As a fully comprehensive Kindergarten to Year 12 school, St Andrew’s differentiates teaching practices to accommodate students of all educational abilities, encouraging individuals to embrace cocurricular opportunities alongside a comprehensive academic curriculum. Our performance in public examinations including NAPLAN tests, the Higher School Certificate and IB Diploma Programme confirms an atmosphere of highly accomplished learning and teaching.
Philosophy of Teaching and Learning
Engaged in learning and growing every day
The school's desire is for every learner to be engaged in learning and growing every day. The more engaged a student is in learning, the greater their chance is for success in school and beyond. For each individual student, success will look different because we measure success not on a fixed standard but rather on a student’s growth. At St Andrew’s we want to see students reaching ever higher levels of achievement, academically and in all areas of life, as they develop their gifts and abilities to serve in the world.
We believe learning takes place within the context of relationships built on trust and respect. Most learners do not care how much their teacher knows until they know how much their teacher cares. The depth of relationship that exists between students and teachers is foundational to learning at St Andrew’s.
In the secondary years, a student’s classroom teachers are complemented with a pastoral tutor who oversees a student’s holistic development and works in conjunction with a Year Coordinator in the Middle School and a Head of House in the Senior College.
A learner’s first and ongoing teacher in life is their parents and for this reason, the school seeks to partner with parents throughout their school years. The school’s online Parent Portal provides parents with easy access to information about their child’s progress and this enables a parent to have ongoing conversations with their child about their learning.
Part of the role of a teacher at St Andrew’s is to connect students, where appropriate, with experts beyond the school both locally and internationally. Our city location makes it easy for city-based experts to speak with students and our technology-rich environment allows global connections with global experts to occur from anywhere in the school.
Learners are most likely to be engaged and growing if learning is designed to be significant, challenging, networked and future-focused:
Significant learning occurs when students create solutions to relevant and authentic problems. It also requires valuing each learner’s voice and choice.
Challenging learning ensures appropriate challenges are provided and specific goals are developed with learners who are encouraged to be persistent.
Networked learning is collaborative and involves students, teachers and experts locally and internationally.
Future-focused learning requires learners to develop skills in how to think, learn and reflect. Feedback for future improvement is paramount.
St Andrew’s unique city location makes the school the ultimate base camp for learning. The school’s two city buildings include new generation learning spaces intentionally designed to support learning. Glass walls throughout the school make learning visible and flexible furniture allows teachers to switch modes of learning and cater for the different learning needs of students.
St Andrew’s Cathedral is adjacent to the school and is where students gather for assemblies, services and to perform. This beautiful and historic building is a constant reminder of the transformational learning that has been taking place at the school since 1885.
Students perform twice each year in neighbouring Sydney Town Hall as well as in a range of city theatres and recital halls, while Senior Visual Arts students exhibit their works in a nearby gallery.
The school’s own Kirrikee Outdoor Education site in the Southern Highlands is the base from which students participate in a wide variety of outdoor pursuits which take learning beyond the classroom.
Online learning spaces include an intuitive Learning Management System and access to Office 365, providing students with a space where learning can continue beyond the school day across all devices.
Unique partnerships with organisations and experts in the city, combined with the resources of Sydney’s leading universities, are harnessed to enhance student learning.
The sporting facilities at The University of Sydney and Wentworth Park are used by students throughout the week and on Saturday. These facilities complement the gymnasium, weights room and rooftop playground, which features basketball courts and cricket nets.