From the Principal

Values

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”

We often hear that education in Australia should be neutral or even “values-free”. It may come as a surprise to some that there are certain values that, according to the federal government, are an inherent part of an Australian education.

National Framework: Nine Values for Australian Schooling

Nine Values for Australian Schooling were identified for the National Framework for Values Education in Australian Schools. They emerged from Australian school communities and the National Goals for Schooling in the Twenty-First Century. These shared values such as respect and ‘fair go’ are part of Australia’s common democratic way of life, which includes equality, freedom and the rule of law. They reflect our commitment to a multicultural and environmentally sustainable society where all are entitled to justice.

It should not come as a surprise to those who know St Columba that we are a values driven school.

 In case you have missed it, here are a few “articles of faith” that drive St Columba:

  • St Columba exists because its founders believed that students like you deserve nothing less than an excellent, all-round, values-based education;
  • A St Columba education recognises that there should never be only one definition of success;
  • A St Columba education is one that welcomes all who share our vision and who wish to be a part of a caring, learning community;
  • A St Columba education offers a doorway to a life that can be well-lived;
  • A St Columba education is one that is never static, never assuming that success in the past will guarantee success in the future;
  • The ongoing goal of our school has been to provide the blessing of an exceptional education to its students, a place for achieving professional greatness for its staff and as a boon to its wider community.

Linking these values to everyday practice our school focuses on the development of skills like resilience, aspiration, determination, tolerance, respect and team spirit.

“A highly developed values system is like a compass. It serves as a guide to point you in the right direction when you are lost.”

One of the values not mentioned in the federal government document is leadership. If ever there has been a time when intelligent, informed and integrity based leadership has been needed it has been over the last few years.

St Columba has an explicit aim of developing in our students the skills that will allow them to become future leaders in their communities and beyond.

Whether they take on leadership in a formal role, as a community advocate or in politics, industry, education or any of the other areas of life, we hope the skills and values that are part of a St Columba education offer them the opportunity to take on the responsibility of leadership.

At St Columba our students have opportunities to learn the art of building relationships within teams, defining their goals, and achieving tasks and testing solutions.

We believe that when they graduate they have had the opportunity to develop perseverance, open-mindedness, empathy and interpersonal courage and are able to effectively engage and lead teams to solve complex problems.

That is what we call an education, instead of….

Want to share your thoughts on this story, or do you have something you’d like to add? Email me at principal@scas.nsw.edu.au

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