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Christ Church Pedagogy Case Studies

Motivating boys in the classroom

Motivated to become, free to be It is the quality of teaching, which makes the difference in a child’s outcomes through their school years.

The art of motivating boys In 2009 Christ Church Grammar School created the Centre for Pedagogy as a dedicated commitment to ensuring that the art and science of teaching is placed at the forefront of all that we do. We made this decision because it is well established that it is the quality of teaching, more than anything else, which makes the difference in a child’s outcomes through their school years. In the first three years of establishing this centre, the inaugural director, Mrs Julie Harris, observed more than 300 classes, affirming and coaching our teachers. Her observations confirmed that excellent classroom experiences for boys are as varied as the character of the teachers and the students within. There is no single formula that can guarantee the perfect outcome, however there are patterns of engagement and involvement which can see the best come to the fore more often than not. In 2011 as we entered a new century in the School’s history, we advanced our strategic plans and identified four areas in which we would focus in the near future. The first of these is ‘motivating boys to achieve at their best’. Motivating boys is already one of our core strengths, however we are committed to continual improvement and therefore seek to engage even more boys to do their best.

That same year we undertook comprehensive research into the motivational drivers in education and also what motivates Christ Church boys. Senior leaders of the School, as well as the Centre for Pedagogy team, worked with the Centre for Innovation, Research, Creativity and Leadership in Education Pty Ltd (CIRCLE) and its Managing Director, Dr Phil Cummins, to identify the learning insights and collate elements of our best practice. With this material, following consultation and engagement with our academic staff, a distinctive Christ Church Pedagogy was developed. This includes the ways teachers, parents, students and school leaders can work collaboratively to motivate boys. Over 2012 the Christ Church Pedagogy has been shared with staff, parents and boys. It is a central pillar of the Christ Church experience and is a focused alignment of our actions. Captured in this booklet are some observations of quality pedagogy that are both informative and inspiring. The extensive work of Mrs Harris in initially collecting this material must be acknowledged as well as Ms Sharyn Bana, our second Director of Pedagogy, in picking up the project to publish these case studies. Relevant insights from the work of the International Boys’ Schools Coalition through its ‘action research

projects’ in the past five years have also been referenced. The Centre for Pedagogy continues to be a focal point of teacher development and enhancement within our school. The team has evolved to include a dedicated Assistant in our Preparatory School and an E-Learning Facilitator to work within the centre to create the best Christ Church classroom for a 21st century education.

Garth Wynne Headmaster

Motivating boys in the classroom


Motivating and engaging boys

Motivating and

engaging boys

What inspires you to learn – to grow, change and extend yourself into acquiring new knowledge, abilities and experiences? Some say incentives, goals and interests but when you look a little deeper, our heroes, role models and coaches who see your potential, play an integral role in motivating us to aspire to achieve personal excellence. At Christ Church Grammar School, teachers play this valuable role in boys’ lives – motivating boys to achieve their best – not a simple task and certainly not something that happens without effort. Christ Church has unlocked the insights to what motivates boys to learn and these have formed the pillars of the School’s pedagogical framework: • catering for individual differences; • providing structure and feedback; and • enhancing personal bests.


Motivating boys in the classroom

The Christ Church Pedagogy, a document that describes the art and science of teaching, was developed in 2012 and underpins the learning experience teachers strive to provide for students at the School. The pedagogy is the product of extensive research into the motivation of boys and how boys learn from classrooms across the globe as well as at Christ Church. Common threads were identified as key to motivating boys’ learning.

Teachers play the valuable role of coach, mentor, role model and guide in boys’ lives – motivating boys to achieve their best.

Catering for individual differences Research shows that boys don’t learn unidimensionally. The Christ Church Pedagogy encourages teachers to know their students and help them learn in the best way they can. By providing a range of ways for boys to learn a subject, boys’ individual differences in learning styles can be catered for. For example, through a combination of reading, annotated diagrams, video, research, group work, collaborating, teaching to others and testing, more areas of the brain are engaged which optimises their learning. As Christ Church’s Director of Pedagogy Sharyn Bana says, “through a multi-faceted delivery of the same content, the greater number of elements used, the greater the recall and development of knowledge”. Providing structure and feedback Providing structure and feedback is core to motivating boys in the classroom. Structured lessons with clear objectives, expectations and task stages are a key part of forming a safe learning environment. “Boys need boundaries to thrive,” Ms Bana said. “Boys will push the boundaries and they need to know that they’re fixed. That’s why it’s essential to deliver on the consequences that boys expect from stepping over those boundaries.” Providing feedback is also integral to creating a safe learning environment. Encouraging questioning, asking the right questions, leading students to their own answers and providing affirming and constructive feedback, allows boys to have a sense of security and freedom to be themselves. This structure and feedback, dressed in a good dose of teachers being “fair, firm and funny”, are key to reaching boys.

Enhancing personal bests Flowing on from the role that structure and feedback plays in motivating boys is the need to discover and enhance a boy’s strengths and abilities. Expecting high standards, stretching boys’ abilities, setting goals and coaching boys to persevere, are key to achieving this. As a close score at half-time serves to motivate the losing team to win the game, having an achievable goal that is within reach and setting tasks at the right level is important in engaging boys. If boys are working at a level that is hard for them but that they’re capable of achieving, they will be engaged. If it’s a level too low or too high they will be bored or give up. Encouraging healthy competition between the boys in the classroom is also important in making the personal quest to achieving excellence a fun experience.

How parents can motivate their boys to learn As boys enter their pre-adolescent and teenage years, a parent’s role shifts from nurturing the boy to nurturing the man he will become. Setting boundaries, letting boys experience consequences for their actions and giving them greater responsibility are key to engaging the adult within the boy. It’s about supporting boys to be self-directed and meet their responsibilities. As a parent, being available and present and reminding boys of their future goals to see them through those times when they’re feeling unmotivated, helps boys navigate through the transition to manhood.

Motivating teachers to become life-long learners The School recognises that the pedagogy’s learning architecture is aspirational and works with teachers to set realistic goals and focus areas for development. The School promotes a culture of life-long learning and provides ongoing support for teachers to accommodate professional development and growth in their busy schedules. Teachers are encouraged to challenge themselves as they challenge their students to learn and grow. “The art of teaching shouldn’t plateau,” says Ms Bana. “We have a fantastically skilled set of staff and there are abundant opportunities for professional dialogue, to learn from each other and gain peer support. Everyone has lessons that don’t go as planned and together we can learn from and improve upon these experiences.”

Motivating boys in the classroom


Phases of Learning

Phases of Boys journey through Christ Church’s Phases of Learning, which are the core framework of each age and stage, and the educational approach that develops from childhood through to graduation.


Our mission

Our values

'Boys educated to know, to do, to live with others and to be' (UNESCO, 1996)

Our values give meaning and purpose to our lives. They guide us as we strive to achieve our Mission.

Our motto Deus Dux Doctrina Lux God is our leader, Learning is our light

Care and Compassion: Care for self and others. Environmental Responsibility: Respect and concern for the natural and cultural environment.

Freedom: Enjoy all the rights and privileges of citizenship free from unnecessary interference or control, and stand up for the rights of others. Honesty and Trustworthiness: Be honest, sincere and seek the truth. Integrity: Act in accordance with principles of moral and ethical conduct, and ensure consistency between words and deeds.

Excellence: Seek to accomplish something noteworthy and admirable individually and collectively, and perform at one’s best.

Respect: Treat others with consideration and regard.

Play with Purpose – PP to Year 2 His wonder of the world

Fun with Fundamentals – Years 3 and 4 Building his love of learning

Enquiry with Initiative – Years 5 and 6 Knowing himself

Breadth and Depth – Years 7 and 8 Exploring his abilities

Choice and Challenge – Years 9 and 10 Choosing his path in life

Engaging boys’ innate curiosity and imaginative nature making learning exciting and fun.

Creating the foundation that is core to future success and a life-long love of learning.

Enabling the unique character of the child to become more clearly understood by the boy and those who teach him, to become excited by all things and to come to know himself as he explores the world.

Boys are challenged to extend themselves in the transition to Senior School both in and out of the classroom, expanding their view of subject disciplines, themselves and the world.

Greater choice for boys over a range of academic and co-curricular subjects to explore their individual skills and talents, the first step in discovering the men they will become and shaping their future dreams.


Motivating boys in the classroom

Responsibility: Be accountable for and in charge of one’s own actions – personal, social and civic. Social Justice: Be committed to the pursuit and protection of the common good where all persons are entitled to legal, social and economic fair treatment. Understanding and Inclusion: Be aware of others and their cultures, accept diversity and include others.

Excellence and Expertise – Years 11 and 12 Mastering skills for his future As young men, students take full responsibility for their learning with a focus on six subject areas in which to develop excellence and expertise. They embark on the challenge of mastering their chosen pursuits.

Motivating boys in the classroom


Play with Purpose | PP to Year 2

Fairy garden secrets to

learning Holly Miller, Pre-Primary Teacher Co-ordinator of PP to Year 2

Joy and wonder are at the heart of all learning and this lesson illustrates the power of harnessing that to engage boys in their formative years. One rainy day the boys were making card houses and it was suggested that they looked like houses for fairies. The boys became very excited about the idea that fairies might live there and visit the classroom. When the boys arrived at school the next morning they were thrilled to see that the fairies had indeed been there overnight to play and dance in their fairy houses, leaving behind trails of fairy dust and a letter! After following the trail of fairy dust, which led to the garden outside, the boys decided to make their own fairy garden. They worked collaboratively to design and create their own fairy garden inside the classroom, hoping that the fairies would come again. Once created they then

enjoyed lots of socio-dramatic play in the fairy learning centre, where the intentional placement of paper and pencils encouraged the boys to write. Some also decided to make a playground for the fairies. With teacher encouragement they labelled the different parts. When asked how the fairies would know how to play each game they had named, the boys proceeded to compile written instructions for each of the different games. Another group of boys wanted to make a fairy post box so they could send the fairies letters. When asked how everyone would know what this special box was for, they labelled it. The whole class then wrote and posted their letters to the fairies using their special fairy post box. They were then

delighted to receive miniscule letters back from the fairies, who thanked them for their wonderful playgrounds and gardens that the boys had constructed. Reflection – why it works This project was both child initiated and teacher guided. The boys’ excitement and enthusiasm to write letters to the fairies came from the provocation of the fairies (teachers) writing to them. However, it was their imagination and creativity that kept the project alive for over a month in the classroom. As the boys played and engaged with the fairy learning centre, Mrs Miller worked alongside them, prompting them to use their developing writing skills by writing labels, letters, signs

and playground instructions. During this time the writing focus during whole group and small group sessions was moving from writing words to writing a simple sentence, so during the boys’ play she encouraged them to think about this when they were writing. The boys were enthusiastic to write as their writing had a clear purpose and was embedded in a meaningful and purposeful context. This often resulted in them asking Mrs Miller to come and help them create written pieces related to their play, rather than having to tell them when it was time to write. Mrs Miller also encouraged the use of full sentences such as ‘Fairies please play on the monkey bars,’ rather than simply using a ‘monkey bars’ label, in order to reinforce sentence structure.

Mrs Miller believes that learning should be exciting and fun but most importantly ignite the curiosity of the children, as well as their imagination and love of learning. It is in these exciting moments that the children are the most motivated and truly engaged. The boys have ownership of the direction they wished to take the play and at the same time their learning was deepened as they were challenged to work collaboratively and think creatively to make their ideas come to life. Through teacher scaffolding, thought provoking questioning, encouragement and guidance the learning outcomes are truly met through a 'Play with Purpose' model.

It is in these exciting moments that the children are the most motivated and truly engaged.

Insight: Novelty, drama, surprise Because memory is a crucial component of every student’s capacity to master, replicate and use what is offered in instruction, the implications of teachers arousing strong feeling, and thus stored memory, are profound. Many note the transitive efficacy of surprising students in some way that determines an especially receptive climate for learning. International Boys’ School Coalition 8

Motivating boys in the classroom

Motivating boys in the classroom


Fun with Fundamentals | Years 3 and 4

Rice babies show boys

how they

grow Chantal Hockey, Year 3 Teacher

This hands on classroom activity illustrates the importance of tangibility for enhancing boys’ learning. Boys were shown an image of premature twins who were quite different in size, which led to a discussion about baby weights and sizes. As an initial homework task, the boys were asked to find out their own birth weight. Feedback from parents revealed that this ostensibly simple task often led to discussions at home about a boy’s own birth and the circumstances surrounding it. Conversations about prematurity, caesarean sections and birth weight abounded in class over the ensuing weeks and the boys’ natural fascination with this most primal of biological processes was evident. Boys were shown how to make a rice baby using the weights and sizes of the premature twins. Each boy then made

a rice baby from a stocking filled with their birth weight equivalent which they weighed in uncooked rice grains. Googly eyes, a nappy and baby clothes completed the look. The main thrust of the learning, however, took place in the domain of mathematics. Having weighed their babies, the boys were taken through a process of sorting all the class data from smallest to largest and putting this information onto a huge scale along one classroom wall. All sorts of mathematical discussions arose – which units are appropriate for length and weight? How much heavier is this baby than that baby? Which baby was the heaviest baby? Discussions regarding metric versus imperial measurements ensued (with birth weights provided in

pounds and ounces and kilograms); old cook books were referred to and some boys tried converting ounces to grams and vice versa. Finally, each boy’s current weight was measured and the difference between this and their birth weight was calculated. Results were again recorded, graphed and displayed and those who started with the smallest birth weights took comfort from the fact that they were rarely still the smallest, eight years later! A class display of the babies included weighing scales which the boys used regularly to monitor their own and other babies’ weights. Many boys arrived at school early in the morning to greet their baby and carry it around for a while. Some

shared babies, some friends insisted their babies lay next to each other so they could enjoy a play date and one boy confided in the teacher, “I love my baby”. Reflection – why it works The success of this learning activity can be attributed to many factors. The boys’ interest in their own life story gives it instant validity and being set in this context makes the mathematical learning more real. The learning opportunities that arose from this activity are many and varied: • sorting from smallest to largest; • length versus weight; • concrete experiences of weight; • appropriateness of units; • weighing using scales;

• • • • • • •

metric versus imperial; conversion from kilograms to pounds and vice versa; decimals and fractions; estimation; calculation of differences; bar graphs and looking for patterns; and the process of birth and issues and surrounding it.

The boys’ interest in their own life story gives it instant validity and being set in this context makes the mathematical learning more real.

Insight: Products that illustrate Educational theorists from John Dewey forward have proposed that a person cannot be proven to have learned something until he or she has performed an operation on it. The ‘operation’ may be as scholastically elemental as answering a question or transcribing material from one medium to another – chalk board to notebook – but at the heart of the theory is the notion that some active imposition of a learner upon the subject under review is essential to effective learning. Possibly no scholastic task requires a more thorough on-going imposition of the learner’s resources on the subject at hand as does creating something materially that demonstrates the concepts under study. Thus it is perhaps unsurprising – although no less instructive – that many teachers reported their most effective practices involved student-created products. Moreover, many of them felt that vigorous creation of products was especially effective with boys. International Boys’ School Coalition 10

Motivating boys in the classroom

Motivating boys in the classroom


Inquiry with Initiative | Years 5 and 6

Boys motivated to take

on the


Inspired by a boy naming his eraser, boys were encouraged to build an empire resulting in a classroom hit that illustrates the power of self-directed activity, role play and performance in creating an exciting project where boys are engaged in learning. This role play started at the beginning of the year, by the simple act of one of the boys giving his eraser a name. Never one to miss an opportunity, Mr Williamson asked the student, “Where does it live? What does it do?” The boy’s rubber gradually developed a world of its own – ‘Rubberia’ – and although the development of the world of an eraser started with one boy, others soon expressed an interest. The teacher carefully managed the groups to let the concept grow. Boys joined into inseparable twos and threes and eight different continents grew in the classroom. The boys built their continents or worlds in miniature on the front section of their desks and utilised various tables and benches around the edges of the

classroom when their project encroached too far onto their official work surface. They used paper and card and other easily available materials to make places for their erasers to live, work and play. They developed laws, currencies, constitutions, baby erasers and schools for the younger rubbers to receive an education. The boys created visas to enable travel, developed bartering systems and wrote rules for immigration and emigration. The motivation of the boys and the learning that took place during the formation of the continents were phenomenal. They formed a key focus for the boys’ learning journeys in which they showcased their school work to parents; some boys wrote narratives about their

continent and one wrote about it in their NAPLAN assessment. Visiting the classroom before school revealed groups of boys using a range of resources to carry out background research. They were both willing and able to describe their project in the minutest of detail, including its geographical location and terrain. Clearly the boys were entirely engaged in their alternative worlds and they worked together with an intensity that was impressive to witness. The teacher saw the boys’ autonomy as integral to this experience and let them run with their ideas, deciding that his role would be to prompt them with questions and to make them think.

Peter Williamson, Year 5 Teacher

The motivation of the boys and the learning that took place during the formation of the continents were phenomenal. “You’re documenting all this, I presume?” was an early question which resulted in the provision of notebooks for the boys to record their ideas in. Comments such as, “Tell me about this” and “I love this concept”, were often sufficient to ensure that boys continued to develop their ideas further and heated discussions took place on a daily basis. Arguments about different aspects of a particular continent led to prompts about government, politics, laws and constitutions and subsequent research into how different countries in the real world dealt with such disagreements. Boys arrived earlier than was normal for school days, siblings both younger and older were brought in to admire their brothers’ continents and parents took

photographs to show relatives unable to visit the classroom. One father said that the year-long activity was the most important thing his son had experienced at school and that Mr Williamson had encouraged his creativity and “allowed him to be himself”. Reflection – why it works The boys relished the autonomy that this project gave them. Mr Williamson’s careful facilitation of the boys’ ideas and clever posing of thought-provoking questions meant that they could focus on the construction of their world. The boys practised negotiation skills, learnt to compromise, and worked on many aspects of science, technology, languages, maths and social sciences. When families

started to get involved and feedback from parents expressed amazement at the seriousness with which boys were engaged in this learning, it became obvious that the project was an unmitigated success. The fact that the boys continued to learn from their activities for such a protracted period of time reflects their enthusiasm for this rich learning experience. Although Mr Williamson attributes the experience to the boys and says that they both initiated and organised the project, it was undoubtedly his careful over-seeing of the role play and clever facilitation of its development meant that the creativity and enthusiasm for the idea spread throughout the entire class.

Insight: Role play / performance Requiring boys to take a role – whether an impersonation or as an embodiment of a purely physical process – was found by many teachers to be transitive to a deeper, surer understanding of the material under study. In many cases, too, the requirement to perform before others was found to enhance the student’s sense of responsibility for and ultimate mastery of an assigned task. Such performance and role playing obviously require a significant degree of motor activity which seems to play a central part in lessons deemed to be effective. International Boys’ School Coalition


Motivating boys in the classroom

Motivating boys in the classroom


Breadth and Depth | Years 7 and 8


researching to



This series of lessons illustrates the importance of feedback and structure in engaging boys’ learning. The boys were supported through a carefully structured set of activities that deconstructed the process of research. The aim was to teach Year 8 students the research and writing skills which could then be applied to their core curriculum subjects, particularly (but not exclusively) English and Humanities. The boys had learnt the basics of research techniques the previous year, researching a topic of their own choosing and presenting the results on the School’s intranet using iWeb. The first lesson of the Year 8 project involved Mr Lindorff giving out the details of ‘The Silk Road’ task and letting the boys work in whatever way they saw fit. Towards the end of the period, a discussion was facilitated

Boys work well if given a specific question to answer ...


Motivating boys in the classroom

regarding how effective this process was – inevitably the boys concluded that it was entirely ineffective. Some students just copied and pasted information; others achieved absolutely nothing in the allocated time. Having concluded that there must be a better way to carry out a research task more effectively, subsequent lessons broke the project down systematically into specific sections, explicitly teaching the skills necessary to achieve success. For example, first it is necessary to understand what the project entailed. Boys brainstormed what they knew about ‘The Silk Road’ and what they might need to know, based on the provided handbook, which formed their project brief. Boys work

well if given a specific question to answer and in this class they generated their own five ‘focus questions’, in conjunction with their teacher. Subsequent lessons involved breaking down the research process systematically into a logical order. This started with an introduction to the School’s intranet and an exploration of the various available databases, to choose which was most appropriate for this particular project. Although many sections obviously had no relevance to this research task, the opportunity to discount their relevance nevertheless raised the boys’ awareness of the vast array of information available in the School’s electronic library and provided an understanding of how to access it.

the Silk Road Greg Lindorff, Teacher Librarian

Next came various discussions and explorations of advanced research techniques such as using Google more effectively and how using different key words could yield very different results. The boys were given a list of 10 topic questions to choose from. The questions all related to different aspects of ‘The Silk Road’ but ranged from the very challenging to the more simple, to ensure a suitable option for all abilities of students within the class. Some boys had an entirely open choice; others were steered towards an appropriate question from which they could achieve success. An introduction to mind-mapping using Inspiration involved demonstrating how the application could be used to store relevant notes classified into the five focus questions that were written and were agreed upon earlier in the process. At this stage, the boys had large volumes of notes, categorised into the focus questions. They were taught the noun-verb strategy and how to make dot point notes, which led into activities that demonstrated how to structure an essay such as an historical one. The students created dot points to take into their assessment – a timed, in-class

essay. The focus here was on the need to have detailed, appropriately set-out notes prepared beforehand, so that they could write enough in the allotted time. The second term of the project involved conference marking with individual students. Whilst continuing to work on their project, each boy received individualised feedback on their essay and was able to set himself targets for improvement. Receiving such feedback meant that the boys were able to work in a targeted way towards the culmination of their own project, improving the skills that the essay writing task revealed lacking. Reflection – why it works The structure inherent in ‘The Silk Road’ project appeals to boys, who find it easier to work towards answering specific questions rather than more open topics. The process of teaching them to write their own focus questions ensures that they are better able to cope with open topics when they inevitably encounter them in their core curriculum subjects. Research skills such as using Word’s ‘Citations’ function and using Google more effectively are of direct relevance to

other subjects and the boys were often surprised at the frequency with which they could use this knowledge during Year 8. Mr Lindorff worked closely with different departments to ensure that teachers were aware of the language he used for these tasks so that they could reinforce the boys’ understanding of research processes in their own subject areas. The differentiation evident in boys being able to choose from a list of topic questions that range from easy to difficult, means that there was a project suitable for each student and the teacher’s knowledge of the boys’ abilities meant that he could ensure they chose an appropriate topic to work towards. Those who may be able students but prone to laziness were guided towards the more challenging open questions; those who may require extra support could be directed towards the more structured and direct questions. Part way through the process, the added bonus of individualised feedback on their in-class essay meant that the boys could use this feedback to improve their final project and benefit from this formative assessment.

Insight: Metacognition Metacognition is generally understood to be the reflective awareness of one’s own cognitive processes: the understanding not just of what is learned but how it is learned. There is no doubt a degree of metacognition in every instance of learning, but some instructional approaches seek this outcome – “learning how one learns”. International Boys’ School Coalition

Motivating boys in the classroom


Choice and Challenge | Years 9 and 10

Driven to This racy activity illustrates the important role collaboration and competition play in engaging boys. This project was optional and involved staff and boys from Years 7 to 11 working for many months, entirely outside class time. The boys worked in teams of up to five members, all of whom took on such diverse roles as team manager, design engineer, graphic designer and resource engineer. No financial support was provided to the boys, who were expected to source their own funding. Mr Chandler believes this is an important part of the learning experience. With careful back-up and support, they wrote to and e-mailed different companies, searched the ‘Old Boy’ list of past school students and ‘cold called’ anyone else they could think of. In many cases it was services more than cash

sponsorship that they sought. For example, a local business with virtual wind-tunnel testing donated $4,500 worth of computer simulation time and various clothing shops donated uniforms for different teams. Mr Chandler saw early exposure to computer-aided design and manufacturing processes based on science and maths as vital for the engineers and designers of the future. He explained that the licensing involved for the three-dimensional computer software rivals that of a multi-national aerospace company and that the Design and Technology Department at the School was well-equipped to provide the IT and manufacturing experiences that the boys needed.

The boys designed, tested and built a miniature Formula One car to strict specifications. The end point of the project was a competition in which the boys had to set up a ‘pit booth’ to showcase their cars and the processes they have been through which culminated in their designs. Transferable skills were integral to this project and Mr Chandler told the story of one of his teams researching a company making high tech ceramic hybrid bearings in Germany. The research involved working with the Languages Department to translate German e-mails from the company into English and culminated in $600 worth of bearings arriving on his desk, entirely free of charge, three days after the boys asked the company whether

succeed Jeff Chandler, Design and Technology Teacher

they would be interested in sponsorship. There were 300 marks available in the competition, allocated to such criteria as the design portfolio, the team’s identity and marketing and the innovation of design shown. The category with the most marks, however, was the Grand Prix Race, in which the students raced their cars against the others, and this aspect of the competition appealed a great deal to the boys. Reflection – why it works Mr Chandler’s passion and drive to understand and learn the most recent developments in engineering technology undoubtedly ensured the success of this project. The School invested in a three-

dimensional printer and laser cutters that made the department “one of the finest in the nation” and this reflected the value given to his unceasing effort and hard work. The real-life scenario of designing and manufacturing a Formula One car to such high standards is a challenge that the boys relish. The underlying driver of the whole project is the competitive aspect of it. The opportunity for the boys to then race their car publicly in a competition and be evaluated by external judges gave gravitas to their work and the transferable skills that they learned during the process are invaluable.

The real-life scenario of designing and manufacturing a Formula One car to such high standards is a challenge that the boys relished.

Insight: Teamwork with a competitive edge Both in reported practices and in the teachers’ assessments, two of the most frequently stated claims were “boys like competition” and “boys like to work together”. Examined closely, the competitive element is very mild: the victory or prize usually no more than the collective pleasure of the pair or team in having finished first or having been voted best … teachers found that forming teams to complete a task that would in some way be judged competitively, was found to be transitive to learning and mastery. International Boys’ School Coalition


Motivating boys in the classroom

Motivating boys in the classroom


Choice and Challenge | Years 9 and 10


technology –

See how use of interactive technology can engage and inspire boys to experience the joy of music. Many of the students in Mr Mandin’s general music classes had no musical background and had never played an instrument. Yet he found that with the appropriate structure, they could use technology to achieve compositions far beyond that which they could achieve given more traditional teaching methods. Determined to avoid stifling the boys’ creativity, Mr Mandin used the software Garageband to allow his students to access composition. His most successful initial projects involved the teacher writing half a composition in a particular genre and providing this to the students who had to complete the piece. A guided discussion about genre, style, form and structure took place, followed by a demonstration

of transposition, the teacher pointing out what he has done and why. The teacher provided the background and parameters for the task and the boys finished writing the composition. The music IT room has 16 desktop computers that the boys used for this work. With smaller classes where each student could work individually if they chose to, it is interesting to witness that many of the boys chose to work in pairs, sharing a mouse but having a pair of headphones each. Mr Mandin pointed out that this is because they genuinely want to work collaboratively and he described the creativity that results as ’remarkable‘. Mr Mandin described the excitement he feels when a student who is not a traditional ‘muso’ writes a particularly good

quality composition. Boys who have an ear for music and know the type of music they like, could achieve results that put them at the top of the class and compete on an equal footing with those who have played an instrument for many years. He also reported success with boys from the School’s Peter Moyes Centre, in which boys with disabilities work and learn. Some of these boys attended mainstream subjects and using IT in this context afforded access to music composition at their own level and produced what he describes as ’some exceptional music’. The results of these music technology projects have been impressive. Parents reported that their sons were enjoying music so much they were continuing their learning at home.

music to

teachers’ ears

Thane Mandin, Music Teacher

Mr Mandin gradually released control and gave progressively greater freedom to his students, gaining his inspiration from a variety of sources including television advertisements. He described the Sony Bravia advert which he used to show the boys the visuals for which they wrote a suitable soundtrack. The approach of not telling students what to do but showing them and letting them experiment and try it for themselves worked very effectively in this context. Different boys used very different genres and observing the different feelings the advert evoked when accompanied by different soundtracks was a valuable learning experience.

Reflection – why it works For the teacher, in this type of project learning stayed fresh because he could always incorporate new ideas that came to mind when watching advertisements or listening to the radio. The possibilities are endless and differentiating the learning for different abilities of boys is also possible because there are so many different outcomes available at such varied levels for each task. Working with staff from the School’s IT department was invaluable; their technological expertise, coupled with Mr Mandin’s musical expertise was a winning combination. Experimentation with iPads is next. Music as a subject may be compulsory in Years 7 and 8, but it is

an elective in Year 9 and the numbers of boys opting to continue with the subject is indicative of their enthusiasm for this work. In 2012, there were two full classes in Year 9, many of whom chose the subject as a direct result of their positive experiences in Years 7 and 8. Mr Mandin also attributes the success of the project to the fact that it was relevant to the boys’ world as it embraces the technology that they use so frequently. It appealed to both visual and auditory learners and the boys could apply what they learnt whilst watching television, films and You Tube clips. It is clear that this use of technology is indeed appealing to and effective with boys.

Insight: Interactive technology

... their sons were enjoying music so much they were continuing their learning at home.


Motivating boys in the classroom

Teachers reporting under nearly every category in this study indicate some use of computer technology, whether central or peripheral to the lesson under review. Some reporting teachers indicate that a particular application of technology engages students effectively in ways that were previously not possible. And although such claims are not easily verifiable, some teachers believe that working interactively with technology is especially appealing to and effective with boys. International Boys’ School Coalition

Motivating boys in the classroom


Choice and Challenge | Years 9 and 10

Biology — where



How do you enthral a class of boys in a biology lesson? By transforming the classroom into a crime scene that requires forensic investigation. For this practical activity, the biology lab became a forensic pathology laboratory and the boys assumed the role of forensic scientists. The crime was described – a horrific murder – and the DNA sample found at the scene was revealed, in a flask on the front desk. DNA samples had also been extracted from three suspects and the boys’ job was to ascertain which suspect's DNA matched that found at the scene of the crime. In previous lessons, the students had extracted DNA from plant matter such as onions or kiwi fruit and experienced spooling that DNA on a glass rod. The boys had a basic understanding of how restriction enzymes function. They were taught the theory of DNA

fingerprinting using electrophoresis gels and learned that different sized fragments of DNA travel at different speeds through the gel. They had seen images which portray how the visible bands are analysed and discussed the use of the process of electrophoresis on samples collected from crime scenes and in paternity cases. The legalities of the process were understood and the boys learnt that under Australian law, nine matching bands is the threshold number for a ‘match’ between DNA samples, giving a less than one in a billion chance that the result is due to chance alone. For this activity, the boys wore science aprons, safety goggles and surgical gloves. They were trained to use micropipettes for the first time, and shown how to measure

minute volumes of liquids – extremely small samples that could then be used in the process of electrophoresis. The boys treated the whole process with appropriate seriousness and the need to ensure there was no contamination of the DNA samples contributed to the gravity of the lesson. The boys poured their own hot, liquid agarose into a mould then waited for it to cool and set into a useable gel. They removed a plastic comb or ‘former’ to make tiny wells into which they micropipetted samples of DNA from the scene of the crime and three suspects. After flooding the gel with buffer solution, electrodes were attached and the current allowed to flow. By this point, the lesson had ended and the technicians ensured that the current

flowed for the required length of time and no longer. The manipulation of the complex apparatus engaged the boys for the entire lesson, occupied in collecting and setting up numerous pieces of intricate equipment, measuring tiny volumes of solutions and micropipetting them into the agarose gel. The following lesson, the boys received their gels in large, glass petri dishes, stained them with methylene blue and viewed them over a UV light box. The result was instantly visible and as always elicited impressed responses from the class. It was clear that one of the suspect’s DNA was a direct match to the DNA collected from the scene of the crime and the implications of this were discussed. The importance of the language

Requiring boys to take a role – whether an impersonation or as an embodiment of a purely physical process – was found by many teachers to be transitive to a deeper, surer understanding of the material under study. In many cases, too, the requirement to perform before others was found to enhance the student’s sense of responsibility for and ultimate mastery of an assigned task. Such performance and role playing obviously require a significant degree of motor activity which seems to play a central part in lessons deemed to be effective. International Boys’ School Coalition

Motivating boys in the classroom


Megan Pentony, Head of Biology, Biology Teacher

Insight: Role play / performance


forensic used by the scientists was emphasised – pathologists cannot state “He’s guilty!”, merely that “His DNA matches the sample” as it is for the police, lawyers and jury to determine the guilt of the suspect; the role of the pathologist is to provide the scientific evidence from the DNA ‘fingerprints’. Reflection – why it works DNA fingerprinting is a topic mentioned frequently in the news and the boys have often heard of the process without the necessary knowledge to really understand how it works. Teaching an understanding of the molecular processes behind the techniques they used ensured the boys appreciated what was going on at each stage. The subject matter itself is intrinsically

interesting and role playing a forensic scientist in the context of a pathology lab using evidence from a crime scene added a further frisson of excitement. The boys’ absolute focus was necessary as they participated in complex procedures and encountered new practical techniques. Working with previously unencountered, genuine scientific apparatus such as micropipettes and electrophoresis tanks maintained their interest and engagement throughout the lesson. This was undoubtedly a memorable lesson for the boys in their Year 10 Biology course.

The boys treated the whole process with appropriate seriousness and the need to ensure there was no contamination of the DNA samples contributed to the gravity of the lesson. Motivating boys in the classroom


Excellence and Expertise | Years 11 and 12


challenged to

step up to the

Boys got a taste of their futures as job seekers in the real world in these engaging lessons. Towards the end of Term 3, Year 12 boys were involved in a unit of work which revolved around developing the skills needed to apply successfully for a job. They spent structured lesson time creating an employment portfolio that included an up to date resume, copies of certificates showing their achievements to date, evidence of things they had made or photographs of themselves in the workplace. The boys then found an advertisement for a job that they could realistically apply for online. The job had to relate to the sort of career they envisaged for themselves in the next five years, after they had completed school or planned training courses. In order to prepare for their interview,

each student wrote a formal letter of application for their chosen job, filled in the application form provided and found out as much as they could about the company. They then performed an audit of their employability skills and gauged how they currently fared relative to the job for which they were applying. In class, the boys were taught basic interview skills and explored issues of how to present themselves in terms of what to wear, body language, and how to answer questions confidently. The types of questions that may be asked were discussed and the boys wrote a set of possible questions relating to their particular job application. The interviews were carried out by

senior members of staff at the School, carefully matched to the boys’ needs. Particularly nervous students were allocated more gentle staff members; over-confident boys were given more tricky staff to challenge them. To add a frisson of the unknown, the staff members were deliberately chosen from those who did not teach these boys. Staff members were prepared by being provided with a set of possible questions and the job advertisement for which the student had applied and the boy’s portfolio. They were asked to provide written feedback on a number of criteria regarding the boy’s interview performance including personal presentation, confidence and knowledge about the position.


Jody Clarke, Careers and VET Teacher Post interview, the boys returned to their classroom and immediately completed a self-evaluation regarding their performance. This was later compared to the interviewer’s written assessment of the student’s performance and any disparities between the staff assessment and the student’s selfperception were discussed. Assessment marks were based on the teacher’s comments and interview notes as well as the student’s written preparation leading up to the formal interview. The boys reported feeling relieved when the interview was over, as well as experiencing a sense of having completed a challenge, reflecting the seriousness with which they approached this activity.

Reflection – why it works The success of this exercise depends on many things – the careful matching of interviewers to interviewees, the preparation that the boys undertake before the interview and the use of senior staff to give credibility to the process. The real context in which the interviews took place gave the task instant validity. This is not ‘just something done in class’ but a special and serious undertaking. For those boys who sometimes feel that their courses can lack relevance or rigour, this challenge was undoubtedly both rigorous and important. In terms of personal development, for many students this was the first time they had dealt with a formal interview situation. The positive feedback the boys receive

regarding their performance gives them a real sense of achievement. The feedback given to the class teacher about her boys and how well they did also enabled her to feel proud of them and how they have made significant progress in her care.

Insight: Role play / performance

The job had to relate to the sort of career they envisaged for themselves in the next five years.


Motivating boys in the classroom

Requiring boys to take a role – whether an impersonation or as an embodiment of a purely physical process – was found by many teachers to be transitive to a deeper, surer understanding of the material under study. In many cases, too, the requirement to perform before others was found to enhance the student’s sense of responsibility for and ultimate mastery of an assigned task. Such performance and role playing obviously require a significant degree of motor activity which seems to play a central part in lessons deemed to be effective. International Boys’ School Coalition

Motivating boys in the classroom


Excellence and Expertise | Years 11 and 12

Open inquiry

and expression in

Art Pam Yordanoff, Head of Art Department, Art Teacher

This art lesson illustrates the power of role models in inspiring boys’ expressions. This project involved the boys exploring the conceptual themes of 'Universal and Personal Truths', inspired by the work of Jenny Holzer’s '101 Universal Truths', a contemporary artist who works with new media, projecting text on skyscrapers in urban landscapes. They were taken on a historical art journey by other international and Australian artists too. Goya, Picasso, Tucker, Boyd, Warhol and Laing span decades but all have the thematic thread of a strong commentary exploring many of the universal truths in context of when their artworks were made. After investigating how artists such as these made a political, social or cultural comment, boys were then encouraged to take a point of view – a personal, social or cultural one – to start their own explorations. They found something they wanted to say about the environment or their life or technology – this was very personally driven and allowed them to sustain the process throughout the year.


Motivating boys in the classroom

To inspire the boys, Ms Yordanoff pointed individuals towards different contemporary artists. The boys then found out how these artists had developed and sustained their art practice. This discovery period is what drove the boys. They worked towards finding one or two artists that appealed to them in the way they communicated their values, beliefs and ideas to an audience. What resonated with the boys formed the catalyst for their individual project. Throughout the project, Ms Yordanoff encouraged the boys to look beyond the cliché, to challenge their beliefs and express themselves in their art. This encouraged critical thinking; it can be more ephemeral in its presentation and questions the reality of the piece. Year 12 art student Will Carew-Reid studied Art in 2011. His piece ‘Immaterial Reality’ was shortlisted for the Year 12 Perspectives Art Exhibition at the Art Gallery of Western Australia. Will decided that he wanted to look at spirituality in different ways and explore how an artist could capture something this ephemeral. He spent time investigating the art practice of Andy Goldsworthy who makes transient pieces from nature, in nature. The materials were from a particular environment and these materials move back into the environment as they are broken down by the elements of weather and time. As such, his works last only as photographic images in books.

Will’s exploration led to reflections and comparisons of two threads, the organic nature of paganism and the more rigid religious way of practicing spiritual beliefs. He wanted to capture ideas about the confines of a formal religion, something he saw as rigid and hard-edged and about a God, and compare those ideas with spirituality, in which he would capture working with natural materials. Will’s final piece was made up of two components to make a mixed media construction entitled ’Immaterial Reality‘. He used the negative space around laser cut wood text to create a crucifix figure; this was then placed next to a sculpture of tiny twigs that again, incorporated a figure in negative space (as pictured). The boys were encouraged to learn new techniques throughout the project, to incorporate technology into their pieces and to mix the media if it helped to resolve some aspects of their work. Ms Yordanoff continuously provided feedback about the progress individual students were making and encouraged the boys to judge, critique and reflect on their own and each others work in an analytical way.

What resonated with the boys formed the catalyst for their individual project.

Reflection – why it works As Ms Yordanoff points out, the boys have to invest personally in this type of art learning – they make investments of time, thought and energy – all the things that drive real artists. The aim was for the boys to understand that they could use imagery to evoke thoughts about the piece – to provide a ‘jolt’ to their everyday life. The fact that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer in an art project like this gives the boys the chance to genuinely explore an area of their own interest. They carried out research on professional artists who inspired them and were given the latitude to make choices which is highly motivating and encouraging of truly independent learning.

Recent changes to the curriculum has strengthened the open inquiry style of learning. It has allowed students to embrace a contemporary way of communicating a commentary about themselves and their world because inquiry is at the core of the open-ended themes of the unit. Students were able to work like a contemporary art practitioner, no longer restricted to working in one art form for the year. The concept in their work dictates the art form and media needed to communicate. Students could present resolved artworks using the latest media, the most traditional of media or combinations such as drawing, film and sculpture or a series of paintings or prints.

Insight: Open Inquiry - Experience and Theory Well established theories and laws, principally in the sciences and social sciences, tend to be accepted by students as authoritatively and remotely ‘given’. A number of teachers remarked on the empowering sense of understanding boys exhibited as they explored the relationship between actual experiences and the theory postulated to describe it. International Boys’ School Coalition

Motivating boys in the classroom


The Christ Church Pedagogy


Teachers Who teachers are, how they perform in effecting and modelling learning and how they relate to boys are all very significant in framing the engagement of boys at school.

Statement of intent The Christ Church Classroom The Christ Church classroom is human, warm, comfortable and happy. It is physically and intellectually inspiring. Respect for teachers and students is paramount and there is an overwhelming sense of fairness and tolerance of individual difference. Our classrooms are places of discovery and fun. The atmosphere is safe, secure and supportive and there is constant interaction through questioning, teamwork and group discussion.

The Christ Church Teacher Christ Church teachers enable boys to find their place in a world that has endless challenges and opportunities. They interest their students in thinking, in doing, in accepting others and in being at one with themselves. Our teachers inspire our students to value learning and help them set personal educational goals. They give the boys the confidence to achieve their goals. Christ Church teachers bring a range of academic expertise and life experiences to their classrooms. They are passionate about their subjects and about teaching and they demonstrate confidence in their

abilities. This is reflected in their energy and enthusiasm and in the diversity of their teaching practice. Our teachers are aware of the emotional development and particular needs of boys. They affirm and reward learning and empower and challenge their students. At the same time they encourage creativity and foster collaboration and peer learning. They use teaching strategies that are flexible and accommodating and that cater for different ability levels. Our teachers encourage student-centred learning and have high expectations of their boys. They model excellence in all that they do.

Catering for individual differences

Providing structure and feedback

Enhancing personal bests

• Come to know their students’ strengths, weaknesses and needs in a timely manner • Plan learning activities that motivate boys • Create learning environments that motivate boys • Make reasonable accommodations to cater for students’ different abilities and learning styles • Know when to apply pressure, when to encourage and how to make boys feel valued • Support students in their quest for continuous improvement • Know when and to whom they should refer boys for help or support • Respect difference and the diverse range of our students • Teach their students a range of study strategies • Encourage boys to value their learning • Use a variety of formative assessments to regularly check understanding in different ways • Engage with the wider community to support boys’ learning

• Attain mastery of their subject matter and are up to date with curriculum and pedagogy • Plan lessons with well-defined learning objectives • Model effective learning • Give timely, regular, good quality feedback to their students • Document students’ progress appropriately • Are fair in their judgments of students’ efforts and learning • Break tasks into appropriately sized chunks for students • Encourage honest, healthy competition between students • Frequently and individually recognise and affirm boys’ efforts and achievements in their classrooms • Provide opportunities for boys to work both collaboratively and independently • Encourage questioning and answering within a safe, secure and supportive classroom • Encourage student questions as an opportunity to model research strategies • Emphasise internal factors (effort, strategy, attitude) and de-emphasise external factors (bad luck, tough marking) • Understand the value of constructive feedback and use it to improve subsequent work • Are engaged in and uphold the School’s decision making • Use summative assessment to review progress and provide feedback

• Help boys to find their strengths and achieve their personal best • Encourage boys to make the most of opportunities • Expect appropriately high standards of work from their students • Expect appropriately high standards of behaviour from their students • Help students set and meet appropriately challenging personal targets • Actively listen to the needs of the students and their parents • Are enthusiastic and passionate advocates of their subject and of learning • Use appropriate disciplinary strategies, consistently applying the School’s ‘Managing Student Behaviour’ system (Senior) or ‘Positive Relationships Plan’ (Prep) • Encourage students to take responsibility for their learning • Set challenging personal targets for their own professional learning • Have a good understanding of their role as a teacher • Understand that leaders and team members will make mistakes and learn from them • Teach strategies to help boys solve problems (both academic and social) • Persevere when students or classes experience challenges

There’s a kind of dialectic between you and them that’s just working; you can tell when it’s buzzing, you’re giving, they’re giving, even the boys who don’t want to be there enjoy it, it’s a nice electric feel like in sport when you know you’ve played a good shot.


Motivating boys in the classroom

Motivating boys in the classroom


The Christ Church Pedagogy


Parents How parents support and interact with the rhythms of their son’s lives, especially as role models and reinforcers of the learning that takes place at school.

Statement of intent The Christ Church Parent Christ Church parents come from diverse backgrounds and share a common goal with the School to help their boys successfully negotiate the transition from boyhood to manhood. In choosing Christ Church, each parent through his or her behaviour and example strives to demonstrate understanding and reinforces the stated aims and values of the School. They act in partnership


Motivating boys in the classroom

with school staff to provide the best support for their boys both at home and in the school context. Parents encourage their boys to engage actively in the life of the School, to make the most of opportunities offered, to strive for personal and collective excellence, and to make choices consistent with school values. Whenever possible parents volunteer their support within the Christ Church community.

Catering for individual differences

Providing structure and feedback

Enhancing personal bests

• Have high expectations of their son’s efforts • Have reasonable expectations of their son’s achievements • Know their son and use feedback from him and his teachers to understand how he learns best • Work co-operatively with the School • Participate in parent-teacher nights and relevant parent information sessions • Trust and support the School’s decisions

• Help their son to develop a routine of good learning habits • Encourage their son to stick to appropriate periods of study • Help their son to organise himself according to school expectations, ensuring he arrives punctually and is ‘Ready to Learn’ • Guide their son as he uses feedback from his teachers to work out where and how he learns best • Ensure there is an appropriate place at home for studying and homework • Ensure distractions are removed during homework and study time • Are available for assistance but do not do the work for their son • Model effective learning • Monitor their son’s diary and use it as a means of communication with the School • Acknowledge their son’s efforts when he tries hard • Model resilience in the face of disappointment • Are aware of the range of resources and services the School offers • Keep abreast of School events and routines

• Encourage their son to achieve his personal best • Actively listen to their son and his teachers • Understand the value of constructive feedback and use it to help their son improve subsequent work • Are available to their son when he is ready to talk • Support their son in working towards his set targets • Take an active interest in their son’s learning • Enjoy and celebrate their son’s successes • Encourage their son to take academic risks • Support their son as he learns from the mistakes he makes • Ensure their son keeps them up to date with his results, achievements and difficulties • Ensure their son has a sensible eating, sleeping, studying and socialising schedule • Set clear boundaries and use consistent and appropriate disciplinary strategies • Frequently affirm their son’s efforts and achievements • Persevere when their son is experiencing challenges

Parents really influence their kids; despite what they say sometimes, kids look up to, admire and mimic their parents.

Motivating boys in the classroom


The Christ Church Pedagogy


Students The freedom a boy feels to be himself, the respect a boy feels for himself and the respect that people have for him, enable him to act on his developing masculinity in an appropriate fashion.

Statement of intent The Christ Church Student Christ Church students are intrinsically motivated to do their very best and see the School and all its relationships as an avenue for them to achieve their own potential and contribute to the journey of others. Our students pursue excellence and celebrate success. Our students are resilient learners and understand they have a responsibility to turn disappointment into action. By their


Motivating boys in the classroom

actions, they contribute towards the unique learning environment of their school and the Christ Church classroom according to their ages and level/stage of development. The Christ Church student is respectful of the learning environment in which he finds himself and, by doing so, values the leadership of the teacher and the rights of his classmates to learn in a classroom which is physically and intellectually inspiring.

Catering for individual differences

Providing structure and feedback

Enhancing personal bests

• • • • • •

• Understand the need to develop good study habits • Genuinely listen to and act on advice from teachers regarding their learning • Record results, homework and study tasks appropriately in their diary • Get their diary signed at home and by their tutor each week • Regularly discuss their progress and results with their parents and tutor • Arrive ‘Ready to Learn’

• Understand how their behaviour, efforts, care and compassion can influence the progress of others • Are realistic about what they can achieve and how best to achieve it • Use constructive feedback on their work to improve subsequent work • Set themselves appropriately challenging targets and work to meet them • Accept that they will make mistakes and realise the need to learn from them • Use class time productively and effectively • Don’t give up when work is challenging or when they are disappointed with their achievements • Persevere, persist, seek help and change strategy to ensure future success • Pursue personal best in all spheres

Value learning Take responsibility for their own learning Prepare, study and revise independently Read widely and conduct research voluntarily Work hard and complete tasks Apply knowledge from different areas to new situations • Value their School and make the most of the opportunities it offers • Are proactive and ask for help when they need it • Know and use the study strategies that work for them

The Christ Church student is self-starting! He identifies weakness and seeks remedies, he wants to do well, and understand. He is always appreciative, has a goal for life and is on track to achieve it. He does more than asked. He has a prodigious work ethic and rate, does it because he is interested.

Motivating boys in the classroom


The Christ Church Pedagogy


Leaders The culture of the school, its vocabulary, symbols, customs and honourable traditions define accepted practices for social interaction, behaviour and personal aspiration and help connect boys to school so that they feel as though they belong.

Statement of intent Christ Church leaders are educational leaders whose primary focus is to enable boys’ learning. They seek to help people to achieve their personal best. They lead by example, showing integrity and taking the time to get to know the teams they lead. Our leaders value people and their work, celebrating their successes as well as giving constructive feedback and setting challenging targets to encourage growth and development. They consult and involve others in decision-making but are unafraid to make the right decision themselves. They are courageous when


Motivating boys in the classroom

difficult conversations are necessary and compassionate when people need their support. Our leaders are self-aware, recognising their own strengths and weaknesses and are not afraid to take risks, identify their own mistakes and learn from them. Christ Church leaders give and earn trust through effective communication and active listening. They are educators who bring a wide range of experiences to their leadership that enable them to build rich cultures of excellence in learning and leadership throughout the school community.

Catering for individual differences

Providing structure and feedback

Enhancing personal bests

• Know their teachers’ strengths, weaknesses and needs • Lead by example • Have appropriate, high expectations of the quality of teaching and pastoral care • Understand that different teachers have different professional needs • Provide appropriate support and professional development to enable teachers to develop their professional skills

• Build a team and direct its work. • Engage in and uphold the School’s decision making • Model being effective learners alongside their teachers • Understand the value of timely, regular and constructive feedback and use it to improve their work • Frequently and individually affirm teachers’ efforts and achievements with their students • Are honest with their staff and hold difficult conversations when necessary • Celebrate individual and collective success privately and publicly as appropriate

• Know themselves in terms of their strengths, weaknesses and needs • Work collaboratively with the ‘big picture’ in mind • Encourage teachers to achieve their personal best • Actively listen to their teachers and understand what they need in order to teach more effectively • Show integrity and compassion in their leadership • Work with teachers to set appropriately challenging targets and support them in meeting those targets • Work with teachers both in and out of classrooms • Understand that they will make mistakes and learn from them • Persevere when staff are experiencing challenges • Develop succession plans for future staffing • Engage with the wider community on the School’s behalf • Recognise and affirm the efforts and success of teachers with their students • Understand that leaders and team members will make mistakes and learn from them • Celebrate student success eg through Chapel, the newsletter or contact with parents

Excellence and aspiration are increased more by the desire to give to others than to give to yourself.

Motivating boys in the classroom


Motivating boys

The Christ Church

Pedagogy Mission: Boys educated to know, to do, to live with others and to be


Care and Compassion, Environmental Responsibility, Excellence, Freedom, Honesty and Trustworthiness, Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Social Justice, Understanding and Inclusion


The Christ Church Pedagogy

Insights to Motivation Motivating boys to achieve at their best by learning through Personalisation, Structure and Supporting Others


Learning through personalisation Catering for individual differences

Learning through structure Providing structure and feedback

Teachers: Know their students and help them learn in the best way they can

Teachers: Plan structured lessons and give feedback to their students

Teachers: Have high standards and support boys to achieve their personal best

Students: Value and take responsibility for their own learning

Students: Organise themselves and study effectively

Students: Set targets and persevere to collectively ensure success

Parents: Work with the School and their son

Parents: Support and guide their son’s learning at home

Parents: Set clear boundaries and take an active interest in their son’s progress

Leaders: Know their staff and cater for their needs

Leaders: Give constructive and effective feedback to staff

Leaders: Show integrity, compassion and understanding of the ‘big picture’ towards which we are working

Statements of intent


Motivating boys in the classroom

The Christ Church Classroom, Student, Teacher, Parents, Support Staff Member and Leader

Learning through supporting others Enhancing personal bests

Queenslea Drive, Claremont, WA 6010 | PO Box 399, Claremont, WA 6910 T: (08) 9442 1555 | F: (08) 9442 1690 | E: | W: CRICOS 00433G

Christ Church Pedagogy Case Studies  

Christ Church Pedagogy Case Studies