A message from the Principal
Throughout the year I have had opportunity to speak with both current school families as well as those wanting to join our School community about why they have chosen for their children to enjoy a St Stephen's School education. While our School achieves excellent academic results in NAPLAN and WACE across both Duncraig and Carramar campuses, the consistent motivation of parents wanting their children to be part of St Stephen's School is the kind of people they want their children to grow into. Consequently, we not only teach literacy and numeracy, we grow people for eternity - people of Christian character and integrity.
Changing the world one mind at a time…
Education is a unique and wonderfully human process. Every day our experiences and interactions with one another change the neurophysiology of our brains and subsequently our behaviour. In a world where there is greater emphasis and opportunity for individual learning, there is the risk that we may remove or discount the importance of relationships in the teaching and learning environment. Yet as parents and teachers, we model ways of thinking and behaving for our children every day. Our children listen to what we say and watch what we do and their minds are constantly being changed as a result. It’s not just the content of what is being taught, it is also the relational context of what is being taught.
The curriculum currently being taught in schools across Australia is constantly under review and changes over time as we learn more about ourselves and our world. It is not unreasonable to expect that by the time our children in Kindergarten and Pre-Primary complete Year 12 they will graduate with curriculum not yet even conceived. Yet while the curriculum continues to change, the nature of what it is to be human remains fairly constant. The ability to relate to one another in a mature and caring manner is a quality valued by not only parents and teachers but employers as well. As an employer, I have never employed anyone merely on the basis of their qualifications or experience – that just opened the way for an interview. Instead, I have always sought to employ the best person, the one who relates well and can be relied upon to give of their best.
The world we live in works the way it does because of the relationships that undergird society. When these relationships work well society works well, but when relationships don’t work well society struggles and sometimes breaks down – we have seen this over the past year in many parts of the world. Australia enjoys a very stable and robust society because of the quality of our relationships that in turn depends on the quality of our people. While there has been a strong emphasis in Australia on developing a national curriculum, there has also been some effort on developing a common understanding of the values that ought to undergird Australian education. However, much of this discussion has failed to acknowledge the importance of the connection between values and beliefs.
St Stephen’s School as a Christian community actively seeks to promote the connections between our Biblically based beliefs and our values, attitudes and behaviours as people. It is these beliefs that have stood the test of time and have historically influenced many of the societies of the Western world, and more recently been greatly influential throughout Africa and Asia. Christian beliefs and values are relevant for all peoples and all times, and their influence has occurred relationally, from person to person, from one mind to another mind, and this influence is observed in the behaviours that follow.
As parents and teachers we are blessed to have the opportunity to influence the minds of our children, who in turn will influence others, and together we participate in changing the world one mind at a time.
Mr Tony George
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Parent Connect is a school-based network of parents, teachers and friends of the St Stephen's School community.
Parent Connect aims to:
- Encourage parent and community participation through social activities and school events
- Promote the recreation and welfare of students and families
- Assist in providing facilities and equipment for the School through fundraising activities
- Organise events for year groups and wider community based events such as school discos, school fetes, busy bees and guest speakers
Please see Dove Tales for all current Parent Connect news
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Parent Connect Guidelines: Updated November 2012
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