An education at The King’s School has, as its goal, the pursuit of academic excellence and the development of character. Whilst an education that prepares a boy for his examinations is central to what we do at King’s, we also realise that an education for life has the capacity to forge a boy in character that will prepare him for life beyond his schooling. Our approach is one that seeks to educate the whole boy to prepare the young man for life, providing him with the values and skills to be a successful employee, husband, father and citizen on whatever scale or stage he may pursue.
This emphasis on the development of the whole individual is what has always distinguished a King’s School education. Our focus on educating a boy for life is shaped by our commitment to providing our boys with authentic learning experiences that are shaped to develop them as life-long learners with the capacity to Lead and Serve with Character. These authentic learning experiences both in the classroom and beyond are shaped by our values.
Our commitment at The King’s School to educating boys for life is shaped by the values we promote:
RESPECT: Valuing people and property
RESPONSIBILITY: Accepting accountability and the virtue of trustworthiness
INTEGRITY: Propriety, honesty and commitment to upholding what is right
EXCELLENCE: A commitment to achieving one’s best in any context
SUSTAINABILITY: Long term resilience and well-being
BALANCE: A holistic program of instruction
Our educational philosophy at The King’s School is one based on educating the whole boy. An education that focuses purely on the intellectual does not assist in developing the character of an individual. It is through experience and opportunity that a boy’s character is forged over time. Our environment and community are unique in size, facilities and history. These elements, combined with our programs align as a powerful force in shaping character.
At King’s, a boy will have a range of compulsory and optional opportunities to develop his character. Whether he is challenged by an abseil on corps camp, caring and preparing livestock for an agricultural show or representing his school in a range of activities, he will be exposed to challenges which will both highlight his strengths and develop and awareness of his deficiencies. At times he will be extended, exhausted and uncomfortable but we firmly believe that within the context of a safe and secure environment these challenges will help him develop a stronger sense of self and capacity to overcome life’s challenges. Some of our key character development initiatives include:
Our philosophy of preparing boys for life rather than just the completion of secondary schooling has led to the creation of an iconic and pioneering venture for our Year 10 students in the Boys to Men Program. This unique course draws upon the expertise our staff have in educating boys to introduce life skills such as managing money, cooking, ironing, cleaning, etiquette and manners, sexuality and other topics, such as car maintenance. Our Headmaster, Dr Tim Hawkes has written the acclaimed novel Blizzard Lines to complement the instruction in life wisdom and values that lie at the core of our approach to educating boys for life. This program celebrates a boys transition from adolescence to adulthood and his Year 10 experiences provide him with the opportunity to develop his character through exercising leadership and service as a productive member of The King’s School and broader community.
At The King’s School we seek to provide each boy with authentic leadership development. Our approach to leadership at The King’s School is based on Robert Greenleaf’s model of the servant leadership, which acknowledges that every student has the capacity to exercise leadership. This model is one where those in leadership roles seek to enrich the experience of others through their service. The selection of this model of leadership reflects the values of our Christian Community.
The development of leadership capacity in individuals promotes excellence, authenticity and respect in larger groups and shapes our school culture. Boys at The King’s School may exercise servant leadership through a designated leadership position or exercise leadership in academic and co-curricular contexts through their ACTIONS, WORDS and CONDUCT. A school wide approach to the development of leadership provides boys with leadership opportunities from an early age, whether it be as captain of a sports team, on expedition or through cultural pursuits.
More importantly, at the core of our approach to leadership is the development of character strengths such as Humility, Compassion, Respect and a willingness to serve. There are many leadership opportunities for boys at The King’s School. Whilst Senior School students have the opportunity to exercise leadership on a broader scale through their appointment as a School Monitor, House Captain or Cadet Under Officer (CUO) younger boys have their own experiences of leadership through opportunities provided in our Service Learning, Outdoors and Co-Curricular programs.
Our Headmaster, Dr Tim Hawkes, has been the driving force in propelling the School to fulfil this mission to develop leadership capacity in our students. All boys in Years 8-11 will complete the Learning Leadership series as an integral part of our character development curriculum. The Learning Leadership Program is made up of four interactive text books that are designed to develop leadership awareness and capacity. In the completion of this course boys reflect on elements of leadership including integrity, wisdom, courage and resilience, and receive instruction in a wide variety of leadership skills.
Our Centre for Learning and Leadership is the core of our unique approach to the development of leadership capacity in our students. This Centre was the first school leadership centre built in Australia and serves as a learning resource centre and library with a conference centre dedicated to training students in leadership. Whilst the Centre celebrates the leadership provided by notable old boys of the school it also highlights and promotes values based leadership through a permanent display of notable international and historical leaders.
Our model of servant leadership promotes boys placing the needs and benefits of others before themselves. Thus a strong emphasis on meaningful involvement in community service at local, national and international levels is celebrated and promoted amongst boys of all levels. At the school level our service learning program is driven largely by our student pastoral care system that includes our Chaplaincy Department, Day and Boarding Houses and the Student Representative Council.
A significant number of charities are supported by our boys through numerous enterprises and initiatives. Fundraising activities support local and national charities close to our heart such as Anglicare. We also understand that for real education to occur, community service must move beyond fund raising to include real and purposeful activities where time and energy is expended in a voluntary manner for the benefit of others.
Students at King’s have the opportunity to become involved in National and International Service Learning Activities which highlight our Values in action through expedition to destinations such as Uganda, Borneo, Papua New Guinea and Nepal.
Further opportunities exist with our Boys to Men Program at Year 10 and Community Outreach Program that complement our Cadet Corps unit to develop leadership through service. The Community Outreach Program has developed strong connections with local nursing homes, retirement villages, schools, special schools, pre-schools, charities, churches, centres of excellence for disabled adults and historic sites.
Students are allocated to an organisation and will complete 70 hours of service. During that period of time, the students may be asked to support activities, create resources, converse meaningfully, engage in gardening and maintenance tasks, and even play games and dance with residents. The underlying motivation for students is to contribute positively to the organisation that has accepted them. Service to others through fundraising, sweat and endeavour are essential elements of an education for life at The King’s School.