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Learning at St Philip's Cessnock

Powerful Learning Framework

The Powerful Learning Framework is our guiding teaching and learning framework for the College. Built on the principles of the Learning Power Approach, the Powerful Learning Framework aims to grow confidence, capable and independent learners at the College. We do this by identifying, modelling, and rehearsing the skills, or dispositions, of a good learner throughout the learning experience.

We understand that students’ learning experience at SPCC Cessnock is foundational to the trajectory of their life. As a school we are therefore committed to not only producing excellent learning outcomes, but also producing excellent learners. That is, this model seeks to adopt a “results plus” approach to education where we seek to focus on developing the dispositions of good learning while we undertake high quality learning experiences. The reality of the world is that students will need to continue to be lifelong learners no matter what path they choose in life beyond school.

Note the word ‘dispositions’ is used rather than ‘skills’. This is intentional. Dispositions go beyond a simple skill that students learn. Dispositions are a habit that is actively lived out. Our desire is not simply that students know how to be good learners, but that they actively have opportunities to exercise this every day in their learning, both at school and beyond school.

Our staff have therefore undertaken an extensive process to identify and define 20 dispositions which we believe lead to confident, capable, and independent learners. We understand that these dispositions are not learnt through a single lesson but need to be slowly acquired over many years of intentional practice.

Our teachers are working toward identifying the relevant dispositions each lesson, and thinking about learning experiences that provides students with the opportunities to develop these dispositions while they engage with the content and skills outlined in the NSW Curriculum.

At the very centre of the Powerful Learning Framework are the College Core Values. Where the learning dispositions on the framework provide the ‘how’ of good learning, we believe that the College Core Values provide the ‘why’ of good learning. We believe that they should be a guiding set of principles which should assist students in considering the purpose of learning and how they might use their learning dispositions for the good of themselves, others and the world more broadly.

To answer some key questions around the Learning Framework, including why we have adopted this approach and what it means for the classroom, we have created a series of videos. The first video, which explains what the Powerful Learning Framework is, is listed below followed further by a set of videos addressing key questions about the Powerful Learning Framework.