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Livingstone Christian College believes in real-world learning. With forecasts of even stronger ties between Australia and Asia, the college is embarking on a bold and relevant plan to build ‘Asia capability’ for its students for their future.

Livingstone Christian College has its finger firmly on the pulse when it comes to preparing its students for a rich and fulfilling career and life after their school years.

Principal Mark Laraghy strongly believes in the importance of teaching his students to recognise themselves as global citizens.

“Our job as educators is to ensure that all students have the opportunity to become active and informed global citizens,” Mark says. “This demands a re-think of the knowledge, skills and understandings they, and our nation, require.”

New to the role of principal at Livingstone, Mark’s vision for the college’s students is one that strongly involves building relationships with and knowledge of Asia. Mark is one of the only Asia Link Leaders Program alumni (2012) working in the field of education. Only a small group of people is selected each year to complete the national course and Mark’s learnings and experience from his time in the Asia Link Leaders Program is helping Livingstone students prepare for the ‘Asia Century’, a defining feature of the 21st Century on the back of the growth of middle-class Asia, as Mark explains.

“We are acknowledging Asia’s rise in a changing world and that the Asia Century is an Australian opportunity,” he says. “It’s important that our kids know that their future doesn’t stop at the Brisbane River and that we will equip them for the Asia Century.”

Under Mark’s guidance, the college is this year embarking on a bold plan to build ‘Asia Capability’ among its students. Livingstone Christian College academic dean Amanda Roberts says the college is embracing Asia Capability across all year levels, from Prep to Year 12, through a variety of interesting and engaging curriculum projects. In a nutshell, the end goal is to promote intercultural understanding.

AMONG THE WAYS LIVINGSTONE IS BUILDING ASIA CAPABILITY IN ITS RANKS INCLUDES:

  • Asian literacy within the classroom.
  • One-on-one Chinese scripted lessons with Shenzhen Fuijung Primary School in Shenzhen using Skype.
  • Joint curriculum projects between curriculum leaders from both schools who will partake in interactive lessons via Skype.
  • International student programs – 400 Japanese students will visit Livingstone Christian College later this year and have one- to-one encounters with the college’s middle- years students.
  • Livingstone students will be involved in a study tour to China including visits to some of China’s leading schools.
  • A leadership group of Year 11 students will build their Asia Capability over the next 18 months attending Griffith Asia Institute events, meeting with corporates who have found themselves needing Asia Capability, working closely with mentors who will help them develop the skills they need and unlock other opportunities, including possible internships in large corporations.
  • Livingstone is providing professional development opportunities for visiting Korean teachers, who will join the college’s staff in professional learning and then take micro lessons in the classrooms.
  • Livingstone has a partnership with Jeta Gardens – an ‘East meets West’ retirement village and nursing home. Starting next term, early years students will visit residents to read and use their Chinese language skills. Residents will be able to teach the students cultural songs etc.

While the content of the Asia Capability subject matter is vital, Amanda says it is the context that’s most important.

“As Julia Gillard once said, ‘It is impossible to conceive of a future Australian education system that does not take the study of Asia seriously’,” Amanda says. “We are really excited about the potential that Asia Capability has for the future of our students.”

Visit www.livingstone.qld.edu.au

Belinda Glindemann

Belinda Glindemann  

Belinda knew she was destined for a career in communications and publishing from the age of 11 when her Year 6 teacher introduced her to poster projects and glitter pens. She completed her journalism cadetship in the Whitsundays and went on to hold various newspaper and magazine editor roles across Brisbane in a media career spanning more than a decade. When Belinda's not writing for haven, she runs her own PR agency, kid-wrangles two young daughters and drinks way too much sweet tea.