Models of Contemporary Learning in RE

The Model of Contemporary Learning, created by Holy Family Catholic Primary School in Lindfield, is published on the CNA website and is available to students and teachers across Australia.

Summary of Learnings

As Year 6 students from Holy Family Catholic Primary School, Lindfield explored their Old Testament unit, “Wisdom, Poetry and Song in the Old Testament” they studied the wisdom literature of the Old Testament and its application to contemporary living.

Inspired by John Hession, an ICLT Education Officer from the Catholic Schools Office, the teachers and students constructed their learning using Web 2.0 technology.

They commenced a journey that led to the production of a Contemporary Model of Learning for Catholic Network Australia who provided the school with a Web-based platform for planning, evaluating and reporting.

The Model of Contemporary Learning created by Holy Family has been published on the CNA website and is now available to students and teachers across Australia through Catholic Network, Australia.

Such an ambitious project involved collaboration between teachers, students and families along with: the School Leadership Team; education officers from the Catholic Schools Office; Catholic Network Australia; the Parish priests of Holy Family, Lindfield; and members of the local and wider community.

Underpinning the program was the establishment of Catholic Network Australia (CNA) by the Australian Bishops which provides a range of education services including a portal providing access to Models of Contemporary Learning (MCL) in support of teacher professional learning.
 

Different experts and community members supported learning tasks in this module which included: online surveys; group research tasks; the design and celebration of liturgy; the design of a Wisdom Website; writing contemporary psalms; Fair Trade stalls and a field excursion to North Head with David Ella (CSO Education Officer: Aboriginal Education) to learn how wisdom is preserved and handed on within Aboriginal communities.

Web based collaborative writing provided opportunities to connect with parents. The planning and celebration of liturgy engaged the Parish Priests, parishioners and parents.
 

Teaching and learning was inspired by a module developed by Mary Connor from the CSO Mission Services Team. Technical support was provided by John Hession (CSO Education Officer, ICLT).

Vital to the success of the program was the encouragement and support of the Principal, Kevin Bauer in developing leadership opportunities for staff.
 

The work of the Assistant Principal, Barbara Yee, was critical in supporting staff professional learning in pedagogy, the art of learning and teaching. Significantly, the teachers involved in the project were the Religious Education Co-ordinator (Yulanie Harris) and the ICLT Co-ordinator (Heidi Fallowfield).

Also essential was the commitment to professional learning of teachers working in the Broken Bay Diocese through programs such as Catholic Worldview and Quality Teaching.
 

As this was a project that extended beyond the boundaries of the classroom, the support and engagement of the Parish Priest, Fr Vladimir Echalas, SOLT, and Assistant Priest, Fr. Raul Balute was highly valued.

They each worked with a group of students to plan a Liturgy of the Word. Fr Vlad was also able to share his musical talents as a guitarist.
 

Parents were engaged in the module through “home connector” activities and in the celebration of liturgy. The wider parish community were engaged through fair trade stalls which were held at weekday parish masses.

The learning project at Lindfield was one which provided high quality and engagement for the students. Its success has led to a wonderful resource which has been shared with students of all Catholic schools in Australia.
 

Summary of Learnings

  • The program explored the wisdom of the Old Testament by looking at a number of creative ways to engage with the Psalms
     
  • The program included engagement with students, teachers, parents, parishioners, Parish Priest, Indigenous Liaison Officer

 

  • Some of the activities included – writing contemporary psalms, a fair trade stall, a field trip to explore indigenous spirituality, liturgy, web based activities for families

Catholic Diocese of
Broken Bay

Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Road
Pennant Hills NSW 2120

PO Box 340
Pennant Hills NSW 1715

Phone 02 9847 0000
Fax 02 9847 0001
news@dbb.org.au

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