TAS News

Principal’s Blog

FNQ Interschool Chess Championships Finals 2019

Date:August 26, 2019

The Far North Queensland Interschool Chess Finals were held in the Bishop Centre 22 August. Dedication, preparation and good sportsmanship


2019 Gala Concert | Friday 30 August

Date:August 5, 2019

No entry fee – all welcome.    


Junior School Variety Night 2019

Date:July 25, 2019

ONE NIGHT ONLY! Tickets now available for “Harry Potter & The Wizard of Oz” – 2019 Junior School Variety Night.


FNQ Interschool Chess Championships – Round 2 2019

Date:May 31, 2019

TAS Teams enjoyed excellent success in Round 2 of the FNQ Interschool Championships held on 28 May due to their


FNQ Interschool Chess Championships Report Rd 1 2019

Date:March 12, 2019

It was great to see 294 students competing in Round 1 of the Far North Queensland Interschool Chess Championships last


Remembering Kara

Date:February 25, 2019

Today, we celebrated the life of much-loved teacher Miss Kara Pylypiuk.    The TAS Community is in mourning at the


Principal’s Blog – “Sausage Factory” Schooling Model

Date:September 16, 2019

I recently had a terrific conversation with a university academic about the schooling model in Australia. Her view was very


Principal’s Blog – Quality Educators

Date:August 29, 2019

As educators, we are continually looking at ways of improving the learning outcomes of the students in our schools. At


Learning, Believing, Achieving – The School’s Role in Developing Social and Resilient People

Date:June 24, 2019

I was fortunate enough to listen to a podcast recently of Bernard Salt who presented to the Independent Schools State


Principal’s Message – Trinity Day 2019

Date:June 17, 2019

For those who missed the Trinity Day message from Principal Paul Sjogren about the importance of the three pillars of


Principal’s Blog – Student Gain Analysis | NAPLAN

Date:June 5, 2019

NAPLAN Student Gain Analysis 2016 – 2018 data One way of measuring the quality of teaching and learning at a


TAS – Top 3% of Secondary Schools

Date:March 7, 2019

Dear TAS parent/carer, We were pleased to receive contact recently from the federal government’s Chair of the Standing Committee on


TAS News

Principal’s Blog – “Sausage Factory” Schooling Model

Date: September 16, 2019    Posted by: Sue Wicks

I recently had a terrific conversation with a university academic about the schooling model in Australia. Her view was very much that schools followed the “sausage factory” model, where student differences are overlooked and students are prepared for university (ATAR) or work (VET). The students’ personality, experiences, maturity, preferred modes of learning, etc are not effectively catered for. Even more so, the sheer number of students in most schools mean that the sausage meat being fed into the factory is seen as one amorphous, homogenous blob, rather than the unique, wonderful, individual lives each one represents.

The feedback from teachers on classroom structure, the behavior and engagement of students and resulting teacher efficacy is extensive.  Student connectedness to the school, the teacher and the students around them has a measurable impact on student learning and success, both in the academic sense and also with respect to the ‘soft skills’ such as team work, resilience, well-being and decision making.

Some schools have made the change to open-plan learning spaces and larger groups with multiple teachers. The research on the effectiveness of this approach is varied. However, most agree that for this approach to be successful, the teachers need to be knowledgable, enthusiastic, energetic, able to form strong relationships with many students, undertake extensive training and have a positive mindset. Even then, the restrictions of three teachers in a space with 80-90 students means many of the students will not have direct teacher-to-student interactions and those students motivated to avoid accountability are able to do so with relative ease (those able to slip through the cracks).

A strong educational program provides a variety of pedagogical approaches that both cater for the preferred needs of student learning whilst also teaching them to extract benefit from structures that they are not comfortable with. Direct instruction, feedback, individual investigation, experiential learning and small group work are all valuable elements and all require the guidance from a competent and well-trained teacher in order to be successful.

When the focus is on one mode only, then some students thrive and others don’t. If the teaching space is a large open-plan area, the ability to succeed with direct instruction is marginalized. If students are always learning in teams on student-centered, project-based learning, then what of developing their ability to learn in different structured environments? A large campus with extensive spaces allow students to move out of their classrooms and experiential learning to flourish, particularly with respect to our environment, in addition to visits off-campus to different environments and, of course, outstanding outdoor education opportunities that grow character.

It is important to find the right balance between pedagogies so that students experience a number of different modes of learning and become effective learners in each.

Back to Top
Translate »