Why don’t we use worksheets at Living Faith?

Learning Landscape Monday, 14 Mar 2022

Worksheets are the age-old staple of schools. They are quick and easy for teachers to print, pass and start. Students can fill out a worksheet independently without much direction, colour this box, fill in the blank, match, copy or trace. Easy to mark with red ticks or crosses. Worksheets are often seen by parents as tangible proof that kids were busy. The problem is that worksheets don’t teach...

Real learning experiences are dynamic, messy, challenging and responsive to children's needs. Teaching and learning involves questioning, revisiting, rephrasing and reworking. No two experiences can ever be the same because no two children are the same.

Children all learn differently, despite year levels or ages, they are all at different points in their learning journey. A worksheet can never meet the diverse needs and complex learning demands of children.

The truth is a worksheet is surface-level busy work and learning should never be surface level. Our job as teachers is to engage, rekindle and spark children's creativity and curiosity to foster a deep love of learning that will last a lifetime. We want our students to be inquisitive lifelong learners. This requires our learning experiences to be adaptable, authentic and deep.

Using worksheets takes away opportunities for students to take risks, brainstorm, grapple, ask questions, experiment and learn in tactile, hands-on and experiential ways. 95% of what a child learns is through direct experience - Michael Mendizza

How do we teach at Living Faith?

Instead of worksheets:

  • Students engage in Project-Based Learning, focusing on addressing authentic problems or challenges. Students explore big ideas and concepts and direct the path of their learning through deep inquiry;
  • In Maths, experiences focus on creative ways to solve open-ended challenges. Students learn about the importance of a growth mindset, learn from their mistakes and participate in grapple tasks;
  • English focuses on developing the students' love of reading by allowing them to read what interests them and working on personal reading goals. Activities are highly personalised for each child's needs and take into consideration their interests and motivations;
  • Students learn to consider the needs of others and share God’s love through service. Students are encouraged to develop compassion, empathy and recognise the ways their gifts can be used to serve others and the world. Through direct experiences, research or advocacy students build an awareness of the world around them; and
  • We aim to prepare students to thrive in an ever-changing world by developing lifelong skills we call contemporary competencies. 

These are explicitly taught and valued and include skills such as resilience, collaboration, self-direction, grit, creativity, initiative, emotional intelligence and leadership to name a few. These competencies are developed through meaningful learning experiences that value student voice and autonomy over compliance and black and white thinking.

- Bianca Ravi, Director of Learning