Star Learning Framework
The well-rounded Star Learning Framework is a model that permeates every level of learning at Stella Maris. Our Framework provides a context for learning that is steeped in our traditions and values and is also our navigational star, pointing the way into the future of learning at the College; it is comprehensive, responsive to educational best practice and mindful of quality education in the cultural context of Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
“Every age and level of understanding should receive appropriate treatment.” – Rule of St Benedict, Chp 30
Articulated in the model, developed by the teachers of Stella Maris, is our belief that authentic learning is driven by five key qualities:
- acquiring higher-order thinking skills and continually improving through a cycle of evaluation and reflection
- participating in substantive conversations which lead to deeper understanding
- discerning the core concepts and exploring multiple perspectives
- stimulating natural curiosity
- working together to meet shared goals and cooperating with others to meet individual goals
- refining interpersonal skills
- sharing responsibility for and benefitting from group success – the whole being greater than the sum of its parts
- contributing according to one’s own skills and knowledge, knowing that all contributions to the classroom dynamic are a valued and necessary part of deep learning
- engaging with diverse cultural knowledge and perspectives that add richness to the learning and challenge the dominant cultural narrative
- offering a differentiated curriculum that provides variety and choices to engage learners with different learning histories and preferences
- identifying and challenging underlying assumptions
- applying knowledge and skills in novel ways to new situations
- pushing boundaries and creating new knowledge by challenging the status quo
- becoming increasingly self-directed and intrinsically motivated to set and achieve personal goals
- making confident decisions and being flexible and adaptable in the face of changing circumstances
- being brave, resilient and embracing failed solutions as a necessary and welcome part of learning
The Stella Maris community, represented by the College Crest, sits at the heart of the model. Our core Benedictine values radiate from its centre, symbolic of each girl’s lived experience in and beyond the classroom.
We strive to make our learning spaces environments were each girl is welcomed and celebrated for her unique identity, where she is confident that she belongs, where she feels cared for and where she is safe to take intellectual risks in an atmosphere where peace and justice are prime determinants of the quality of classroom interactions.
Learning under the guiding light of the Star Learning Framework allows every Stella Girl to shine and to be a shining light for others.
“My experience at Stella has been exceptional. I love how the teachers have such a positive attitude towards teaching you.” – Brooke, Year 8.
We aspire to equip each girl with the confidence to explore her faith and combine it with her educational learning, so that she may grow in her personal ethics and ‘go make a difference’ in her world. Stella is a Catholic College where our retreats, liturgies, the way we care for each other, community service, prayer and social justice initiatives create a community where Christ is an underlying presence in our lives.
“At Stella, we live by vital Benedictine values including Peace and Justice, Community, Hospitality and Stewardship, which intertwine to form the foundation of our freedom to learn and grow. Every girl here has these qualities within them, and they are embraced here at Stella as a whole community – an extended family.” – Molly, Year 12.
Outside the structured learning of the classroom we believe there are extraordinary opportunities for growth. We strive to inculcate a sense of wonder and curiosity that creates true life-long learners. We value the unpredictable moments and immerse our girls in an environment that is filled with opportunities for critical thinking, reflection and deep connection. We invite them to connect with the world around them and to ask how, why and what if.