Our Eight Learning Principles
The Big Picture Learning Way is framed by eight Learning Principles. We are uncompromised on these fundamental values with our learning approach as they guide and align all educational decisions.
1. Student-Centered Learning
We value students’ learning time and know that when students feel they are “in charge” of their learning, they experience improved outcomes. For this reason, each student at Big Picture works in partnership with their Advisor to design a personalized learning pathway around their interests and essential and core learning needs, whilst learning how to self-manage their progress
2. Developmental Learning
All young people go through different stages of physical and psychological development. Understanding, considering, and integrating these stages is important throughout our learning approach to ensure students are affirmed through developmentally appropriate knowledge and strategies.
Big Picture uses a developmental scaffold that highlights appropriate strategies, contexts, and approaches to learning that are relevant to students’ developmental stages. This supports student engagement and responsiveness—it says to the student we understand you and what is happening for you.
“We understand you and what is happening for you.”
3. Real World Learning
To increase student engagement, create meaningful learning experiences and expand understanding about the world, we connect students to real-world mentors and learning experiences throughout their learning program. In a traditional schooling approach, the teachers and school facilities are the learning environment.
4. Making Moments That Matter
We take time to consider, plan, and create deliberate moments on a student’s journey that are worth taking the time to acknowledge, celebrate, or take them on a journey of significance.
5. Exploring and Expanding Interests
Students learn and work best when they are passionate about and interested in what they are doing. For this reason, all students, from kindergarten to year 12, spend time deeply exploring things they are interested in.
We also recognize that the ongoing development of a young person’s interests is an important part of their learning. The role of an Advisor (Teacher) is to continually seek out opportunities for their students to discover new interests. They balance the time needed to do other work with a student’s need to explore and discover.
6. Working in Partnership
It takes a village to raise a child—learning is a partnership that involves our students, their families, and the wider community. At Big Picture, parents and careers are essential members of our learning team, beginning with the application process and progressing through to developing the learning plan, exhibitions, and graduations. We know that working together with shared goals, and in support of each other enhances outcomes for students and their community.
7. Learning How to Learn
We value our students’ becoming lifelong learners. ‘Learning to learn’ helps strengthen this process by making how they learn visible.
These are habits that help learners to learn more effectively by developing their ability to:
- Pursue and persist in learning;
- Organize their own learning;
- Motivate themselves;
- Behave intelligently when they don’t know the answer;
- Have the self- confidence to succeed.
8. Entrepreneurial Thinking
Every student at Big Picture has an interest, passion, or idea that they can turn into practical and meaningful real-world work. Our role is to equip them with the foundational capabilities to do just that.
To do this, our students are encouraged to ‘think entrepreneurially’ by:
- Searching for and finding solutions that exist outside the norm;
- Being unafraid of taking considered risks;
- Being prepared with the mindset and real-world know-how to take on challenges.
These are the skills that set students on the path to leading a meaningful and fulfilling life.