Mount Ousley Public School is a school focused on students. It’s a school where people matter, where relationships matter. Kids love coming to school, eager to use learning spaces to engage in projects they're passionate about. Passion is discussed, valued and promoted. Expectations are high and learning tasks pose cognitive challenge. A growth mindset is expected and success in learning is highly prized. Students each use their own connected device to collaborate, create and publish. They share, they reflect, they connect. They support, they empathise, they care.
2016 has been an exciting year. It has seen the extension of our 1:1 BYOD initiative. Now every student from Kindergarten to Year 6 uses a personal iPad or MacBook to support learning at school. Technology redefines teaching and learning in every classroom. It allows students to personalise the creative content they publish and be more productive as learners. It pushes out the boundaries of what we once considered impossible.
Individual learning goals are set by students of all ages. Connected devices enable the research and presentation of new understandings in complex ways. Acts of citizenship are actively pursued by students, who truly believe they can and should make positive contributions to the world. Our students challenge the status quo. They instigate change that improves the lives of others.
Students collaborate with teachers to determine workspaces that are best suited to learning needs. Standing stations, adaptable settings, comfortable seats and colourful benches have replaced much of the traditional classroom furniture. Flexible learning spaces are designed by students, for students. Students are heavily invested in their classrooms. They understand that school is for them. They want to learn. They choose to succeed.
Students have a say in selecting what, how and where they learn. Things like genius time and an inquiry based approach to learning provide opportunities for student choice and student voice. There are no upper limits to what our students can and do achieve. Ours is a school where trust is freely given, where failure is seen as a necessary stepping stone to success and where innovation thrives. It is a school made up of caring, respectful relationships that make learning unbelievably great. Reflection is core to what students and teachers do. Attempts at learning and iterations of products and practices are constantly critiqued and refined. A relentless pursuit of excellence exists in both teaching and learning. We all learn and grow together.
Leadership in our school is seen as a shared responsibility. Teachers lead and leaders teach. Everyone contributes. Our teachers constantly embrace opportunities for professional growth. They reach out to provide that same support for others in neighbouring schools. Translating current educational research into daily routines is what we do. We create and share our own research too. Our culture of innovation is strong. It’s based on shared beliefs and common values. It inspires, it challenges, it works. It improves the lives of students in ways we could never have once imagined. Mount Ousley is truly an innovative school and this book provides a glimpse into what we do.