Network News- VIC & TAS MYPC Library Visit

By Greg Watt and Melissa Fitzgerald
September 13, 2022

On Monday 22 August 2022, Greg and I hosted an MYPC/library visit at Oakleigh Grammar with guests from Caulfield Grammar, Rivercrest Christian College, Mount Eliza Secondary College, and Sacred Heart College. The goal was to discuss current practices that support MYP and library relationships and offer useful takeaways for attendees.

Participants had a varied range of IB experience which made for a dynamic conversation on a range of topics. One guest shared how the MYP has revived their library as many librarians teach a diverse range of MYP subjects which has supported the development of academic integrity and critical thinking. In addition, many middle school classes are having library lessons once per fortnight for the purpose of research and literacy.

Greg gave an overview of how he used to teach Approaches to Learning skills (ATLs) as a life skills class linked to community service, when he worked at schools in Indonesia and Ghana. Students were able to gain skills based on real life experiences such as working with families and students in need due to poverty. I then shared a recent Y6 inquiry project where students were introduced to all five ATLs and completed an ATL reflection as part of their library lesson. Everyone agreed that ATLs tend to be on unit plans but not in the classroom, and several schools had strategic goals to audit their ATL practice. One school suggested developing two ATL skills per term as a whole school focus assisted with the support of the librarian. Another guest shared how they will commence themed MYP core classes in 2023 where ATLs and service etc will form part of the curriculum – there will be no reporting as such, but rather a portfolio of work samples will be collated.

When the discussion moved on to library collections and databases, someone suggested that schools sign up to the State Library to access free journals, databases, and eBooks. Sign up here:

The topic of Mother Tongue raised some interesting ideas including using the school community to teach languages and donate books in a range of languages. I shared my experience working with Monash University who presented the importance of birth language literacy to our parent community. I also shared how I had created a video of students introducing their birth languages and sharing Christmas greetings. Greg contributed his experience cultivating a community of readers while working in China, this entailed giving students and teachers the ability to share their reading experiences with people across the globe and within their extended school community.

The next topic was academic integrity, and someone recommend the School Library Association of South Australia (SLASA) for its referencing platforms, and advised it also supports students with intext referencing. Some schools are using Origin, Purpose, Value and Limitations (OPVL) for evaluating sources – apparently this is a particularly good source for individuals and societies.

Finally, Sacred Heart is holding an IDU expo at the end of the year and would like to invite all members of the network. More information will follow or contact Bridget Dunstan at [email protected].

If you would like to host a library networking event, or join the MYPC Victoria/Tasmania network please let me know at [email protected]