Mr Gerald Bain-King, Principal CBC

A proud heritage

As Principal of CBC St Kilda, I am immensely proud to be part of a school that has such a long and rich heritage of scholarship and community spirit.

Since 1878, the year in which CBC St Kilda was founded by the Christian Brothers, the College has taught generations of inner-city Melbourne boys. Our 130 years of service as a Catholic secondary school have given us a special sense of purpose and a respected and meaningful place in the Melbourne community. CBC St Kilda's heritage is a rich vein, constantly providing us with inspiration.

Certainly there are tangible reminders of tradition at the College  such as the beautifully preserved nineteenth-century buildings at the heart of our lively St Kilda campus - but to me the essence of our tradition lies in the ethic and spirit of the boys conduct that can be seen in the boys themselves.

People often tell me that the CBC St Kilda boys today, are like the CBC St Kilda boys of forty or fifty years ago. Of course we know that this can't be so, but there is something in the traditions and life of the College that encourages very good manners and kindness. In other words, CBC St Kilda boys are really terrific young gentlemen. I believe that giving our boys the very best in education, while also helping them to become fine human beings, is what CBC St Kilda is all about.

Contemporary thinking

At CBC St Kilda, we see it as our duty as educators to be aware of current research and of key research findings in the field of secondary education. We carefully assess these findings in the context of what we know, from our own experience and what works best for the boys at CBC St Kilda. In this way we are able to offer our students the very best learning options available, without losing sight of our traditional values.

This is the philosophy that informs our approach to teaching, and to which all members of our dedicated and highly skilled staff are committed. It is because we have such a strong sense of who we are as a school that we are able, in a sense, to reinvent ourselves in discerning ways. This openness & together with a boundless capacity for lateral thinking enables us to keep pace with our world and its ever-increasing demands. We believe however, that it is most important to be able to recognise the difference between those things that must be updated and the constant, unchanging values that bring depth to our lives.

Educating the whole person

In its deepest sense, learning means far more than classroom achievement. While we value and celebrate strong academic results, the academic curriculum is just one of many areas where our boys undertake learning.

Our mandate is to educate the whole person. Every boy is much more than just a student. He is also a spiritual person, an emotional person, a recreational and a social person. Our aim as a school is to provide learning opportunities that will foster balanced development of the whole person. Therefore our programs need to be wide and deep, and flexible enough, to make it possible for every boy at CBC St Kilda to discover who he is becoming and where his capabilities lie.

Our evolving partnership with Presentation College Windsor means that the boys have a host of opportunities to participate in lessons and co-curricular activities with girls of their own age while at the same time benefiting from the documented advantages of single-sex education. We believe that our relationship with PCW allows us to offer our students the best of both worlds.

Life skills and a moral compass

Life skills are at the core of a CBC St Kilda education. The most current research tells us that many high-achieving adults share one distinctive personal quality; surprisingly, this is not a high IQ. The more important ability is what is called emotional intelligence: the capacity to get along well with others.

Social literacy, the set of skills we all need if we are to have strong, positive and mutually respectful relationships with others can offer the individual an enormous advantage in real-world contexts. At CBC St Kilda, one of our key goals is to ensure that the boys learn social literacy skills as a vital complement to their classroom learning. We also work very hard to help each boy develop resilient, positive attitudes and an optimistic, solution-oriented approach towards life's many challenges.

Our most important role however, is that of instilling a deep sense of moral and spiritual values for each person and for the school community. We put a great deal of energy into ensuring that the school has a strong, clear moral voice and that our Catholic Faith is enacted daily. Our hope is that the words and deeds of Jesus become living, relevant moral principles, that the boys will apply in their day-to-day lives.

We would like to think that as each one of our boys leave CBC St Kilda to enter the adult world, he leaves with a strong personal understanding of what living life as a good person means. This is especially important in our contemporary society. If we succeed in this crucial area, and I believe that we are succeeding, we have gone a long way towards fulfilling our deepest mission as educators.

Mr Gerald Bain-King