The Great Cause - New Podcast Series

This term we released our first podcast under the series title “The Great Cause”. Our first episode on the topic “What Makes a Good School?”, features Barker family and former NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli and Sonia Casanova, in conversation with Phillip Heath AM.

We all know the importance of education. Nelson Mandela said that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. HG Wells is thought to have said that “History is more and more a race between education and catastrophe”.

Despite the belief that education is such serious business the truth is that we spend much energy simply doing it rather than thinking about what is happening and what are our purposes. "The Great Cause” podcast unpacks some ideas about the enthralling enterprise of education.

The literature on the topic of "What Makes a Good School?" offers a range of ideas in response to the question. These include:

  • A clear and shared mission and purpose that is respected by everyone in the school community
  • Clear and warm connections between staff and with the school community
  • Safe and supportive culture
  • Capacity for student agency and student voice
  • Parent connection, which enables parents to feel welcome and to express their aspirations
  • Clear policies and procedures
  • Celebration of the individual within the broader community
  • Clearly expressed sense of culture and purpose

Culture, as they say, is king. No matter how well produced are the brochures and the laminated messages, the ideas that bind a school must be lived rather than merely spoken.

In future podcasts, we will consider other matters:

  • A possible future for Secondary Education in Australia
  • The use of AI, from a Year 12 Leaver’s point of view.
  • Student Leadership – a discussion with students themselves. Why it matters and how we can do it better?
  • Co-curricular life – should we be asking so much of our students.

And many more besides.

The introductory music used in the podcast was composed by our own Louis Russell, Class of 2023, and submitted for his HSC Course 1 Music work. He kindly agreed to its use for this podcast series.

Listen to Episode 1 on Apple Podcast or Spotify