It’s wonderful to be back amongst our BIS community for another year. We are excited to give a warm welcome to our new families and reconnect with existing parents and students. We would also like to welcome two new members of staff Meg Foley and Juliette Edwards.
Meg joins us in a project management role. As a teacher of ten years, Meg is passionate about lifelong learning and innovation in education. Along with a wealth of skills and knowledge in project management, Meg also brings her experience in robotics and coding, which promises to offer great opportunities for creative thinking, problem-solving and collaborative design.
Juliette is our new IT support/Google Admin officer. Juliette’s background in software and hardware implementation will be invaluable both to the day to day running of the school and in the classrooms.
We are also proud to announce that 2018 sees BIS celebrate it’s 50th year as a leader in primary education. As the longest running progressive independent school in Queensland we strive to be at the forefront of education research and reform. The introduction of the BIS Expedition Framework Curriculum in 2017 was an immense task, and we begin 2018 with the five basecamps now firmly established and with recurring, overarching themes in place for each term:
Term 1 Life Around BIS (Flora, fauna and environment)
Term 2 Adventures in the Past (BIS, Australian and World History)
Term 3 Around the World (Exploring different countries and cultures)
Term 4 Future Vision (Exploring perspective, probability, imagination and intuition)
We also see changes to two stalwarts of the BIS Curriculum, Omni and Bistopia.
Omni and Bistopia are unique learning experiences at BIS developed to foster inquisitive, self-directed, project-based learning. 2018 sees changes in the roll-out of these beloved aspects of our curriculum with the aim to bring richer learning, more consistency and a less frenetic pace to both experiences. The introduction of these changes are the final tweaks to our Expedition Framework Curriculum, with no further revisions planned until 2023.
The Omni Adventure strand is a focused weekly activity. In the first 5 weeks of term small groups of 6 or 7 students, assisted by a member of staff, focus their attention on learning a core skill to aide in developing their own project. Skills include; mixing ingredients and using kitchen tools, bushcraft, using tinker tools, sewing, using art mediums and electronics. In the second half of the term students then use these skills to conceive and create an Omni (own choice) project, in which they build upon and test the boundaries of their new skill set.
Bistopia (where students create a micro economy) will also be an Adventure Strand throughout the year instead on a one term bonanza. Leadership and entrepreneurship will be taught weekly, with each of the classes developing a community business in term 1.
Big Cats and Kestrels – Community Health Inspectors based around the term theme
Penguins – Post Office and BIS Radio, to run all year
Otters and Junior Dolphins – BIS Bank, to run all year
Senior Dolphins – Government, year long
Students will still do project planning and research in order to run their own shops, holding their own stalls in Week 10 of Term 1, then week 5 and 10 during Terms 2,3 and 4.
Embedding Bistopia in the curriculum throughout the calendar year will allow for deeper learning outcomes as the machinations of business and government and the spirit of entrepreneurship will be explored and fostered throughout the entire BIS year.
If you would like to know more about our curriculum and the methodology and ideology underpinning it Principal Jennifer Haynes will be giving a talk Unpacking the BIS Curriculum Thursday 15th February 6.30pm. Please RSVP via the link or through the events page on our website.