- Why KWC?
- Join Us
I want to share with you some of the work we have been doing at the College over the past 18 months, in reviewing our plans and programs and thinking about our future.
Using an independent researcher, we sought feedback from a number of current and future families about their reasons for choosing Kingswood College as the education partner for their children. Lengthy interviews were held individually and in groups, and the feedback confirmed clearly for us that the values and priorities we are committed to are strongly shared by our whole community.
The overarching message from our community was loud and clear: the sense of belonging – and as a result, we implemented the ‘Belong’ focus for our branding, and have received very strong affirmation for this both in and beyond the College community. In discussing what it means to commit to a Kingswood College education, we speak with prospective families about a package, rather than a single point of difference. There are ten key parts to this, and I want to share them with you.
Kingswood College is proud to be a genuinely coeducational school, with a gender balance across the College of 47% girls in 2019. This is one of the best gender balances of any coeducational independent school in Melbourne. We believe that young people whose lives will likely touch the twenty-second century should learn as they live – in the company of females and males. Single sex schooling evolved when women and men were being prepared for very different gender based work and lives – and this is no longer the case.
Our Year 12 students, year on year, tell me that what they most value about being at Kingswood College is the sense of belonging to a small community, where they know others and are known. Our students experience a sense of being part of something bigger than themselves, and have every opportunity to contribute their unique gifts and talents. So too with parents. The benefits of participating in our community events offer families a sense of connectedness, and the opportunity to get to know other families with whom their children will be associated through school and in all likelihood, throughout life.
As a community of about 620 students we have every opportunity to get to know each other well, over the longer term. Because we know our students and their unique mix of talents, we can work with them more effectively to help them be their best selves, to value their strengths, and to support them to thrive in a world of constant change. This is at the heart of belonging in our community.
While many schools focus only on the academic scores attained during formal schooling, Kingswood College takes the long view – that learning needs to be a lifelong pursuit. We value learning in its broadest sense, as our Model for Learning clearly demonstrates. Our model is based on our values (Respect, Integrity, Compassion and Responsibility); seeks a holistic education of the mind, body, heart and spirit, so that our young people are curious, courageous, creative, confident, caring and collaborative.
More than ever, we need to be concerned about the wellbeing of young people. In the end, as parents, what we want for our children is for them to be healthy and happy. Studies of happiness are very clear – those who live the most fulfilled lives are those who are able to contribute to the lives of others. We want our young people to firmly grasp that in helping others to live better lives, they also contribute to their own wellbeing and satisfaction.
We welcome families from many different cultural backgrounds. While we are a school in association with the Uniting Church in Australia, we welcome people of many faiths and no faith. We are greatly enriched by the contribution of different people with different stories who join and contribute to our community. This is particularly celebrated in whole school assemblies and days including Harmony Day, and NAIDOC Day – but we also aim to celebrate each individual’s uniqueness every day.
What represents success and accomplishment for one person is often very different from another of the same age or experience. Knowing our students, and understanding when something is an achievement or a disappointment helps us to set clear and reachable goals for our young people. Alongside Personal Best, we also celebrate excellence in achievements in many different avenues of pursuit – in classrooms, on the sports field, supporting others, leading others, and making a difference in the world.
Helping young people to see themselves as part of something much bigger, and enabling them to make a tangible positive difference in our world, is vital. Our Community Based Learning Program supports the development of our students’ collective and individual social conscience. In practical ways, this makes our world a better place. This is a key area of our learning commitment that we will continue to evolve.
Kingswood College buildings have always had strong, purposeful design. The Learning Lounges throughout the College demonstrate our commitment to community and coming together. We are in the process of reviewing how our indoor and outdoor spaces are furnished and organised, to ensure that we continue to offer contemporary learning opportunities for all our young people – and our staff – from the ELC through to VCE.
Again the research is clear. Physical activity contributes to the wellbeing of the mind, body, heart and spirit. We want our young people involved in regular physical activity. Our involvement in weekday sports associations also provides students with the chance to be part of a team, and to learn all that goes with that: training together, working towards a common goal, being gracious in victory and generous in defeat, and learning from experience.
These ten key parts form the hallmarks of what make a Kingswood College education a gift that lasts a lifetime. Collectively, they live out our commitment to a broad, holistic, student-centred education of the mind, body, heart and spirit in a community setting, designed to help our young people become their best selves and make a positive difference in the world. The size of our community, as well as its nature, helps us all to feel that we belong.
‘To be a world-class school known for our innovation, engagement and collaboration; where our students’ potential soars because we nurture and challenge them to know themselves and achieve their personal best as global citizens.’