Tell us a little about your role as the director of Sydney Centre for Innovation in Learning?
The SCIL is the innovation unit within Northern Beaches Christian School in Sydney, and it was developed as sort of an in-house mechanism to foster and grow a culture of innovation in the school, so it pre-dates me actually being here.
It was set up by our principal Stephen Harris, as a way of giving teachers an opportunity to express innovative practice in their everyday classroom work, and now it’s kind of grown into something that is a mechanism for us to share what’s happening innovatively in the school, with a much broader audience.
Do you have other schools come and visit?
Yes, constantly. And we go into them as well, so, we just talk about it in terms of us sharing our story. We’ve got a story of change and innovation and a large part of what people want to see is the design of new ways of thinking about spaces for learning and structuring for teaching, as well as pedagogical innovation as well.
Do you do much work speciﬁcally with school leaders?
Yes. I guess there’s a gamut of people that come to see us, often. I guess some of the key people we really like to talk to are those who have responsibilities for leading change in their school.
So that may be a school principal, but it also may be a team leader who wants to grow a culture or to galvanise their team around the concept of something like collaboration and they think ‘how can I take my team on this journey?’
What kind of leadership philosophies does the centre celebrate?
I guess we share what’s current for us. We’ve got a very different strategy I would say here – we’re not hierarchal at all, our leadership team is quite collaborative and collegial, so we represent that, the way we work, in a collegial way, and one of the key values of the school is relationships.
So, how our leadership structure works is very much dependent on that sense of high trust, strong relationships amongst the leaders, and that’s what we share, we talk about how we do that.
Anne will be speaking at the National FutureSchools Expo in Melbourne on March 23-24.