In a year that can only be described as remarkable, one would expect many areas of learning to be on “survival mode”. Nothing could be further from the truth at Investigator College. Yes, COVID-19 has been and remains challenging, but we have also used this crisis to learn and grow so as to deliver a world-class education and outstanding educational outcomes.
At Investigator College, we unashamedly “set the bar high” as our Year 12 SACE results last year demonstrate. Against national standards, Investigator College’s results are very impressive:
ATAR RESULTS INVESTIGATOR COLLEGE VS NATIONAL AVERAGES
|INVESTIGATOR COLLEGE||AUSTRALIAN AVERAGE|
|ATAR 95 or above||18%||5%|
|ATAR 90 or above||42%||10%|
|ATAR 80 or above||69%||20%|
And we also far exceed international Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) averages! Investigator College participates regularly in the largest global international assessment of Reading, Science and Mathematics, conducted by the OECD. Our most recent Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results indicated that our 15-year-old students exceeded International averages which are heavily skewed by educational powerhouses such as Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Finland. We are also far exceeding “like” schools (that is, schools of similar size and demographics):
HIGH PERFORMING STUDENTS: INTERNATIONAL
|INVESTIGATOR COLLEGE||OECD||SIMILAR SCHOOLS|
Far from seeing COVID-19 as a stumbling block, we have taken from the experience a range of new strategies that will enhance “normal” learning:
Video Conferencing: Though many students, staff and families may have felt somewhat “Zoomed Out”, Zoom is now used to record key learning moments and to include students who, for whatever reason, may be unable to attend class. This means that students and staff can continue to interact and that precious learning time is not lost.
Learning Portal: Our Learning Portal has been extensively developed so that term and unit plans, resources, assessment tasks and up-to-date information is available at the click of a mouse. Students can access information, resources and staff teacher feedback via the portal and associated applications such as “One Note” and “Microsoft Teams”.
Ultimately, however, COVID-19 has reinforced that our superb educational outcomes come from very human means. We are blessed to have outstanding teachers who are not just experts in their fields, but provide the utmost personalised care for every student. Investigator College is all about being connected, striving for the best possible outcomes. We are blessed, also, to have the most amazing students and families; our students help make Investigator College a safe, respectful and focussed learning community that works cohesively toward continual improvement.
Far from being in lockdown, our teaching staff continues to embark on innovative and rigorous programs and projects:
The College – wide Learning Improvement Plan (“CLIP”) is a research driven process for improving teaching and learning, not only in English, Mathematics, Science and the Humanities, but all areas of learning including Music, Physical Education, Wellbeing and Technology to name a few. The CLIP will be the focus of the staff Professional Development days at the start of Term 3 as we implement the plan and produce a “family-friendly” version for all to read and contribute to.
You will note that there is an increased “team-teaching” approach this year. This means that staff can collaborate more, as well as to allocate teaching time so that teachers can teach in their areas of highest expertise. For example, a teacher passionate about and highly trained in Science may well teach most Science lessons for that particular year level.
Year 4 Environmental and Sustainability Focus Class: A signature educational offering, our Year 4 classes will spend extra time at our fabulous Currency Creek Ecocentre. They will work on a unique, cross-curricular program that focuses on the environment while developing student learning in all areas of the curriculum. Provided SA continues to “flatten the COVID curve”, this program should set sail in Term 3.
Year 6 students will soon commence entrepreneurial projects in which they will develop their own businesses with marketing plans, business development plans and infrastructure.
More VET offerings! In addition to our Certificates II and III in Conservation and Land Management (CALM) and Horticulture, our Year 9 students will be the first Year 9 group to commence a nationally accredited Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management. In addition keep an eye out for some very exciting new offerings to commence in 2021. Add to this an ever increasing range of Traineeships and School-based apprenticeships from fields as diverse as construction, marine diesel mechanics, horticulture and aged care, we are seeking to provide pathways for all our students.
Robotics and Coding: Several of our Middle and Senior School technology classes have been working on Robotics projects as diverse as driverless cars and weather stations. Students are gaining real-world experience in designing, constructing and programming their own robots and other electronic machines.
3D Printing: Yet another future-focussed technology will be taking off in Semester Two. Initially being trialled in the Senior Technology and Construction classes, this technology will continue to be rolled out over coming years.
Unique Beginners Italian Course: Offered out of school hours, this introduction to Italian Language and Culture is open to students (Years 10 and 11), parents and friends of the College in a unique adult learning setting. It is also a fully accredited SACE subject. Places are now closed for 2020, but 2021 is just around the corner!
Director of Teaching and Learning