Educational Approach

Developing and inspiring our students to become confident and motivated learners is at the heart of the St Columba’s College approach.

A stimulating learning environment and seamless integration of individual support and personalised learning, imbues students with a sense of courage and resilience as they approach their academic endeavours. St Columba’s students are supported and guided by inspirational, committed educators who combine subject matter expertise with innovative approaches to teaching and learning.

Educational Endeavour

The College’s learning framework is informed by three core principles: to engage our students, to have our students connect with the world around them, and to encourage our students to be critical and curious in their learning.

Each principle helps foster your child’s educational aspirations, empowering her to thrive in an inclusive learning environment.

Celebrating student achievement is an essential feature of College life, contributing to a positive educational context in which every student feels motivated to strive towards her personal best.

An Individual Focus

We recognise, celebrate and encourage every student as an individual who brings unique talents and potential to our learning community. While fostering independence and resilience, the College actively partners with students and families to tailor learning to each student’s needs. Our contemporary teaching methods help every St Columba’s student to discover, develop and embrace her talents, while regular assessment and feedback enable staff to identify individual opportunities for acceleration or support.

Student support is facilitated by the College’s Learning Diversity Team. Our qualified staff work alongside teachers, parents and students to maximise student participation and inclusion within the mainstream curriculum, supporting achievement, monitoring progress and providing additional support as required. Please see Learning Support for further information.

Where appropriate, students from Year 9 onwards may have the opportunity to undertake accelerated streams, helping them progress in a more challenging environment. Our Learning Enhancement Leader will work with you, your child and teachers to develop and enhance programming to ensure your child’s future success.

An Eye To The Future

In keeping with our 21st century approach to learning, St Columba’s College has built a community-focused, outward-looking culture that prepares our students to critically reflect on their world and take positive action in their lives beyond the school gates.

This includes:

  • A rich Learning Ecosystem and collaborative partnerships beyond the College that challenge students to experience the wider world.
  • A learning and teaching environment that encourages creativity and collaboration, with contemporary open spaces complementing an innovative curriculum.
  • Additional facilities in areas such as Physical Education, Visual and Performing Arts and our contemporary Library, that inspire students to actively engage in learning and to seize opportunities. Our new STEAM building project, Foxford Innovation Centre, will add to these learning opportunities.
  • An international focus, expressed through language and cultural studies that encourage the exploration of moral and social justice concepts.
  • Utilisation of online platforms and learning technologies, which allow for a seamless transition to a remote learning model and promote continuity of learning for all students.

Learning Technologies

St Columba’s College runs a 1:1 laptop program, your child will be required to use a laptop as her learning device.

The focus of the 1:1 Laptop Program is to prepare your child for her future in a globally-connected society. The program gives your child the tools to have instant access to the world of information, but more importantly, to become a producer rather than just a consumer of information that is available through the use of technology. The College has established an atmosphere that provide will provide your child with immediate access to online and local network resources which are essential to survive in the 21st Century.

The 1:1 Laptop Program allows several things to occur for the benefit of your child’s learning including but not limited to:

  • Promoting her engagement and enthusiasm for learning
  • Providing greater access to educational opportunities, formative assessments, and differentiated instruction
  • Encouraging collaboration among other students, teachers, parents, and community members through interactive capabilities and opportunities
  • Reducing the use of printed worksheets and thereby reducing paper usage for the benefit of the environment
  • Guiding her in her learning and attainment of knowledge
  • Allowing her access to information, along with an opportunity to connect it to her learning in a meaningful manner.

As a learning community, the laptop programs allows for a proactive approach to learning, teaching and communication. From Years 7 to 9 students are required to participate in the College Laptop Purchase program. In Years 10 to 12, students can choose to participate in the College’s Laptop Purchase program or BYO their own laptop that meets the College’s technology specifications.

Learning Ecosystem

Our College has a rich and dynamic Learning Ecosystem, that harnesses partnerships across a diverse range of organisations, learning institutions, charities and businesses, which work to promote and support learning experiences and opportunities for our students, teachers and staff.

A Learning Ecosystem is a system of people, content, technology, culture, and strategy, existing both within and outside of an organization, all of which has an impact on both the formal and informal learning that goes on in that organization.

The Future of Education Leadership: Five Signposts
(CSE Leading Education Series, Aug 2021, Valerie Hannon & Anthony Mackay)


College Day Structure

On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday the College day begins with a 15 minute House Group session, that allows your child to connect with other House members and their House Group teacher, as well as obtain any necessary notices and information related to the College. The day will continue across 4 lessons with recess, a brain break and lunch between.

The College may change during the term, depending on assemblies, days of celebration, events and more. These changes are communicated to your child via the College intranet and House Group Teacher, and is made available to parents via SEQTA.