Alphington Grammar: Building global competencies

Embracing excellence and cultural diversity, Alphington Grammar School in Melbourne has a unique blend of students that possess around 30 different ethnic backgrounds, representing a truly remarkable blend of cultures, beliefs and cross cultural understandings.

An academically strong, non-denominational school, Alphington Grammar School is committed to providing students with experiences that not only enhance their learning, but enable them to experience opportunities that excite and challenge.

In our increasingly interconnected world, it is imperative that our students have a strong sense of cultural awareness, a sense of community and a deep understanding of the contribution they can make to a globally sustainable future. Alphington Grammar School incorporates learning opportunities that enable students to build vital lifelong skills and attributes that will allow them to develop higher order thinking skills.

To this end, one of the major areas of the school’s teaching and learning programs is the study of internationalism and cross-cultural understanding from Prep through to the senior years. The study of Greek and Chinese culture, history and language and an understanding of Indigenous Australians is embedded into our curriculum offerings to encourage students to develop knowledge, skills, understanding and behaviours that will help them develop into active, informed global citizens.

The Global Gateways Program, designed along major interconnected themes, is compulsory for Years 9 and 10 as part of a two-year cycle. It is one of the most powerful catalysts for truly effective international education.

In Phase I of the program, each student undertakes either a five-week study of the cultures of China, Turkey and Greece; or a two-week study of the impact and integration of these international communities within Australia, visiting Coober Pedy, Ayers Rock, Kings Canyon and Alice Springs.

Phase II of the Global Gateways Program sees Year 9 and 10 students choose either a ten-day study tour from South to North Vietnam, gaining a deeper understanding and firsthand experience of the history, culture and international influences that have affected Vietnam; or a ten-day program that takes in Darwin, Kakadu and Litchfield Park. Students spend time with Indigenous communities of the Northern Territory. Both phases of the Gateways programs have a Community Service component embedded in the learning outcomes.

Alphington Grammar School - Building global competencies

Developing global citizens

Throughout their learning, Alphington Grammar students gain the knowledge, skills and behaviours that support them to develop into active and informed global citizens.

From Foundation to Year 4, students connect with others through their family, school and local community. Throughout these years they come to understand cultural similarities and differences and to appreciate that different cultural, language and religious groups make up Australia.

During their middle years, students become increasingly aware of national events; environmental, social and political issues; as well as international events and crises that affect our way of life. Through these events students can evaluate their role as a global citizen. As students consider their future pathways, in Years 9 and 10 they experience greater awareness of the political, legal, national and international issues, as well as the roles and responsibilities they will have as global citizens.

Both phases of the Gateways programs are designed to provide an experiential program that is a progression of skills from the primary years onwards and complements ‘The Habits of Mind’ we seek to develop in our students. The 16 problem-solving, life related skills serve to provide the capacity to work through real life situations from challenges, pre-conceived ideas and the like, enabling them to respond using critical thinking to gain a positive perspective and outcome.

Global education and experiential learning

Global education promotes open-mindedness leading to new thinking about the world and a predisposition to take action for change. Students learn to take responsibility for their actions, respect and value diversity and see themselves as global citizens who can contribute to a more peaceful, just and sustainable world.

Enabling young people to participate in shaping a better shared future for the world is at the heart of global education. It emphasises the unity and interdependence of human society, developing a sense of self and appreciation of cultural diversity, affirmation of social justice and human rights, building peace and actions for a sustainable future in different times and places.

With its emphasis not only on developing knowledge and skills but also on promoting positive values and participation, global education is relevant across all learning areas.

The need for Victoria’s young people to be globally connected, informed and active has never been greater. At Alphington Grammar, we are responding to these opportunities through innovative approaches to international education. Many schools have discovered that learning while living in another country is one of the most powerful catalysts for effective international education. The positive impact of learning in another country is profound; students return home with enhanced intercultural understandings, sharpened self-awareness and emerging leadership skills.

For the last 30 years, Alphington Grammar School has fostered a wonderful sense of openness and caring for each other and has looked to instil in each individual a strong sense of self belief, empowering young people to become responsible citizens of the future.

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