St. Paul's Grammar school is a Christian, co-educational Pre K - 12 school set in 28 hectares of semi-rural land west of Sydney near Penrith (approximately 50 km from the central business district of Sydney). It has approximately 860 students. The school is non-denominational and welcomes students from all cultural and religious backgrounds. The school aims to foster the total formation of every one of its students, nurturing the development of their talents and abilities in whichever fields they lie. The performing arts are strength of the school, and wide ranges of sporting facilities are available for use of its students.
St Paul's was authorised to offer the Diploma in 1990. In 2003 it became the first school in NSW to implement the Diploma, Middle Years and Primary Years Programmes.
One of the distinctives of St Paul’s is the International Baccalaureate (IB) and three short films focus on the educational programmes offered as part of the IB.
The three episodes explore the:
- Primary Years Programme (PYP), which is the first of the three IB programmes offered at St Paul’s.
- Middle Years Programme (MYP), which is the second of the three IB programmes offered at St Paul’s.
- Diploma Programme (DP), which is the third of the three IB programmes offered at St Paul’s.
St Paul's began to implement the PYP (Primary Years Program) in 2001. The PYP framework represents best educational practice and enables St Paul's to incorporate our school based philosophies with NSW and national curricula. The essential Christian perspective of St Paul's is further facilitated through the PYP approach to learning. Within our PYP units of inquiry the associated NESA (New South Wales Education Standards Authority) outcomes have been identified, developed and meaningfully incorporated. In this way, NESA requirements are compatible and complementary to the PYP and are met with vigour and integrity. Central to the international focus of St Paul's is the language and culture programme, where students learn Mandarin Chinese complemented by sister-school relationships between St Paul's and a network of schools in China. St Paul's is committed to life long learning of both its students and staff. Staff has regular opportunity to undertake professional training to develop their knowledge and understanding of PYP and other curriculum focus areas.
Since 2003, St Paul’s Grammar School has been authorised to offer the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme. The school meets the rigorous International Baccalaureate standards and practices in terms of assessment and development of students’ skills and conceptual understandings, which enhance delivery of government NESA (New South Wales Education Standards Authority) and ACARA (Australia Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority) requirements. The IB MYP emphasises student-centred learning with real-life applications.
The subjects offered in the IB MYP at St Paul’s are Language and Literature (English and Chinese); Language Acquisition (French, Chinese, English and Latin); Physical and Health Education (PDHPE, Physical Activity and Sports Studies elective); Individuals and Societies (History, Geography and Commerce elective); Sciences; Mathematics; Design (Design and Technology, Food Technology and Industrial Technology Timber electives) and Arts (Dance, Drama, Music, Photo Media and Visual Arts electives). Additionally, students take a Christian Studies course.
St Paul’s Grammar School was the first school in NSW to offer the MYP that is still authorized to do so. The teaching staff have a wealth of experience and expertise and serve as IB accredited teacher training workshop leaders, moderators of international work samples and members of various International Baccalaureate assessment and planning teams at meetings throughout the world. The MYP coordinator is an IB Educator with significant curriculum and assessment experience with the IB organisation.
St Paul's was the second school in NSW to offer the IB Diploma programme in 1990. It offers students choice in all subject groups within the IB Diploma at both HL and SL. The school has one of the most highly experienced IB staff in Australia with many IB examiners of scripts, senior moderators and moderators of internal assessment, four IB accredited teacher training workshop leaders, three IB Programme Resource Centre moderators, two former Deputy Chief Examiners and a number of staff with other significant IB Educator roles. A number of staff have been or are current members of IB Diploma curriculum committees (Biology, Dance and Literature and performance and Visual Art).
Group 1 subjects (Studies in language and literature ) offered include English: literature, English: language and literature and Chinese: literature. Personal (mother tongue) languages are school supported where possible.
Group 2 subjects (Language acquisition) offered include English B HL, Mandarin Chinese B SL, French B SL, Latin B SL, Chinese ab initio SL, French ab initio SL and Spanish ab initio SL. Other languages are school supported where possible.
Group 3 subjects (Individuals and their societies) offered include Business Management, Economics, Geography, History, Psychology and Environmental Systems and Societies SL (a trans-disciplinary subject meeting both Group 3 and 4 requirements in one subject, allowing greater flexibility in subject choice in other areas).
Group 4 subjects (Experimental Sciences) offered include Biology, Chemistry, Design Technology, Physics, Sports, Exercise and Health Science and Environmental Systems and Societies SL.
Group 5 subjects (Mathematics) offered are Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches and Mathematics: Applications & Interpretation. Both courses are offered at HL and SL.
Group 6 subjects (Arts and electives) offered include Film, Music, Theatre Arts, Dance and Visual Arts. A second subject may also be studied from groups 2-6 (although study of a second group 6 subject requires the choice of Environmental Systems and Societies to meet both group 3 and 4 requirements in one subject.
CORE subjects. In addition the the subject areas listed above, students are required to complete the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course, Creativeity Activity and Service (CAS) program and write a 4,000 word extended essay. The core is completed over the two year duration of the Diploma programme.
The Diploma Programme Coordinator is a member of standing commitee of IB Schools Australasia and a former chair of the association. He has represented IB schools in the Asia Pacific region on numerous IB curriculum and assessment commitees through-out the world.