Beyond the Classroom

Learning & Teaching

'At the heart of our school is a commitment to develop the whole child – dynamic, caring and optimistic, and prepared with the right foundation to become a lifelong, 21st century learner.'

Primary Years - Stages 1&2

The Bishop Druitt College journey starts here. Our unique teaching and learning structures enable all educational programs to be implemented in a developmentally appropriate manner. Our inspirational and caring staff have a deep knowledge of early childhood philosophies with a particular focus on the Walker Learning Approach.

The Walker Learning Approach

The Walker Learning Approach is a holistic teaching and learning approach that is developmentally and culturally appropriate for children in early childhood and primary years of education. Walker Learning is a pedagogy, not a program or tool.

In the primary years of education, Walker Learning is designed to provide a balance of explicit teaching of literacy, numeracy, STEAM, and other curriculum areas, with time for children to actively investigate a range of skills and experiences for life. This is achieved either through planned play or projects, depending upon their age and stage of maturity.

Walker Learning values, respects and honours the individual child, views the child holistically and considers emotional and social development of equal importance as academic success. The starting point and emphasis is relationships with a child (and family) and personalising their experiences to set each child up for success.

Neuroscience and developmental psychology are major disciplines that guide Walker Learning’s pedagogical practice.  Brain research states that children require a mix of explicit instruction and active exploration of their environment in learning experiences that reflect their own culture, environment and community, so that learning is truly relevant and meaningful.

Project-Based Learning

Stage 2 students engage in project-based learning throughout the year. Project-based learning (PBL) is a teaching and learning approach in which students learn by actively engaging in real-world and personally meaningful projects. This model of learning has emerged in education all around the world. 

This approach includes student-centered learning.  Our teachers embrace a range of teaching strategies to help support all learners. In project-based learning, the focus is on doing an authentic self-directed project and learning from it.

Project-Based Learning at BDC:

  • Engages students in their personal learning journey.
  • Offers students an opportunity to build confidence, solve problems, work in teams, communicate ideas, and manage themselves more effectively.
  • Encourages students to use technology in authentic ways.
  • Connects students and schools with communities locally and globally.
  • Pedagogy provides real-world practice and application of the general capabilities, within curriculum requirements of content and skill development.

The Middle Years - Stages 3&4

In the middle years (Years 5 - 8) at Bishop Druitt College students begin a robust, research-based curriculum tailored to meet their adolescent needs. Student wellbeing, student voice, choice and challenge all become key parts of their college experiences.

At BDC we believe that student wellbeing underpins academic success. A holistic approach to knowing each student and their family is vital in providing all of our students with the support they need to succeed.

The Kaizen Initiative

All students are part of the Kaizen Initiative. Kaizen is a Japanese word meaning ‘continuous improvement’. Based on research and student voice, we understand that our students are looking for autonomy, choice, challenge, mentoring, leadership and collaboration. The Kaizen Initiative offers a unique multi-aged (Years 5 - 8) experience for the students to develop their critical and creative thinking skills. In recent years, students have solved problems related to fields of study such as robotics, film making, marketing, philosophy and solar energy. 

Secondary - Stage 5

As our Year 9 & 10 students grow into confident young adults it is important that they continue to see the relevance in their educational journey. At Bishop Druitt College we integrate academics and wellbeing, so developing an extensive suite of opportunities for our students. 

'Our mission is to "light fires not fill buckets" and by this we mean that we support their developmental pathway aligning with their passions, talents and aspirations.'

To motivate students to engage with learning we have openly encouraged them to explore the curriculum. Our mission is to ‘light fires not fill buckets’ and by this we mean that we support their developmental pathway aligning with their passions, talents and aspirations.

World Options Electives

World Options elective subjects give students greater voice and choice in their academic programs with three elective lines being semesterised. This means that over the two years of Stage 5 our World Options students will have access to 12 exciting short courses. This bespoke education will adapt over time to continually respond to the needs of our learners. The academic staff at BDC are very excited with this innovative curriculum change. This will be a first for northern NSW. 

Progress with us from Stage 5 to Stage 6

and join our 'Excelsior Journey'

Senior Years - Stage 6

Bishop Druitt College offers a contemporary and challenging senior years program for our students in Years 11 & 12 (Stage 6). Bishop Druitt College has developed an enviable history of academic excellence in HSC and certificate programs across a wide variety of pursuits. 

'Our graduates are well-balanced with a global outlook, and equipped with the skills and self-belief to excel and achieve their personal best.'

Science, technology, engineering, art & mathematics, or STEAM, underpins many activities here at Bishop Druitt College. As our founding Principal, Victor Branson, highlighted in his 25th Anniversary Dinner speech, students must be encouraged to explore new ideas, ask challenging questions and be given the tools to thrive in a complex world. At BDC we feel that students who work through programs of work designed with STEAM principles will be well equipped to meet the challenges the world faces. 

At BDC, students from Kindergarten through primary and secondary will use imagination, exploration and their innate curiosity in many activities. From tinker spaces and gardening to coding and green screen filming, from electronics and robotics to solar boats and wind turbines, students will have access to experiences that involve thinking strategies which will help them to find their passions and to build on them early. These experiences also encourage controlled risk-taking, working through failure and resilience.

All students have access to the new STEAM lab, a room that has been transformed to showcase a new approach to learning spaces. The working hub has 3-D printers, whiteboard top benches, multiple large Apple TV-connected screens, polished concrete floors, and top of the range Apple desktop computers. This space allows for project-based learning activities such as First Lego League. 

STEAM at BDC is an exciting space to watch as teachers continue to innovate and develop interdisciplinary units of work in order to create opportunities for students to design, create, evaluate, and test their solutions to real-world problems. 

World Prepared Students

Students graduate from BDC with a distinctive education and a ‘world prepared’ aptitude for pursuing their passions locally or globally. They are independent, adaptable, ethical in their decision making, and are highly effective team players. They take ‘the Bishop Druitt Way’ to the world.

Designed to facilitate independence and resilience, our teachers and support staff have an unwavering focus on knowing each young man and women and encouraging them to challenge and extend themselves through new and diverse experiences. All elements of the senior years program are designed with choice and challenge as the anchoring mantra. Our graduates are well-balanced with a global outlook, and equipped with the skills and self-belief to excel and achieve their personal best.