From The Principal

Insights – upstanding students

Dear Community,

This week I saw some wildly contrasting images. One was a bleak photograph of the lonely, single figure of climate activist Greta Thunberg sitting on the steps of Swedish Parliament in August 2018. She is seated next to a sign which reads “Skolstrejk för klimatet” and this was the very first School Strike for Climate. The other images were taken 13 months later. They were aerial shots of mass crowds of protestors at iconic sites around the world held ...

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Insights – a passion for learning

Dear Community,

If I asked you to close your eyes and think of a classroom and then to draw the main features, no matter how old you are or where you went to school, the likelihood is that similar elements would be represented. While the world has changed dramatically over the last century, our approach to education has changed at a far slower pace.

This is highly problematic as it is clear that we must alter our educational approach to best equip ...

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Insights – reflection and enhancement

Dear Community,

I have always been enamoured with time travel movies. Some of my all-time favourites explore the concept in different ways.

The Hollywood classic Back to the Future hinges on the ripple effects for the future created by trying to change the past. The cult classic Donnie Darko uses the framework of Donnie’s psychological introspection to create a tangent universe that resolves the problems in the world. Run Lola Run allows for the protagonist to relive the same experience ...

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Insights – a strong sense of identity

Dear Community,

The founders of The King David School carefully devised a school emblem of King David’s harp sitting in a bed of wattle. This was designed to attest to the importance of our striving to nurture a strong Jewish identity and connection with Israel and an abiding allegiance to Australia.

While developing pride in being Australian seems second nature to our students, our school has a responsibility to reinforce this by highlighting Australia’s significant events and achievements. For this reason we ...

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Insights – a culture of continuous teacher improvement

Dear Community,

Research into school improvement suggests that one of the primary factors that can inhibit the raising of student learning outcomes is the siloed nature of the teaching profession.

While during the instructional stage of a teaching degree there are many opportunities for teachers to observe others in action, in many schools this does not continue once a teacher is entrusted with their own class. Instead the adage of ‘my classroom, my kingdom’ seems to apply.

In this model, a ...

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Insights -a love of reading

Dear Community,

A number of years ago I was faced with a dilemma when I was preparing a student exam for Media Studies. As an educator, I try to model appropriate citation practices when I use externally sourced content so that my students can gain an appreciation of how important it is to acknowledge others’ work. The relevant part of the exam relied on different photographic images which the students were meant to identify from the applied compositional rule. The dilemma ...

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Insights – curiosity, creativity and exploration

Dear Community,

When Nobel prize winning physicist, Isadore Rabi, was asked to explain his stellar career and life-long devotion to the study of science, he attributed it to his upbringing. He stated: “My mother made me a scientist without ever intending to. Every other Jewish mother in Brooklyn would ask her child after school: So? Did you learn anything today? But not my mother. “Izzy,” she would say, “did you ask a good question today?” That difference – asking good questions ...

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Insights – passionate educators

Dear Community,

In discussing the factors that determine positive student outcomes, School Principal Deborah Kenny stated that: “If you had an amazing teacher who was talented and passionate and given the freedom and support to teach well that was just 100 times more important than anything else.”

Indeed, most of us can remember the teacher or teachers who most influenced us to be the people we have become. While this may have been through out-of-the-box ideas, a passion for the subject matter ...

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Insights – celebrating positive relationships and student individuality

Dear Community,

This week, prominent author and educator, John Marsden, provoked controversy with his statements around bullying. Marsden said that: “A lot of the so-called bullying in schools is just kids giving each other feedback…it’s rare for a child who’s got likeable qualities to be treated in some sort of horrific or bullying way. Usually there is a range of behaviours which have caused friction to develop.”

In the aftermath of this statement many personal reflections have been shared which detailed a ...

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Insights – “learning to learn”

Dear Community,

I remember spending many of my formative schooling years engaged in the time-consuming research projects that were in vogue. These required the regurgitation of the relevant facts about a particular subject matter with appropriate accompanying illustrations – I remember ones on coral reefs, fireflies, Costa Rica and coffee. At the time, sourcing the relevant information was considered a valuable task by my teachers as it involved seeking information out manually in an encyclopedia in the school library and transcribing ...

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