At Matthew Flinders Anglican College, our Learning Philosophy aims to cultivate in each student a love of learning; a spirit to achieve mastery and personal best; and the character, integrity and qualities of leadership to shape our world.
Through our curriculum programs, students are able to personalise and extend their learning, set goals, seek support, and develop positive learner traits so they may reach their potential as lifelong learners and compassionate citizens.
Learning at Flinders is designed to be meaningful, experiential and consequential to the world beyond so that students learn they are connected to one another and a part of the global community. This world view helps Flinders students to see how they are significant, important and cared for by others.
Why a Holistic Education is Important
What is the broader purpose of education? What is the meaning of ‘excellence in learning and life’ that we strive for at Flinders?
We not only want our graduates to thrive academically and reach their personal best in their pursuits and passions, but also to develop their character and competencies so that they may contribute to a better world.
Responding to National Curriculum Changes
What happens when the national curriculum changes as drastically as occurred in 2020 with the introduction of the new ATAR system?
How do leading schools respond?
At Flinders, we took proactive steps to educate, support and prepare our staff, students and their families for the new ATAR system. The Class of 2020’s outstanding academic results suggest that our College community responded admirably to the new landscape.
For example, Flinders committed to preparing students for the external exam component of the ATAR. We facilitated mock exam blocks and we redesigned the assessment instruments used during the senior years to align with the new system. These ‘test runs’ and assessment familiarity help to give our students ample opportunity to experience the pressures involved and to test the revision, time and stress management techniques that are a focus of the learning in senior classes in all subjects.
The Flinders Traits
Guiding our curriculum is our College’s motto of ‘educating for excellence in life and learning’. As a broad commitment, we strive to develop in students what are known in the Australian Curriculum as the General Capabilities, but are also known as the Six C’s. At the College, we refer to these as the Flinders Traits of Communication, Collaboration, Citizenship, Critical Thinking, Creativity and Character.
At Flinders, students are guided to develop their personal learner profiles. They identify their strengths and challenges as learners, and set goals to improve. They explore their skills in collaboration and communication, and develop character traits such as resilience, empathy and gratitude. They also explore what it means to be an active and engaged citizen as they contribute to helping people in need in the community and wider world.
Our Primary School Wellbeing Program focuses on developing the social and emotional competencies and dispositions to assist our students to engage fully in learning and life.
Students also learn the Flinders values of Courage, Respect, Integrity and Compassion.
Enabling Real-World Learning
Students at Flinders are encouraged to connect their classroom learning to real-world problems and issues through such approaches as experiential learning and design thinking challenges.
With this awareness, students are able to develop the skills and dispositions to be compassionate, engaged and empowered citizens.
Student creativity is also encouraged through problem-based learning such as in Design and Technologies subjects. These units provide students with greater agency and choice in the ways that they find solutions to wicked problems.
Examples of real-world learning at Flinders:
- encouraging empathy by taking Year 11 Modern History into the indigenous community at Cherbourg
- applying critical thinking skills to solve sustainability issues by using the Flinders Farm as a learning laboratory for Year 7 Science
- encouraging citizenship by exposing our Year 11 Biologists to the stresses placed on local ecosystems
- inspiring entrepreneurial spirit and learning business skills through our Secondary Market Days
- the i-Impact units in Primary School see our students using the design thinking process to create and host book launches, solve issues of sustainability and diversity, and richly integrate technology to design and curate living museums to keep their history alive.
Students at Flinders also learn about the real world from experts who are invited into the classroom to teach across diverse subject focus areas through workshops, guest presentations, mentorships and residencies.
The Flinders curriculum focuses on individualisation and personalisation to customise learning experiences for each student’s strengths, needs, skills and interests.
For example, pathways for acceleration have been implemented for Secondary students with exceptional abilities in two of the areas where Flinders has traditionally excelled; Music and Mathematics.
Acceleration and Enrichment Programs at Flinders include:
- Cambridge IGCSE Mathematics Pathway to extend our high performing mathematicians in the Middle School. The College gained registration as Queensland’s first provider of the Cambridge International Curriculum in 2019.
- Music Edge Pathway commences in Year 8 as a specialised music program for our most skilled musicians and vocalists.
- Learning Development and Enrichment Program for students to extend their interests and talents.
- Flinders Elite Athlete Program to support and mentor our high performing athletes at the College as they juggle sport and academic commitments. FEAP aims to ensure students reach their full potential and maintain positive health and wellbeing during their schooling years.
- Flinders Primary offers the Ready For… program which provides differentiated learning with specialist teaching support and targeted activities in Numeracy and Literacy concepts for students from students from Years 1 to 6 where they are extended to think deeply and apply their learning to more complex contexts.
Curriculum Events and Competitions
Extending and enriching our students across the curriculum has seen many rewarded for their skills across a number of events and competitions.
Students may choose and are supported to enter a wide range of local, state, national and global competitions and opportunities, including the International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS), Australian Mathematics Competition, the Modern Language Teachers’ Association of Queensland Languages Competition, Optiminds, and more.
2021 Secondary School Subjects at Flinders
Design and Technologies
Year 7 and Year 8 IDEAS
Learning Development and Enrichment
Religious and Values Education
Health and Physical Education
Film, TV and New Media
2021 Primary School Subjects at Flinders
Humanities and Social Sciences,
Digital and Design Technologies)
Health & Physical Education
Japanese (Years 3-6)
French (Years 3-6)
Religious and Values Education