Head of Grimwade House Royce Helm shares an overview of his core educational philosophy.
As an educator my aim is to create a culture that supports and celebrates excellence across all fields – one that is inclusive and open to the contributions of each individual. From the moment a child walks onto the Grimwade House campus to their last day of Year 6, I believe every student should feel part of a community that supports and challenges them to grow.
One of the ways in which I express the educational philosophy that drives Grimwade House is through the phrase: ‘thinking, feeling, doing’. That is, we work towards the cognitive, emotional and physical development of each child through our curriculum, pastoral care, classroom composition, approach to teaching and the spaces where our students learn.
My own definitions of these three areas are:
We have the capacity and expertise to offer personalised learning programmes that spark students’ interest at various levels of understanding, building knowledge alongside an understanding of their own learning processes and the next steps they need to take. This inquiry-based approach to learning is supported by explicit teaching of academic fundamentals such as literacy and numeracy.
These contemporary teaching methods are further supported by purpose-built classrooms including science labs, art studios and music rooms that respond to the needs of each age group, as well as academic enrichment, extension and support programmes.
Educating the ‘whole person’ goes beyond classroom knowledge. Our curriculum includes time for reflection and conversation on spirituality through our Chapel and Religious and Values Education (RAVE) programme, along with community engagement activities that progressively introduce values of leadership and service.
Strong pastoral care that helps each student to feel safe, secure and valued is also central to our approach. Our aim is for the Grimwade House community to function as an extended family that can nurture each student’s love of learning.
From modelling safe, inclusive playground activities for our Prep students to providing dedicated ovals and equipment for upper primary sport, we emphasise the importance of physical health to support classroom learning. As students move through their time at Grimwade House we gradually offer new challenges, such as off-campus outdoor education experiences and inter-school competitions across a wide range of sports.
Through all these programmes we emphasis fun and cooperation over competition, designing activities that build students’ abilities to negotiate, make decisions, work as part of a team and have leadership roles.
Perhaps the most important aspect of my approach, and that of all staff at Grimwade House, is the recognition that every child has their own strengths, their own set of needs, and their own personality. This is why we come to work each day – to celebrate these differences and to work with each individual child to create a positive future for them, on their own terms.
Royce Helm Head of Grimwade House