Strong Character and Convictions
July 27, 2023
The second Pillar in our Strategic Plan is Strong Character and Convictions, and relates to the core values of our School.
“We are a community of people who are shaped by God’s love.”
Our School is an Anglican School and our values are grounded in the Christian faith. The actions and decisions undertaken at TIGS are direct expressions of these values in a contemporary setting. This is experienced by our community through our position that the world is knowable and learning is valuable, that creativity is a unique human attribute, that we have a responsibility to care for God’s creation as well as focus on each individual person in our community, and our commitment to knowing and caring for every student. This is a reflection of our Christian belief that every individual is created by our great God, unique, loved and valuable. It is an expression of faith to serve and care for every member of our community as a reflection of this love.
Our particular focus areas in 2023 are to:
- Develop partnerships and relationships with other Christian organisations and local Churches.
Our School is an important contributor to the broader community of churches in the Illawarra and families who attend these churches frequently choose to send their children to TIGS. Our School community supports Anglicare, through our School service programme and the Christmas celebration. TIGS students serve at local Churches like Port Kembla, Warrawong and Figtree Anglican Church in food trucks, youth groups and other activities. We were able to support Keiraville Church by providing access to the IGC while their church buildings were being renovated. We are real partners in the Illawarra with other Christian organisations because we share the same values and beliefs even though our context as a School is quite different. This is a great strength.
- Strengthen TIGS service programme as a tangible expression of Christian love and ethics.
The service programme at TIGS is well established and highly regarded. In our context, the reason to serve is in response to the command to love one another. We are incredibly fortunate as a community and it is important that our young people understand this truth and to seek to use this blessing for the good of others. This is not only a benefit to our wider community but a direct benefit to our students. Positive psychology principles are very clear that to serve and be a part of something bigger than self is a wonderful contributor to wellbeing and flourishing. This is why we serve at TIGS, because we are created to do so.
- Design opportunities to care for others.
A focus area of our school that continues into 2023 is to equip and build capacity to provide care, both of self and of others. There are three elements to the development of this capacity. First we need to teach the knowledge and skills required. Second we need to practice these skills and embed this understanding and knowledge in safe and structured environments and third, we need to apply our skills and understandings in authentic situations. These principles underpin our wellbeing and service programme, right from Pre-Prep to Year 12 our students are learning about how to care for themselves and others and they access increasingly complex and challenging opportunities to apply their skills to care for for others as they progress through their 13 year journey at TIGS.
I observe this at school in the way students raise concerns and seek out support for themselves and for their friends. I observe it in the way they individually become associated with various causes in our local and global context and I see it in our alumni who frequently pursue careers that make a difference and care for others.
There is lots of strategic work happening at TIGS in Pillar 2 this year. The impact of this work will be felt in every year group, in every family and by every staff member. Our values in action, experienced as high levels of care and embedded opportunities to serve, lead to human flourishing and a meaningful life. This is the primary aim of education and our focus remains on this at all times even while we pay attention and effort to the other strategic pillars.