The Principal’s Blog

Allan Shaw

The following article is an interview between Allan Shaw and Melissa Heagney of The Weekly Review published on March 14.The education landscape in Australia is changing like never before. In fact, the way that teachers such as those at The Knox School are approaching how and what they are teaching is changing. It’s transforming from a type of “mass education” (teaching students the same thing at the same time in a classroom) into something that is personalised to the individual student. For The Knox School principal Allan Shaw, this new approach is empowering students of all year levels to take more ... Read More
March 15, 2018barrye
The Federal Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham is recently reported as suggesting that hard working teachers and principals should be supported by the banning of smartphones in class. Senator Birmingham said that smartphones in class are a distraction and a platform for bullying. The Senator was supported by Susan McLean, former member of the police force, who now advises parents and schools on cyber safety and the federal government as a member of its Cyber Safety Working Group. Child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg, who also sits on the federal government’s Cyber Safety Working Group said smartphones should be banned ... Read More
February 26, 2018barrye
The following article written by the Executive Directors of the Independent Schools Council of Australia (ISCA) is a wonderfully simple and clear piece of writing that explains some of the reality around independent schools In Australia.Written by Colette Colman How do we most often see “private schools” described by commentators? “Elite”? “Privileged”? Perhaps even, “ivory towers”? Is a 100 per cent Indigenous, outback school run by its local community “elite”? Is a special needs school caring for children with autism “privileged”? Is a special assistance school catering for at-risk and highly disadvantaged youth who have been excluded from mainstream schooling an “ivory tower”? Hardly. Yet ... Read More
February 14, 2018barrye

The start of a new year

The following comments are a written version of my comments to the Middle School and Senior School students at the opening assembly for the school year. Welcome back to the school – you are the school! A very special welcome to those of you for whom this is a start at a new school. This is a very friendly place and the students here look after each other well. To all the ‘old hands’, please look after our new people brilliantly. Last November on Remembrance Day, November 11 2017, we stood in the Courtyard Amphitheatre with 15 flags flying. Three are ... Read More
January 30, 2018barrye
Dr Michael Carr-Gregg comments that one out of every seven students might suffer from anxiety in some form or to some extent. While our data suggests that students at The Knox School are less likely to have issues with anxiety and a majority of communication on social media is positive, students can both create and suffer from a sense of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) through social media. Young people can create FOMO as they pose for Snapchat or Instagram because it seems they are having the time of their lives, when in reality, the final, posted image may be ... Read More
November 15, 2017barrye
It is not unusual for grandparents to visit young children at school and talk about their experiences. It is also not unusual for Prep children to have buddies amongst older students in a Junior School. So why write about such experiences and events? It is important to understand why the Prep teachers have planned these activities and experiences. Connecting and engaging with children in their learning is important. As part of their investigations into ‘Toys’ this term, the Prep children have been considering and researching how toys have changed (or remained similar) over time. Recently, they collaborated with their Year 4 ... Read More
November 8, 2017barrye

Three Journeys

I regularly speak with prospective parents at the commencement of School Tours and as this school year draws to a close it is worth relaying some of these messages. Many of you were at the Robert Blackwood Hall for Presentation Night, listening to my comments as I untangled myself from a radio microphone that had decided to go to sleep a bit early in the evening. The following words have similar themes. Ultimately, student achievement, especially that in the senior years of school life and most pointed at Year 12 level is a reflection of how hard a young adult ... Read More
October 25, 2017barrye
The Board of Directors of The Knox School (TKS) at its last meeting in late August formally endorsed the model of Personalised Learning as the School’s long term strategy. This Strategy defines the focus and key priorities for the School over the coming years. Implementation shall be carefully researched, communicated and phased, building progressively towards the achievement of our core purpose. Grow and promote the learning and wellbeing of each student so they thrive and contribute in a complex and changing world: they become the ‘architects and advocates’ of and for their future. Students at The Knox School ACT out their ... Read More
September 13, 2017barrye
Creativity, design thinking, cross-age tutoring and a real life solution to be developed in designing the furniture for the new Junior School STEAM room (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths)A classroom abuzz with excitement and action! I have three Year 6 students advising me of their designs for custom made furniture for their STEAM room (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths). Their design includes the capacity for power outlets and storage, adjustable height for each workstation all set in a round design that allows conversations across the table as well as for those next to others. Other students are working with ... Read More
September 5, 2017barrye
There is no doubt we live in rapidly changing times. The smartphone was released just 9 years ago (July 2008) in Australia. It has had a huge impact on us all. We often think of smartphone use as something young people struggle to manage, but perhaps that is not a complete picture. Of all Australians over 18, 84% of us own or have ready access to a smartphone. This figure is likely to rise as the 2G network is turned off soon and all those with older phones have to upgrade or not use a mobile phone. 84% is one of ... Read More
August 23, 2017barrye