Professional Learning Communities

What is PLC?

PLC’s are like a school within a school. This allows a large school to replicate the “small-school” feel within the “Big-school” context. The PLC allows teachers to collaborate effectively across subject by sharing strategies for specific students.


In a big school it is not possible to discuss specific students’ learning needs because it is difficult to get all the teacher’s who may teach that child in one room. The PLC Model allows the school to cluster teachers from a range of learning areas with students so that when a teacher discovers an effective way of helping a child learn, that learning can be shared quickly across the community.


The PLC model helps teachers reduce the complexity of their world so that they focus more readily on each child’s learning.

PLC’s create smaller communities within the school that allow teachers and staff to concentrate their efforts on smaller numbers of students. This results in better support for each student.

Professional Learning Communities: Building Curious Learners

Joseph Banks Secondary College is an a-typical, innovative Learning Environment.

In 2019 the College was recognised as a Model PLC School. This recognition followed a rigorous investigation of our learning structures and achievement. Joseph Banks Secondary College is one of only nine schools in Australia to achieve this status.

The College is developed around research based practice and focuses on 3 models of Instructional practice:

  • Professional Learning Communities; Dufour, Dufour and Eaker (2009)
  • Classroom Instruction that Works; Dean, Hubbell, Pitler and Stone (2012)
  • Curiosity and Powerful Learning; Craig and Hopkins (2015)

Through these models of practice, we aim to improve the chance of success for all students by providing our students with multiple opportunities to excel throughout their secondary education. Our purpose is clear: our focus is every child, every lesson, every day. Our unique structure, where students and teachers work in Learning Communities, enables us to achieve our vision and purpose. Each student belongs to a Learning Community, led by a Leading Teacher, with expert teachers and a Learning Support Mentor, who also belongs to the Community. Teachers engage in collaborative practices where they meet regularly, share expertise, and work together to improve teaching skills and the academic performance of students within their community, and ultimately, across the school. The learning environment for our students and staff is designed to create a sense of belonging and an enjoyable and innovative learning experience.