Penola Catholic College Pedagogical Vision

Educators at Penola Catholic College meticulously design and deliver a learning and teaching program that is guided by our Mission Statement. This is reflective of our belief in Jesus Christ who guides us in building a Faith and learning Community, actively pursuing Excellence united with a holistic and comprehensive education established by the gospel values.

Furthermore, we believe that each member of the community is called to witness and are equally valued for their unique contribution. Education is a partnership between the school, teachers, students and families and we nurture, engage and encourage all students in a safe and reverential learning environment, as a way of respecting and acknowledging the individual learning needs of each student.

The following Infographic outlines the Penola Catholic College Pedagogical Vision for the next three years. Our principal focus is to lead an engaging and innovative curriculum, catering for 21st century learners.


At Penola Catholic College we have a dedicated Curriculum Development Collaboration Team that oversee and direct the rich curriculum choices we provide the school community. This team consists of John McKay – Deputy Principal Teaching and Learning, Sandra Warren – Head of Teaching and Learning, Glenroy Campus and I, Sandra Harrison- Head of Instructional Practice. We come together fortnightly in our respective roles of varying skill set, expertise and responsibilities and collaborate towards a common goal. The importance of this team is that we closely work and align significant curriculum members that contribute to the Penola Catholic College Pedagogical Vision.

At Penola Catholic College we adopt Hattie’s mindset to implement strategies for teachers that provide every student one years’ worth of growth each school year. Hence, student growth is a measure of individual progress regardless of a student’s starting point or capabilities, our Pedagogical vision for Penola Catholic College incorporates the 3 key phases of;

  • Deliver at least one year’s growth in learning for every student every year.
  • Equip every student to be a creative, connected and engaged learner in a rapidly changing world; and
  • Cultivate an adaptive, innovative and continuously improving education system.

We achieve these 3 key phases through our learning and teaching programs and the Professional Learning we offer all staff. Through the structure of Collaborative Planning Teams we also focus and support students by;

  • Intervening early to limit the impact of disadvantage and reduce performance gaps.
  • A systematic and sequenced approach to teaching.
  • Teachers having access to accurate information about what students know.
  • Using data evidence to assess how students are progressing.
  • Tailored teaching according to what students know, and what they still need to learn.

Therefore, we believe that over the next three years we shall implement the following frameworks to assist the learning outcomes for the students entrusted in our care. While we believe teaching content is important, teaching our students to develop a varying and multi layered skill set and the process of how to learn is far more advantageous. This three-year vision is not linear as displayed, rather a narrative that accommodates our diverse learners who are engaged in innovative curriculum practices that are reflective of a 21st century educational landscape.

Our School Improvement Team focuses on the Curiosity and Powerful Learning Framework which is a whole school approach. This year as part of the framework Adopt consistent Teaching Protocols has been launched which has provided for a shift in student engagement through intentional discourse on the Learning Intention and Success Criteria for each class. When students understand the purpose of their learning it significantly contributes to academic growth and we encourage all parents to support this dialogue in the home environment.

The Curiosity and Powerful Learning Framework is supported by Differentiated Instruction and the work of Carol Ann Tomlinson, who is an American educator, author and presenter renowned for her work globally with differentiated instruction, meeting student’s individual needs in education. Our Professional Learning has focused on her body of work and embedding this in our classroom practice. Furthermore, the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data is designed specifically to support the individual needs for our learners. The importance of personalised learning is at the forefront of our pedagogical vision.

Assessment and Reporting is integral to curriculum. The school’s approach to assessment reflects our mission statement and gospel values. The Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Policy sets a context for assessment in Catholic schools. It defines assessment as the process, whether formal or informal, by which students, teachers and parents review the learning that has ensued. At Penola Catholic College we incorporate:

Assessment For Learning: (Formative)

Occurs when teachers use inferences about student progress to inform their teaching.

Assessment Of Learning: (Summative)

Occurs when teachers use evidence of student learning to make judgments on student achievement against goals and standards.

Assessment As Learning:

Occurs when students reflect on and monitor their progress to inform their future learning goals.

This process is also supported by the introduction of Developmental Rubrics and Data Informed practice. This shift towards a Visible Learning Framework will support teachers as they become evaluators of their own teaching. Visible Learning occurs when teachers see learning through the lens of students, whilst enabling them to become their own teachers, in turn building truly authentic relationships between students and teachers that we pride ourselves on as a community at Penola Catholic College.

This year we have additionally implemented the work of Carol Dweck an American psychologist, known for her work on the psychological mindset trait. This Growth Mindset approach strengthens our pedagogical vision when assisting to develop our students to achieve their personal best in all areas of their academic endeavours. Enriching our pedagogical vision is our strong commitment to Digital Literacy and the place this has in our respective classrooms. More than ever, staff at Penola Catholic College have been dedicated to achieving a high quality skill set through many and varied digital literacy platforms which has been evident throughout this time of Online Remote Learning and Teaching.

As educators at Penola Catholic College we are dedicated to ensuring that we engage the students entrusted in our care in their learning so that students make meaningful connections. Committed to life-long learning, we aim to prepare our students for their respective future, that upon leaving formal schooling they are well equipped and inspired learners ready to make a difference, achieving their personal best, their version of greatness.

Finally, as teachers and as parents, collectively we must draw upon and emulate the words of our Patron Saint, St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop “We must teach more by example than by word”…

If you require any further information regarding the aforementioned, please do not hesitate to contact me at the college.