Our Christian Team

Educational Framework

At Illawarra Christian School we have a strong learning culture which is founded on eight key principles.
One

Biblical Worldview

Equipping students with a faithful, Christ-centred, transformed worldview that informs all of life

Everyone has a worldview, a way of seeing and understanding the world. Our worldview profoundly impacts all of life, including education. At Illawarra Christian School we seek to provide an education informed by God’s word. We express the purpose of learning as leading students to understand themselves, their fellow humans and the world – all in relation to God.

Christian education aims to instruct the mind, shape the heart and equip the hands. Growing in wisdom and character requires well-rounded, whole-of-life formation – growth that is intellectual, emotional, physical, social and spiritual.

Our Christian Education

TWO

Differentiated Learning

Catering for the individual needs of students

Students are individuals who learn at different rates and in different ways. These individual differences may influence how students respond to instruction and how they demonstrate what they know, understand and can do.

Differentiation is a targeted process that involves forward planning, programming and instruction. It involves the use of teaching, learning and assessment strategies that are fair and flexible, provide an appropriate level of challenge, and engage students in learning in meaningful ways. Differentiated programming recognises an interrelationship between teaching, learning and assessment that informs all teaching and learning.

Learning Support and Enrichment

THREE

Critical and Creative Thinking

Creating a culture where thinking is valued, visible and promoted

It is important to nurture thinking in the daily lives of our students and to make it visible so that a culture of thinking can be built and a strong learning community established in our classrooms and throughout our school.

When we understand what our students are thinking, we can use that knowledge to further engage and support them in the process of understanding. Visible Thinking is a flexible approach to integrating the development of students’ thinking with content learning. It cultivates thinking skills and dispositions, and also deepens content learning.

Cultivating a thinking disposition means growing a student’s curiosity, concern for truth and understanding.

FOUR

Integrated Learning Technologies

Learning in and for the 21st century

Learning technologies are the communication, information and related technologies that can be used to support learning, teaching and assessment. They foster the skills required by the 21st century learner to successfully respond to a rapidly changing workplace and world.

The integration of these learning technologies is driven by the underlying pedagogical focus of the school. Technology-based tools may:

  • enhance student engagement and learning
  • provide opportunities for higher-order thinking
  • enhance collaboration beyond the confines of the classroom
  • give anytime/anywhere access to learning content
  • allow multiple pathways through learning content
  • provide opportunities for teacher, student, self and peer assessment.
Five

Cooperative and Collaborative Learning

Engaging with each other and learning together

Cooperative and collaborative learning is predicated on a belief in a learner-centred approach to education. Small-group activities are conducive to developing higher-order thinking skills and the ability to use knowledge. Sharing ideas in a group enhances the learner’s ability to reflect on his/her own assumptions and thought processes. Group work is also valued for its potential to develop social and team-building skills. It both utilises and builds an appreciation of diversity.

In cooperative and collaborative learning, there is an emphasis on interdependence, while maintaining individual accountability and participation. Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning.

Six

Formative Assessment

Providing ongoing, interactive feedback to improve teaching and learning

Formative assessment continually monitors student learning to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by teachers to improve their teaching and by students to improve their learning.

Formative assessment encourages student engagement as the teacher clarifies learning goals, provides students with frequent feedback on their progress toward the goals, and adjusts learning tasks so that they are at the optimal level of challenge for students. Formative assessment increases a student’s belief that he/she can succeed. When students receive daily feedback and see evidence of progress, they are more motivated to take on more learning challenges.

Seven

Growth Mindset

Valuing dedication, application, challenge and growth

At Illawarra Christian School, we nurture our students to have a growth mindset. People with a growth mindset believe that intelligence is malleable and can be developed through education and hard work. They want to learn because they believe this will expand their intellectual skills. They believe that strategic effort leads to improvement, and they find challenges energising rather than intimidating because they offer opportunities to learn.

For practice to bring about growth, it needs to be purposeful and sustained. Feedback needs to be embedded in practice if improvements are to be generated, and it is essential that students heed this feedback in their ongoing practice.

Eight

Personal Development and Welfare

Nurturing students in a safe, secure learning environment

Illawarra Christian School is committed to the provision of a safe, secure and well-managed learning environment. Students are provided with the opportunity to develop their interests, skills and knowledge in a community where their social and emotional well-being is nurtured.

Programs focusing on resilience, self-esteem, teamwork, leadership, organisation and positive peer interactions are integrated into the Pastoral Care curriculum to enable students to mature in their Christian character. Students are encouraged to demonstrate respect for themselves, their peers and their teachers, while staff seek to ensure a firm, fair and friendly approach toward discipline as they train students in godly wisdom.

Pastoral Care

“It’s great to be part of a workplace where my faith is intrinsically woven into my days. But let’s be real—this can also also be challenging and humbling! I am reminded of Proverbs 27:17, 'as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
Mrs Meg Story, our Deputy Principal (Secondary)

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