I find looking for schools tough. As a parent, I have my ideas about how I want to raise my children, so I like the concept of holistic education. I like the idea of setting kids up for personal rather than academic success. That’s why, during the search for my child’s school, I would ask the following questions:
“What is the school about?” and “What personal qualities do they foster in their students?”
I was pretty impressed with the response of The Grange Institution to these questions because they’re all about creating thoughtful individuals. They have created an avatar – The Grange Kid – and they use this as their focus in designing their curriculum. The Grange Kids are archetypes of the children that the school wishes to develop for the future world.
Who is The Grange Kid?
According to the school, The Grange Kids are truly global citizens. “As a result, they see the Earth as their home and recognise that they have an active role to play in the community where they live. Being internationally-minded, they embrace similarities and differences between cultures. The Grange Kids have genuine respect for other people, plants and animals, and the environment. They are passionate individuals who understand the meaning in relationships they have with others.”
It takes eight to create
In addition to adopting the avatar, the school has connected a philosophy to The Grange Kids notion that ties in with the number eight. “We believe The Grange Kids can be ‘Cre8tors’. We create a learning ecosystem where conditions exist to support the development of The Grange Kid through a unique Cre8tors-in-Action philosophy that focuses on developing eight key competencies and eight key personal attributes”
Let’s take a look firstly at the eight key competencies that The Grange Kid is expected to develop. What I like about these is that none of them are academic. Instead, they are transferrable skills that are foundational for creating other successes in life:
Construction and design: The ability to conceptualise an idea and take it from design to the final product.
Respecting the environment: The ability to implement sustainable practices to respect, care for and protect the environment.
Entrepreneurial spirit: The ability to identify a niche, then market and deliver an idea for a product or a cause to a target audience.
Active citizenship: The ability to take personal, localised or far-reaching action for causes they are passionate about.
Teamwork and partnership: The ability to collaborate with different partners and to adopt different roles in a group to achieve a common goal.
Original ideas: The ability to challenge their thinking to come up with new and original ideas.
Recognising issues: The ability to research and be aware of issues affecting humanity on a personal, community or global basis.
Service leadership: The ability and passion to devote time and energy to community causes that they are passionate about.
These are eight personal goals that the school wants The Grange Kid to aspire to:
Adaptability: “I can cope with unfamiliar situations and approach tasks from different perspectives and explore different strategies.”
Communication: “I can use a variety of tools and technologies to communicate my ideas and thoughts in different contexts and for different audiences.”
Collaboration: “I can work with different people and adopt different roles depending on the needs of the group and the tasks at hand.”
Critical Thinking: “I can identify and think through issues by considering different perspectives and developing my reasoned point of view.”
Inquiry: “I can ask and consider searching questions related to my learning and to carry out research and investigations related to those questions.”
Integrity: “I am honest. I act appropriately according to my moral standpoint and can explain the reasons for my actions.”
Resilience: “I can stick with a task from beginning to end. I can cope with disappointment when I fail. I aim to keep trying and not give up easily.”
Respect: “I can maintain self-discipline and show empathy and care for other people, living things and the environment.”
These blueprints have children in mind. But it’s worth remembering that these are characteristics that we could all use as a compass, even as adults. These are the ingredients for a truly engaged citizen of the 21st century.
Find out more
If you would like your child to experience this approach that embraces holistic education, The Grange Institution is taking enrolments for Semester 2 of the 2020-2021 academic year. Click here to learn more about the team there!