Teaching and Learning

Learning at St Columba

Learning: purposeful and significant, a way of being.

Learners: curious, independent, self-directed, work at the edge of their understanding.

Teachers: facilitate meaningful learning experiences aligned with the curriculum.

Support staff: provide the logistical backbone.

Environment: inspiring, collaborative, safe to take risks, mistakes make learning visible, enables belonging.


St Columba is a New Pedagogies for Deep Learning community where we are all learning together. Our students are engaged in learning that is purposeful and significant to them. They are curious students who take time to notice and to wonder and drive their own learning. The teachers facilitate this through the use of real-world examples that provide direction to align learning with the curriculum. The support staff provide the logistical backbone to bring this learning to life, enhancing the teachers’ efforts to create an environment for student learning where we are comfortable taking risks, where we learn from mistakes and where we continuously work at the edge of our understanding. 

The St Columba Learner:

  • is collaborative, showing respect in contributing their own ideas, listening to others, providing feedback and working together to solve problems and create successful group dynamics.
  • is a critical thinker, asking questions, making connections between ideas, building new knowledge, evaluating information and solving authentic problems.
  • demonstrates character, persevering in the face of challenges, showing respect for themselves and others and taking responsibility for their own personal growth and wellbeing.
  • clearly communicates, presenting ideas utilising a variety of strategies as appropriate to the audience, listening and responding appropriately and asking questions and making connections to enhance understanding.
  • is a citizen engaging in real world issues, developing solutions to problems, showing empathy and compassion for others as active members of their community
  • is creative and entrepreneurial, developing innovative ideas and solutions and communicating these through appropriate platforms to authentic audiences and leading people to create deep change.

Learning at St Columba:

  • is authentic, linked to the real world providing purpose and significance for students, which in turn enhances student wellbeing.
  • utilises multiple modes of pedagogy, providing opportunities to create depth through richer units that enhance students’ choice and responsibility and organically develop students’ talents.
  • is student-driven; student curiosity provides stimulus and direction for learning paths, students participate in the construction of what success looks like, and students are adept at assessing their own work and the work of their peers against success criteria, giving, receiving and responding to feedback.
  • is visible, student mistakes are celebrated, and progress in learning is publicly celebrated.

The Learning Environment at St Columba

  • is safe and respectful, students are safe to take risks, and challenges are used to build success.
  • is collaborative, partnerships are formed within and across classes, across grades and with external organisations.
  • leverages digital, enhancing interaction with peers, families, community and global experts. It provides access to real-world problems facilitating collaboration and the production of knowledge to enhance deep learning.
  • has physical spaces that are diverse, with multiple dimensions providing opportunities for small groups to collaborate, for individuals to work independently and for classes to gather and share and celebrate knowledge.