Editorial Team

Founded in 1990 by the Hellenic Community of Western Australia, St. Andrew’s Grammar has been a symbol of quality Greek Orthodox education, preserving language and culture for families of Greek Heritage. Key community figures, such as Mr. Emanuel Petrelis, Mr. Athanasios Limnios, and Mr. Tony Missikos, played pivotal roles in securing land for the school.

In 1991, with just eight pupils, the school began its journey, and by 1998, it was incorporated, solidifying its connection to the Hellenic Community. In 2005, it expanded to become a Kindergarten to Year 12 institution, fulfilling state requirements. Fast forward to 2019 where the school had been in roll decline for a period of eight years, Mr. Craig Monaghan started as the school principal.  Since then, the school has experienced remarkable growth, projecting 760 students by 2024. “We are strategically planning to cap this enrolment at 850-870 and, in doing so, expect to establish significant waitlists from 2025 and beyond,” says Mr. Monaghan.

Over 30 years, St. Andrew’s Grammar has reached enrolment numbers of over 700 students with over 45 nationalities represented in the student body. Mr. Monaghan shares, “We remain the only Greek Orthodox School in Western Australia. Our traditions remain Hellenic, but we are known for embracing diversity and inclusivity, for our outstanding academic results and a strong focus on the well-being of the individual.  We are very proud of our Hellenic background but also our multicultural identity and the resultant diversity”

Nurturing Culture and Values

As the sole Greek Orthodox  School in Perth, St. Andrew’s Grammar holds a profound connection with the Hellenic Community of Western Australia. It stands as an integral part of their celebrations, both in Perth and as a part of the broader Hellenic diaspora. The school’s close ties extend to the Greek Consulate in Perth, where it actively participates in formal and informal celebrations and ceremonies with visiting dignitaries and special Greek National events. St. Andrew’s Grammar actively engages in state celebrations and remembrance ceremonies, including significant occasions such as Greek Independence Day, OXI Day (World War II), and the Battle of Crete.

Recognising the timeless influence of the Greek language, culture, and values on the world, St. Andrew’s Grammar ensures that its students not only value their own heritage but also appreciate the rich tapestry of cultures around them. They witness the traditions, customs, beliefs, and rituals of the Greeks in various national and religious events both within and outside the school. Hellenic Cultural Studies serve as a cornerstone, deeply embedding students in Hellenic culture, religion, heritage, customs, and language. This comprehensive understanding, coupled with an appreciation for universal ideals and Paideia, creates a unique and rewarding educational experience.

St. Andrew’s Grammar, as a Christian School under the Greek Orthodox tradition, blends faith with cultural celebration. It’s renowned for nurturing honourable, compassionate, and community-minded individuals who embody Christian values. “We have a unique Greek heritage; however, we are welcoming to students of all backgrounds and faiths who wish to be educated if they accept and adopt our values. In doing so, we have an inclusive multicultural disposition,” affirms Mr. Monaghan.

In addition to classroom Religious Education, students are encouraged to attend church and participate in national and historically significant remembrance celebrations of both Australia and Greece. This holistic approach to education aligns with Aristotle’s wisdom: “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” At St. Andrew’s Grammar, the focus on Christian values plays a vital role in students’ spiritual and personal development, helping them become good-hearted individuals ready to shape a brighter future.

Developing Academic Excellence

Nestled in Dianella, just 11 kilometres north of Perth’s bustling CBD, St. Andrew’s Grammar boasts an expansive campus spanning over 9.5 hectares, offering a seamless educational journey from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12.

“We prioritise integrating cutting-edge technology into the classroom. Interactive learning spaces equipped with Smart Boards and interactive televisions define our classrooms. Moreover, every student from Year 1 to 12 possesses their own Microsoft Surface laptop,” elaborates Mr. Monaghan. Specialist classes in Visual Arts, Music, Science, and Food Science and Technology have dedicated learning spaces, fostering creativity and innovation.

St. Andrew’s Grammar maintains an unwavering commitment to upholding high academic standards through a comprehensive array of educational methods and practices. These include well-structured programs, high-quality teaching, a robust teacher appraisal policy, ongoing program reviews, and a continual feedback model. “We prioritise professional development, offering opportunities for staff to stay updated on educational advancements. Differentiated programs and clear learning intentions guide student learning, while a structured Assessment and Feedback schedule measures progress,” states Mr. Monaghan.

Data-driven decision-making and a focus on student and staff wellbeing are central to St. Andrew’s Grammar’s educational approach. Excellent classroom management and parental involvement further contribute to the school’s success. Through these educational methods and practices, St. Andrew’s Grammar ensures a learning environment that consistently upholds and enhances academic standards, enabling students to reach their full potential.

Our NAPLAN data is second to none and the School’s recent results for 2023 being the best the school has ever achieved.  “With 20 from 20 scores across all NAPLAN Testing conducted being above state and national averages as well as 19 from 20 results superior to our competitor schools, we are fast becoming known as a high-performing academic school.  This is made even more impressive by the fact that we currently are non-selective on academic entry standards of prospective students.  This shows what an amazing job our teachers do,” states Mr Monaghan.

Hiring Exceptional Teaching Staff

When hiring teaching staff, St. Andrew’s Grammar values qualities such as a passion for teaching, a positive outlook, strong curriculum knowledge, pedagogical skills, adaptability, effective communication, patience, empathy, collaboration, and a commitment to professional ethics. These qualities shape a vibrant and effective teaching team, creating a nurturing learning environment. “The goal is to have enthusiastic, student-centered, and flexible staff who foster a culture of positivity and collaboration. They should excel in content knowledge, classroom and behaviour management, and various pedagogical approaches, however, also love children and want the best for them across all realms of school life” states Mr. Monaghan.

To keep educators effective and updated, St. Andrew’s Grammar offers diverse professional development avenues. In-house workshops are conducted aligned with the strategic plan, and staff are encouraged to attend external workshops and conferences to bring new ideas to the team. The school promotes mentoring, coaching, and regular classroom observations with constructive feedback, fostering continuous improvement. Mr. Monaghan emphasises, “This combination of support mechanisms motivates our teachers to enhance their skills continuously, benefiting our students and the educational community.  We want to attract the best, retain the best and ensure that our teachers, if they do leave us, leave as even better teachers”

In the Senior School, staff access external professional learning opportunities from associations like AISWA and ACER. Whole School Meetings and Teacher Only Days cover a range of topics, from specific content applications to inclusive learning, classroom management, IT integration, and best practices. At St. Andrew’s Grammar, the commitment is to cultivate a skilled and dynamic teaching team that directly contributes to the student’s success and overall educational excellence.

Fostering Wellbeing and Inclusivity

At St. Andrew’s Grammar, the commitment is to foster an environment where members experience safety, respect, and fairness. The school recognises the importance of wellbeing in students’ ability to thrive and succeed. Various strategies are employed to enhance the physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being of all students.

“Since 2022, we proudly embrace the ‘Be You’ initiative, a collaborative effort between mental health support agencies Beyond Blue, Early Childhood Australia, and Headspace,” Mr. Monaghan affirms. This initiative supports educators in cultivating a positive, inclusive, and resilient learning community. Staff members at St. Andrew’s Grammar engage in evidence-based online professional learning and utilise a variety of resources and strategies to support the mental health of the entire school community.

In addition to the ‘Be You’ initiative, age and stage-appropriate strategies are employed to promote and enhance student wellbeing. These strategies include the use of tools like Zones of Regulation, Problem-Solving Wheels, Calm Down Corners, and the teaching of Social and Emotional skills. The school places a strong emphasis on its values program and instilling a growth mindset, further enhancing this commitment by appointing Kindness Ambassadors who actively promote a positive inclusive environment. The school also emphasises Values programs and a Growth Mindset and has Kindness Ambassadors to encourage a positive, supportive atmosphere

The well-being roles differ between the Primary and Secondary Years. “In the Primary Years, the Head of Primary and the Wellbeing Coordinator work closely with classroom teachers and education assistants to monitor student wellbeing,” explains Mr. Monaghan. In the Secondary Years, the Head of Wellbeing 7-12 works in tandem with Heads of Years and Form Teachers, who serve as the primary pastoral carers for students. The School Chaplain, Reverend Father Milan of the Serbian Orthodox Church, is also available for students who need someone to talk to when facing personal challenges or concerns.

St. Andrew’s Grammar is dedicated to maintaining a safe and supportive learning environment where all individuals are treated with respect and courtesy.  “Staff well-being is such an important aspect to us.   We conduct days targeted to staff well-being where fun and time off are the cornerstones of this effort.  We work hard to actively appreciate staff and what they do for our children at school and firmly believe a well-looked after staffwho are happy in what they do, will create a wonderful school” reinforces Mr Monaghan.  The school has implemented a comprehensive Behaviour Management Plan that emphasises the rewarding of positive behaviour while clearly outlining unacceptable actions and their consequences. Open communication between parents, teachers, and students helps ensure everyone understands and complies with these expectations.

“Bullying in any form is not tolerated at St. Andrew’s Grammar,” Mr. Monaghan declares. “No child has the right to take away the happiness or educational experiences of others.  Our curriculum includes opportunities for students to explore the nature of bullying through discussions and role-play. We emphasise the development of personal space, interpersonal skills, self-esteem, compassion, and problem-solving abilities, fostering a culture of respect and kindness.”

Artist impression of future cafe and Performance Arts Area

Encouraging Passions and Personal Growth

St. Andrew’s Grammar provides students with a diverse range of co-curricular opportunities, aligning with its mission to help students discover and pursue their passions. The school encourages students of all ages to participate in a wide array of sports, academic, cultural, and arts activities, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

Sports: The school boasts strong programs in various sports, including football (soccer), badminton, netball, volleyball, basketball, swimming, athletics, and fitness clubs. St. Andrew’s Grammar was a founding school in the Perth Glory Football Club’s Perth Glory Academy program, offering elite coaching for talented young footballers. In 2022, St. Andrew’s Grammar introduced a Badminton Academy, providing specialised training for students excelling in the sport. The school also offer a Badminton Club open to all students for fun and exercise. Mr. Monaghan acknowledges the importance of specialised coaching. Highlighting the soccer programme as an example, “We have gone from a non-existent football programme to where we are now rated in the top 2 in the state.  This has not happened by accident in that we have strategically managed our Perth Glory Liaison as well as our liaison with our school club, the Spartans.  In 2023 we offered for the first time a West Coast Fury Cheerleading Academy and the school is starting to look at a netball Academy in future years”.  The Dianella Spartans Soccer Club and the St. Andrew’s Grammar Spartans Netball Club provide additional avenues for students to explore their athletic potential.

The Arts: For students with artistic inclinations, the school offers numerous opportunities to develop their creative skills. They can participate in activities such as the School Band, Junior choir, Primary Singers, Dance Club, Greek Dance, Drama Club, and Music Lessons. These activities often culminate in public performances, fostering self-esteem and confidence. The Art co-curricular option exposes students to various art mediums, including painting, screen printing, and sculpture. Other arts-related clubs include the Film Society and Knitting Club.

Academic, STEM, and Humanities: Students interested in academic pursuits can engage in STEM or Humanities-aligned co-curricular activities. This includes options like LEGO clubs, Homework Clubs, STEM club, Debate, Mock Trial, and Creative Writing. For those who enjoy strategic thinking, Chess Club, Backgammon, Card games, Board games, and Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) are available.

Outdoor and Community Activities: In Years 6 to 10, students can participate in full camp experiences or extended teambuilding days, which are memorable and enriching. The school also supports environmental and gardening clubs for students interested in making a positive impact on the physical environment. The Service Committee provides an outlet for students who wish to help others and fundraise for worthy causes in their community. The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award program combines service to others, skill development, physical activities, and adventurous journeys in an internationally recognised program. Students can work through the program to achieve their Bronze, Silver or Gold levels.

Mr. Monaghan affirms, “We offer well over 50 co-curricular outside of class activities including sports, music, arts and various clubs to name a few which is testament to our commitment to every child and our amazing staff.   We believe in nurturing not just academic but also personal growth through a wide array of co-curricular activities. These opportunities not only help our students discover their passions but also develop essential life skills and a strong sense of community.”

Helping Community and Celebrating Diversity

St. Andrew’s Grammar is more than a school; it’s a close-knit community where students, teachers, and parents form lasting bonds throughout the Pre-K-12 educational journey. As visitors explore the campus, the strong sense of family and genuine care for the students becomes immediately apparent. It’s no surprise that 98% of families who visit choose to enrol their children here. “At St. Andrew’s, we believe that a happy child is a child who learns best. Our focus is on creating robust relationships with our students and nurturing their happiness,” says Mr. Monaghan

The school prioritises providing a safe and supportive environment that fosters self-esteem and confidence in students. The dedicated team of educators is committed to helping each student reach their best potential, celebrating their unique strengths and abilities. St. Andrew’s Grammar understands that everyone’s best is different, and the school works diligently to support each student in achieving their full potential. “We follow a simplified education model that places our students at the forefront,” Mr. Monaghan emphasises. Educators not only know the students but also understand how to support them in achieving their individual goals.

St. Andrew’s Grammar takes a holistic approach to education, enabling each child to excel in co-curricular activities across various opportunities. Experienced staff aim to know each child personally, offering nurturing support throughout their educational journey. The school takes pride in its Hellenic traditions and Christian values while embracing diversity. With students from over 45 countries, the community spirit is enriched by this blend of cultures. Every child is the focus of attention, and the school is committed to supporting them academically, socially, and spiritually.

Artist Impression of future redeveloped Performing Arts Space

Our Ambitious Future Plans

Exciting developments are on the horizon as the school embarks on the first stages of building and improvement works on the campus. The St. Andrew’s Campus is set on a large suburban site which currently provides for generous sized classrooms and specialist teaching areas, as well as ovals, courts, covered areas and outdoor learning spaces. Despite extensive existing facilities at St. Andrew’s, there is considerable area within the existing site that can be developed without impacting upon the existing outdoor footprint used by our students and staff daily.

The construction of a new academic block in the secondary school, housing additional classrooms, science labs, a drama performance space, a state-of-the-art technology art space and a school chapel, will soon begin in 2024 and is opening in 2025. This infrastructure will enable the school to continue delivering excellent provisions in science and the arts while expanding campus facilities for students to gather in landscaped and natural settings. The initial phase, unfolding from 2024 to 2026, will upgrade administrative and entrance facilities. The goal of this phase is to continue providing the highest duty of care and customer service to the school community, as they enter and exit both the campus from the Primary and Secondary School gates. A new Primary Administrative Block will be located next to the recently upgraded Primary School carpark with direct access to the Early Learning Centre. The secondary carpark and drop off area will also be expanded considerably, providing a longer kiss and drive facility, as well as additional parking spaces. This development will be utilising campus space that is currently not being used and will complement the new academic block and surrounding outdoor learning space.

Subsequent plans include adding two primary classrooms, expanding its available space for the introduction of Pre-Kindergarten in 2024, and a staff wellness retreat area, extending the front oval with artificial turf, expanding the science and technology building, an undercover vibrant playground and primary physical education area with soft rubberised flooring, and extending the current gymnasium and changing rooms.  A state-of-the-art performance arts area will be the landmark build completed by 2026 with a dedicated meeting/assembly area, a function room, several drama spaces with green rooms as well as specialised music and dance spaces.

All of this will be completed in a 3-year time period illustrating what a vibrant and forward-thinking school advisory board and the SAG INC (the governing board) that the school has supporting Mr Monaghan and his team. “At St. Andrew’s Grammar, our building plans are ambitious.  We are absolutely dedicated to providing our students and community with the very best campus available which supports and aligns with our outstanding teaching that takes place every day,” Mr. Monaghan concludes.

For More Info: https://sag.wa.edu.au/

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