September 4, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

In education and many other industries, this current time is being viewed as an opportunity to review our practices and consider what should be reduced and what should be prioritised as we move forward.

The ongoing debate about the relevance of the single rank of an ATAR score, and the need to recognise and celebrate the development of the whole person is gaining greater traction and focus during this pandemic. A number of universities are already using supplementary evidence in ranking students for their entry into some courses.

During this term we have been continuing to refine our …BY DESIGN learning framework that many of our Senior School teachers are using. We purposefully designed curriculum and learning opportunities that not only focus on essential knowledge and skills, but also on the transferable skills, the ability to apply knowledge and concepts to new situations as well as activate wellbeing, amongst other important design principles. This approach has been integral to the success of our remote learning program.

Scores and ranks also send an important message in what we value in education and schools. As this landscape is changing, there is now greater attention on what we are measuring and reporting on. This is not just about simple improvements, but about fundamental change if we are to enable young people to demonstrate their capabilities and uniqueness.

At CGGS, we have been working for some time now on looking at a variety of ways for students to demonstrate their mastery and success. One of the ways gaining greater traction is that of ‘Credentialing’. Credentials provide proof of a person’s abilities and experience and come in many forms including badges, certificates, diplomas and degrees. Technical and transferable skills can be credentialed by the school or external organisations. We are close to releasing our first credentials during  Term 4 in some Senior School programs and I look forward to sharing these with you at the time.

Dr Charlotte Forwood, our Director of Learning Design and Development, has prepared some information on credentialing and I attach it below for your interest.

There are many exciting possibilities that are emerging from Remote Learning that we will be able to retain and further develop as we re-emerge to face-to-face teaching. Next term I will also be asking for your thoughts on new possibilities.

In the meantime, as we slowly contemplate the next announcements and hopeful emergence from the current restrictions, stay safe and well.

With best wishes,

Debbie Dunwoody