The Pembroke School Annual Report : Annual Report 2017
Professional Learning Forums Now in their fourth year, the Professional Learning Forums have produced several excellent initiatives that feed into the development of the School. These include school approaches to new findings in neuroscience; supporting the enterprise and multi-disciplinary opportunities of the new Middle School building; developing strong feedback models for teachers and students; and maintaining cutting edge views on deepening subject expertise, offering a counterweight to the emerging view in some educational settings that subject expertise no longer matters. The Pembroke Academy The Academy has focussed on two new activities. The first is a model for ‘professional conversations’ for all staff. Based on current research in the area of appraisal and self-efficacy; the approach builds on Pembroke’s tradition of maintaining high levels of staff professional commitment and autonomy while also offering regular opportunities for thoughtful professional discussion. The second is the pleasing agreement with Flinders University Faculty of Education with 13 staff undertaking Master’s degrees and one a PHD. This relationship goes to the heart of the ambition of the Academy to provide a significant bridge between universities, or comparable research institutions, and the work of School staff. We sense this initiative is beginning to take hold. We are in the process, to be completed in 2020, of moving our largest enrolment intake from Year 8 to Year 7. This reflects our longstanding commitment to Year 7 as the first year of Middle School and will bring us into line with age appropriate secondary school entry already adopted in all other states and, we expect, soon to be in South Australia. Student Leadership There has been a significant shift in focus to provide student leadership opportunities in all sub-schools. Student run assemblies, talks, initiatives and events are more prevalent and well supported and enjoyed. Our students have enthusiastically taken up the offer to voice and act on their views, ideas and aspirations. Our pastoral care programmes were offered new life in retreat days and student and staff training in keeping minds healthy. Pembroke Connect Programme (PCP) The PCP instituted this year is an in house intensive English and the benefits of educating these students at their school of choice from the first day are clear. The PCP ’s quality and flexibility has made it an outstanding success, and it has added positively to the engagement, welfare and integration of students preparing to enter into mainstream programmes. SACE, IB, Australian Curriculum and PYP The SACE continues to develop its senior secondary curriculum and the SACE Board hopes to have all assessment in electronic format by 2020. Pembroke has been closely involved in the evolution of this thinking and is confident it can manage the transition well. The School’s academic management team has been very well placed to meet the demands of the new Australian Curriculum and implementation is near completion. As it beds down into the fabric of our programmes both teachers and administrators are feeling reasonably positive about its impact and the resource support available. The IB Diploma continues to flourish at our School and our Principal continues to represent Pembroke, IB schools in Australia and Heads of IB schools internationally through his chairmanship of the IB Heads Council and as an IBO Board Member. These two commitments offer our School immediate and valuable insights into not only IB matters but also trends in international education. The Junior School undertook the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) comprehensive five-year review and received a commendable report noting a number of outstanding practices and some areas to be addressed. The Year 6 Exhibition, the culmination of PYP learning, was this year based around a unit of inquiry into the philosophy of aesthetics and was an excellent showcase of the children’s capabilities and imagination involving critical thinking, debate and the development of ideas and opinions.