Our Learning Program

The Silkwood Learning Program is designed to deliver the outcomes in the Learning Continua. 
It encompasses three key programs:
  • A Core Learning Program focused on laying down the building blocks for healthy brain development and mastering the core English and Math skills needed for life;
  • An Essential Learning Program focused on developing useful real-world knowledge, skills and capabilities that support them to understand more about themselves, others, and our world;
  • A Personalised Learning Program designed around a student's interests and passions.
Each program uses a range of different learning approaches to ensure student learning is delivered in the most empowering and engaging ways. 
Core Learning Program
The Core Learning Program explicitly teaches: 
  • Foundational math and English skills; 
  • LOTE (Language Other Than English) – verbal mastery of a second language; 
  • Music – learning the basic language of music. 

Foundational math and English is mandatory learning for all students and forms part of the advisory timetable. In the Primary School LOTE and music also forms part of the Core Learning Program. In the High School LOTE and music forms part of the student’s Personalised Learning Plan (if this is where their interests lie).

Core skills are defined as the building blocks needed for healthy brain development and English and math life skills that a student needs mastery over. These skills are best taught using a short, targeted, instructional approach and have standard assessment processes set by the school to ensure students are making tangible progress across these skills.

Students set their core learning goals with their Advisor, and every student has individualised core learning goals. Advisors then plan their advisory Core Learning Program around each student’s goals to ensure all students are well supported and making progress.

Each Core Learning Program has a set time allocated weekly into the advisory timetable.

Once a student has mastered all the skills in their Core Learning Program, they have completed this program and it is no longer required in their learning plan. This allows for increased time to be spent on the Personalised Learning Program.   

Essential Learning Program
The Essential Learning Program delivers skills and content knowledge in our Learning Continua focused around three areas: 

Using our developmental framework, this program has been designed into year level essential learning and is delivered using three different learning frames: 

  • Integrated Learning
  • Experiential Learning
  • Discovery Learning  

Integrated Learning

Integrated Learning is designed to give students time to deeply explore content in highly engaging ways to foster a love of learning and spark new interests by generating curiosity, enjoyment and enthusiasm about our world and the people in it.

Silkwood’s Integrated Learning focuses on developing relevant 21st-century content from the traditional subject areas of Science, Humanities and the Social Sciences, Technology and the Arts. They are explored from Prep to Year 10 as part of the Essential Learning Program.

During Integrated Learning we develop meaningful associations with real-world connections using:
  • Developmental themes;
  • Hands-on active learning;
  • Artistic or scientific challenges;
  • A wide range of choices, providing individualisation;
  • Philosophical, investigative and inquiry techniques.

Integrated units are explored from Prep to Year 10 as part of the student's Essential Learning Program. Students may continue with integrated units of work based on their interests beyond these year levels during their Personalised Learning Time (PLT).

Experiential Learning

We believe every student at Silkwood has the capacity to be an artisan, musician, designer, developer and sportsperson . Silkwood’s Experiential Learning supports students to explore these opportunities and how these skills can be turned into work in life. Here we offer them experiences to:

  • Build a range of quality skills that enable students to perform, make, create and design;
  • Develop skills to actively engage in games and competitive sport;
  • Build enterprise skills and create businesses;  
  • Explore real-world working skills.

Through a developmentally designed program incorporating: 

  • The Arts (Visual, Manual, Handcraft and Media)
  • Performing Arts (Dance, Drama, Choir, Ensemble, Orchestra)
  • Maker Space
  • Creating enterprises
  • Seed to Plate
  • Games and sport

Experiential Learning is delivered either in weekly sessions over a term or arranged into blocks of allocated time.

As the student’s skills and understanding grow, they are given increasingly more choice over the opportunities offered. In the High School years, students develop their own personalised Experiential Learning projects. 

Discovery Learning

Discovery Learning takes students on a journey of self-discovery, one that expands their awareness of themselves by giving them opportunities to:

  • See life through different perspectives; 
  • Participate in improving their life, community and our world; 
  • Find inspiration and expand their interests;
  • Improve their communication skills.

We do this through engaging them in wellbeing programs, activities, camps, guest presenters, mentors and community projects that offer adventure, challenge, inspiration and introspection.   

These sessions are generally 30 minutes at the start of each day and a 10-minute session to close the day. All students participate in Discovery Learning from Prep to Year 12. 

Personalised Learning Program

The Personalised Learning Program (PLP) is purely focused on Personal Interest Learning Time (PILT) which is planned and led by the student and supported by their Advisor (Teacher) and parents/carers. It is designed to give students the opportunity to: 

During a student's Personal Interest Learning Time:

We begin this program in Prep in simple ways, with the students exploring their interests through play-based learning and provocations. As the student begins to articulate their interests, a simple project plan is introduced.  

As the student’s skill and self-awareness develop, the projects grow in complexity and number and this, combined with the mastering of core skills and essential learning, leads to the student’s Personal Interest Learning Time increasing. 

When students reach The Senior Academy  (Years 11 to 12), their Essential Learning Program time is reduced, therefore most of their learning plan is dedicated to personal interest projects which include a community project, senior thesis, autobiography, Learning Through Internship (LTI) project and other areas of personal interest learning. 

To ensure the rigour  of personal interest projects, they are designed to:

  • Have a depth of inquiry;
  • Include goals from the Silkwood Learning Continua;
  • Be challenging enough to keep the student engaged and curious;
  • Run for an extended length of time;
  • Include an essential question to be answered. 

Real-World Mentors  

Adding to this rigour, fostering links with real-world learning is also an expected part of the process. This link is vital for both the development of the entrepreneurial spirit and creating a meaningful connection to real-life through their work.  

In the Primary School years, this is done in developmentally appropriate ways with the student’s family and school-community connections.  

In the Middle School years, students are asked to find and draw on the expertise from mentors in their field of interest, and include mentorships and opportunities to leave the school to extend their learning.  

In the Senior Academy, this process develops to include more complex or advanced Learning Through Internship (LTI), which is a fundamental part of our Personal interest program in the Senior Academy.  

Learn more about our Mentor Program. 

Real-World Learning Coordinator

To support this process the school has a Real-World Learning Coordinator (RWLC) who helps students make connections by developing and maintaining a database of available mentors, exploring opportunities for new mentors and helping students develop the skills they need to find their own mentors. They also oversee the important paperwork needed to ensure our students are kept safe, and the school's compliance measures are being met by mentors.

Years 11 and 12 Essential Learning Program

In Years 11 and 12, the Essential Learning Program is structured differently to ensure all students work towards achieving their QCE (Queensland Certificate of Education). It includes daily sessions for Discovery Learning that all students participate in. They also then complete the following mandatory program to evidence the points they need for their QCE. This program is assessed against standard criteria and students do require a pass to receive the points. 

Want to know how to enrol?