Independent schools come in all shapes and sizes, in a myriad of locations across Australia. Independent schools are growing and represent around 16% of the student population*. What distinguishes Independent schools from other non-government and government schools is their independence of operation within these boundaries.The common denominator for all of these establishments is the wealth of educational, social and extra-curricular and sporting opportunities that are available. Not to mention the dedication of staff to achieve positive outcomes for their students, and nurture them to be great learners and importantly good people that will make a meaningful impact on the world.
DIVERSITY OF CHOICE
The sheer diversity of offerings available at independent schools make them a desirable option when exploring the educational choices available to your child. Students are encouraged to try activities outside their comfort zone, to safely try different things and discover what it is they enjoy and are good at.
Some schools offer more than 25 sports from AFL, surfing, mountain biking, sailing and decathlons to name a few. Coaching staff range from professionally experienced sportspeople, to even ex-Olympians, providing the ultimate mentoring in specific sporting endeavours.
Independent schools feature many high quality, co-curricular programs to challenge and develop students while complementing their main learning areas. From debating teams, public speaking, sporting competitions, chess club, art, music, drama and literary programs, the activities focus less on theory and more on practical application of skills that build personality, passions and a healthy competitive spirit.
THE QUALITY OF STAFF
Almost without exception, every independent school principal credits the expertise and dedication of the staff employed within their fraternity as one of the outstanding reasons to aspire to an education of this type. Many studies globally have found that the key to students’ academic success is quality teaching and leadership. Independent schools employ highly skilled and innovative teachers who are passionate about learning and often work in teams to critically review each other’s lessons and identify opportunities for change and innovation.
There is strong accountability within the teaching staff at independent schools, helping to maintain exacting teaching standards and attract motivated staff who actually want to be there. Independent schools have full say in who they employ and who they let go, allowing them to cull staff who are not meeting the standards expected.
While independent schools offer a diverse range of programs to build a child’s strengths in many different areas, they are also very focused on academic outcomes and many offer the International Baccalaureate, an internationally recognised education and testing program.
NURTURING GOODNESS AS WELL AS EXCELLENCE
Most independent schools have a religious foundation, ensuring children study in an environment supported by a set of defined values. In general, these values nurture self-discipline, respect for authority, self-reliance, safety, structure and cultural traditions. While, the decision to pursue a scholarship may be based on accessing exceptional resources on a day-to-day basis, many parents choose independent schooling for what kind of people their children become as a result of their attendance. The students not only succeed in their professions, but often take up opportunities to volunteer in a wide range of charitable activities and give back substantially to the world.