Teaching and Learning
Danebank is committed to providing quality, faith-based teaching and learning that values innovation and promotes positive relationships and learning experiences.
Christian World View
Opportunities to explore and value the Christian worldview are embedded in the teaching and learning curriculum. Each girl is respected and celebrated for her qualities; she is encouraged to develop her capabilities so that she is able to flourish, achieve her personal goals and make an active contribution to society.
Teachers at Danebank construct a learning environment designed to develop confident, socially and emotionally well-adjusted women. We aim for our students to develop personal integrity built on a foundation of moral and ethical behaviour and a commitment to service. Students and staff work together to cultivate resilience and a positive approach to learning. Students embrace a growth mindset, learning to articulate their learning strengths and areas of concern so that they can attain their best. Self-reflection is promoted through learning accountability and students are assisted to find positive and constructive responses to learning feedback.
Teachers offer opportunities for girls to develop and express their personal viewpoints and effectively communicate in local and global contexts. Learning occurs collaboratively, with students proactively engaged with peers and the staff. Danebank graduates are empowered to take their skills into the world and be active in pursuing a path of lifelong learning.
Danebank motivates each student to develop a keen and discerning mind through thoughtfully structured and dynamic teaching programs and learning environments. Danebank teachers are passionate about generating learning experiences that are challenge-oriented, promote critical thinking, creativity, deep understanding, problem solving and evaluative judgement. Equally, we aim to cultivate students who are passionate about learning and who recognise the relevance of their knowledge, understanding and skills. The staff utilise a diversity of effective, research-based teaching strategies to maximise student learning and personal achievement.
The teaching environment invites students to explore their intellectual boundaries and test their beliefs through vigorous participation. Danebank instils a drive for innovation, a strong commitment to inquiry based learning and a belief in active engagement of the students. Danebank learners are able to integrate and synthesise information and apply their learning in a range of contexts. They are also mobile learners who are technologically fluent and can leverage the power and potential of connected online learning. Teachers understand that this access can redefine and augment learning opportunities for students and meet students’ differentiated needs in exciting and innovative ways.
Danebank teachers have high expectations and encourage students to take risks in their learning and challenge themselves. Students are encouraged to show initiative to be independent in their thinking and to develop confidence in their own voice. Teachers strive to achieve a balance of flexibility and support in addressing the girls’ needs, whilst moving the students towards a self-regulating and disciplined approach to their studies. Both staff and students benefit from the personalised approach to learning that characterises a Danebank education and the shared belief in the students’ ability to succeed.
Danebank encourages its students to actively engage in and take responsibility for their learning. Students construct knowledge by incorporating their understanding of subjects into their existing knowledge base and apply it to further their learning. Professor John Hattie and Robert Marzano have independently provided statistical evidence that active learning increases achievement and cognition. Active learning enhances retention of knowledge and develops creative and critical thinking skills that Danebank recognises as essential features of our students’ future success and meaningful learning. We encourage students to be actively creating, analysing, evaluating and applying their understanding as part of their daily lives.
Danebank prioritises personalised learning: the tailoring of pedagogy, curriculum and learning environments to meet the needs and aspirations of individual learners. Teachers and students are focused on co-designing the learning pathway to be flexible and adaptive in response to the diverse needs and interests of the students. Danebank promotes high quality teaching and learning, target setting and tracking of students, focused assessment and a curriculum that empowers students. The Future of Schooling in Australia report (2007) identified personalised learning as an essential component of an education system.
Danebank has prioritised a culture of thinking in the school. We implement Visible Thinking across the school to deepen content learning and to cultivate the students’ thinking skills and attitude towards thinking. The term ‘Visible Thinking’ refers to practices that make student learning visible so that both teachers and students can know whether they are making progress. It also refers to making teaching strategies explicit and visible so that students learn to assess their own learning and become lifelong learners. Visible Thinking routines are based upon the educational research of the Harvard Project Zero team which examines the development of learning processes across a range of contexts and cultures.
Danebank nurtures a positive school psychology which helps students and staff to flourish. Positive Education is founded upon the ground-breaking work of Professor Martin Seligman who recognised that “when well-being comes from engaging our strengths and virtues, our lives are imbued with authenticity” (2002). Danebank aims to move beyond a focus on academic competence and nourish a sense of well-being that will last a lifetime. We recognise, promote and celebrate individual strengths and build and broaden the capacity of each person to discover her best self. Students who are flourishing are fully engaged in learning and achieve positive outcomes throughout their lives.