Trinity has a strong commitment to academic excellence and nurturing its students’ growth at all levels of their education. We were recently accepted to participate in a collaborative Community of Practice, along with 15 other schools from around NSW, focussed on lifting learning outcomes for high potential students. The project is titled ‘ELEVATE’ and has been initiated by the Association of Independent Schools of NSW, supported by strategic partnerships with the UK-based Innovation Unit and the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL).
Educational neuroscience presents many opportunities and challenges for educators. Through brain imaging technologies we now know that the brain changes constantly as a result of learning and remains ‘plastic’ throughout life. We’re also beginning to better understand the unique ways in which boys’ and girls’ brains function. This research can help us to understand and raise boys.
This is not to say that the brain development of all boys and all girls is identical, but new functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) research shows that there are some consistent patterns.
Many aspects can impact on a boys’ neurological development that significantly affect how they engage with their schooling. We’ve identified six key aspects here:
Topics: Boys' education
Trinity is considered among the very best schools in the nation and, indeed, the world. However, this may not always be reflected in the league tables, which are formulated by the percentage of HSC Band 6 results alone.
Here’s why …
Topics: All boys education
A key finding from research on boys’ schooling highlights the importance of boys’ sense of attachment or belonging to their school environment. Not only is this sense of connection a major protective factor against risk behaviours as they get older, recent research has also shown its key importance in enhancing student achievement.
At Trinity Grammar School, Sydney, we regard such teacher-student relationship as being a critical factor in ensuring your son has every opportunity to succeed and find meaning and purpose in his schooling. This is very significant for boys.
At Trinity, we are committed to setting academic standards of the highest order, nurturing and challenging our boys to exceed their potential. The School’s introduction of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma back in 1997, and our adoption of the Primary Years Programme (PYP) at both the Preparatory and Junior Schools in more recent years, are testimony to our desire to set academic standards beyond state or national benchmarks for our boys. While various debates, both old and new, as to how to ‘fix’ education arise, it will not deter or distract us from the unambiguous pursuit and promotion of academic excellence within our School.
There are many aspects associated with boys’ neurological development that can significantly impact their engagement with schooling. The growing field of educational neuroscience presents many opportunities as well as challenges for educators.
Through brain imaging technologies, we are discovering more about the unique ways that boys’ and girls’ brains function. This is not to say that the brain development of all boys and all girls is identical, but new MRI research continues to show some consistent patterns.
Understanding boys is critical to support them in their learning. Some of the key aspects unique to boys are:
Topics: All boys education
Parents can have a profound impact on their son’s literacy learning, especially in relation to reading. Parents are essential in delivering the ‘reading for pleasure and purpose’ message to boys.
Research indicates that in order for boys to open up and talk, action-orientated activities such as sport, physical activity and movement in general are found to have positive results.
Boys can often reveal problems and issues of concern when engaged in activities such as walking the dog, kicking a football and participating in experiences they particularly enjoy.
In his publication, Boys And Their Schooling, Ian Lillico writes about how many boys convert their feelings to movement. Lillico argues that it’s very natural for boys and men to need space and use movement when they have an emotion or feeling to deal with. Essentially, movement for boys can rekindle their feelings. Here are some ways that Lillico provides as examples:
Topics: Boys and movement
Participation in sport is an important and unique component of a boy’s education. It provides boys with a sense of structure and collective purpose while cultivating a sense of competitiveness. This is important to encourage for the sake of enabling boys to give their best rather than simply for the sake of winning. Many boys tend to be task-oriented and understanding rules, boundaries and operating procedures of what they do is important. The emphasis on team sports at Trinity emboldens co-operation, camaraderie and mutual respect.
Boys benefit from sport in many ways, including:
Topics: Sport and boys
We aim to bring out the very best in all our boys at Trinity and ‘boys’ learning’ is our core business. So it’s important we work with parents to provide the optimum learning environment for our boys. The following seven tips, adapted from Andrew Fuller’s book Help Your Child Succeed at School, provide a great insight into improving your son’s learning at home.
Topics: Improve learning