Our Advisory Approach

The Silkwood Way is led by the innovative Big Picture Education advisory approach. This approach moves the traditional Teacher/Student relationship into one of a partnership between an Advisor and a Learner, and translates classes into small learning communities called Advisories. 
This centres the importance of the Teacher/Student relationship in learning by giving more time for one-on-one learning conversations and self-discovery so that personalised learning can flourish. It also values the place that development of a healthy learning culture and community play in a student’s success – giving life to the research that learners learn best from learners.

The Advisor 

Each student at Silkwood is assigned a dedicated Advisor (as opposed to a Teacher) who works in partnership with them and their family to develop a Personalised Learning Plan (PLP) with the student.  

An Advisor is a qualified Teacher and does teach, however they do significantly more; they are committed to individualising and personalising student learning plans and supporting a student to achieve their learning goals by: 

  • Developing a deep understanding of how the student learns, behaves, and is motivated;
  • Understanding and navigating the student’s personal life circumstances;
  • Supporting the student with developing an understanding of themselves so they can self-manage their learning; 
  • Acting as an advocate for the student in the planning processes with the wider Teaching Team;
  • Encouraging a growth mindset;
  • Linking learning to real-world opportunities;
  • Developing and delivering Essential Learning Programs for their advisory;
  • Focusing the student on tangible progress;
  • Working in partnership with the student, their family, the school and the wider community.
The Advisory Group

Our students learn in small learning communities with their Advisor, this is called an advisory. Each advisory has 18 students, and students remain with the same Advisor (and group) for a two-year learning cycle, this allows them to understand and know each other well.

Students work in their advisory with their Advisor as much as possible, to ensure a strong learning community is formed. During these times, the Advisor deepens their understanding of each student and the group through the Discovery Learning Program.
The advisory group helps each other to manage their time, plan work, find real-world mentors, build on their learning goals, and complete projects. This way, the advisory becomes a great support system for each student, like a family group at school with its own culture and personality. 

Students are expected, as part of their learning program, to actively participate in becoming respectful, caring and productive members of their advisory group.

We'd love to tell you more.