From the Principal

Doing What Matters

At SCAS we will transform the lives of our students by offering the educational opportunities that will allow them to have lives of purpose, service and engagement.

One of the ways we achieve this vision and goal is to offer our students opportunities to step beyond their own needs and wants and make a contribution to the greater good of the world.

Research on what makes a school great shows that great schools create and perpetuate an intentional culture that speaks of a coherent philosophy of learning for students, and defines the school beyond its borders into the local community, the region and the world.

St Columba acknowledges that it is part of a wider world than that defined by the borders of the school campus.

So what does this mean? How can our students fulfil their potential and have “lives of purpose, service and engagement”?

As actions speak louder than words, we support our students in taking action to make the world a better place.

This does not mean that we place the burden of righting all the world’s wrongs on their young shoulders, but reminding them that they have the power to make the world a better place by their great and small actions.

When they woke to see images of the Notre Dame Cathedral in flames, our students could do nothing to staunch the flames.

But our students should be aware that they are capable of taking meaningful steps to:

  • support those who are in need in their community and beyond
  • speak out against bullying, unfair discrimination and hate speech
  • protect other things of beauty, including the environment in which they live

“All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made”. John 1:3

In 2019 St Columba will take an important step in providing students with the opportunity to understand the ongoing needs of our environment by providing our students with access to the resources and opportunities that have been identified as key areas of educational importance in the 21st Century.

Proposed Sustainability and Environmental Centre

The rationale behind the project is that it will enhance the School’s educational efforts in the following areas:

Educational Needs:

  • Providing access to further learning areas to accommodate predicted School growth
  • Offering Primary School students access to specialist Science, Geography and Environmental Studies learning spaces in line with the new Primary Science Syllabus (introduced 2019)
  • Access to specialised Environmental Studies and Science areas for Junior Secondary students
  • Access to specialised areas for Earth and Environmental Studies (Stage 6) students
  • Access to hands-on learning experience opportunities for Primary and Secondary students
  • Offering further access to STEAM education and experiences

21st Century Learning

The current thrust in 21st century education revolves around making students life/employment ready through a focus on the skills of:

  • critical thinking
  • collaboration
  • communication
  • creativity
  • community
  • care
  • courage and commitment

The design of the Centre has specifically taken into account how the space might not only allow these to be incorporated into the formal curriculum, but actually enhance their integration.

Environmental Education

The School recognises that environmental awareness is not only necessary for the stewardship of our planet but offers our students the opportunity to be part of the solution to environmental issues, rather than part of the problem.

This will be achieved through:

  • a whole school approach to environmental and scientific education
  • access for all students to age appropriate environmental education
  • access to knowledge and research skills
  • allowing connection between classroom learning and hands-on experience
  • opportunities to put theory into practice
  • linking technology to environmental and scientific solutions

“ A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness.” John Keats.

This is “big picture stuff” but will allow our students to take steps to protect the environment they live in – locally as well as globally. An example of the type of actions our students might support exists in their own backyard. I recently attended a community meeting called by a group who have been formed to save Lake Cathie and Lake Innes from ongoing degradation.

In a crowded gathering, speakers included one of our students (Shalise Leesfield). She spoke about how she had seen the lake degrade and spoke of her concerns that it, as a thing of beauty and key part of her world, was dying. She is now, along with many members of the SCAS Community, trying to be a part of the solution, rather than sitting back and letting things get worse, or simply bemoaning the loss of a thing of beauty.

 “You shall not defile the land in which you live.” Numbers 35:34

Our future and that of our world are in such hands.


Mr Terry Muldoon
Principal, St Columba Anglican School

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