Our approach to education at Mountain District Christian School is based on a holistic view of the child, as understood from the Bible. We see the education we provide as going beyond the basic schooling process, seeking to prepare children for a life of service in God’s world.
We aim to foster discernment in our students, helping them to think about life in the world and give them guidance to make wise choices. MDCS is convinced of the need to nurture the whole person, viewing each child as unique, gifted and individual, yet called to live, grow and learn in community. We value what they think and feel about themselves, what God thinks of them and His love for them. As a result of the school’s philosophy and beliefs, students are surrounded with much care, encouragement and support.
In the Secondary years, students benefit from the smaller class sizes at MDCS. They often receive significant personal attention. One aspect of a MDCS education is that our teachers adopt the role of ‘pastoral carer’ as well as educator in the lives of their students. The Secondary school is therefore structured so that students in Years 7-10 have the same teacher for a substantial amount of their class time. This enables the teacher to get to know each young person well, see them at work in different situations and help them sort out any problems they may be having while at school.
Our core value of ‘partnering with parents’ is just as present in the Secondary school, even though the expression of this may look a bit different than it does in the early years. Parents play a vital role on camps, excursions and at sporting events. We welcome their expertise and skills to facilitate different learning experiences, whether this be sewing costumes or building sets for productions, helping in the Wood Technology room or driving Year 10 students to their VET subjects.
Teachers regularly check students’ progress. Assessment outcomes inform where there may be gaps in a student’s learning and help teachers determine the most effective way to move forward to help that teen reach their potential.
The variety of methods to assess learning employed at MDCS include:
- observation of class participation,
- taking anecdotal notes,
- collecting students’ books and written work,
- marking assignments and tests,
- examinations (from Year 9).
Parents are strongly encouraged to book an interview with their child’s class teacher and specialist teachers when interviews are held late in Terms One and Three. These are valuable opportunities to receive feedback about a child’s progress and highlight any areas of concern. It is vital that parents connect regularly with their child’s teacher if education is to occur in partnership. Of course parents need not wait until interviews to contact their child’s teacher if there are any pressing issues or concerns.
Interviews are booked using Parent-Teacher Online (link) using the log in details and instructions that are supplied to each family via the Office before the bookings open.
At the end of Terms Two and Four, parents receive a written report regarding their child’s achievement and progress in all areas of the curriculum and aspects of personal development.
In addition to written comments, teachers give students an overall rating for each subject or learning area. This rating relates to their proficiency and progress in the subject area while the ‘number’ code relates to their faithfulness, attitude or response. A key to understanding these is given below:
|Well above expected level||1||Exceptional response|
|Above expected level||2||Above expected response|
|At expected level||3 ||Expected response|
|Below expected level||4||Inconsistent response|
|well below expected level||5||Poor response|