What’s in the ‘secret sauce’ of an innovative school? The SCIL story

Northern Beaches Christian School (NBCS), on the suburban fringe of Sydney has gained a reputation for innovation. There are many components that make this so, including, engaging learning programs, the physical spaces and places around the school, passionate and engaged students, and motivated and inspiring teachers. For the many hundreds of educational visitors who come […]

Starting the year at NBCS: Putting the F.U.N in PD to build a positive culture of collaboration and connection.

We all knew it was coming.   At the end of 2013, as the school year was finishing, the construction (and demolition) crews were coming into NBCS. Project Barcelona, the much awaited development of transforming the physical space of ‘school’ into a whole new model was underway. The brief that principal Stephen Harris gave to […]

Silence is golden? Perhaps it’s measure of good-old-fashioned teaching. But is it the measure of great learning?

This headline caught my eye: “Australia’s classrooms among world’s noisiest” As I talk to educators and school leaders about rethinking the way we contextualise education the question of noise regularly rears its head. There is a generation of educators and parents who are under the impression that a good education (teacher-centred) can only occur in […]

“If you have a choice between a great teacher and a smaller class, go for a great teacher” 10 steps to greatness

Education policy adviser to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Andreas Schleicher said, “too much money had been spent reducing class sizes, instead of boosting teacher performance”. Northern Beaches Christian School, is becoming known as one of the world’s most innovative schools. Each week we host individuals and groups from across Australia and around […]

Open space learning: Let’s talk about the elephant-in-the-(class)-room. The ABC of acoustics

I was standing in The Zone with an architect. The hubbub of learning engagement was all around. 180 students and six teachers call this space ‘home’ at Northern Beaches Christian School. In front of us a teacher was taking a large group through a step-by-step process on a particularly technical aspect of uploading their work […]

Kicking off the new school year. Never “same old, same old” here at Northern Beaches Christian School

In Australia the end of January is the start of the new academic year. Within a few days of getting back into it I usually gaze out the window, trying to recall the vacation and thinking to myself that perhaps it was just a dream? (No, I really did have Christmas in Paris with my […]

Why Blog? A blog about blogging inspired by first timer @Jessica_Dubois #leadershipday12

This week a Twitter-Colleague @Jessica_Dubois tweeted: My 1st post on my 1st blog – Starting action bit.ly/QYiOvA – beginning the journey  I’ve never actually met Jessica, but we have communicated over Twitter, she is “a primary teacher in a remote, Indigenous community in far-west South Australia”. Her blog is appropriately called Teaching Remotely. Jessica decided to […]

Becoming an innovative school? My top 10 ideas

Northern Beaches Christian School: one of the most innovative in the world. Thanks to everyone for great day of discussion …from @wethink When one of the world’s leading authorities on innovation described Northern Beaches Christian School as “one of the most innovative in the world” we were amazed and honoured. Charlie Leadbeater (@wethink), is a […]

Space matters. Why must high school students endure bland, ugly, boring classrooms?

When I walk into a classroom the physical environment shouts at me. It tells me what is valued, how students learn and where the power is. What would this tell you?   desks in fixed rows teacher’s desk at the front of the room windows covered with black plastic on both sides to stop light […]