From the Principal

Who you sit next to in class counts


Educational research tells us quite a lot about the factors that influence academic success.

There is little doubt that the role of the family and their attitude to education plays a key role.

There is also little doubt that the effectiveness of the teacher plays an important role in the success of the student.

And then there are the habits that are identified as improving success:

  • Regular attendance at school
  • Effective revision
  • Learning from mistakes
  • Good time management
  • Deep learning

What is interesting is that attitude is identified as a good indicator of academic success: Attitude can alter every aspect of a person’s life, including their education. Student attitudes on learning determine their ability and willingness to learn. A negative attitude limits performance, saps motivation, and inhibits learning.”

An individual’s attitude, the attitude of other students in class and the resultant atmosphere in the classroom all play a role in creating academic success or fostering under-achievement.

That means that being in a learning environment where the students are positive about learning and are actively engaged in developing their knowledge and skills improves the success potential of everyone in the room.

Researchers have found that: “A positive school climate was associated with students’ academic achievement. Contrastingly, a negative school climate has been found to reduce student participation in school activities and student learning.”  (Chen and Weikart, 2008).

How a classroom feels matters: “Classroom environment plays a significant role in determining students’ level of academic achievement and enhancing their holistic growth. For students, the classroom is not just an intellectual space, but also a social, emotional and physical environment.”

It’s the Vibe!

 A positive Classroom environment exists where students:

  •  feel a sense of safety, belonging and trust;
  • are encouraged to tackle challenges, take risks and ask questions;
  • feel involved and responsible for their learning while being comfortable enough to fully participate in group and individual activities.

Since St Columba is about success for all its students, we recognise that students’ behaviour, individually and as a group, play a significant role in either enhancing or detracting from achieving each student’s potential.

That is why we are happy to welcome students who share our vision for the school: “The aim of St Columba Anglican School is to be the most outstanding school in New South Wales. It is the product of the vision of a community – to build a school with access to all who want their children to achieve the highest standards of education and behaviour.”

That is also why we are intolerant of student behaviours that interfere with or compromise the learning process.

 It is why we believe that our students have both an individual and corporate responsibility when it comes to learning.

When we know how much a positive attitude and a positive classroom atmosphere matters, it would be silly of us not to promote and protect them at St Columba.

That is what we will do.

Terry Muldoon
School Principal

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