Learning By Doing

Connecting with experts, learning by doing, and experiencing through first-hand observations are key components of a quality and holistic education for our students. They are equally important for our staff, including members of the Leadership and Executive Leadership Teams. We are quickly building an enviable and high-performing team at St Andrew’s School. We are committed to excellence, life-long learning, and agility to ensure we deliver an outstanding, ever-improving school experience for our students.

I recently visited the Australian Capital Territory and regional New South Wales. No, I wasn’t skiing at Perisher or playing golf at the Royal Canberra Golf Club. As appealing as these favourite past times are for me, I instead had an action packed three days of connecting with experts, learning by doing and experiencing through first-hand observations.


It was a true delight to spend time with our Year 6s and staff in Canberra, and a pleasure to join them for an in-depth tour of Parliament House. Our students were impressive in their depth of questioning and respect for this significant place and its people. They asked some wonderful questions of Steve Georganas MP, and appreciated seeing significant South Australians in action on the Senate floor, including Senator Penny Wong and Senator Simon Birmingham. I appreciated the students’ detailed observations of the artwork, especially the Prime Ministers’ portraits. We enjoyed a night of ten pin bowling together and were inspired by Mr Hodges’ epic ten-pin bowling skills.


I connected for an early morning walking meeting with Mr Murray McKay who is the Senior Director of Inclusive Education in the ACT and then drove 2.5 hours to the southern highlands of NSW to spend the day at The Kings School, Tudor House. Tudor House is a truly unique primary school situated on 180 acres of stunning, adventure bound land. Check out their website; it is an impressive school! I spent the day with the highly respected Head of School, Mr Adam Larby, and we discussed all things education, explicit teaching, holistic education, assessment, adventure learning, connection, and wellbeing. I saw the Kid's MBA in action and learnt more about the benefits of this global program. I returned to Canberra, and in the early evening, I was then able to farewell our Year 6s at their accommodation before they travelled home the next day.


I attended the Anglican Schools Australia Conference. Dr Julia Baird and Dr Brad Tucker are two of the most impactful speakers I have listened to and learnt from in recent years. I have since been in communication with Brad, inviting him to spend some time with us at St Andrew’s School in the future. I met with many other School Principals and re-connected with Mr Neil Andary, Principal at Christ Church Grammar School. Like St Andrew’s School, Christ Church Grammar School is a prestigious, stand-alone early years and primary school. There are only a ‘handful’ of like schools to ours in Australia, so spending time with Neil, formerly a teacher at St Andrew’s School, was invaluable for us both. We are exploring potential collaboration opportunities between our two ‘like’ schools which is an exciting development. My flight home was delayed, meaning I arrived home late, but it’s easy to push those little frustrations aside when the trip was so meaningful.

Deep gratitude for the staff that led the Canberra experience for our students. It was a mammoth week, and the trip was impeccable in every way. Thanks also to Steve, Murray, Adam, and Neil for their time and the rich conversations we shared.