St John’s College Saturday School Hellenic Studies’ program in Preston is looking ahead in 2016 and beyond at inspiring and creating the next generation of Greek Australian bilinguals and Philhellenes. Its vision is to embrace all students and work closely with them to engage them in their life long journey in the discovery of Hellenism.
Regardless of what stage students begin this Hellenic school journey, the role of the educator is to inspire the student to become an active participant in developing these life skills, where their speaking, reading and writing in the Greek language will further enrich their English language.
The history of the college dates back to the early 1970s, and is well known from its early days, from the Greek Orthodox Church Community of St John’s in Lygon Street, Carlton.
It is the first ‘bilingual’ Greek College in Melbourne and in Australia, inspired by the Greek Egyptian Education Model of the early 19th century by the Cairo and Alexandrian Greek communities of the diaspora.
In 2016, St John’s follows the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority’s teaching and assessment guidelines according to the National Curriculum from Foundation (Prep)-Yr 10 and the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE-Years 11 & 12), combining the best resources and methodologies from the Education Department of Greece together with specialised materials and technologies, written by highly experienced Greek Australian teachers to engage, and thus meet, the specific linguistic and pedagogical needs of second and third generation students learning Greek in Australia.
The Saturday School Hellenic Studies’ program at St John’s is available for all first and second language learners. Classes begin at Foundation level, through to VCE, where outstanding results are an annual event and top scorers within Victoria a regular occurrence.
Highly experienced and dedicated Greek teachers will ensure all children are “well looked after, meeting their individual learning needs”. The Hellenic Studies program incorporates the teaching of Greek language, cultural studies, Orthodox faith and practices, as well as Greek history, geography, mythology and the wider context of the Greek Australian migration experience and the present Greek Australian community of the diaspora.
In addition, students participate in National Day celebrations, such as the 25 March parade to the Shrine of Remembrance. Students are being exposed to the medium of language acquisition through performing arts, such as dancing, singing, drama, public speaking and debating. The methodology is as closely tied to that of the English day school, which students know best, using a wide range of technologies to enrich and engage student learning.
There will be a greater focus on the use of technology within the Greek classroom and beyond as of 2016 so that teaching and learning skills can be enhanced where students become more independent and active participants in their own learning. The EDIAMME (University of Crete) resources online, as well as the Education Perfect vocabulary builder, ACER Testing (Australian Council of Educational Research) and the Certificate of Greek Language Proficiency are some of the initiatives that the Hellenic Studies program will be participating in.
The Greek Community of Melbourne and across Australia has been experiencing a new wave of migration from Greece in the last few years, which has enriched Hellenism throughout the wider Australian multicultural society on many levels. We welcome and embrace our brothers and sisters as well as their children, who are first language Greek learners trying to find their bilingual balance within an Anglo Saxon, English-speaking society.
Likewise, the second language Greek learner needs to learn as much as the Greek family environment can offer, but needs to ensure that a good choice is made, as far as the selection of an appropriate Greek Language Program, or an after hours Greek School is concerned.
St John’s continues to see its role as a leading educational provider of Hellenic studies, which reflect the reality of our very quickly changing times, in order to keep up with relevant educational programs and engage learners to become active participants in their life-long learning.
The teaching programs, as well as the grounds and facilities in Preston, are very inspiring, where your child will feel safe, valued and happy to attend their personal Hellenic journey. Interested parents and grandparents are encouraged to visit the school on Saturday 6 February, or any other Saturday from 9.00 am till 1.00 pm.