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What makes a high performing school?


The common misconception when judging and comparing the performance of schools is to base this on academic results alone. On a surface level, it may appear more straightforward to examine academic results as a high-performance indicator as they are quantifiable. However, many layers inform an academic result when comparing the collective academic performance of schools. This can often be clouded through what is promoted in the public sphere as it can be informed by inaccurate perception. This is not to suggest academic performance is not a vital part of the educational picture. Academics form our core business, but as one dimension in what comprises a holistic approach to education, and one aspect that may inform a school’s high performance.

So, if academics are one aspect of high performance; what are the other indicators a school is high performance? Unfortunately, it is not as easy as searching for a quantifiable result. High performance is found in the rich experiences, relationships and practices that encompass the day to day life of an educational institution. It is these elements of high performance that are not so easily measurable that is at its essence, the heart of a school and what gives a school its unique character.

Research supports that for young people to succeed in the changing global context, they need not only the academic skills and knowledge but also social-emotional, ethical and practical skills. It is the deliberate education of the head, the heart and the hands that are indicative of whether a school has been successful in their educational mission. While education of the whole person is still recognised as an emerging idea in education, Sacred Heart education has been ahead of the game in this regard. Stuartholme has always emphasised the vision and purpose of enabling each girl to be the very best version of themselves. As a Sacred Heart community, we understand that to acknowledge deep respect of intellectual values is but one part in a more significant picture of the purpose of education.

“We need the kind of education by which character is formed, strength of mind increased, the intellect is expanded, and by which one can stand on one’s own feet.” (Swami Vivekananda, Collected Works, Volume 5, p.342).

How do we know Stuartholme is high-performance in this regard? In my opinion, you need to look no further than to our exceptional academic results, our highly effective wellbeing program, our spiritual and social justice initiatives, and our extensive co-curricular program. These provide an opportunity for our young women to shine in their own light as an individual. In so doing, Stuartholme offers a bespoke, boutique educational offering that contributes to our wider community. Our graduates are well-adjusted, community-minded, high-performance oriented individuals with a keen social consciousness. This is evidence a school is meeting and exceeding its targets and is indeed high-performance.

I welcome you to find out more about Stuartholme at our Open Day or one of our regular Action Tours which you can book via our website.

Danny Crump, Deputy Principal

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