Thank you for taking the time to explore St Paul’s Teaching and Learning space.
As Assistant Principal-Teaching and Learning, my focus centres around contemporary pedagogical practice; evidence -based learning; curriculum design and data and building a community of learners that encompasses students, staff and parents. With the introduction of our Strategic Plan this year, the focus for Teaching and Learning includes: Mastering the art of academic writing, forming a Professional Learning Community and embedding the principles of the assessment and programming framework ‘Understanding by Design’ (UbD).
There is much to celebrate in Teaching and Learning at St Paul’s. The College prides itself in housing seasoned experts in their field of study; educators who, in the words of George Bernard Shaw ‘long to see a child in pursuit of knowledge.’
In my role, I often wonder what the purpose of education is. If it’s because that’s what we’ve always done; or it’s to simply prepare a child to meet the needs of society’s economy or worse still to encourage the pursuit of oneself, then I feel as educators we have failed humanity!
Looking at the Functionalist perspective of education, we see a very different reason as to why we educate. The role of contemporary education has changed significantly in recent years. Schools today seek to create social solidarity; they seek to create a curriculum that helps shape active informed citizens; it seeks to instil a set of core values and like never before, seeks to works in partnership with the family.
The role of a school is to educate children; however, the role of the Catholic school is to educate the whole child. Schools, as a rule of thumb, have a duty to children; however, Catholic schools have a moral imperative. Our duty is to make our children feel like they are part of something bigger. Our duty is shaped around a unique mission, a mission that adds value to a child’s life. Besides nurturing a love of literature, numbers, notes and sources, you will see us fostering the dignity, self-esteem and integrity of each child. You will observe our children collaborating with others for the good of all humanity and you will witness our children being beacons of hope; inspiring others to have moral courage in our troubled world.
As a community of learners, St Paul’s has been blessed with its new buildings; with its technological advantages and its new contemporary learning spaces. However, these are but bricks and mortar, it is the quality of staff that makes this College so rich. Our staff provide high quality teaching and learning programs; they constantly address the diverse needs of our students; they seek to strengthen partnerships between home and school and seek to challenge the often detrimental impact that secularisation, consumerism and social media has on the young people in their care. I am a proud member of this learning community. A community who is not afraid to challenge themselves and a community who seek ways of enriching the lives of all its members.
I can say with conviction that St Paul’s epitomises the words of W.B. Yeats when he tells us that;
‘it is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire that defines education’ – especially education at St Paul’s.