The summer holidays will soon be a memory for many and learners will be heading back to school for another academic year. 2021 will yield another set of learners who will be moving into the next phase of their lives.
The beginning of the 2021 academic year can only be described as exciting, powerful and pioneering for the Southern Cross Schools College learners. On, 2 December, last year, they packed up ready for a well-deserved break. Unknown to them, the Earth Circle has not taken a break, and almost immediately became a hive of painters, movers, scrubbers and builders.
There were some in our community who thought the College was closing? Absolutely not!
Why has life been so upbeat in the Earth Circle? The answer is simple: Southern Cross Schools made the decision to move into a new, innovative and self-inspiring model of education for our College.
What does this mean? Let’s walk you through the new college as of January 2021.
All learners will arrive at school in January for the start of the first term (Even if this is virtually). Although there will be many change, much still remains the same, such as the usual 4 terms and all the inter-house, traditions and assemblies that would normally populate the school calendar. However, this year learners will arrive and see a beautifully upgraded and renovated academic campus. The campus layout will be focus on a humanities block, an art and business block and a sciences block.
There will be 5 academic pods, a state of the art science lab, an inspiring art room, an environmental center, a student collaborating space and library, numerous outside learning spaces, 3 silent break-away learning spaces and a unique outdoor classroom. The 5 academic pods will be used as functioning academic spaces for learners to listen to their online lessons together, while other students may break away into quieter spaces to complete their lessons.
The school day will start at 7:15, and it will end between 15:30 and 16:30. Learners will attend school as they normally would have.
We will continue with the IEB, with Grade 8 and 9 learners all taking the same subjects. This allows for all of their lessons to be interactive and supported by their specialist teachers and mentors. Grade 10 to 12 compulsory subjects will follow the same collaborative process. Ultimately, this means that our College learners will have an online teacher as well as a teacher who will be present in ALL their lessons. The ‘mentor’ teacher will help the learners to collaboratively discuss their lessons, extend those who need it, monitor those who need extra assistance with a specific area of learning as well as encourage debate, conversations and peer assistance. For the senior phases, the learners are now able to take any IEB subject on offer. All elective subjects will also be supported by a ‘mentor’ teacher.
With the focus on transparency, especially for our boarder parents, each learner’s academic programme will be monitored by their grade tutor in partnership with the learner’s parents or guardians.
During the school day, learners will have sport and cultural activities. Our core sports are trail running, mountain biking and endurance swimming. Team sports are important and teach many other skills and lessons in life, all team sports will be driven by the learners. This means that if there is a group of girls who would like to play hockey, we will enter a team into the league and play. If there is a group of boys and girls who want to play cricket and soccer, then they will make it happen. Sport is compulsory for our learners to participate in twice a week.
Our cultural programme remains in place, offering everything from the annual musical production, drumming, eisteddfods and chess to art clubs. Cultural activities are also compulsory and are offered twice a week.
In addition to this, a unique skills development programme will expose our learners to a variety of different courses, ultimately giving them a space to learn, grow and matriculate with more. Courses like First Aid, basic car maintenance, conflict resolution, silver service, barrister course, snake handling and Toastmasters – just to mention a few – will be covered.
Our learners are going to experience a much more concrete grounding in the environmental ethos of Southern Cross Schools too. With the basics in place, the Enviromental Centre will serve as a space for displays, guest talks, courses and education in sustainability and environmental consciences. To kick off 2021, our learners will have an amazing opportunity to take part in a tracking course that is being offered by Lee Guttridge. Regular wildlife experiences will be planned, filling our calendar with amazing opportunities.
Learners will become far more tech savvy and will learn to work collaboratively with people from all walks of life. They will be working off a smart device and will submit all their work online, this will all take place under the guidance of their mentor/facilitator.
In a nut shell, our learners will have a timetable that will be packed with academic lessons, personal growth and general knowledge opportunities, sport, culture and many other traditions that already make Southern Cross Schools a unique and special place to be. We will have a uniform, we will celebrate what we are good at and we will ensure that our learners continue to be happy, confident and relevant citizens in an ever changing world.
We are excited! 13 January, 2021, is going to be the start of a whole new kind of learning....learning that is relevant, exciting and most of all fun!
If you have any questions after reading this, please contact Tracey Larmont at firstname.lastname@example.org