It is the sum total of these pillars – indivisible – that represent rigorous and academic learning at Kirrawee High School. They recognise the joy that is learning, the building of skills, the wonder of new ideas, and the urge we all share to express our common values and celebrate our unique identity. Learning has always confounded those who seek to constrain, ignore or narrow the ways in which knowledge lights a path to new ideas and an exciting future. We profoundly believe that all learning is to be valued and that it is indeed the sum total of learning that best predicts a young person’s readiness to successfully meet the challenges ahead and to live a fulfilling and meaningful life. Learning, as life, is to be grasped, savored, enjoyed and shared in the belief that the best of our humanity is synonymous with the best of learning that our pillars so continually invite.
This pillar celebrates the specialized subject-based learning that accumulates each year as young minds move from one classroom to the next. No longer just four walls and rows of tables, a ‘classroom’ is wherever good learning takes place: outdoors, performance spaces, labs, home, workshops, studios, learning centres, gyms, and with generalized and specific technologies. Learning cannot be captured in a timetable, but crosses subjects, time and space, extending into every corner of our lives. We embrace hard work as the foundation of self-respect and the only way to build expertise, whether students, staff or our wider community. Moreover, we value the passion and subject expertise teachers bring to their area and their mission to make learning fun and inspire young minds.
Leadership, Social Justice and Special Projects
This pillar respects that learning is so much more than knowledge and facts: it is driven by our desire to contribute, work together, help others, and make our world a better place. All learning – imaginative and objective – is only truly understood through its application to what is for us the real world. Knowledge and ideas therefore have no borders, but are constantly redefined by new ideas and understandings that emerge: in every subject, every subject exists. The real-world problems confronted through co-curricular activities, special projects, and student leadership, encourage our young women and men to draw on knowledge and skills from every subject. In doing this they exercise leadership skills and the ethical decision making that develops and defines the outstanding graduates that move on from our school. Put simply, at Kirrawee, co-curricular learning is at the heart of quality learning.
This pillar promotes the capacity of humans to express ideas that bring together deep knowledge, practiced skill, and the emotional impulse that helps give our lives meaning. The creative use of light, sound and movement can not only interpret our world in new and personal ways, it allows all of us to find new meanings and more deeply connect with each other. The arts draw on long traditions, and continue to push contemporary boundaries in a process that respects the past and acknowledges that we never ever stand still. The arts revel in the endless kaleidoscope of ideas that await young minds and demand expression. We take joy that the arts are a powerful carrier of culture, enrich minds, and entertain us. We also delight in the fact that every new invention, innovation and design always reflects the beauty and elegance of the artistic spirit.
This pillar embraces the gift of skilled movement, feeling ‘alive’, strategic thinking, and building healthy bodies and minds. From biomechanics, the science of nutrition, to game theory, the rigorous learning of Sport is translated into the exquisite movement associated with an endless array of fun activities. Sport fosters our curiosity and playfulness, qualities necessary for quality learning and as a metaphor for the values and planning we take into life. It combines our need to be social, work in a team and quickly respond to changing situations, skills so applicable to our basic human response at work, socially and at home. Without doubt, it is central to our culture and whether professionals, recreational participants or observers, our lives are greatly enriched by the contest and personal triumph inseparable from sport.
This pillar represents a long tradition at Kirrawee as a school of languages excellence. Of all the pillars, it explicitly points to our global world, our exciting place within it, and the conveyed meaning that moves well beyond characters, words and pronunciation. Languages not only opens our eyes to difference, but also to the fact that we are defined much more by a common humanity. Languages, whether our mother tongue or the allure of new semantics, speaks to a yearning for connection, culture and the expression of an unbridled imagination. Languages can define us or continue to reshape who we are and the world in which we wish to live.