This is a really exciting time to be part of the Servite community as we embrace and combine the virtual, pedagogical and physical spaces to create a learning environment where every student succeeds.
We recognise that the spaces in which our students work, live and learn have a profound effect on how they feel, behave and perform. We have embarked on a dynamic building plan that includes refurbishment of existing facilities and new buildings.
In consultation with our local community, parent focus groups, students and teaching staff we have considered the complex ecological nature of our important heritage and current and future approaches to teaching and learning.
Stage 1 of our building program was the redesign of our Alexis Building to promote the collaboration, synergy and inquiry that are critical to the delivery of future focused learning skills and programs. The new spaces include writable walls and windows that make critical thinking and learning visible. These spaces have been an arena for innovative teaching practices that are not easily implemented in more traditional classrooms.
The spaces encourage Socratic style debates with a high level of interaction through discussion. Conversational spaces furnished with stools and small coffee tables are especially suited to small group work, discussion and brainstorming. The spaces offer opportunities for groups of students to experience both teacher-guided and collaborative work with peers and independent study, in a single lesson. ICT within the space is ubiquitous and flexible.
A walk through this space showcases learning at our College as students are truly engaged in their learning and teachers are facilitators and guides who ensure our students achieve their personal best.
Alexis Research Centre – ARC
In 2016 we completed the remodelling and reinvention of our library space to focus on connecting learners and constructing knowledge. The ARC is now a transparent space where active learning at the College can be seen through the windows and the design reflects the innovations that are going on inside our College.
Our Research Centre is future focused and provides a welcoming common space that encourages exploration, creation, and collaboration between students, teachers, and the broader community. It brings together the best of the physical and digital to create a dynamic learning hub.
While printed books still play a critical role in supporting learners, digital technologies offer additional pathways to learning and content acquisition. Students and teachers no longer need a library simply for information access. Instead, they require a place that encourages participatory learning and allows for co-construction of understanding from a variety of sources. In other words, instead of being an archive, the ARC is a research and learning hub.
We transformed our traditional space, with its cubicles and stacks, into one that fosters learning and communication. To meet the needs of our teachers and learners, we have created a flexible space with movable chairs, desks, and even bookshelves. Small enclosed areas allow for group projects, and walls and tables are writeable with dry-erase markers to encourage the collaboration and sharing that the previous space had discouraged.
The new space has changed not only the way in which our students consume content but also how they use the space. We are moving to a database of digital resources with learning areas creating and curating their own digital libraries to support student research. While we have maintained quiet spaces for individual study, we have also created an environment for collaboration, tuition, and workshops. The ARC is a place where students can interact with the content, the technology, the space and each other in order to gain context and increase their knowledge.
We searched nationally for a leader in learning space design that reflects future focused pedagogy and are working with Kon Michael, award winning architect from Swanbury Penglase Adelaide, South Australia.
Refurbishment of our existing buildings will commence later in the year and will encompass maker spaces, STEM workshops, redesign of textiles delivery, a café, and learning spaces that continue to promote collaboration and independent study. We are conscious that our classroom is the workplace of the future and therefore must prepare our students for this workplace with its flexible spaces for ‘hot desking’ and collaborating locally, nationally and globally with others. This is a really exciting time to be part of the Servite community as we embrace and combine the virtual, pedagogical and physical spaces to create a learning environment where every student succeeds.
Digital Tools to Support Learning
We are committed to preparing our students for participation and leadership in an increasingly complex digital world and supporting the development of their digital citizenship skills.
Research shows that students who have their own electronic devices engage more deeply in their learning, become more active creators in the learning process, take greater pride and ownership over the knowledge they subsequently create, and are able to participate in more flexible forms of schooling.
There is no doubt that today’s learning is increasingly complex, global and networked, and our challenge as educators is to prepare students, using innovative solutions that provide personalised learning, wherever possible. With this in mind, the educational one-to-one initiative at Servite College is designed to enable students to thrive in an information-rich world and, importantly, is focused on improving students’ ability to think critically.
In seamlessly integrating technology we aim to promote the development of flexible and personalised educational pathways which enables learning to happen anywhere, anytime. We use a wide range of digital tools to design and deliver quality learning opportunities and are developing a dynamic virtual classroom to provide 24/7 access to learning materials and detailed personalised feedback to guide student learning.
The digital world Servite students enter when they leave the College is a multi-faceted one. By 2025 the majority of students will be engaging via real time video and mobile devices. This collaborative technology can enhance curriculum, allowing educators to teach in new ways that promote a higher level of thinking and creativity, encouraging students to become resilient and adaptable and to develop future proof skills vital in fast changing workplaces.
Our digital connectivity removes classroom borders so that we promote content sharing and engagement between teacher and students and student groups. We ensure our students are work ready by providing collaborative technologies which are essential to setting our students up with skills such as time management, communication and problem solving. All of these are necessary to migrate between the work environments our students will function in.
Our College network supports students using a range of devices, including the iPad and Surface. Our Year 7 – 10 students use iPads for anywhere, anytime access, to support personalised learning, foster learning autonomy, assist research and organisation, and enhance online collaboration and home-to-school connectedness.
The iPad has the capacity to converge technologies to achieve a variety of services such as text books and printed materials, note-taking, word processing, calculator, voice recording, and a camera whilst allowing ease of creation. Further, the ‘App Store’ provides students and teachers literally hundreds of thousands of Apps that facilitate teaching and learning. Compact in size and lightweight, the iPad is highly portable and has a battery life of 10 hours to ensure a full school day of learning.