Bethania Lutheran School proudly sits on the cutting edge of education, winning the ‘Innovative Schools’ award for 2016, by The Educator Magazine. It’s an incredible honour to have been chosen as one of 40 Australian Schools leading the way in innovative learning and teaching.
Innovation can be defined simply as a ‘new idea, device or method. However, innovation is often also viewed as the application of better solution that meet new requirements and needs’.
At Bethania Lutheran School, we believe that the notion of children being required to sit still at a static desk in order to focus and be successful learners is an out dated one. Originating from a time where knowledge was pumped into students by a teacher at the front of the room, the seating of students was more about the teacher’s control of how, when and what was learnt than guiding students through the learning process. Current information was not easily accessed and students relied on their teacher, non-fiction books or encyclopaedias to give them what was necessary to do the task at hand.
The education of children today is a very different picture. Students are surrounded by information, where at the click of a button they can find hundreds of answers to questions they may have or many versions of facts they are seeking. This, however does not make them successful learners. The teacher’s role today is to work alongside students, to guide, engage and empower them in the learning process in order to help them become lifelong learners. Students are very much at the centre of this process at Bethania Lutheran School and we acknowledge that all students have different needs and strengths. Changing the space in which students learn from a traditional, 100 year old model to a modern space which supports the learning needs of all our students has been a priority for our school.
At Bethania Lutheran School, we celebrate different learning styles and encourage and support our students to make decisions about how, why and where they learn best. Our classrooms have been redesigned as agile learning spaces, allowing students to make use of a range of equipment to ensure that they are learning in a comfortable and relevant way. Facilitating the movement of oxygen-rich blood to the brain has also been a guiding factor in how each classroom is now used.
By using standing desks, movable soft furnishings, adjustable tables, fit balls and stools, as well as a range of writeable surfaces, we have developed learning spaces that are flexible and engaging. All spaces are owned by the whole class, allowing for movement around the room, promoting the concept of collaborative learning. Our learning spaces include a place for “campfires”, “caves” and “watering holes”, enabling students to participate in whole and small group discussions, as well as providing the opportunity to retreat for independent learning.
Classrooms at Bethania Lutheran School are not just rooms where learning takes place; they are spaces where students and teacher join together as a community of learners in a supportive and nurturing environment.
Outside Learning Spaces
Bethania Lutheran School promotes learning anywhere anytime encouraging the use of outside spaces where appropriate. We have a selection of purpose built areas that allow teachers and students to take their learning outside to enjoy fresh air and natural light. These areas include a beautiful sandstone amphitheater, a screened ‘tree’ verandah off the library, a large creative arts zone, an undercover ‘meadow’ and a huge multipurpose courts and gym complex. All learning spaces are connected to wi-fi to allow seamless learning between inside and outside spaces.
Bethania Lutheran School embraces the needs of contemporary learners by developing a strong connection with virtual environments. Our take home iPad program delivers 1:1 iPads to all students from Years 3 to 6, and classroom sets of iPads enable students to share one device between two students in classes from Prep to Year 2. This program allows for the delivery of digital content, both in the classroom and at home.
Apple TVs are available in every learning space, to facilitate collaboration with devices.
Laptops are utilised across the school, extending students’ skills beyond a tablet level.