The following FAQs present information most often sought by parents wanting to know what to look for when choosing a school for their child.
What does the school do to prepare students to fulfil their potential in later life?
Good schools offer your child a balanced education to provide opportunities for them to discover and grow their potential.
Children can discover their gifts and talents by becoming fully involved in the life of the school from an early age. High academic achievement is the foundation, and studying a wide range of subjects is very important in the primary years. The opportunity to try new specialist subjects in middle school, then the pursuit of the subjects a child enjoys most in senior schooling, is a good rule to follow. Obviously the subjects a child likes are the ones he/she will do well in academically.
A good school also offers pathways to further study or work after school. Your child is likely to continue learning after school if he/she is taught to be a flexible, adaptable, creative problem-solver who is challenged and motivated to succeed.
A strong sporting and cultural program gives students the opportunity to build self-confidence, work with others in teams and build resilience. We call this educational philosophy ‘a balanced approach’, where children experience a well-rounded education that prepares them to discover and fulfil their potential in later life.
What about teaching philosophy?
Good schools take a holistic approach to education. That is, they educate the whole person… intellectually, physically, culturally, socially and spiritually. They engender a responsible attitude to school work, teach children to think for themselves and monitor their progress to ensure they continue to learn and flourish. Good schools have teachers who are continuous learners, who will care for, motivate and challenge your child to keep on learning. Good teachers are passionate about making a difference to the life chances of your child.
Will my child be safe at school?
Knowing that your child is safe at school is one of the most important factors in deciding on a school. Good schools have pastoral care systems that monitor your child’s personal, social and emotional development.
In primary school, the teacher who works with your child all day is the best one to look out for your child’s personal and social development. In middle and senior school, however, this is a little more difficult as students spend time with a number of teachers and are more involved with peer groups. Good secondary schools build support time into the day so that the pastoral care teacher meets your child at least once a day or is available during the day if there is a concern.
A trusting relationship should be present between your child and the teacher. Secondary schools can be large and impersonal, however smaller sub-groups such as Houses in which children are known and supported can alleviate many difficulties. Good schools have a House/family grouping, including children of all ages, so that support systems can be provided for younger children, and older children can learn about caring for others and providing leadership. You will know you have the right school if your child is happy at school.
How important is student conduct and presentation?
A good school enforces a Code of Conduct that sets behavioural expectations of the school community. It shows children how to seek help if it is needed. Conflict is an inevitable part of life and a good school teaches children ways to resolve conflict and develop solutions to their problems. Students should know their rights and be prepared to exercise them, but also know their responsibilities to themselves, their families and the school. Students at a good school are proud of their uniforms and their school, and learn to present themselves well in preparation for life.
How are Christian values taught?
We are a Christian school and therefore, Christian values are important us. What are Christian values? The values that St Johns follow are Faith, Hope, Love, Courage, Community and Justice. These values are what we call “The St Johns Way.” This means we encourage students to live these values through word and action.