While many independent schools in Australia have an affiliation to a specific religion, many seek to ensure their community is diverse and represents the mix of religions, races, and cultures, found in our ever-increasing multi-cultural society. Whether in primary or secondary education, religious diversity strengthens the school community and helps students to gain a wider perspective, while developing empathy and an appreciation of others’ viewpoints.
By Tim Bowden, Head Master
The guiding educational philosophy of Trinity Grammar School is Christian in its foundation and its expression. Trinity is a Christian school. More precisely, it is a school that stands in the evangelical Anglican tradition that is characteristic of the Diocese of Sydney. This Christian ethos has been consistently reinforced and adhered to by the School Council, the School’s Head Masters, and the School’s shared traditions and practices over the decades, and it is evidenced in our motto, our mission, and our educational principles.
Religion in schools sometimes gets a bad rap, and from time to time faith in schools comes under scrutiny. When the 2016 Census data was released earlier this year, one of the findings to capture media attention was that nearly a third of Australians (30 percent) report having no religion. Christianity certainly remains the most common religion (52 percent), but it has been in decline since the late 1960s. Yet, enrolment in faith-based schools remains steady, so what role does faith play in a contemporary school setting?
By Greg Webster, Trinity Grammar School Chaplain
It's 1:30pm Wednesday – any Wednesday. It’s lunchtime and you're standing in the line at the cafeteria. It's a time for quiet reflection. None of your friends are around so there is no one to talk to. As you quietly contemplate the deep philosophical matters of your last English class, you notice the student in front of you in the line.
He's been running around on number two oval. The sweat is dripping off him, his shirt is wet and stuck to his back. You think quietly to yourself that this is not the greatest human specimen you've ever seen.
As this week marks World Interfaith Harmony Week, it is important to acknowledge this and encourage your child to appreciate diversity in our society, in all its forms. At Trinity Grammar School we believe it is valuable for boys to understand and appreciate different religions, cultures, and values.
There are many ways you can encourage your child to embrace diversity, taking inspiration from World Interfaith Harmony week. Here are just four suggestions:
Many parents who choose to send their children to independent schools are seeking a values-based education. They want the values taught at school to match those of the family home. They are seeking to raise ‘good people’ who will make a positive contribution to the world.
At Trinity Grammar School our educational principles are underpinned by a thoroughly Christian foundation. Our foundation shapes the way in which we relate to and teach boys, as much as it shapes the way in which our boys look at the world when they graduate.
In preparing boys to ‘live’ leadership in their community, there is much boys can learn from the teachings of Jesus and his style of leadership. Humility, integrity, social justice, self-control and compassion are qualities that come to mind.
At Trinity, boys will also be exposed to leadership ‘on the job’ as they watch and learn real leadership skills from their teachers who ‘model’ it in the classroom, on the sporting field, and in their daily interactions with boys.
Leadership cannot happen without relationship and connection. Teachers at Trinity lay the foundation for relational success by applying the following strategies:
Topics: Religious education
It’s getting a little old now but has there ever been a better film on education than Dead Poets’ Society. Who could forget that memorable scene where Mr Keating, played by Robyn Williams, says to his poetry class “I want you to rip out that page.” The offending piece is a dry, technical introduction to understanding poetry. Central to the film is the conflict between the educational perspectives of Keating and the prevailing establishment. Apart from being a great film this highlights the importance of establishing a world-view in determining the pattern of education.
Topics: Religious education