Developing innovation is critical for the future of us all...

Critical thinking, creativity and innovation are essential skills that all students need to embrace as part of their broader educational experience. At Barker College, we place an emphasis on encouraging students and teachers to be innovative in the ways that they undertake their work.

This may involve a teacher exploring a new and challenging approach to teaching and learning in the classroom, students designing the fastest F1 cars in Design and Technology, a team of students involved in our successful robotics program, our zero robotics program or creating solutions to issues related to global sustainability. Whatever the task, innovation and innovative practice are strongly encouraged.

At present we are continuing to explore different open classrooms and creative learning environments for staff and students to enjoy. Here, the Barker Institute continually looks to investigate how these changes in the learning environment influence the ways that teachers and students engage in the learning process.

In 2017, staff are engaged in a variety of different projects encompassing WATS (Writing Across The School), emerging approaches to learning via technologies and new pedagogy, combined with the integration of different and more purposeful ways to assess students, through ongoing feedback, tracking, goal-setting and feedback. Whether in our Junior School where our curriculum is based around Inquiry Learning, the staff at Barker College are encouraged to innovate and create experiences that employ diverse strategies and activities. placing the child at the centre of the learning experience. A large part of this involves the development of new approaches to student engagement and continued self-reflection and professional dialogue through the COT (College of Teachers) where over 45 staff work with lead coach Mr Len Nixon to guide growth and improvement. Here, staff are guided and coached in the process of ongoing reflective practice.

Part of the Barker Institute’s approach to encouraging innovation will be housing professional learning within the Barker community, trying to find new and innovative ways to create, disseminate and apply creative solutions. Here, we continually draw on the expertise, skills and extensive knowledge of our staff so that they collaborate and work alongside one another, developing confidence in their capacity to embed new approaches to learning that will transform the engagement of students in their care. 

The Barker Institute aims to embrace new and innovative approaches to learning as they emerge globally, embracing new ideas and sharing these through various forums and professional learning experiences as they arise. Through the year, the Barker Institute provides a range of events for the school and the broader community as we look to share new thinking and research locally, nationally and globally. Where possible, leading thinkers, authors and researchers are invited to share their work within the Barker Community and beyond.

As the Barker Institute develops new and innovative approaches and partnerships, our three pillars of Professional Learning, Research and Innovation continue to be the central focus of our work within the school and beyond, as we encourage everyone to be global citizens.