Features, School Profile, Secondary School, VIC

Integrating learning and wellbeing for a personalised experience at MLC

Methodist Ladies’ College (MLC) has introduced a new Curriculum for Learning and Wellbeing in 2024 for its secondary students.

“A curriculum isn’t set-and-forget, it’s constantly evolving in response to the latest research, knowledge and changes in society,” explains Julia Shea, Principal of Methodist Ladies’ College (MLC), as the renowned school introduces its new Curriculum for Learning and Wellbeing in 2024 for its secondary students.

Already known for one of the widest range of subjects and co-curricular offerings of any girls’ school in the state, this reimagined approach was designed to ensure it remains at the forefront of exceptional education practices.

“As a core part of our cycle of improvement and renewal, MLC has made incremental changes to the curriculum over many years,” Julia says. “However, as we came out of the pandemic, we had the opportunity to consider more holistic evolutionary adaptations to the curriculum for our Year 7-12 girls.

“We reflected on the lessons learnt from remote online learning, we delved into contemporary research on the most effective curriculum designs for secondary years, and most importantly, we sought feedback from the people whom the curriculum impacts most – namely, our students, families and teachers.”

Naming it a ‘Curriculum for Learning and Wellbeing’ highlights how a curriculum isn’t just about subjects.

“We have deliberately named it this due to the true integration of both aspects into each student’s day, rather than treating them separately or in isolation.

“Student wellbeing has always been a fundamental focus of the MLC experience, but we wanted to expand on this even further and deliver meaningful wellbeing initiatives that are personalised for every student.”

These initiatives include a dedicated mentor for every Year 7 to Year 12 student, directly responsible for supporting their students to achieve their personal learning and wellbeing goals. Mentors meet with their students one-on-one every fortnight, alongside regular small group sessions.

“Developing and strengthening relationships is a core part of our wellbeing approach, and our mentor teachers are central to this,” Julia says. “So every student can develop an ongoing relationship with their mentor for a truly personalised experience, each mentor is responsible for only twelve students, which is less than half of a traditional class teacher.

“Research shows that when students have higher levels of wellbeing, they are more likely to have higher academic achievement and better mental health. As a girls’ school, our wellbeing approach has been designed with girls in mind, to ensure our students know they have that support system so they develop their confidence, unlock their talents, and challenge themselves.”

Alongside strong relationships, other key pillars of the new Curriculum for Learning and Wellbeing are structure of the day, breadth and clear learning pathways.

An enhanced shape of the day through timetable structure and period allocations fosters balanced and broad learning and wellbeing outcomes, with frequent subject delivery reinforcing what was learnt during the week, and more frequent teacher contact.

Though MLC’s exceptional breadth of subject offerings is well-recognised, the school looked to include a greater breadth and balance of subject choice across a broader range of disciplines. This enables students to participate in and continue to build their knowledge in learning areas aligned to their interests, talents and individual aspirations.

Clear pathways from Year 7-12 is through the careful sequencing of skills and knowledge that ensures that learning constantly builds on what was taught earlier and feeds into what is taught later, rather than seeing individual units as disconnected.

“Our students will feel, as they progress through their secondary years, that they have clear pathways and a sense of purpose,” Julia says. “Through building these strong relationships, they will feel supported in their decision-making and goal-setting, so by the time they reach their final years of either VCE or the International Baccalaureate (IB), they feel confident in their learning, their strengths and their passions,  which will equip them well beyond the school gates and they know they can achieve anything.”

Previous ArticleNext Article
Send this to a friend