What does it take to succeed? The usual answers are hard work, grit, and determination. It’s an important question and one that reflects exactly how our children should be educated. After all, it is the duty of schools and teachers to decide the core values they wish to instil in their students. But what people too often overlook is that these values could well determine the success and general well-being of our children well into their golden years.
There’s a compelling argument that courage is the most important virtue. In honour of the great Aristotle, Winston Churchill once said, “Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities… because it is the quality which guarantees all others.” And that makes perfect sense. Unless you convince yourself of success and take a leap of faith into the unknown, you’ll always be stuck in the planning phase. Hard work, grit, and determination only come into play once you’ve decided to act.
Frensham School, an independent boarding school for girls, fully recognizes this, and has put courage front and centre since its inception in 1913. In fact, Frensham’s tireless promotion of values like courage is the top reason why parents worldwide are keen to choose this school. Seeking to raise capable and self-assured young women, the school has incorporated courage and responsible risk-taking into virtually every element of its intensive curriculum. The school is located in Mittagong, Australia ideal for parents who want to send their children to a vibrant, peaceful and beautiful city that is close enough but not too close to the hustle and bustle of Sydney.
One example of this is Frensham’s exceptionally unique Jamieson Programme, which aims to expose girls to challenges within a secure and encouraging environment. The programme is based on the premise that traditional education is focused on the known whereas today’s rapidly changing world demands education for the unknown.
Spread across years (with a particular focus on Year 9), the programme involves a range of activities including camping, caving expeditions, sports, community service, public speaking, and global citizenship courses. Students ultimately emerge as well-rounded individuals who are intellectually informed, emotionally resilient, and physically fit.
Students’ progress toward that goal is meticulously tracked by the school. Frensham prides itself as a school where each girl is known, and faculty put enormous effort into supporting each girl’s growth on an individual, personal basis.
To that end, teachers schedule additional time throughout the day or through weekend seminars to mentor and guide students. Cross-faculty staff meetings are held to discuss overall student progress and involvement, and accelerated or additional studies are programmed as appropriate. Frensham also arranges for external consultants to provide careers counselling to older students.
Public speaking is another way Frensham instils courage in students, forming an integral part of the school’s English tuition. Students gain confidence and valuable presentation skills as they speak in front of peers and the wider school community.
Drama, music, and the visual arts are also huge on campus – each an outlet for students to boldly express themselves in front of audiences. Drama is a mandatory subject for Stage 4 (Years 7 – 8) at Frensham, pushing students out of their comfort zones as they confront their on-stage fears. The musically inclined may find a home at the school’s Glenn Music Centre, which is equipped with quality pianos, and Clubbe Hall, where the orchestra and choirs rehearse. Those interested in the visual arts may indulge in drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, ceramics, sculpture, digital media and film. For each of these activities, students can look forward to personalised guidance and support from highly qualified staff.
Sports is yet another avenue through which students gain courage, teamwork and leadership skills at Frensham. The school’s student body is overwhelmingly active in sports. Over 90% of students – from Years 7 to 12 – choose to represent the school every term within the Independent Girls’ Schools Sports Association (IGSSA) competition. Due to its expansive grounds, Frensham is home to every kind of popular sport – tennis, basketball, football, netball, swimming, hockey, gymnastics, riding, and more.
So from its classes to its fields, Frensham’s mission has always been to give its students the courage to strive. The school constantly exposes students to challenges and situations, pushing them to adapt and conquer any doubts. Frensham’s students are not sheltered from the world; they are fully prepared for it – and that’s the best thing you could say about any school. Frensham School proves not only that values-based education works, but it is the way to go.
This article is sponsored by Frensham School. Established in 1913, it is a pre-eminent Australian boarding school for girls founded on Christian principles. Frensham embraces a values-based teaching philosophy that emphasizes individual growth, service to others, and the common good. Every student’s growth is tracked and supported on an individual basis. Located in rural Mittagong, New South Wales, the school provides students with a beautiful, awe-inspiring environment that is also safe, secure, and positive. Frensham features world-class facilities, including a modern science and technology centre, superb performing and visual arts spaces, and extensive game fields.