We strive to prepare young people for the challenges, opportunities and excitement of today’s world.
Hillbrook is a co-educational Anglican secondary school, with around 720 students, located in Brisbane’s inner north-west. Our motto, ‘In Balance We Grow’, underpins all our actions as a school community.
Hillbrook offers an academic curriculum, fostering an integrated balance of personal, spiritual, intellectual and physical growth. Our greatest aim is to empower young people to live confidently, capably, sensitively and creatively in the global community and to contribute to its direction.
Community is a fundamental human need, and like balance, is in danger of being lost in western society. Research supports a link between communal school values and students’ academic achievements. We strive to embody in the school’s culture, for students, staff and parents, a sense of community; a place where people share high levels of trust and respect for one another.
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The school motto, ‘In Balance We Grow’, underpins life at Hillbrook. The school prides itself on its focus on quality teaching and learning and a specialisation in the nurturing of adolescents.
Research shows, schools that are strong communities, especially with high levels of mutual trust and respect – have students who are likely to do well.
For these reasons we strive to maintain and develop Hillbrook as a thriving, inclusive community, where adults and young people feel connected and welcomed.
We live in a world characterised by uncertainty and change, but it’s also a world with many opportunities. We need to consider the kind of leadership this implies, and how schools can best prepare young people for it.
At Hillbrook we take the view that the great majority of people want to do well with their lives and will welcome responsibility, as well as the opportunity to show leadership by making a positive difference in their own lives and in the lives of others.
We believe that talent and creativity, in all their forms, are widely rather than narrowly distributed in the population. Schools are important communities for their students, staff and parents and these communities need to be essentially inclusive rather than exclusive. These assumptions have led us to a ‘distributive leadership’ model, which assumes that everyone can and should lead, in their own way.
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The School Leadership Team (from left to right in photo above) Bronwyn Wearne (Chief Financial Officer), Geoff Newton (Principal), Stephanie Munday-Lake (Deputy Principal), Brent Durham (Chief Operations Officer) and Mark Herriman (Deputy Principal) – are the formal leadership team of the school. Many teachers also take leadership roles, as well as the elected Student Representative Council.
There are no prefects here – student leadership is not the exclusive privilege of a select few.
A composition of the Hillbrook School Board is a feature that distinguishes it from most other independent schools. Our school is run by staff, parents and friends of Hillbrook who elect representatives to the Board.
The fig tree, planted on Inauguration Day 1986, was a central symbol for the beginning of the school.
You will walk around our foundation tree each time you visit. The tree is a powerful visual metaphor of many things at Hillbrook: the growth of students and staff; the development of flexible yet strong foundations; and the concept of balance.
In the early 1980’s, a small group of dedicated teachers dared to dream. Together they shared a vision of a dynamic new school, different from the traditional schools of the past. In 1987, that vision became a reality. Hillbrook Anglican School opened its doors, offering an innovative and refreshing new approach to educating our young people. An approach that combined contemporary learning techniques and principles with a balance of intellectual and personal development, spiritual growth and physical challenge.
We believe there’s a spiritual dimension to every human life and strong evidence shows that young people are keen to explore this; to seek deeper meaning in their own lives.
Anglicanism is a form of Christianity that sees spiritual growth as a pilgrimage: a journey of exploration and discovery through a creative balance of scripture, tradition, reason and experience. It is both inclusive and exploratory in nature.
Students of any or no denomination are welcome at Hillbrook. All of our young people are required to embark on a personal voyage of spiritual exploration and will compose their own philosophy of life at the end of Year 12.
As part of our framework we have drawn from Rachael Kessler’s eight principles as outlined in her book The Soul of Education:
Honouring young voices | Deep connection | Silence and stillness | Meaning and purpose| Joy | Creativity | Transcendence | Initiation and rites of passage
We build these into the framework of Anglicanism at Hillbrook, striving for a strong human focus and placing particular emphasis on the many practical opportunities to act it out.
What We Believe
Our Vision: To open minds, inspire hearts and nurture dreams.
Our Mission: To empower young people to make a positive difference.
In carrying out our vision and mission we develop students who are:
- Compassionate, ethical and creative thinkers with a sense of curiosity, wonder and hope,
- Able to demonstrate core academic knowledge and skills,
- Prepared for a productive, fulfilling, well-balanced life,
- Appreciative of their own and others spirituality, and
- Culturally and globally active.
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Hillbrook is preparing students to live happy, engaged and fulfilling lives and to make a positive difference in the world. We aim to provide an environment that encourages young men and women to be open and balanced in their thinking and relationships.
Read more about our Key Principles, the Essence of Hillbrook and our Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities in this PDF document - 'What We Believe'
‘Being a Learning Community’ remains our strategic priority.
"One of the great things about being part of the Hillbrook community is its relaxed and respectful approach to ceremonies. From our early years there has been a belief that this ‘informality with dignity’ is a significant contributor to the quality learning and community building that takes place within our school.
Some schools may often feel very formal, but I believe that when informality and dignity come together we achieve deeper connections. If we consider what ‘informality with dignity’ might look like, then relationships founded on: ethical behaviour; respect; real meaningful connections; and understanding and care, would surely be key descriptors.
And if understanding and cooperation are practised daily, without formal distance of position and hierarchy, then relationships will be even more immediate, powerful and real for students and staff.”
- Geoff Newton (Principal)
Celebrations And Achievements
A strong academic curriculum is critically important, but deep learning also comes from the many activities that comprise the ‘informal’ curriculum of a school.
Through a variety of learning experiences students discover their diverse talents. We enjoy sharing in their achievements and you can too by reading our biannual Connections Magazine (Leading Edge Section) and more regularly in our Newsletter.
Hillbrook students study a variety of intellectually challenging subjects and, regardless of their future path, all our students are expected to achieve an OP [overall position] at the end of their studies.
While standard assessment regimes can promote learning focused solely on improving test results; maintaining and improving the learning that happens in the classroom every day remains our priority.
We believe talent and creativity are widely rather than narrowly distributed in the population. For this reason we don’t hand pick our students based on any criteria other than date of enrolment.
We are delighted that, irrespective of this strong belief in fairness, our academic results compare favourably to other schools in Queensland.