There are two distinct differences at Barker College. One is that it is a school that deliberately and intentionally allows people to thrive in a holistic sense – emotionally, physiologically, physically, academically.
The second thing is that we have a firm coeducational identity and a firm expression of that. It is a view that everybody can find a place and thrive irrespective of interests, skillset or capacity.
Building on 130 years of heritage, the School has grown in two areas. Firstly, there is our Indigenous education outreach program, which goes beyond boarding and into establishing Aboriginal schools in partnership with Aboriginal community leaders. The second is in our emphatic commitment to a full coeducational experience for our students.
No two days at Barker are ever the same. Students are constantly challenging themselves – and being challenged – as they grow, expand their minds and learn to think big, practically and independently.
Our approach to student wellbeing
Barker is committed to creating and fostering a caring and positive Christian environment for every student, in order for our young people to be known, supported and equipped with the social and emotional tools needed to thrive.
The purpose of the student wellbeing program at Barker is to empower students with social and emotional skills and attributes, developed through a holistic program of care, so that they can thrive throughout their lives. It is hoped that the legacy of the student wellbeing program at Barker produces graduates who are resilient and equipped to make a difference in their world and who have given more than they have received.
Beyond the Classroom
The experience inside the classroom is only one part of a Barker education. Co-curricular activities deepen the school experience for all our students, and from the arts to the sporting field, students are encouraged to challenge themselves and uncover their talents.
For Pre-K to Year 6 students we offer a broad range of sporting, cultural and recreational co-curricular activities. Throughout Years 7 to 12, our students have even greater opportunities to pursue their passions. As well as Drama, Music, Cadets, Outdoor Education and over 20 different sports, Barker students can challenge themselves in the areas of robotics, debating and public speaking.
Inquiry, as the leading pedagogical approach of the Primary Years Programme (PYP) recognizes students as being actively involved in their own learning and as taking responsibility for that learning. Barker College Junior School learning is approached with a spirit of inquiry. Drawing from the transdisciplinary themes and students’ interests, inquiry is an authentic way for students to relate to, explore and understand the world around them. As part of the learner profile, students are supported in becoming “inquirers”. Inquiry nurtures curiosity and promotes enthusiasm for life-long learning. Effective inquiry encourages students to think, challenge and extend their ideas; it prompts students to reflect and take action.
By situating inquiry in meaningful contexts, connections are made between personal experiences to local and global opportunities and challenges. Key Concepts Key concepts drive learning experiences and help to frame a unit of inquiry. By identifying and investigating key concepts, students learn to think critically about big ideas. This may be done through broad, open-ended questions in an inquiry.
When concepts are viewed as a set of questions, the inquiry is directed, purposeful and manageable. Central Ideas Central ideas in conjunction with the key concepts drive all of our units of inquiry and are the ultimate enduring understanding we are seeking to ensure our learners have grasped.
The learner profile attributes support students in developing international-mindedness and in taking action for positive change. Exercising their agency, students take ownership of their learning, express their ideas and opinions, and reflect on their development of the learner profile attributes.
Students have a range of opportunities to develop, demonstrate and reinforce attributes of the learner profile in the daily life of the learning community at Barker College. When learners have agency, the role of the teacher and student changes; the relationship between a teacher and a student is viewed as a partnership.