Byron Bay High School

This case study showcases how this school has embraced and embedded future-focused learning and teaching practice. Four key questions are addressed to demonstrate how they identified problems and constraints, overcome specific challenges and their learnings from this journey.

Location: 2 Arakwal Court, Byron Bay

Level: Secondary School, Year 7 to Year 12

Enrolment: 830 students

What learning problem were you trying to solve?

  • create more non-traditional learning spaces.
  • honour the Arakwal people the traditional custodians of the land on which we work and learn together.
  • harness the power of the circle for learning and connecting – Arakwal people have used the yarning circle as a way of working together for thousands of years.

What were your constraints?

To find a quiet and secluded space which would best suit the purposes of a yarning circle. We wanted it to be private and sacred.

What did you do?

We approached a local landscaping contractor whose children had attended our school. As a result of our interest the landscaper and a number of past Year 12 students volunteered to build the Yarning Circle in their own time during the school holidays.

The school bought all the sandstone and building supplies. The students provided their labour and expertise free of charge.

The project came in just under $20,000.

What have you learnt so far?

  • We learned that our community continues to surprise us with their generosity and support of our school.
  • The students love using the power of the circle to conduct meaningful conversations, connect with each other and build trust.
  • Students move to this space with the expectation that they will work and learn together as opposed to individual learning which may take place in a classroom.
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