St Lukes Grammar School


Philosophy & Programs


Learning@STLUKE'S is a framework for teaching and learning which identifies learning as the core business of St Luke’s Grammar School.


The model uses Guy Claxton’s Building Learning Power framework which draws together research on how students learn and what capacities strengthen the capacity to learn. Within our framework we have identified 5 R’s associated with learning.


Powerful learners display capacities associated with Resilience, Resourcefulness, Reflectiveness and Reciprocity (the capacity to learn with others).


Interview with Jann Robinson and Professor Guy Claxton (October 2016)


Resilient learners are able to be absorbed in their learning. They can manage distractions around them focusing instead on their learning. Resilient learners are able to notice subtle changes in their environment, identify patterns and details which inform their understanding and, perhaps most importantly, resilient learners demonstrate perseverance when faced with challenging learning tasks.



Resourceful learners are good at asking questions which support their learning and the learning of others, they quickly make links between different ideas, can use reasoning to form an argument and imagine new possibilities. Finally, resourceful learners are able to capitalise on the resources available to them inside and outside the classroom.



Reflective learners plan their approach to their learning, continually revise how they are learning, are able to identify the main points they need to learn (distilling) and have a good understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses as a learner (meta-learning).



Students who are strong in reciprocity know both when they will learn best on their own and when they will learn best with others (interdependence). They are good collaborators with other students, have good listening skills and learn from others by watching them carefully and taking onboard new ways of thinking (imitating). Here, in a nutshell, is what powerful learning looks like – and this is not only for classroom learning, but learning for life.



The 5th R in the Learning@STLUKE'S model is Restoration. While we seek to grow students as learners, more importantly we seek to grow students as human beings.


Our Christian view of human flourishing sees true humanity characterised by grace, compassion, humility and seeking justice for others. This notion of Restoration forms our whole approach to learning. Not only are students able to grow in their understanding, but we hope they might also grow in their humanity and that their capacity to learn might empower them to change the world, little by little, foreshadowing the final restoration at the end of time.


Learning Enhancement

St Luke's provides strategies and programs for Gifted and Talented students through the Headland Program and for those students with learning difficulties, Learning Support programs are available.


In order for all students to be able to access curricula at a suitable level of challenge, there is a two-fold approach:


  1. Teachers employ a range of differentiation strategies in the classroom;
  2. Specialist staff provide intervention where appropriate.


The School aims to ensure that teaching programs and strategies, from Kindergarten to Year 10, are appropriately differentiated and staff are trained in the area of differentiation.


When intervention is required, the process involves identification of students, implementation of an enhancement program appropriate to the student learning needs, monitoring and evaluation, and communication.


As a smaller school we are better able to tailor teaching and learning strategies to cater for student learning needs in order to provide the best possible programs for all students.

Gifted and Talented

The St Luke's Headland Program (G&T) offers a range of programs to cater for the needs of gifted and talented students from Years K - 10. 


Where a student is identified as needing intervention beyond the differentiated curriculum, specialist staff, in consultation with classroom teachers, parents and the student, decide which combination of strategies will be appropriate for each particular student.


G&T Strategies & Opportunities:


  • Open-ended curriculum
  • Problem-solving skills and higher-order thinking skills
  • Encouragement of independent thinking and learning
  • Curriculum compacting and acceleration


Other opportunities offered to students include:


  • Individual study projects
  • Small group withdrawal
  • Flexible progression & acceleration, such as Year 9 students, completing Years 9 & 10 Maths in Year 9, Year 11 Maths in Year 10, and sitting HSC Maths in Year 11, allowing for more time to dedicate to Ext 1 and Ext 2 Maths in Years 11 & 12.
  • Inter-school academic competitions, such as the Da Vinci Decathlon, GateWAY 8 and Tournament of the Minds
  • Inter-school camps, such as the HICES GAT Camp


Learning Support

The School is committed to the provision of effective learning support for students with identified learning needs so they can access the curriculum at a level which is appropriate to their learning needs.


Students are supported by a Learning Support Teacher through a designated Learning Support Program across different age groups and subject areas. Parents are expected to work in partnership with the School to support their child’s learning. 


Learning Support Options:


  • In-class support from a specialist teacher
  • Small group withdrawal
  • Supplementary English classes in Year 8
  • Assistance with organisational and planning strategies
  • Individualised reading programs.
  • Modified programs and assessments
  • Flexible progression

Student Leadership

All students at St Luke’s Grammar School are encouraged to participate in leadership activities and programs with the aim to serve and support the School Community, the local community and beyond.

Senior Student Leadership

The Senior School Leadership Program is a model that provides Year 12 students with the opportunity to demonstrate leadership, service and act as mentors for the younger students.


The Leadership Team comprises of two School Captains (boy & girl) and ten Prefects. Captains are also appointed for Houses, Sport and Service. All Year 12 students are encouraged to participate in leadership and mentoring opportunities throughout the year. These include programs such as Mentoring for Year 8 students, raising awareness and funds for their chosen Year Group charity, and being positive role models for younger students.


Year 11 students all undertake training as Peer Support Leaders and over 30 students run this program for Year 7 students in Terms 1 and 3.


Leadership programs and initiatives in the Senior School also include participating and supporting numerous community charity events, government programs, assistance at K-2 sporting carnivals, year-based initiatives and community events.


Junior Student Leadership

The Junior School offers encouragement and support for all students to explore and develop their positive influence as leaders within the School community. Opportunities to lead in the context of the classroom, through co-curricular pursuits as well as in the community enrich the positive influence made by our students.


At both Junior School campuses, buddy programs pair boys and girls in Years 5 and 6 with younger friends in Kindergarten and Year 1 to serve as mentors and role models. Students regularly visit their buddies to share in activities together and are also invited to interact in the playground.


Year 5 students are engaged in training and activities that enable them to develop and demonstrate their leadership skills throughout the year, ahead of applications and elections for badged leadership positions in Year 6. These Year 6 leadership roles comprise of two Junior School Captains at each campus and eight House Captains (Dee Why) and four House Captains (Bayview). Further leadership training is offered to these office bearers as they fulfill their role during their final Junior School year.


Whether they fill a formal role or not, all Junior School students are seen as leaders in the sense that they can make a positive influence as they are equipped to make a difference in the world.


Outdoor Education & Camps

In the Senior School the sequential camps program is designed to develop student’s knowledge and skills each year as well as incorporating elements from the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.


St Luke's partners with experienced and accredited outdoor education providers to facilitate the Years 7-10 camp programs while School staff facilitate a Leadership Retreat for Year 11 students.

Year 7 Camp

Year 7: This camp is held early in Term 1 to give students time to get to know each other. Accommodation is in cabins and students participate in a range of activities that focus on team-building and overcoming challenges.


Year 8 Camp

Year 8: At this 4-day camp students learn the basic skills needed for remote expeditions - learning to prepare their own meals on camp stoves as well as participating in activities such as canoeing, bushwalking and the the flying fox.


Year 9 Camp/Duke of Ed

Year 9: All Year 9 students participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme - Bronze Level. In addition, they attend a training camp during which students develop further skills gained the previous year as they hike and canoe between campsites in the Kangaroo Valley. This experience can be used as a qualifying journey for the subsequent Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award.


Year 10 Camp/Fiji Service Trip

Year 10: This camp focuses on community service and leadership skills. Throughout the full week camp, students have the opportunity to get to know the City of Sydney while they serve at various charities in the inner city and participate in various challenges nearby.


As an alternative to attending the local Year 10 Camp, twenty Year 10 students have the opportunity to travel to Fiji. The Fiji Service Trip aims to give students a community service experience through volunteering with and learning from a local community on Naviti Island.


Students spend four days in a community, learning about the local people, the environment and marine life, helping undertake research and restoration projects that lead to the sustainability of the island's immediate environment.


Year 11 Leadership Retreat

Year 11: In preparation for Year 12, the Leadership Retreat is a 2-day program which incorporates leadership style, outdoor education activities, group work, and presentations. The Retreat is co-ordinated by Executive and year-based Pastoral Care staff. 


Careers Counselling

An experienced Careers Counsellor co-ordinates careers education and counselling programs within the School, including the the Year 10 Work Experience Program, Year 11 Mock Interview Program, university information seminars, Year 10 careers testing and the interviewing of individual students regarding their Careers Testing reports. 


In liaison with the local TAFE colleges, the Careers Counsellor also co-ordinates the TVET program for participating Year 11 and 12 students.