Everything's big in Oz

26th January 2007 at 00:00
James Gordon, an English and computing teacher at Selkirk High, who is doing a Masters degree through the CT programme, was particularly interested in the cross-curricular approach he saw in the education system in Victoria.

"We come from insular, discrete departments where we don't have a history of cross-curricular and inter-departmental disciplines," he said. "Things like pupil reflection, electronic portfolios, and pupil autonomy in making choices are big."

Mr Gordon has introduced his S3 and S5 pupils to a paper format of the Australian pupils' electronic portfolios, which they use as a self-evaluation tool across the three strands of their curriculum.

"At Fitzroy High, I saw pupils making observations on their work and getting in touch with other pupils," he added. "They were improving their learning themselves.

"At Mordialloc College, they had taken the entire first year into one classroom. They created groups to learn together on themes and in cohorts.

It was the most extreme example of the new devolved curriculum in Australia."

At Mordialloc, he saw 10 teachers teaching together in the same classroom, and at Fitzroy, four. While one group was being taught a particular lesson or workshop, others would be working on their portfolios.

Mr Gordon predicts that making Scottish secondary schools truly cross-curricular will be a big challenge in reforming the curriculum.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today