Canterbury At Its Best: College Principal Mr Dan Walker’s Week 5 Reflection…

I recently attended a meeting of Queensland Anglican Principals.

One of the reflection workshops focused on the question: “When are you at your best?” and secondly, “When is your school at its best?”

For the purposes of my Principal’s reflections this week, I thought I would share my thoughts regarding when Canterbury is “at its best.”

My approach as Principal has always been to focus on the things that matter in the education of young people.

This means a deliberate focus on three things:

1. The quality of the curriculum, the quality of teaching and recruitment and retention of talented educators.

Canterbury continues to outperform many rival schools academically because our academic culture is so healthy.

2. Development of the co-curriculum which engages a full range of students and which ensures socialisation, leisure and recreation time.

As the old axiom goes – busy kids tend to be happier kids, and this is a mantra that Canterbury lives by, and I know it is also one of the reasons that attracts families to our school.

3. A high expectations culture in all we do, including student uniform and presentation, the standards of our learning areas, gardens and grounds, and finally the way we embrace diversity in our College.

These three elements are the things that matter.

We don’t tend to focus on flashy and shiny programs that don’t add value to the education of our students.

We keep our academic standards high but we also ensure that students who need support to access the curriculum or alternative pathways have that support.

Canterbury is at its best when our students and families “buy in” to these three core elements of our culture.

Our students thrive when they commit to their academic studies, access the co-curricular opportunities available and embrace the high expectations culture in all its forms.

We are an “all-rounder” school. It is in our DNA and I hope that it will remain long into the future.

This week, it has been our students planning our service and justice initiatives this year, participation in House Singing, a great round of TAS and JTAS sport, our students at the Anglican Schools Leaders Symposium, Kitchen Garden harvesting and cooking, Year 5 and 6 Spark electives in action, and the first week of Taipan Tutors kicking off.

And this is just one week out of 38!

As an educator, I am at my happiest when I see students develop a wider set of skills, repertoires and perspectives over their time at our College.

I am the most disappointed too, when I see opportunity squandered and promise unfulfilled.

Through our pastoral care system, we hope to track the development and engagement of our students in the important elements of our culture.

Ultimately, when things are not going so well, we always hope to work in partnership with parents to ensure we are getting the best out of every student in our school.

Dan Walker
College Principal