The Southern Hills Christian College philosophy of education is grounded in current research on effective pedagogy and our own Christian faith. As a proud member of the Swan Christian Education Association (SCEA), we passionately follow the Christian Education Philosophy laid out by the association.
Our approach highlights seven elements that we believe can be combined to provide students with the best possible opportunities for learning.
Intentional Christ-centred teaching
Quality teaching and learning at Southern Hills starts with our intentionally Christ centred approach. It is central to everything we do and flows through the other 6 elements .
All aspects of school life are immersed in Christian values which provides a moral and spiritual framework for each child’s rounded development giving them the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of personal faith and an effective service for the kingdom of God. Children experience the world through a Biblical lens and this helps to sow the seeds of faith that then grow within the individual.
What is impossible with man is possible with God (Luke 18:27)
Know the child; know the curriculum
We seek to have a clear understanding of every child that we work with both academically and pastorally. Building relationships is seen as a fundamental part of teaching and learning. Effective teacher/pupil relationships support the teachers to tailor the learning to suit the individual, building on what they already know and allowing for outstanding progress at their level.
Clear understanding of the child and an expert knowledge of the mandated curriculum expectations combined with appropriate pedagogical strategies, teachers will be able to support each individual’s learning through activities that will engage students and promote a deeper level of understanding both with the curriculum and spiritual context.
Clear Learning Intentions and Measurable Success Criteria
Every lesson requires a clear learning intention with goals that clarify what success look like (success criteria). The effective use of learning intentions and success criteria allows each student to have more agency over their own learning.
Authentic and Rich Learning Tasks with Visible Differentiation
We continuously promote active learning experiences in order for the students to transfer knowledge into their lives. We create authentic learning tasks by posing real world problems that are relevant to the learner and require creative solutions.
Appropriate differentiation allows all students to access the learning. Teachers will adapt, amend or create new learning tasks in order to facilitate the individual’s ability, ignite their passion and promote the drive to improve.
Rigorous Assessment For, As and Of Learning
Staff and students at Southern Hills use assessment as a powerful tool for deepening their understanding of a concept, reviewing their achievements and improving their performance.
Assessment can be both formative (Assessment for Learning) and summative (Assessment of Learning) as well as a tool to support learning (Assessment as learning).
Quality Feedback and Feed Forward
Quality feedback and feedforward helps teachers and learners reflect upon their achievements and plan ways to move forward and improve on current performance. It helps to reduce discrepancies between a learning intention, current understanding, behaviour and performance.
Good quality feedback is supported with performance data which is reviewed and shared with the student or. From there the teacher can feed forward by setting next steps or goals in order to support each student’s progress in their learning.
Both forms are based in evidence and helps to focus students and develop them as independent learners.
Deliberate inclusion of SPIRIT
We strive to embed Christian Values into everything we do. It is our aim to turn values into virtues, encouraging all members of the school community to be Christlike in the way they interact with others. As a college, community, parents, students, staff and others have articulated what values we want young people to develop through an education at Southern Hills Christian College. These values are referred to as SPIRIT.