Thinking Outside the Box

Published: Tuesday 24 May 2022

On Tuesday the 10th May, NSW Chapter of LEA hosted a Conversation with Greg Miller who spoke with passion about the Learning Community that is St Luke’s Catholic College in Marsden Park.

Greg is a visionary educational leader with a strong desire to transform learning. St Luke’s is designing and establishing a ‘new normal’ for preschool to post-school learning by combining five educational services of preschool, primary, secondary, out of hours school care and a high needs studio as part of an extended school day, 6:30am to 6:00pm, Monday to Friday. Greg has an ability to ‘get people on board’ and his passion for student-centred learning wins commitment from staff, students and the wider community. As a creative, strategic and analytical thinker, and with the invaluable support of a collaborative leadership team, dedicated staff and supportive parents, Greg acts with the ‘fierce urgency of the now’ by leading a preschool to post school community which nurtures curious children to become creative contributors and innovative problem solvers for a changing world.

Many educators and designers alike would ponder, how do you do what you do? The education at St Luke’s is student centred, contemporary and responds in a timely manner to an ever-changing world. 

Greg acknowledges that a “green school “in its infancy provides a blank canvas: but he also indicates the language used is important to bring stakeholders on the journey. He doesn’t use the term “experiment”-rather encourages the use of the terms “pilot” and “trial”, while always encouraging community to look at new ways of learning.

A number of schools grapple with the notion of not enough time and an overcrowded curriculum. Greg approaches this creatively by investing in a minimum indicative hour approach to the curriculum. Using an indicative hour approach: the research indicates that 80-90% of students meet the outcomes in this time. So, the focus is to extend and challenge learners who will benefit while supporting those who need support.

Greg encourages his community to “question everything as a new metric”, encouraging deep enquiry and creative thinking. The community have explored new ways of knowing, using Life Coaches, Community Partnerships, Dual Accreditation , student portfolios and new courses rather than old School Certificate. Of note is that St Luke’s do not deliver electives in stage 5: rather they have designed a course-Life Design with Life Coaches. All work is designed around the educational pillars of witness, manage. relate, inquire, think and create. 

Greg offers a warm welcome to anyone who wishes to explore the learning and environment of St Luke’s. Professional Learning tours are conducted every three weeks.