Intellectual Life

Our aim is to develop in our students the character, disposition and skills they will need to flourish in and contribute to a world of complexity and change.

‘A great school pushes beyond the boundaries of curriculum. Our girls need to understand the arc of history, world religions, the impact of major political ideologies and the great intellectual and artistic movements...’

Elizabeth Stone, Principal

An education which is a foundation for life must inspire enthusiasm for learning and stimulate curiosity about the world. It is unlikely to do so if limited to the narrow bounds prescribed by the authorities or deemed necessary for the workforce.

We take a more expansive view. Lively discussion, wide reading, thoughtful engagement with the best that has been thought and said – all this starts in the classroom, but that is just the beginning of a strong intellectual culture.

We create space for the discussion of big ideas and expect girls to be interested in them - and they are.

There are opportunities to hear and debate the issues with eminent speakers in the Balmoral Lectures at Queenwood to experience different cultures and perspectives through exchanges and trips; to engage with current social and political issues in Australia and around the world; to connect closely with young people with radically different life experience and perspectives, through our relationships with Indigenous communities or our long-standing work in Cambodia. Girls are encouraged to pursue their interests through projects, competitions and a wide range of extra-curricular activities.

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There is no short-cut to deep understanding and the role of teachers in providing the right balance of encouragement and challenge is essential. We recognise the expertise and professionalism of teachers as our greatest resource.

In an age of increasingly intrusive regulation, we trust to their commitment and skill and accord them genuine autonomy. We reject the idea that all lessons must conform to a single framework and believe that our staff and students will fly if we allow them freedom to explore the world of ideas in their own way.

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