Five Islands Secondary College partners with Big Picture Education Australia, UOW and UoW College

NEW EDUCATIONAL APPROACH: Big Picture Education Australia coach and trainer Peter Morgan speaking at Five Islands Secondary College in Port Kembla on Tuesday. Picture: Robert Peet
NEW EDUCATIONAL APPROACH: Big Picture Education Australia coach and trainer Peter Morgan speaking at Five Islands Secondary College in Port Kembla on Tuesday. Picture: Robert Peet

Five Islands Secondary College in Port Kembla is embarking on a Big Picture educational change to keep pace with the rapidly changing world.

And FISC principal Jenny Flowers hopes partnering with Big Picture Education Australia will do more than just bring ‘’their innovative passion-based-design to young people in the Illawarra’’. ‘’We want to reimagine school,’’ she said.

‘’On reflection very little has changed in the methods we use to teach each of these generations even though the world is changing at a rapid rate.

‘’Here at FISC we acknowledge the need to change and in fact are passionate about giving students an opportunity to develop those soft skills such as creativity and innovation that are widely sought.

Our goal is to equip students of the future.

Jenny Flowers

‘’We want to provide our students with the opportunities for them to drive their own learning and become individuals who can create their own pathways through the world outside school.’’

Big Picture coach and trainer Peter Morgan said the personalised educational program tailored for each student ‘’lifts students from being in a classroom where they’re passive and disengaged to being advisories, where the difference is just profound’’.

Mr Morgan saw more than enough during his 20 years as a school principal to see that the curriculum was ‘’failing many students’’.

‘’I’ve been running workshops with teachers and principals for the last seven years and on average it is about a third who are really engaged, a third who are going through the motions and a third who are switched off,’’ he said.

‘’My son was switched off. He was bored with the school and he went through the motions and he got an okay ATAR but nothing near his potential.

‘’Interestingly he got a very ordinary result in mathematics in high school, but he now has a Masters in Engineering.’’

One of Big Picture’s key components is to make students actually leave every week to go and work in an internship.

Kids develop the range of skills you need for the 21st century, such as thinking, problem solving, decision making, research, communication.

Peter Morgan

‘’Students come back and complete the internship work at school, so the connection between the school learning and outside learning is absolutely complete,’’ Mr Morgan said.

‘’We’ve watched kids that really do discover themselves and actually discover that they aren’t failures and they get excited about coming to school.

‘’Kids develop the range of skills you need for the 21st century, such as thinking, problem solving, decision making, research, communication.’’

In 2018 FISC will offer Year 9 and 10 students two new Big Picture classes.

It will also offer courses in fitness and/or childcare alongside the University of Wollongong and UoW College.

‘’This four way partnership puts together the pieces of the puzzle that will enable our students to truly follow their own learning pathway,’’ Mrs Flowers said.

‘’Our goal is to equip students of the future.’’