The reality is that advanced technology and artificial intelligence (AI) will change the nature of employment. However, AI can’t replicate human creativity. Students whose creativity is fostered and nurtured throughout their schooling will have the greatest opportunity for success in the future.

A commitment to fostering creativity has been the catalyst for transforming teaching and learning at St Paul’s School, and has promoted the development of its unique Realms of Thinking model.  The primary aim of the model is to engage students in creative and innovative thinking across all spheres of their curriculum learning.  The approach to learning helps students master the basics while also growing their capacity to ask better questions, navigate failure, develop empathy and spark their imaginations.

Realms of Thinking has at its heart 16 creativity dispositions that when nurtured, develop an innovative mindset in students.  Within the context of the Realms of Thinking model and learning environment, this mindset supports heightened creative activity, design thinking, entrepreneurship and disciplinary mastery.

At St Paul’s School, the Realms of Thinking are embedded in the curriculum, across Pre-Prep to Year 12. This approach to teaching and learning has also encouraged teachers to re-imagine traditional approaches to planning, teaching and learning.

The Realms of Thinking have transformed what curriculum looks like at St Paul’s.  One key example is in the St Paul’s Junior School where an entirely new curriculum based on the Realms was created called Immersion Studies Time

This was born out of ACARA requiring Junior Schools to add an extra seven subjects to their classrooms, but St Paul’s did not want to lose its unique Junior School culture while also seeking to embed creative and design thinking into the curriculum. The result was the integration of multiple subjects across a single project.

For example, to better develop innovative thinking in Year 3 students, the School partnered with Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) to design their new 2036 masterplan.  Industry experts from BAC’s innovation unit partnered with the School to develop a two-day Design-led Venture workshop. Students got to analyse the future population and structure of greater Brisbane, investigate trends in changes to technology and infrastructure, and present ideas aligned to BAC’s business objectives. From this initial process of ideation, students prototyped a model airport that incorporated their innovations.

The BAC experts were so impressed with the students innovative thinking that several of their ideas have now been incorporated into the Airport’s final 2036 masterplan.

Schools from across Australia have been impressed by IST and are seeking to replicate it.

Realms of Thinking encourage children to imagine and aspire to any possible future, from starting and shaping a business before they graduate; applying design thinking to real-world problems; and collaborate through global connections of learning and friendship.

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