St Luke's looks beyond technology to redefine relevance

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We're often asked, ˜What makes St Luke's GrammarSchool different from other schools?'

In the years that our Principal, Mrs Jann Robinson, has been leading St Luke's, substantial physical transformation has taken place, with major building and refurbishing projects completed and the iconic Officeworks and Fitness First buildings purchased.

The school's strong academic performance in HSC results has also accelerated, with St Luke's being ranked as the Northern Beaches' top performing independent school multiple times.

Times, however, are changing. The world of education is being transformed. Schools need to be more than just facilities and academic results. Content delivery can now be instantaneously streamed into classrooms, direct from top educational institutions around the world. Technology can enable learning mastery whether a student is on site or remotely located.

Leading education consultants are now asking what is the future relevance of schools?

The answer to 'futurerelevance' lies in the new teaching and learning framework, Learning@STLUKE'S, which promotes the concept of ˜ATARplus'. Learning@STLUKE'S is based on the premise that ˜knowing how to act rightly and to deal justly is equally as important as the mastery of subject content'. ATARplus does not take the focus away from academics, but instead seeks to position both academics and character development as necessary in equipping students with 21st century skills that enable them to thrive beyond the school gate.

Learning@STLUKE'S uses Guy Claxton's Building Learning Power framework, which draws together research on how students learn and what dispositions strengthen their capacity to learn. Claxton's framework identifies four ˜Rs' associated with learning. Powerful learners display dispositions associated with Resilience, Resourcefulness, Reflectiveness and Reciprocity. St Luke's has added a fifth ˜R' the disposition of Restoration, which is characterised by grace, compassion, humility and seeking justice for others.

As Learning@STLUKE'S gains traction, students are being moved to show compassion and humility and to seek justice and grace.

  • Teams of students have formed the Social Ecological Environmental Movement (S.E.E.M) and are working with charities to encourage students to participate in the Live Below the Line challenge, attempting to temporarily live on $2 a day for five days. Others are creating a more sustainable environment at the school, focusing on solar panelling and water reduction.
  • An entire year group has formed a partnership with Aranounbai School, with students helping one morning per week throughout the whole year.
  • Multiple students are also involved with NBI, spending time each week assisting disabled students in developing social and basketball skills.
  • Students in the Junior School have formed a Kidpreneur project, where they have teamed up with Senior School mentors to develop products to sell at an upcoming market to fundraise for their charity.

The five Rs are seamlessly incorporated in learning taking place across the whole school, from Cottage classrooms through to Year 12. Parents are seeing the value of enrolling at a Pre “K to Year 12 school, where a student starting at an early age has the advantage of becoming part of a learning community that focuses on both academics and character development from the beginning and consolidates these habits as students move though their schooling. St Luke's is able to provide consistency to students, both academically and behaviourally, as they transform from children to young men and women, ready to take their place in the world.

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