A number of parents and several students have asked me recently what we mean by the “Excellence and Confidence” banner under our Tintern Grammar mitre. The questions about this were varied and interesting, and led me to think that explaining the School’s intent might be useful.
You may know that we have undertaken surveys and questionnaires from new members of the School community over the last three years, or even have completed one! In these, the top two reasons that parents come to look at us as a school for their children, and the top two reasons they enroll with us, are the quality of teaching and learning, and the individual care and knowledge of the child. While for parents this may not be surprising, it does line up with the two of the central undertakings of the Tintern 2020 Strategic Plan.
Although we have been a school for 140 years this year and in Ringwood East for over 60, amazingly, we are not well known in our own area! In trying to let people know what a great opportunity is here for their children, we need to be prominent in our presence, both online and more physically on billboards and similar. But when we do this, we need to have something worth saying in that presence.
For 140 years, our goal has been that of our founder, Emma B Cook, “to provide the best education possible” for our children, and this is what we need to tell the outside community who do not know of us at present. So we undertake, with simplicity, to provide an excellent education, which develops deep-seated confidence in young women and men, both for the journey through school and even more importantly, for the broader journey after leaving.
At Tintern Grammar, “Excellence…” is about genuinely achieving your best in every area of your life, not only your final year of school. Not all our students will get 99, or 90, 80 or 70 as their ATAR. We are proud of the results of every single one of our students. Of course an ATAR is a significant part of an education to ready children for our uncertain and rapidly changing world and we will continue to do everything we can to enable and support the individual aspiration of our students to do their academic best, in every year of school, not only Year 12, but a Tintern Grammar education is much more than a number.
However, the skills and personal attributes that our young women and men will need in the future (or even current) world of work cannot only be taught through the study of Mathematics, English, Science, the Arts and so on. The attributes of curiosity, inquiry, creativity, self-awareness, entrepreneurship and risk-taking need to be drawn out, developed and honed in our students through the myriad of other opportunities at Tintern.
These attributes will be applied through skills of problem-solving, information acquisition and management, effective collaboration, and global understanding. As the pace of world change increases, so does the need to solve new and previously un-thought of problems. These will be the expectations in our future and they are becoming a part of our present already, in some fields. Our students’ future “…Confidence” will come from their experiences enabling an authentic confidence that they truly can adapt, be agile and think broadly in their changing future world.
So our “Excellence and Confidence” is about developing these broader skills and attributes ahead of the growing demand for them, as well as ensuring the best possible formal, academic education for every student, maximising their post-school options and opportunities. Having watched our Preps coding and our Year 6 ‘Robocup’ team in action. Having seen and handled the amazing products of our Digital Media VET subject and Design Technology program. Having observed the problem-solving of our Social Justice group working for others and on camps and Outdoor Education program, it’s clear that at Tintern we have been addressing and developing these broader requirements already. Nonetheless, we have our eyes up towards the horizon and we are continually looking for opportunities for our students that will develop the attributes and skills that will enable their success and fulfilment in their lives beyond school.
Factis non verbis