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INSPIRE ENGAGING THE hearts and minds of students

Meet our teachers

at the forefront of education

Create and cultivate

Unearthing bbc’s vibrant culture and the role it plays in the learning equation

Explore and discover

our programs and innovative practices




WELCOME It’s exciting to be part of an educational institution where everyone is involved in learning and opportunities exist not only for students to continually build on their knowledge, but also for staff. We are thrilled to share with you some insights into our Professional Learning program at BBC, which is enabling staff to actively map their career pathways and to develop their areas of expertise through unique and collaborative professional learning experiences. We take a personal approach to professional learning at BBC to ensure that each individual’s experience is meaningful and relevant. The method we adopt allows every member of staff to play their part in delivering on the College’s Strategic Plan and in continuing to create world-class teaching and learning environments. At BBC we are extremely proud of our teachers. Our staff continue to demonstrate and are driven by a true passion for their profession. A teacher’s passion is the key factor which allows an educator to truly engage and inspire his or her students. Passionate teaching continues to play a crucial role in the learning equation even in the dynamic and fast paced learning environment we are seeing today.

At BBC we are extremely proud of our teachers. Our staff continue to demonstrate and are driven by a true passion for their profession.

All the educational research indicates that the biggest impact on student learning is the influence of teachers and so we are committed to investing in our staff and their learning. Graeme McDonald Headmaster





THOUGHT Leadership


Watch out world

Leading the way at a national and international level

Its place in education and value in the learning equation

ICT in the Junior School and our peer mentoring program brisbane boys’ college


In line with BBC’s Strategic Plan, the College has a dedicated Director of Professional Learning to ensure opportunities exist for learning throughout our entire system. The role is essential to creating a vibrant learning culture in which both staff and students can thrive.


learning culture Meet Sean Riordan, the driving force behind BBC’s program.

What’s the purpose of your role? The most important

How important are teachers in the learning

part of my role is overseeing the College’s Professional

equation and how do they influence student

Learning program – ensuring staff have access to high

outcomes? All of the research, overwhelmingly and

quality learning experiences that enrich their knowledge

undeniably, identifies the teacher to be the most

and ultimately student outcomes.

important influence – more so than any other factor

At BBC we don’t believe in a one size fits all model.

– in the learning equation. The relationship a teacher

In the same way that every student is unique, so too are

has with their students, their classroom environment

our teachers. Each brings their own strengths and gifts

and pedagogical practice directly translates to student

to their professional practice. My role involves designing


a personalised program for members of staff, which

It’s important to ensure teachers set the tone,

is responsive to their individual areas of expertise and

providing an environment which is supportive and safe

career stage and pathway.

for students to question information, make errors and

As educators, we believe in lifelong learning and

continue to progress along the learning continuum –

in developing a collaborative culture that fosters the

this applies to not only the classroom but right through

sharing of information and collective expertise, and this

to the sports field and cultural arenas. This is why our

sits at the core of what I do.

focus lies not only on the state-of-the-art new facilities we are creating but most importantly on our teachers who represent our greatest asset and resource.

4 inspire

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A VIBRANT LEARNING CULTURE CONTINUED... In your eyes, what are the top four attributes of a great teacher?


A teacher who cares – they are passionate about teaching and enjoy working with children.

Subject knowledge – they know their content, what knowledge to impart and how to teach it.



They are able to bring a combination of flexibility, creativity, problem solving and adaptability – or what’s becoming known as 21st Century Fluencies - to the learning experience and their teaching practices.

They are able to create a safe and supportive classroom environment which encourages boys to engage with challenging tasks.




OUR innovative? Staff are actively involved in planning and managing their career paths and are able to create a personalised and relevant professional learning program. This ensures the highest level of engagement and, as a result, improved outcomes for students. The program is designed to utilise data before, during and after the process, with explicit timelines and achievable targets. BBC has partnered with an organisational psychologist who is assisting us with the change management process, protocols and practices. This will ensure our 21st century learning spaces and associated pedagogies are world-class and future focused.

Operating within best practice frameworks At BBC we offer a matrix of professional learning experiences from conferences (national and international) through to small groups, online training, face-to-face and direct instruction. Our program mirrors best practice and industry standards, aligning with the key areas as identified by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL.) WHO ARE AITSL? AITSL provides national leadership for the Federal, State and Territory governments in promoting excellence in the profession of teaching and school leadership.



A powerful



to the student voice A guide to professional learning experiences


Teachers who are able to capture and generate data on their students

Central to each teacher’s professional learning program at BBC is what we call the ‘student voice’, which involves using data to inform choices about professional learning experiences.


Data to identify individual strengths and weaknesses in each class group

The key is for instructional leadership to create a safe and trusting environment where teachers’ accounts of classroom


Professional learning experiences based on these insights

experience and outcomes are used to make sense of patterns of student behaviour and achievements. Teachers need to


Intervention strategies targeted at these needs at an individual level

see learning through the eyes of students looking for errors in their thinking and knowledge. - JOHN HATTIE, Professor of Education and Director of the Melbourne Education


Student outcomes and create an environment where students feel safe and supported in their learning

Research Institute at the University of Melbourne brisbane boys’ college




Thought leadership


in the learning equation

At Brisbane Boys’ College we have a culture and expectation of sharing innovative and unique practice with educators across the educational landscape. In the last four years alone, members from BBC’s TALRAD team (Teaching And Learning, Research And Development) have been called upon to share their expertise presenting keynote presentations and workshops at a number of conferences both nationally and internationally including:

John Hattie is a well-known figure

2013 International Conference on Thinking,

including Visible Learning - the result

Wellington, New Zealand

of 15 years’ research and synthesises

One model does not fit all – differentiating technology. Presented by Tamara Sullivan and Jan Heffernan What boots do you wear? Presented by Matthew Atkinson

in the education sphere, having published extensive resources

over 800 meta-analyses relating to the influences on achievement in school-aged children. Whilst there

2012 Total Assessment Partnership Conference,

are many variables in the learning

University of New South Wales, Melbourne Victoria

equation, research has consistently

From data to direction: a school’s journey through the lens of Dimensions of Learning. Keynote presentation by Matthew O’Brien and Barry Dean Statistics 101 – leveraging data sets in schools.

found teachers to be the most important variance.

Workshop presented by Matthew O’Brien

2011 Educational Assessment for Learning in Science, Hwa Chong Institution, Singapore From data to direction: leveraging school datasets to improve education programs. Keynote presentation by Matthew O’Brien and Barry Dean Using school data to develop students and staff.

“Excellence in teaching is the single most powerful influence on achievement.”

Workshop presented by Matthew O’Brien

2010 Australasian Tablets in Education Conference (ATiEC) Visual devices to enhance teaching and learning in a Tablet PC classroom. Presented by Matthew O’Brien Pen centric assessment methods using a Tablet PC - How assessment can be more informative and more efficient to conduct. Workshop presented by Matthew O’Brien and Barry Dean

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We explore the importance of emotional intelligence in the school environment and the role it plays in enabling educators at Brisbane Boys’ College to develop the student as a whole. Every person on this planet can relate to feeling some form of emotion. Yet the ability to identify, manage and respond to feelings, or what’s known as emotional intelligence, can really set individuals apart - regardless of their IQ. Emotional intelligence or EQ gained incredible traction on a global scale after being popularised by Psychologist Daniel Goleman and scholars Salovey and Mayer. EQ has been linked to success in leadership performance and life in general, redefining the set of skills required to actively participate in a complex society.



Did you know? A prerequisite for learning Whilst initial discussions on Emotional Intelligence (EQ)


EQ accounts for 58% of your daily success.

focused on the workplace, at BBC we believe it plays a critical role in the school environment. Research has shown emotional intelligence to yield benefits for students in not only general wellbeing but in academic performance. With this in mind the philosophies behind EQ are heavily integrated with our curriculum and pastoral care programs right through to the way in which staff interact with students.

Why bother with emotional intelligence? A boy’s social and character development is integral to his future success and happiness. Emotional intelligence will enable boys to foster strong and meaningful relationships throughout life. Life isn’t always easy. By teaching students to become selfaware, we empower them to ‘choose’ how they respond to their emotions. It’s not just about imparting knowledge, we want boys to walk through the College gates confident in their ability to participate and to continue to adapt in a complex world.

The nuts and bolts of EQ Emotional intelligence includes: Self-awareness, self-regulation, social skill, empathy and motivation.

Identifying emotional intelligence at home My son: Discusses his day (successes, friends, issues or concerns) Listens and respects others Is happy to help out Can actively resolve conflicts

Emotions can be learned Crucial emotional competencies can indeed be learned and improved upon by children if we bother to teach them.

At best IQ contributes about 20% to the factors that determine life success, which leaves about 80% to other forces.


A ground-breaking idea

The Harvard Business Review hailed emotional intelligence as “a ground-breaking, paradigm-shattering idea,” one of the most influential business ideas of the decade.

According to Daniel Goleman – “Emotional intelligence is crucial for all life success, including for students in the classroom, because of the basic design of the brain. Our emotions evolved as a tool for survival, and today emotions have a privileged position in the brain. When we are upset the emotional centres can hijack the thinking centres, rendering us unable to think clearly or focus on the task at hand.”

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Investing in EQ To further develop our current practices in this international movement, BBC will send teachers Natasha Podoliak and Alethea Beetson to the Greater Good Science Centre’s Summer Institute for Educators, an initiative of the University of California, Berkeley. The pair will partake in an intensive week long program, led by world renowned theorists and researchers in the field of EQ in order to:

Explore the latest scientific research on the benefits of cultivating social and emotional skills. Learn research-based practices for fostering socialemotional wellbeing in themselves and students. Engage with thought leaders on how to make the case for the importance of social-emotional learning in their schools and communities.

NATASHA PODOLIAK is currently acting in the role of Dean of Studies and has worked in a range of positions of responsibility whilst at BBC.

The program exemplifies the goals and objectives outlined in the College’s Strategic Plan, particularly in relation to pastoral excellence and in ensuring students graduate as socially connected young men with strong academic and emotional intelligence.

The Greater Good Science Centre The science of a meaningful life Based at the University of California, Berkeley, the Greater Good Science Centre has become world renowned for the study of psychology, sociology and neuroscience of wellbeing. Their approach is two fold: to sponsor groundbreaking scientific research and to empower

ALETHEA BEETSON is BBC’s Acting Indigenous Program Coordinator.

people to apply these findings in their personal and professional lives.

Happy The Greater Good Science Centre identifies the following habits as the six habits of happiness worth cultivating:


Pay attention

Keep friends close

Give thanks

Get moving

Drop grudges

Practice kindness

Studies show that mindful people have stronger immune systems and are less likely to be anxious.

Social connections are key to happiness. Research indicates it’s quality more than quantity.

Research reveals the enormous power of simply counting our blessings.

Regular exercise increases selfesteem and may well be the most effective instant happiness booster.

When we forgive those who have wronged us, we feel better about ourselves and experience more positive emotions.

Being kind to others makes us feel good. Altruistic acts light up the same pleasure centres in the brain as food.


In recognition of innovation and exciting opportunities for collegial collaboration, BBC has been awarded a number of grants for 2013-14. These grants will enable the College to further strengthen its professional learning practices across a range of disciplines and serves as an affirmation of BBC’s leadership in the field of education.

Go, go grants 21st Century Learning Initiatives This grant will be used to fund the development of

ICT and Pedagogy One staff member from each year level

professional learning teams to increase the emphasis

will be selected to lead a team who will

on science in the Junior School. BBC staff members

explore how effective ICT pedagogies can

Tamara Sullivan (Coordinator of Digital Pedagogy - Junior

be integrated into a unit of work. Participants

School), Jan Heffernan (Deputy Head of Junior School

will be invited to contribute to the new BBC

Teaching and Learning), David Fisher (Head of Science)

Professional Learning Magazine, which will

and Lucas Brown (Middle School Science Coordinator)

provide a platform for staff to exchange

will develop these teams, which will involve pairing a

knowledge, resources and ideas using

Middle or Senior School staff member with a Junior

augmented reality technologies.

School teacher. The pairs will work collaboratively to plan, implement and review specific science units. It is anticipated that the teams will model the kinds of

Action Plan for Gifted Designed to assist schools in serving

classroom learning that best promotes 21st century skills

the needs of gifted students, the Action

for students, promoting problem solving, creativity and

Plan for Gifted at BBC will include a series

critical thinking.

of professional development activities for teachers, parents and students, as well as drawing on staff expertise to ensure greater awareness around teaching gifted and talented boys.

Building Assessment Communities Selected teachers will attend ‘Hub Days’ in order to build assessment expertise. The concept is designed to facilitate a conversation about student work in relation to the Australian Curriculum Achievement Standards.

brisbane boys’ college


Watch out world Developing tech-savvy, switched on boys As a scene from Iron Man starts to seem within reach (thanks to eye tracking and gesture-control technologies gaining traction), it goes without saying that students must stay abreast of technology.

Developing strong Information Communication

essential that students develop and apply ICT

value add, our world demands it and there are no

knowledge, skills and positive dispositions from

signs of things slowing down. So how do we prepare

an early age. In conjunction with our 1-to-1

our students for an environment that will invariably

Tablet PC program (Years 7 to 12), BBC’s Junior

look different to the one they’re learning in today?

School has invested in a class set of iPads as

Essentially there are three main factors that come

well as interactive whiteboards and tablet, laptop

into play in this learning equation:

and desktop computers. To ensure the effective

Ensuring our staff remain at the forefront of technology and teaching and learning in the 21st century.

The creation of classroom environments which focus on individual student needs and prepare boys to effectively use digital technologies as opposed to purely teaching software applications.

Instilling ICT skills in students from the very beginning.


The latter is particularly important and it’s

Technology (ICT) skills in students is no longer a


implementation of these technologies, BBC has a dedicated Coordinator of Digital Pedagogy (Junior School) who not only works with boys from Prep to Year 6 but also runs a peer mentoring program. Designed to assist teachers in identifying ways to strengthen classroom curriculum, the program works to enhance students’ academic achievements and ensures the College is collectively reflecting, refining and responding to the changing educational contexts in which students learn.

Meet our

Coordinator of Digital Pedagogy - Junior School Tamara Sullivan is an advisory group member for the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority, working with the Curriculum Managers on the general capabilities, particularly in the area of ICT. Drawing on this expertise, she runs regular ICT Professional Development workshops for teaching staff. In addition to developing teachers’ broad base of digital pedagogy skills, these workshops are specifically targeted at enabling staff to plan, prepare and deliver the Australian Curriculum through online collaboration.

What the boys are working on now... Boys undertake a range of tasks that combine digital technologies with ‘concrete’ learnings. Some of their current projects include: Creating an online science journal using Book Creator - an intuitive app which allows students to create their own books by taking photographs, adding text and video. It’s a great tool that enables younger students in particular, who are still learning how to spell, to develop their narration skills using voice-recognition technology. Developing a David Attenborough style documentary to develop research and multimedia skills. Creating a website on Sea Explorer annotating a mathematical concept using physical objects.

brisbane boys’ college


Did you know... uencies st Century Fl 21 sential es The ware, they are d r ha t u o ab t o are n , e! Critical thinking about headwar vity, innovation, eati r c , ing lv o problem-s ury re. – The 21st Cent o m ch u m so d an Fluency project

Meet technology the persoN Experts predict the next big thing will be ‘humanising technology’. This can be evidenced by Google who have set their sights on creating a ‘socially intelligent’ search engine.

shift happens... A conversation based on the widespread changes we’re seeing in the world day. The below are particularly important in the education sphere:

What do 21st century skills look like? Making learning relevant to life in the digital age

The top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010, did not exist in 2004. We are currently preparing students

According to the 21st Century Fluency Project – an innovative

for jobs which don’t yet exist, using

resource designed to culture new skills and foster engagement in

technologies that haven’t been

the learning experience – the new Fluencies include:

Global Digital Citizen

invented, in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.

DIGital natives The first generation of ‘Digital Natives’ – children who were born into and raised in the digital world – are coming of age, and soon our world will be reshaped in their image. Our economy, our politics, our culture and even the shape of our family life will be forever transformed. Professor John Palfrey and Associate Professor Urs Gassar



brisbane boys’ college


At the core of our curriculum and professional learning program is BBC’s learning framework – Dimensions of Learning (DOL). The framework is based on what researchers know about how students learn and combines teacher-directed and student-directed learning. Developed by Dr Robert Marzano, it’s widely used in schools across Australia and internationally and is based on teaching students how to think, not what to think.


Why use Dimensions of Learning? It provides a resource for pedagogy and teaching strategies. Sets a framework for planning professional development. Creates cohesion of learning in a large school, making connections for students across subject disciplines. Gives students and teachers a common language for talking about learning and teaching. Teaches students thinking skills they can apply themselves (developing independence).



The Five Dimensions The DOL framework comprises of five dimensions: 1.

Attitudes and Perceptions


Acquire and Integrate Knowledge


Extend and Refine Knowledge


Use Knowledge Meaningfully


Habits of Mind

Dimensions one and five in particular form the foundation for effective learning. Attitudes and perceptions greatly influence learning Teachers can foster positive attitudes and perceptions through their own everyday behaviour and through specific activities. Students can learn how to take responsibility for establishing and maintaining positive attitudes and

How’s your thinking?

Q1. If the day before the day before yesterday was Tuesday, what is the day after the day after tomorrow?

perceptions. These factors translate to a classroom climate where students feel accepted by their teachers and peers and one where they perceive tasks as valuable and interesting.

Habits of Mind help teachers to develop a student’s critical, creative and self-regulated thinking skills Critical thinking: students seek accuracy, are clear and maintain an open mind and are able to restrain impulsivity. Creative thinking: looks at a student’s perseverance, ability to push the limits of his knowledge and generate new ways of viewing situations that are outside the boundaries of standard conversations.

How can you add eight 8’s to get the number 1,000 using only addition?


Q3. Before Mount Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?

Self-regulated thinking: the ability to monitor your own thinking, plan appropriately, identify and use necessary resources and evaluate the effectiveness of your actions.

Answers: Q1 Monday; Q2 The key to this math riddle is realising that the one place must be zero - 888 + 88 + 8 + 8 + 8 =1,000; Q3 Mount Everest has always been the highest mountain, it just wasn’t discovered yet

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Education and experience As a teacher, lifelong learning seems to come naturally. At BBC our teachers’ skills and expertise expands well beyond the bachelor DEGREE with many staff undertaking masters studies and actively practising within their respective fields. Their experience brings an added dimension to the classroom learning experience with students able to draw upon their industry insights. Brett Holland - Director of Choral Studies By day, Brett teaches choral lessons as part of the Junior School Academic Music program, as well as conducting the College’s choir and individual vocal lessons. However, in his spare time you’ll find Brett on stage performing to the masses. A well-known bass in Queensland, Brett performs as a regular soloist with many choirs, orchestras and associations. As a member of Opera Queensland, he has also performed in many operas and recently sung in the Chorus and the Principal role of Caiaphas in Opera Queensland’s St Matthew Passion. His enthusiasm and passion is well respected with many industry associations drawing on his expertise and skill. Brett has also been selected as a mentor for young professional singers nationally and internationally – a number of whom are BBC Old Collegians.

Steve Phillpotts - Director of Rugby There’s certainly no shortage of memorable moments in Steve Phillpott’s career with his wealth of coaching and sporting experience proving invaluable in his current role as BBC’s Director of Rugby. Last year Steve led the Australian Schoolboys Rugby team to victory over New Zealand. It was history in the making with the team the first to defeat Fiji, New Zealand, Tonga and Samoa in the same year. Steve and Assistant Coach, Tim Rapp, were the first coaches to beat New Zealand in consecutive years. Steve has also worked as a specialist coach for Brisbane club premier grade rugby sides, the Queensland Schoolboys rugby team and is a member of the Queensland Schools Rugby Union Executive. He has also held numerous roles at BBC including the Head of Health and Physical Education, Deputy Director of Boarding and Director of Sports and Activities.



All my roles have worked symbiotically to enrich my teaching experience, and conversely my teaching experience at BBC has enriched my external involvement.

TOP3 get asked? questions teachers


How do I help my son manage his study commitments and balance these with his co-curricular activites?

Keeping a detailed schedule that records the planned study times for each subject area, as well as all co-curricular commitment times, will at a glance give both you and your son a sense of the balance relating to these activities. In addition, recording the completion of tasks will assist in the actualisation of the plan.

What is the number one area my son should focus on if he wishes to improve his academic results?


The school report contains important information on every subject your son studies and provides an insight into his strengths and weaknesses. Discussing this with your son is imperative. It will enable him to assess, re-evaluate and make new SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely; see http:// ). A goal for each subject should be written up somewhere publicly in the home, where you are all reminded about them regularly.


Teacher features

We ask two of our staff members to provide an insight into what gets them out of bed in the morning and into the classroom? Laurence Coleman - Year 10 Commerce Coordinator and Middle School Housemaster What’s the driving force behind your profession? The main driving force behind my profession is the ability to enable change in a student on a number of levels. Primarily there is the opportunity to facilitate their learning in relation to the content of a subject. Although what I find just as motivating is the pastoral element. Other opportunities such as improving organisation, developing interpersonal skills and building confidence are just as important. What’s been one of your most rewarding experiences as a teacher? One of my most rewarding experiences as a teacher was having a departing Year 12 student tell me that English was his worst subject but by the end of school it was his best. He used to feel that he didn’t understand English and now he sees the relevance of being able to express himself accurately. He also told me that he now embraces and enjoys public speaking which is great because apparently people fear public speaking more than death. Michelle Carey - Drama Teacher What’s the driving force behind your profession? The force that drives me to teach Drama is my belief in its transformative power. For young people it provides a forum for testing out ideas, practising creativity, negotiating relationships and learning how different individuals problem-solve. Drama encourages us to explore the things

How do I help my son choose the right subjects to get the best result?

Subject selection can be confusing, but the principles are reasonably simple. First ensure that your son selects any required or prerequisite subjects needed for further study or his career aspirations, then choose the subjects that he likes and enjoys. If your son likes and enjoys his subjects, he will be more engaged, happier and as a consequence perform well. Chances are that the subject he likes and enjoys will also be in the area best suited to him career wise, so it is win, win!

that make us human and then show this to the world, encouraging honesty, and pushing us out of our comfort zones to be the best people we can be. What’s been one of your most rewarding experiences as a teacher? One of my most rewarding experiences as a teacher has always been and continues to be, putting on full scale productions with senior students. The process of rehearsal is so gruelling but being a part of the exploration and development of creative work is completely addictive! It is a buzz to see the change that comes over some students not just through performance, but much more through the process. Everyone learns something – even after nearly 30 years of doing this, if I didn’t continue to learn something about it, I wouldn’t want to do it anymore!

Beyond the classroom

FIVE things

parents can do to facilitate learning at home


Help your son set up an appropriate study space in an open area at home which is comfortable, relaxed and organised.

Assist him in developing a routine that is realistic and fits in with his various commitments.


Be open and honest. Talk to your son about his learning and show interest in his hopes and dreams.

Be prepared to act as a sounding board and safety net. Remain positive and open to his various pursuits, taking on the role of mentor and guide.

5. 22


2. 4.

Set well defined boundaries for your son appropriate to his age and maturity. This will support and also assist him in becoming more independent.

brisbane boys’ college





Engaging the hearts and minds of students - Professional Learning at Brisbane Boys' College


Engaging the hearts and minds of students - Professional Learning at Brisbane Boys' College