The first version of The Knox School’s strategy of a Personalised Learning focus was published to parents and staff for consultation in 2016 and formally endorsed by the School Board in 2017 after a lengthy and fruitful consultation with some valuable amendments made in the light of feedback.

In 2020, via a series of Zoom meetings during the second lockdown, the School’s senior staff and Board members reviewed the strategy of a growing focus on Personalised Learning. After a thorough review and some minor amendments, it was decided this strategy was appropriate for TKS, acknowledging that we have had significant initial success, and a fully developed and uniformly successful implementation of Personalised Learning was a long-term strategy. The Board then charged me to develop implementation plans for 2021-2023 inclusive and bring them back to the Board for consideration.

From September through November 2020, these plans were developed, and a set of draft plans was tabled at the Board meeting in December 2020. The comprehensive document and implementation plans endorsed in February 2021.

The re-endorsed strategic plan includes the learnings we made during 2020 during our Home Campus periods, which amounted to some 15 weeks in total. The feedback we received from parents and students during that time has proved invaluable in framing this amended strategy. As educators, we are very grateful for your feedback and the support you provided us in our focus on continuing your childrens learning under challenging circumstances.

Early in the new strategy, you will note points related to what the lockdowns reinforced and exposed. For example, the lockdowns revealed the capacity of young people was underutilised in the pre-COVID world, and when difficult circumstances demanded high expectations of them, they rose to the occasion. We also learned the critical role the physical experience of School provides in the socialisation of young people and the relational connection they have with others.

The Education Framework outlined in the strategy is more sophisticated than that published in 2016. We have learned much in the journey over recent years and The Education Framework now clearly outlines the following:

There are three journeys through School:

  • Development of Character and Contribution
    • Personality, values and ethical framework used for engaging with the world.
  • Developing and practising the skills needed to apply knowledge
    • The 4Cs of Creativity, Critical thinking, Collaboration and Communication (especially oral communication).
  • Development of the Intellectual Mind
    • Academic skills, knowledge and understanding.

These are framed through the four Strategic Pillars, which is central to the strategy. These are:

  • Connect. Real learning is relational. It is about:
    • Trust, learner consent, knowing the whole person.
    • Care for the individual.
    • Understanding of one’s self, others and the wider world.
  •  Shape. Real learning requires explicit teaching and modelling. It is about:
    • Imparting knowledge and attitudes.
    • Building student understanding and competence.
    • Students growing to become the architect of their identity, beliefs, and learning.
  •  Provoke. Real learning is challenging and uncomfortable. It is about:
    • Stretch, exploration, questioning, openness, and boldness.
    • A growth mindset – calibrating failure, fostering resilience.
  • Position. Real learning must be purposeful. It is about:
    • Building capacity in every member of our community as a platform for their next steps.
    • Linking learning and contribution.
    • Progress and measurable achievement in multiple domains.

This leads to a TKS Graduate who is resilient, with an entrepreneurial mindset and has fully developed the key skills and attributes required for adult life. They can ACT out their life: Advocate, Contribute and Thrive.

As we move forward, we will see The Knox School recognised as a centre of excellence in the design and implementation of Personalised Learning.

More importantly, The Knox School will be recognised as a place where children and young people thrive and where the adults support them and model for our young people their own ongoing learning.