01 Pedagogy

Learning and teaching at Caroline Chisholm Catholic College will be enquiry-based and student centred.

Transforming Learning - From curiosity to clarity

Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta says that students in our Diocese will be engaged in the following type of learning:

…experiential learning using an enquiry model, connected for every learner every day, where learning is student-led and collaborative, not teacher controlled.

While this may look different from school to school, we know from quality research that, when learning design across the school becomes consistently more enquiry focused, then the level of student achievement and curiosity increases. Caroline Chisholm College has always had high expectations of every learner. What this transformation means for the girls at the college is that they will be expected to become more active, responsible learners who engage deeply in the learning process, and control its direction and pace. We also expect that students will find learning challenging, even difficult and uncomfortable. They will be taught how to develop the values of persistence and mental toughness, so that their learning struggle will lead to mastery.

Across the school, students will engage in real world problem solving, and will have a degree of control over the nature of the questions they choose to enquire into. They will be expected to present their learning to a range of audiences, some of whom may be practitioners from the field they are studying.

The Learning Journey

In the junior school, students will be introduced to the idea of ‘The Learning Journey’ – a symbolic representation of what it is like to move through the five stages of learning:

  1. Preparing for the journey

    Students develop understanding about where they are going and what they need for the journey. They learn basic concepts and skills to get ready for the journey. Importantly, they consider what they will need in their 'backpack'.The backpack is a symbol that represents the things students take with them on their learning journey; their personal strengths, values, previous learning, resources from their teacher, etc.
  2. Setting Off

    In this stage, students begin the process of clarifying the task or question they have been given. They revise their strategies for problem solving, collecting resources and raising questions.This stage may include direct instruction from the teacher, scaffolding and facilitation.
  3. The Climb

    This is the most critical phase of the learning journey. It represents the zone of uncertainty and even confusion before students make their own learning breakthrough. During the climb, students will need to draw on the resources in their backpack, the members of their team, and especially their character strengths and positive growth mindset to face the challenge and build new knowledge.
  4. Summit

    Having built new knowledge by persisting throughout the climb, students achieve the satisfaction of a breakthrough. This becomes the focus of assessment and reflection.
  5. Next steps

    A summit is not the end of the learning journey. It is an important milestone, but it leads the student towards new paths and new summits. Drawing on the learning, sharing that with others, and building mental toughness means that the student will have even better resources for the next part of the journey.

The Learning Journey


Learn more about the Learning Journey


The teachers at Caroline Chisholm College will continue to explore the very best ways of making learning meaningful and powerful for the students of the college, and will, more and more, entrust students with the tools and the confidence to manage their own learning – a lesson that will equip them for life.