Teaching and Learning

Teaching and learning at St Mark’s is based on the principles of rigour and breadth, a nurturing environment, future readiness, and excellent teaching.

Rigour and breadth

Students are given opportunities—in and beyond the classroom—to explore and develop their unique gifts and talents through a balance of rigorous academic curriculum and a breadth of cocurricular opportunities through which to collaborate and learn.

Success looks different for everyone, and teachers at St Mark’s work to support each student to strive for their own best version of success.

Curriculum beyond the classroom includes partnerships with external organisations, group activities such as arts productions, music ensembles, outdoor experiences and service. Students study Christian education throughout their journey through St Mark’s, which helps them to learn, live, and lead in ways that manifest the values, mission, and Anglican faith of the School.

A nurturing environment

St Mark’s cultivates a safe, equitable, optimistic and inclusive environment of trust, care and support in which students can learn and in which their holistic wellbeing is supported. Teacher-student relationships, the pastoral care system and teacher-parent partnerships, are central to supporting student wellbeing, belonging, learning, and personal growth. Each student is supported to feel safe, to feel a sense of belonging, to be who they are and to engage in pathways appropriate to them, within a learning culture of high care and high challenge that fosters excellence.

Future readiness

Students are encouraged to be collaborative, critical, creative, reflective lifelong learners who are engaged in and excited about learning in and out of the classroom, who take responsibility for their own learning, and who actively work to achieve their best. The St Mark’s learner attributes make explicit those qualities and behaviours students need to be successful in their future. They focus on not only knowledge and skills, but also perseverance, initiative, resilience, adaptability, learning from mistakes, and seeing feedback as an opportunity to grow. A range of opportunities are on offer for students to learn from and with others, including those of diverse identities, communities, and beliefs, and those experiencing hardship or disadvantage. Students are encouraged to understand and seek global perspectives, to promote sustainability, and to participate as ethical, empathetic and confident citizens.

Excellent teaching

St Mark’s teachers are content experts and skilled practitioners. They are themselves lifelong learners committed to the continual improvement of their practice and excellence in teaching. Teachers spend time getting to know each child, respecting difference, embracing diversity, meeting individual needs, providing support and challenge, and making appropriate adjustments to teaching based on observation and formative assessment.

Teaching at St Mark’s is intentionally designed, relevant and meaningful, providing rigorous, innovative opportunities for each child to achieve their best. Teachers apply teaching strategies, resources, technologies and assessment design that are based in the best available evidence, and that are appropriate to student developmental stages, student needs, and curriculum content. They provide timely and effective feedback to students, and explicitly teach content as well as strategies for critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration, self-reflection, self-regulation, goal setting and studying.