We have significantly lower class sizes from Foundation right through to Year 6 – usually providing an average class size of 20 – 22 students – substantially lower than many other schools who traditionally offer class sizes of 26 – 28. The class sizes that we offer are supported by a broad body of research that they achieve stronger outcomes for students in terms of academic growth, student wellbeing and social and emotional development, as well as being able to offer an more individualised education, tailored to the distinctive needs of each student. Similarly, the size of our school is also shown through research to be highly effective in developing a genuine sense of community and care for each child and family, resulting in stronger overall outcomes.
Our International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) philosophy and framework of curriculum and pedagogy grows student learning capacities and soft skills, strongly equipping our children for their secondary education, and for ongoing lifelong learning. The PYP has been shown to result in stronger academic and wellbeing outcomes from students by a strong body of evidence. Our students have collectively been noted to be more strongly engaged with their learning and better equipped with soft skills such as collaboration, curiosity and creativity to support their ongoing learning. The learning progress and growth of our students is excellent, which has been borne out through a range of assessment and progression tools, as well as through student wellbeing surveys.
Our school has a strong focus on ‘fitting each child’s needs’ by providing a well rounded education which supports academic growth, student wellbeing, the opportunities to pursue a range of co-curricular opportunities, and the development of positive values and character traits, with a focus on serving others. Our teachers are well supported by a number of Lutheran School Officers (teacher aides) who assist our focus on individualised learning and support of students – our careful monitoring of student growth demonstrates that our students are well supported in progressing academically, socially and emotionally from this approach.
Golden Grove Lutheran is an intentionally medium-sized school by choice – ‘not too big, not too small’ – enabling us to balance our unique focus on each child as a valued learner with a broad range of opportunities to enable students to experience all aspects of themselves. The vast range of co-curricular and enrichment activities that our students enjoy include:
- basketball and lacrosse weekend sport programs,
- a broad range of sporting activities and pathways (including soccer, Australian Rules, swimming, athletics, cross country, netball, basketball, touch football and table tennis),
- Wakakirri and Festival of Music to support our music and performing arts programmes in addition to individualised music instrumental tuition, choirs and worship band.
- Children’s University, debating, public speaking, poetry recital and chess.
- a number of academic competitions including UNSW EAA, Bebras and Computational and Algebraic Thinking Competitions, as well as the Premier’s Reading Challenge and Spelling bees.
We strongly value our wellbeing team and dedicated wellbeing hub, with a full time school counsellor as well as a school chaplain. The support that our expanded wellbeing team has offered to students and families through a Positive Education Framework is invaluable, and quite distinctive to our school. Our foresight in this are places us on a strong footing to further implement a range of positive education programs and initiatives into our school going forward to further support students and families.
We have an innovative outlook, developing students as future-focused learners ready to engage with the world of tomorrow. Our innovative focus on ‘Golden Time’ elective learning, the integration of service learning into our curriculum, the diverse range of avenues for genuine student voice and agency in our school, we well as our approach to STEM learning, sets us apart.
We invest strongly in having quality teachers, so that we have the best teachers possible in each classroom as well as in in teacher professional learning to ensure that our quality teachers continue to grow and be professionally supported in their career. Our students benefit immeasurably from having the highest quality teachers we can across each class.
Our community is a strong one, with excellent parental involvement through our Parents and Friends and Class Carers networks, and a range of activities throughout the year including Trivia Nights, Barbecues and social events, as well as our Community Fete.
As a Lutheran school, our offering is based on strong Christian values which the students develop over their journey with us, and we enjoy a close relationship with Golden Grove Lutheran Church, jointly conducting a weekly playgroup, supporting the Asaroka community in Papua New Guinea, and the Australian Lutheran World Service to provide an education for refugees in Africa as well as enjoying a fishing club which sets monthly – but to name a few of the initiatives!