enrolment a student is:

  • placed in a home group, where every student belongs
  • then a community of classes enabling the sharing and joining of groups
  • moving to a team for focusing on learning and curriculum
  • to a sub school to build a sense of a larger group
  • then part of our whole school community.

To lead our sub schools we have a Deputy for Junior and one for Secondary (Middle/Senior). To lead our teams we have Team Leaders (executive-SLC). To support our sub schools and teams we have a Literacy Coach, Numeracy Coach, Student Engagement Coordinators, Student Support Coordinator and ICT Coordinator and Learning Community Coordinators

Our learning group language is based on Multiaged concepts in Junior School and learning pathways or blended learning in Secondary. Our focus is opening up the options/doors for students and developing them as learners who know how to learn and to build a strong 21st century learning community.

At Harrison School we are creating a unique learning experience for all students. Real and meaningful connections are one of the keys to successful outcomes for learners. While we care for our students we also offer effective programs, connect with communities and focus on powerful teaching and learning practices.

Secondary learning is a very crucial time in a student's learning journey. Many come to see themselves either as confident learners or having limited capabilities and non-confident learners. These are the vulnerable years of adolescence when students come to understand who they are and what degree of empowerment they have over their futures.

As educators we are vital and how we support our students does matter. The research on resilience shows how important a single caring adult can be in helping a student. We want our students to remember the teachers of Harrison who made a real difference in their learning, by giving them confidence or inspiring them or pushing them to achieve more than they thought could be possible.

The celebration of success comes from feedback, collection of data and achievement of goals. Success is addictive and inspires learners to be engaged and motivated to accomplish more. It is also infectious and spreads positively through the community and builds optimism and excitement for reaching our potential.

Key components for the Learning at Harrison

  • High expectations in learning, presentation and behaviour
  • Student connections
  • Open futures and flexibility with learning pathways and timetables
  • Credentials (courses) with real value
  • Support options for students needing assistance
  • Student voice to build responsibility, engagement and empowerment in learning
  • Whole school connection
  • Partnerships in learning beyond the school
  • ICT integrated in learning programs-e-learning, on-line learning and personal devices

Websites for further reading and resources on 21st Century Learning:

Student engagement is connected to student centred learning. The school has two student engagement officers to support classroom teachers in developing and implementing quality learning programs. We also have flexible learning pathways that personalise the learning for students.

Student engagement options included:

  • Acceleration in subject
  • Step up and ASPIRE programs
  • Enrichment Program
  • Accessing to learning programs on-line
  • Individual learning plans to cater for outside school involvement (e.g. Sport representatives or work commitments)
  • Personal Learning Plans
  • Achievement Plans
  • Blended learning in flexible environments
  • Multiple courses operating in one learning time
  • Mixed learning programs, e.g. CIT course with school or ASBA program with school.

Student Engagement Officer-Role

Encompassing student support/engagement capacity building

Responsible for:

  • design  and coaching of projects across school (Quality Teaching)
  • targeted teacher support
  • targeted student support
  • Leading pedagogy and curriculum
  • Supporting pathways

Management and Leadership of:

  • Leading Student Support with Deputy and school psychologist
  • ILP/AP reporting
  • Building connections with parents related to student engagement

Teaching Responsibilities:

  • targeted teacher or team coaching.