“What impressed me the most throughout Jane’s workshops was the fact that she did not enforce a direction that we needed to go in as a school; she simply offered suggestions for ‘future-smart’ schools and reinforced the notion that we as a team of teachers and as a school community must “make it our own” and choose an approach that best suits Claremont College. Jane also had a way of making the theoretical very practical, and her passion and dedication to what she does is truly evident.”
Kristina Wright, Year 6 Teaching and Learning Assistant/Intern Teacher
Feedback from Claremont College, NSW, Australia, July 2016
Jane Simister’s sessions at Claremont College were incredibly beneficial not just for our school and students as a whole but for me personally as an educator too. Jane's enthusiasm and clear instruction on how to integrate learning dispositions into my classroom is inspiring. The students are enjoying exploring how they can show these dispositions in lessons and how this will help them for life after Claremont College. These sessions were outstanding.
Lynn Divers, Lead Teacher, Year 5
“The fact that thinking skills links so well with the Australian General capabilities is a win! We need to explore this further in our school. Collaboration is such a huge thing for us yet we don't link it enough to the Personal and Social capability. This is definitely an area to work on. The greatest eye opener is this is not an extra program, we just need to maximise what we are doing already to embed this program further.”
Tara Barr, Head of Music, Executive Staff
“I found Jane's visit to be inspiring and thought-provoking. As educators we all want to equip our students for the future, and understand that they require a diverse range of skills and dispositions for this, but I have always felt unsure about how to do this. Jane's workshops were incredibly practical and the ideas I gained from them has re-shifted the lens through which I now plan and teach lessons. It also, for me, highlighted the 'art' of teaching. Teaching is not about 'delivering' content, but skilfully designing lessons that help students to understand key concepts and develop the thinking and learning skills they need today and into the future."
Joe Paton, Year 2 Teacher, Head of Infants, Executive Staff
"Working with Jane was simply inspirational! Seeing the examples and the ease that thinking skills can be built into lessons and the language used to support and extend students learning has changed the way I approach teaching. Most significantly, I have actively included thinking skills into the success criteria of lessons, which has allowed an opportunity for all students to feel success, even in lessons where the content is challenging."
Carrie Grieve, Kindergarten Teacher
"I really enjoyed Jane’s session because the thinking skills were not limited to children. All of the activities she set up encouraged me to think outside the box in an unconventional way. I feel as we become older, we tend to lose our creative thinking so this was a great way to flex that muscle and get it to spring back into shape!"
Lisa Inglis, Year 2 Teaching & Learning Assistant/Intern teacher
"Beware! Jane's enthusiasm is highly contagious. Her bright, enthusiastic presentation makes one want to rush out and implement her excellent ideas. I also love that she is constantly evaluating and reworking her practices."
Toni Henry, Head of Library
"Jane’s visit to Claremont was inspiring, thought-provoking and exciting! Jane gave us lots of practical ideas that I was able to use in my classroom the very next day. I appreciated Jane's flexibility in discussing how her ideas could be applied to the Claremont context, and desire to learn about us and from us."
Tali Burton, Lead Teacher, Year 4
"Jane’s Intellectual Character and thinking skills dovetail so beautifully to the work I do. I constantly found my head nodding and face smiling in agreement with not only the principles of the model but also the practical implementation. I LOVED that Jane was keen to adapt for Kindy. It's so important that they start the journey in school, I actually think preschool too is a time when we can explicitly discuss collaboration, creativity etc in a more structured way. Kids are able to learn the names of Pokemon characters so obscure I can't even spell them so why not the 'real life' words that we use for the thinking skills and - more importantly - their meaning and relevance for them. There were lots of fabulous examples given as well as an opportunity for a cross section of staff to contribute ideas and begin planning. I can tell that ALL children will benefit from teaching with these dispositions in the front of mind, a bit like our shift to learning intentions and a more mindful way of learning. I have been recommending The Bright Stuff to parents I work with since I first became aware of it a few years ago and thinking and learning skills was first introduced at Claremont on my first day here. It was a privilege to be able to meet and work with Jane in the flesh, she is a truly inspirational and authentic person whose passion for her work is palpable and infectious. As an add-on, as my English teacher self I got very excited about the possibilities for these in middle and senior school also."
Hazel McKenzie (MAPS), School Psychologist, Head of Pastoral Care (previously a High School English Teacher)
C J Simister works with schools around the world. For each visit, she:
For further case-studies and more detailed information about how
C. J. Simister could help your school, please see the contact details page.
Working with Claremont College, Randwick, New South Wales, Australia
“Working with Jane was an absolute joy. Her ability to instil in us as staff an urgency to appreciate and value the learning dispositions not only in our students, but also in ourselves as adult learners. She thoughtfully and supportively prompted us to challenge what we value in learning and collaboratively helped us to come up with tangible and practical ways to go about this in the classroom setting.”
Steph Affleck, Year 6 Lead Teacher, Head of English
“As a Mum, I found the sessions extremely valuable. I have used the techniques to have lots of ‘what if’ questions at the dinner table and in the car. As parents it has been great to have a framework to contemplate which dispositions are important in our family. It also gives you something to work towards.”
Kirsten Jenson, Administration and HR Coordinator
- Takes time to learn about each school’s context, background and goals
- Liaises closely with contacts at the school to develop a programme that is tailored to their specific situation
- Creates a personalised series of whole-school and smaller group workshops, parents’ presentations and leadership consultancy sessions