Visiting Northern Beaches Christian School

Died and Gone to Heaven NBCS

Yesterday I finally got around to something I’ve been meaning to do for over a year.  Ages ago, I began hearing through the grapevine of a school in northern Sydney that was really taking on integration of Moodle.  As few schools were getting beyond the install/die-on-the-vine phase, I filed the name Northern Beaches Christian School away as one to look into.  Then last year, many of the participants at the CEFPI conference I keynoted came back from day visits to NBCS raving about what they had seen.

Finally, when the team I’ve been working with at Launceston Church Grammar School came back from touring several Sydney area schools, they said one that really impressed them was Northern Beaches. Because I’m looking forward to an on-going partnership with Launceston Grammar, this prompted me to make the drive up. So I contacted Anne Knock, director of development, and she generously set up a time when we could chat and she could take me around the school. That was yesterday.

I’m guessing that this a the first of what might be several-to-many posts celebrating the great things going on at NBCS. So I’ll be brief and simply bullet out a few of the things that most impressed me.

  • Every student I saw was engaged. Some were working in groups, others in pairs, some alone.
  • If they weren’t in the industry-standard design & tech work space, art studio or a playing field, students were using their BYO device without any dramas.
  • Teachers were relaxed, respectful and focused on individual or small group learning (meaning – supporting differentiated student learning).
  • Students were relaxed, respectful and focused on individual or small group learning (meaning – pursuing personal growth).
  • Of course the architecture, learning spaces and furniture all announce a game-changing from “playing school” to something different.  It’s refreshing to get out of the school boxes.
  • All of this to say what everyone knows when they spend even a short time at a great school – this is the real thing: the joy of learning’s happening here.
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