Big Picture Education Australia (BPEA) is a non-profit company whose core business is the transformation of education in response to a rapidly-changing world. Big Picture Education are implementing an innovative design for learning and schools in a range of urban, regional and remote settings around Australia.
At the heart of the design is a departure from traditional ‘appointment learning’ where everyone learns the same things according to a fixed timetable inside the four walls of a school. BPEA believe that personalised, passion-based learning is the key to modernising education and preparing young people uncommonly well for successful futures. BPEA nurtures creativity, curiosity and independence.
One student at a time, in a community of learners: https://www.bigpicture.org.au/
Sydney Secondary College Leichhardt campus is one of the few schools in Sydney to host a Big Picture Academy. We currently have 17 students in 1 advisory.
What is Big Picture?
Students in the Big Picture Academy are given the opportunity to pursue their passions and interests through deep learning experiences.
With the help of an advisor (teacher) and their classroom peers (max. 17 students per advisory), students are empowered to make choices to learn about what they are most passionate about.
What is an Advisory?
In Big Picture, Students learn in small groups of 17, known as an ‘advisory’ where there is a culture of belonging, support and respect. Students are given a private working space in their advisory and can personalise this space to suit their individual style and learning needs.
In Big Picture, students have a personalised learning plan designed around their passions and interests. Every student’s learning plan will look different according to their passion project. Advisors work with the students to create meaningful projects that focus on the student’s strengths, while encouraging the development of new skills and learning experiences.
Interest exploration projects
Interest exploration is a way to find out what you are truely passionate about. In Big Picture, students work on a variety of projects in areas of personal interest that they design and manage. They also complete additional courses from further education providers that support their IEPs.
Learning through internship
In Big Picture, students complete an LTI with an expert mentor to gain insight into a field of interest. An LTI is an internship you go to every week to work on authentic projects with your mentor.
In Big Picture, students are encouraged to engage with learning both in and out of the classroom and are provided with a variety of outlearning experiences that further develop a their skills and experience in their chosen area of passion. Examples of outlearning include: TAFE Courses, volunteer work, attending workshops, excursions, seminars, lectures, etc.
Exhibitions are a public presentation of your learning from the term. In Big Picture, students exhibit in front of a panel made up of their advisor, parents, peers, mentors and others. Students collect evidence of their learning in a portfolio, which forms the basis of their assessment throughout school.
Journals are a way to reflect on your life and learning. In Big Picture, students regularly complete journals. These journals assist the students to identify areas of strength and weakness and form part of the students portfolio of learning.
In Big Picture, students are assessed against 6 learning goals:
- Knowing How to Learn
- Personal Qualities
- Social Reasoning
- Empirical Reasoning
- Quantitative Reasoning
These learning goals are used to help expand a students project work and challenge them with new ideas.