At Big Picture Doncaster we believe in student excellence regardless of starting points. The curriculum model is a framework to which we attach our highly successful pedagogical approach so that students can acquire the knowledge, skills and understanding to succeed.
Big Picture Learning design is a dynamic approach to learning, doing, and thinking. The approach is based on three foundational principles: first, that learning must be based on the interests and goals of each student; second, that a student’s curriculum must be relevant to people and places that exist in the real world; and finally, that a student’s abilities must be authentically measured by the quality of her or his work.
Learning in the Big Picture Advisory is founded on a flexible curriculum, gradually developed with each student as they develop self awareness, interests, and our Habits of Work and Learning. This enables work whose direction and determination moves from the school to the student and as such transfers from an extrinsic to an intrinsic motivation leading to greater self determination and well being.
The Big Picture pedagogical approach provides a flexible individualised curriculum that supports a later involvement with a Big Picture Internship (Real-World-Learning-Placement) and project based learning with mentors in the community. This pedagogical approach allows for multiple pathways for students into the community after education as lifelong learners.
Students are able to link the academic with the practical and follow pathways to future education, training and/or employment. The work that the advisors and the students undertake, informs the curriculum in Big Picture classes. These classes are also subject to project based assessment by exhibition. It is important to note that the families of students play a crucial role in their progress and are involved at all stages of the student’s progress through Advisory groups.
Classes at Big Picture Doncaster are called advisories. Advisories are deliberately kept small and the school overall is smaller than average. This allows staff members to do significant work with each student. Big Picture Learning is designed to meet the needs of all students but, as a school, we have chosen to allocate the places available to students by a set criteria in which a number of our students will have emotional, behavioural and/or social issues, and/or have external circumstances that make accessing education difficult. It is therefore our aim to work with them individually to address their educational, social and emotional needs.