From the Principal

The Tintern Grammar graduate profile – #1:

Why should our students leave Tintern as Knowledgeable and Caring Thinkers?


Our core focus in our new forward strategy,  Our Focus, Your Future – Towards 2030 is the achievement of outcomes by and for our students, and the capabilities, attributes, and dispositions we want them carrying in their ‘kit bag’ for life as they leave our school. If you have walked through any part of the School, I suspect you will have seen these on the Tintern Compass posters, underneath (and in a very real sense, underlining) the values of the Compass.

Knowledgeable and Caring Thinkers, Open-Minded Inquirers, Balanced Risk Takers, and Principled and Reflective Communicators are the four elements of the Tintern Grammar graduate profile (the Tintern leaver’s kit bag for a path to success and fulfillment). In this first of a series of four pieces, I would like to explore the first of these and ask, What does a Knowledgeable and Caring Thinker look like, and why is this combination of attributes important enough to make this list of only four?

Knowledge – one of the core responsibilities for any school is to build knowledge (of information and processes), conceptual understanding (connecting knowledge to ideas) and skills (the ability to effectively utilise knowledge and understanding in known and unknown real-world environments) in young people over their journey through school. Reinforced by knowledge, education and training acquired post-school, they are the technical and theoretical foundations required in our work and in our lives. So, while being knowledgeable may not be everything, it is a key contributor to capability and achievement, builds confidence and resilience and correlates with future success. We must be committed to excellence in the acquisition of knowledge at all levels in the School.

Thinking – the ability to think deeply on a topic or problem, particularly difficult or not previously experienced problems, is an important element of finding solutions to those problems and challenges and ones we have not yet faced. Looking beyond conventional or historic solutions and being able to examine problems differently, is not a consequence of learning through a rigid and repetition model. It comes from creative and independent thinking and is something that we must provide as a set of pathway opportunities and experiences that lead to authentic understanding of how to think. Our utilisation of Harvard University’s Culture of Thinking in our academic and social communities is one of the key tools in fostering a thinking culture in our students and in our School community. The future world needs our young people to be thinkers by nature.

Care and caring – increasingly, the world expects more of us than just capability. While shifting social expectations are demanding awareness and understanding from us all, there is also a broader agenda of care, consideration, and community focus as we are emerging from a ‘me and I’ era of the 90s and early 2000s. As problem solvers, the modern workforce is generally structured in teams, particularly where problem solving is the focus, and the ability to be a team member who can bring the best out in others as well as oneself is a valued attribute. In part, this is about caring. Caring about performance and standards, caring for others and their contribution, and caring about one’s own standards. It is also about building confidence and consequent capability in others because we care about and value others as well as ourselves, and the partnerships we might create with them.

The first of our graduate profile attributes is about capability with care, original and innovative thinking for self and others with the ability to contribute to capable and aware teams of thinkers. Teams who together harness these attributes to improve circumstances for both themselves and for others by empowering capability with awareness and care.

factis non verbis






Bradly Fry | Principal



2023 Term Dates