Strategic Design

2012 – 2015 Strategic Design

The Brisbane Girls Grammar School Strategic Design 2012-2015 articulates the guiding principles that inform the School’s educational thinking, leadership, and practice. With our statements of Aspiration and Intent at its core, the Strategic Design is a living document that commands our ongoing commitment and attention. It provides the robust architecture within which the School can confidently set objectives and design strategies to achieve a stimulating learning environment for our young women both now and in the future.

Aspiration:

To be a leader in exceptional scholarship

The term ‘exceptional’ implies uniqueness beyond the norm and embraces individuality in ideas and people, inspiring interesting ways of seeing and being. We look for the exceptional in who we are and what we do and make the most of our talents, interests and assets.

At times, ‘scholarship’ has been considered an old fashioned, almost elitist, term conjuring images of wise old men surrounded by ancient tomes and artefacts symbolic of learning. Our notion of scholarship extends beyond teaching and learning in the context of our aspiration. Exceptional scholarship requires the personal systematic curiosity towards research and learning to be activated. This applies equally whether a student aspires to academic goals, achievement in co-curricular pursuits, or in personal development and growth.

Our Intent

Proud of our Grammar tradition, we are a secondary School that establishes the educational foundation for young women to contribute confidently to their world with wisdom, imagination and integrity.

The future we aspire to is intrinsically linked to the strength of our traditions and heritage, as described in the Grammar Intent. Balancing our aspirations with our intent is an essential part of the Strategic Design, our success and our culture.

Adapted from ‘Scholarship: An old fashioned concept in a new fashioned world,’ by Dr Amanda Bell, 2011, Grammar Gazette Spring 2011.

Organising Principles

The following principles are integral to the School’s Strategic Design:

Systematic Curiosity in Research and Learning

Systematic curiosity in research and learning is the cornerstone of the School’s aspiration to be a leader in exceptional scholarship. To thrive tomorrow, the students of today must be able to acquire new skills, knowledge, and expertise and apply it in contexts not yet imagined.

A school that aspires to scholarship must provide personalised and authentic systems and structures that foster opportunities for students to explore and develop their curiosity. Building systematic curiosity must start with motivating students to learn, and successful motivation stems from students believing that they are able to learn, and to make meaningful academic progress through persistent effort.

Academic rigour and the excitement of learning are not about the powers of recall, nor the reproduction of the exemplary. Scholarship, therefore, is not about knowing what is, but rather demands we aspire to a higher standard of understanding; it demands that we encourage ourselves and our students to ask what could be. Scholarship nurtures curiosity and is the mechanism through which students, and indeed teachers, connect with the world and continue to learn.

Adapted from ‘Systematic Curiosity in Research and Learning,’ by Mr Trent Driver and Ms Samantha Bolton, 2011, Grammar Gazette Spring 2011.

Judicious and ethical engagement with the world

To engage judiciously and ethically with the world, students need to develop a complex and balanced set of skills that combine knowledge, well-developed thought processes, research ability, leadership, empathy, eloquence, confidence and enough life experience to assess the worth and risks of any given encounter.

Brisbane Girls Grammar School employs a number of strategies to cultivate and develop this complex balance. Students collaborate closely with teachers and are encouraged to challenge, research, present well-constructed cases with confidence, and carefully and respectfully assess the cases put by others. Through a strong and well-developed House system and a broad co-curriculum, students understand the needs and perspectives of others, and use leadership skills and qualities as part of their everyday life at the school. Staff also exemplify this spirit, through their professional growth and contribution beyond the School, while the involvement of the parent body is valued and visible in all dimensions of School life.

It is this holistic perspective that underpins the School’s Strategic Design and that will see our students prepared to engage judiciously and ethically with the world.

Adapted from ‘Judicious and ethical engagement with the world,’ by Alan Dale, 2011, Grammar Gazette Spring 2011.

Contemporary Learning Places

In a knowledge-intensive era driven by advances in wireless and mobile computing technology, contemporary learning places have become far more than just the clever design and use of buildings. With access to global repositories of information and data at our fingertips that connects us to local and global communities, schools are becoming permeable, innovative and exciting places of learning.

The rich possibilities that constitute contemporary learning places are central to our plans for the future and will ensure our young women are positioned to engage optimally in their learning with each other and the world.

While buildings can enable and enhance the educational experience, we value most, the quality of the human interactions within these walls and spaces.

Adapted from ‘Contemporary Learning Places,’ by Miss Felicity Williams, 2011, Grammar Gazette Spring 2011.

Life-wide learning

Life-wide learning represents a breadth of learning opportunities across a range of environments and contexts, both formal and informal, and not limited by academic curriculum. Brisbane Girls Grammar School offers incredible diversity in learning opportunities and experiences, and we encourage our students to recognise the value in participation.

All areas of the School’s co-curriculum including sport, music, drama, community service initiatives, special interest clubs and study tours, provide opportunities for students to learn beyond the classroom and gain experiences that prepare them for whatever challenges may come their way.

As a school devoted to the education of young women, we are constantly looking for new ways for our students to benefit and achieve a deeper level of personal development through life-wide learning.

Adapted from ‘Life-wide learning,’ by Mrs Judith Tudball, 2011, Grammar Gazette Spring 2011.