Enabling Spontaneous Learning Environments: 5 keys to breaking free of (or within) the 4 walls

  Are you comfortable with spontaneity, creating a context for learning that is fluid and able to respond to ideas? One of the underpinning factors in the design for Manhattan and The City, the newest precinct at Northern Beaches Christian School, has been to enable the creation of spontaneous spaces. “We have created a structure whereby […]

How Finland is leading the way, again #phenomenonbasedteaching

The SCIL Vision Tour 2016 will be spending a few days in Finland. This small Nordic nation is in the process of rolling out its new curriculum approach phenomenon-based teaching. Around 15 years ago Finland became the shining light in education achievement, due to its “mouse that roared” status. With a small population and modest […]

Innovating Education 101

(This has been prepared to share as a resource for a talk I recently gave.) The key to change is developing strategy by asking three simple questions… Where are we now? Where do we need to be? How do we get there? When I was in school it was like this: One teacher for each class […]

Leadership Culture 201: Two steps to transforming your school

Two steps to transforming your school: Step 1: Find your true north Step 2: Do everything that will make Step 1 happen Many of us agree that the historical model of school is broken and not serving the future, or even the present. Often the factory analogy of separation is used to describe the education […]

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 […]

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 […]

Reinventing professional learning at Making it Mobile, Auckland 2012 #mim2012

A brilliant bringing together of essential goals in education, matched to powerful methods of education for this age. It has opened up my mind to the means of unleashing creativity in children. (Participant) Our team has just concluded hosting a two day workshop Making it Mobile, held in Auckland, at Albany Senior High School What happens when you […]

“We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us.” (Churchill) Rethinking spaces to learn & work

Churchill was well-known for his classic quotes at a time of crisis: “We shall fight them on the beaches” “Never Give In” His humorous retorts: Lady Astor: “If I were married to you, I’d put poison in your coffee.” Churchill: “If I were married to you, I’d drink it.” On the rebuilding of the House […]

Day Zero – SCIL Conference tour to Finland. Follow our adventure #SCILFinland

According to the Weather Channel, our arrival in Helsinki tomorrow will reach the heights of -1C, with snow showers. Thats a little different to the beautiful Sydney day that I leave behind today. Why am I going to Finland? I am taking a group of 16 educators and architects to attend the OECD Centre for […]

The principles of Making Change Stick: Its more ‘mud map’ than ‘blueprint’

One of the things I love to do is work with groups, speak about change and present ways of navigating a path that will transform schools and engage this generation. Because my role at Sydney Centre for Innovation in Learning (SCIL) is embedded in Northern Beaches Christian School (NBCS), I use the school’s experience as […]