Philosophy of Learning

We believe that every student is a unique individual created by God with their own special gifts, strengths and needs. In order for students to build their own positive image of themselves as learners and contributors to their communities they are provided with relevant, purposeful and appropriate learning experiences. These learning experiences are structured and presented in a variety of ways with opportunities for both success and personal challenge. Students are encouraged to take ownership of and contribute direction to the learning experience. The school facilitates this learning by providing timely and purposeful feedback and learning environments which promote a positive atmosphere of trust and safe risk taking.

Christ-centred Learning

We proudly see ourselves as a Christ Centred School and this underpins our essence as we go about our daily work.  All students are introduced to Jesus and God from our Kindy and Prep classes, through to Year 6, through attendance at Chapels, class devotions and Christian studies lessons.  Daily devotions and weekly Christian Studies lessons introduces children to the world of Christian faith and its place, religion and spirituality, which are integral components of all cultures. We present to students a Christian worldview and a pathway for making meaning in their lives. Christian Studies provides an avenue for the Holy Spirit to grow faith and where all faith responses are encouraged, nurtured and expressed. This occurs in safe and supportive class environments with the freedom for children to have their own views in a diverse community of differing backgrounds and experiences.

All students take part, contribute and are a part of Chapel services, led by Pastor Peter Laihia- the Bethania Lutheran Chaplain, when each Friday morning our community gathers in the Bethania Lutheran Community Worship Centre located on our school grounds to worship together. Here we celebrate our community and the blessings we share through being part of the family of God. This very special time is attended by many of our parents and Bethania community friends. Our students take turns presenting the message of God's love and salvation through Christ. Join us on Friday mornings during term time at 8.45am. Blayz (Year 5-6) and TNT (Aged 13+) are the Bethania Lutheran Church Youth Groups and many of our student take part in the fun games and activities themed to a positive nature. This is also open for anyone, not only BLS students.

Growth Mindset

No two children learn and develop in the same way, or at the same speed. As they grow, children begin to compare themselves to others around them. Unfortunately, they also often start to see themselves as being “good” or bad” at a particular skill or subject. Our Growth Mindset program teaches children that learning and intelligence is flexible, not rigid. In other words, hard work and the right attitude can overcome difficulties and achieve goals and our abilities and futures are not fixed.

Students with a growth mindset view learning and personal improvement as more important than outperforming others or ‘looking smart’. They see mistakes as an opportunity to improve. Students with a growth mindset also embrace challenges by viewing them as energising and motivating.

Conversely, students with a ‘fixed mindset’ hold a belief that intelligence is innate and static; they see mistakes and challenges as a threat to their self-worth; they see effort as a sign of low ability that can potentially make them look ‘dumb’ if they perform poorly. With these limiting and restrictive beliefs about intelligence and effort, there is little room for growth.

Not surprisingly, research repeatedly shows that students with a growth mindset, tend to do better at school, enjoy school more, participate more frequently in class, and have more positive aspirations for their future. Just as importantly, students with a growth mindset tend to learn from their mistakes rather than being paralysed or derailed by them.

Social Emotional Programs

The most profound learning in schools is only able to occur when a child feels safe and supported in school by their teacher and peers. As with their academic learning, children make many mistakes with their social development as they learn to understand, test boundaries and interact with the world and people around them. Our student’s health and well-being is supported and nurtured throughout their school experiences.

Education is as much about social development and building character as it is about curriculum and co curriculum. Our Pastoral Care programs begin in the classroom, where caring and nurturing teachers check in daily with every child’s welfare and state of mind every day. These conversations form a strong part of support networks, problem solving and conflict resolution.

At times, where disagreements and conflict occur, our school follows a restorative approach to solving issues; where mistakes are sought to be opportunities to learn and improve from, and which assists teachers, students and parents to build, maintain and restore relationships. At Bethania Lutheran School we also believe that restorative practices play an important role in character development. Students accept responsibility for their actions, repair the problem or hurt they have caused and then move on with a commitment to behave differently. Circle time and round table discussions are used throughout the school to support restorative practice.

Play is the Way

A successful pastoral care program requires a proactive approach to teaching self-awareness, social interaction and conflict resolution skills to children. A prominent part of social education at Bethania Lutheran School is the implementation of Wilson McCaskill’s ‘Play is the Way’ program. ‘Play is the Way’ is a practical methodology for teaching social and emotional learning using guided play, classroom activities and a specific and empowering language which is embedded across all levels of our school.

We strongly believe that the program supports our students by developing the fundamental skills for life effectiveness. Teaching the skills that we all need to manage ourselves, our relationships, and our work effectively and ethically. These skills include recognising and managing our emotions, developing caring concern for others, establishing positive relationships, making responsible decisions, and handling challenging situations constructively. They are the skills that allow children to calm themselves when angry, make friends, resolve conflicts respectfully, and make strong and safe choices.

The ‘Play is the Way’ philosophy consists of behaviour education and student self-regulation that fosters independent, self-motivated, empathetic, lifelong learners. This philosophy revolves around the Self-Mastery Checklist and the following 5 key concepts:

Treat others as you would like them to treat you.
Be brave – Participate to progress.
Pursue your personal best no matter who you work with.
Have reasons for the things you say and do.
It takes great strength to be sensible.
For further information and recommended reading for parents, please visit the ‘Play is the Way’ website at https://www.playistheway.com.au

Bethania High 5

The Bethania High 5 is an effective program to empower children with problem solving strategies when facing disputes, or other conflicts in the classroom or playground. The strategies build self-esteem and enables students to take responsibility for themselves and give them the power to practise these skills. The results are that students develop improved social skills and resilience and help themselves to avoid incidents becoming conflicts or previewed bullying incidents. The High 5 teaches children faced with a dispute to:

Ignore – At first ignore the comments or behaviour if possible.
Talk Friendly – Kindly ask the offending person to stop.
Walk Away – take control by removing themselves from the situation.
Talk Firmly – If the offender continues or follows then ask again firmly.
Report to a Teacher – If no solution can be reached, then help from a teacher might be needed.
Seek assistance to help solve the problem.


In The STEAM Lab children are assisted to cultivate a love of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Mathematics. The students learn about these subject areas in an integrated approach, meaning these subject areas are taught together rather than in isolation.

In Prep, students start by learning the fundamentals of using an iPad. They then try their hand at photography and learn how to record videos. Later the students are introduced to the basics of coding and robotics through song, games, simple programmable robots and apps on the iPad. As the year progresses the Prep students take part in other hands-on projects in the STEAM Lab with a goal to further enhance topics already being learnt with their classroom teachers.

Around the school some of the other STEAM Lab projects students in older grades have been participating in include; designing flatpack furniture using the Engineering Design Process; fashioning costumes and programming Dot & Dash robots to participate in Robot Fashion Week; learning about recycling, sustainability and reusing items in our classroom Makespace to create a new product; designing travel websites; creating technologies to solve problems using Lego robotics; learning about simple machines in order to create a Rube Goldberg machine; producing stop motion animations; participating in online coding courses; and constructing chariots to race our Sphero Sprk+ robots.

In all learning that we undertake in the STEAM Lab, the most important aspect of this specialist lesson is that we are preparing your little learners to use contemporary learning skills, such as collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity. Our hope is that your children will use these skills beyond the classroom and into their future work life.

Outside Learning Spaces
Bethania Lutheran School promotes learning anywhere anytime encouraging the use of outside spaces where appropriate. We have a selection of purpose-built areas that allow teachers and students to take their learning outside to enjoy fresh air and natural light. These areas include a beautiful sandstone amphitheater, a screened ‘tree’ verandah off the library, a large creative arts zone, an undercover ‘meadow’ and a huge multipurpose courts and gym complex. All learning spaces are connected to wi-fi to allow seamless learning between inside and outside spaces.


Bethania Lutheran School embraces the needs of contemporary learners by developing a strong connection with virtual environments. Our take home iPad program delivers 1:1 iPad to all students from Years 3 to 6, and classroom sets of iPads enable students to share one device between two students in classes from Prep to Year 2. This program allows for the delivery of digital content, both in the classroom and at home.

Apple TVs are available in every learning space, to facilitate collaboration with devices. Laptops are utilised across the school, extending students’ skills beyond a tablet level.


The positive link between the study of music and a child’s academic and social development has been well documented. With this in mind, Music at Bethania plays an integral role in the school curriculum. Students from Prep to Year 6 participate in an enjoyable program which develops the essential skills to engage with Music in a rich and meaningful way. In the local and wider community, Bethania Lutheran School has established a fine reputation as a school with high standards in all areas of its Music Program.

Instruments in the Classroom

All learning in Music begins with the voice and body before transferring these skills to classroom instruments. Students begin with tuned and untuned percussion instruments in the early years, and later experience ukulele, guitar, drums, and piano.

Instrumental Music Lessons

Individual and group tuition are available in the following instruments: violin, viola, cello, drums, guitar, ukulele, piano, and voice. The school has a selection of instruments available for hire. Students are encouraged, when ready, to sit for practical music exams through the Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB). Brochures and enrolment forms are available at Reception.

Music Performance Groups

Music groups at Bethania are organised according to ability rather than instrument type. These groups cater for all levels of ability, from beginners to advanced players.


Choirs are open to all students from Year 1 to Year 6. Junior Choir (Years 1-3) and Viva Voices (Years 4-6) rehearse weekly to prepare for a variety of performances throughout the year.


All students participate in a performance at the annual Learning Showcase. For this event, each cohort prepares a performance during their weekly Music lesson to share with the school community.


Two music captains are appointed each year to assist the music staff. Each performance group also appoints two senior students who are responsible for helping during rehearsals and performances.

All students from Years P-6 will be provided with a specialist HPE lesson which provides the opportunity to participate in a sequential range of outdoor activities that encourages physical, social and emotional development, aligned with the Australian Curriculum. These experiences include a whole range of outdoor experiences, play, sport, competition and camps. The main focus are self-awareness, skill development, game sense and inclusive fair play so that all children have a chance to improve and achieve personal success.

Annual physical education events include:

  • Prep-Year 2 sports carnival
  • Year 3-6 Athletics 
  • Swimming Carnival
  • Cross Country
  • Inter-Lutheran School 
  • District Representative Carnival opportunities
  • Inter School Sports Competitions
  • Intra School House Competitions
  • Camps for Year 3 - 6 

    Learning Enrichment

    Achievement and success is something we strive toward for all of our students, irrespective of the point at which they have begun their educational journey.

    Success is hard fought and won and we celebrate personal achievements on a daily basis. Our students are supported by a vast array of learning enrichment approaches including one-on-one and small group tutoring, in class support, reading rescue, individualised programs, outside therapy services, and collaborative teaching support. We aim to encourage all children to achieve their personal best through support and extension, meeting each child where they are and growing their ability through individualised programmes. It is common to walk into the staffroom and hear a teacher gushing joyously about the latest DRA result or maths achievement of one of the students that they have been working with. The reward of knowing that you have made a significant difference to a child cannot be measured.

    The Learning Enrichment team is made up of three specialist teachers, six teacher aides and a host of volunteers. Our volunteers come from all walks of life; we have parents, congregational members, friends from the local retirement facilities, and even a couple of university students with some spare time on their hands. When you consider that we are only a small school of approximately 260 students, we are so blessed to have so many wonderful people supporting our students and teachers. The African proverb ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ is never more true than in a place like our school. Parents, teachers, support staff and volunteers join together to shape the hearts, heads and lives of a very special group of children.

    Outdoor Education

    Children greatly benefit developmentally from being outdoors. Outdoor education and play support emotional, behavioural and intellectual development. Studies have shown that students who learn outdoors develop: a sense of self, independence, confidence, creativity, decision-making and problem-solving skills, empathy towards others, motor skills, self-discipline and initiative.

    From Bush Kindy experiences in our beautiful bush campus, to Nature Play and Loose Parts play in the junior years, our students are actively encouraged to explore, manipulate and create with the world around them. Many classes spend time in outdoor settings, from verandas to large covered courtyards to shady grassy clearings beside the oval, teachers find creative ways to use natural resources to bring real life connection to learning about and in nature.

    The Outdoor Education Program at Bethania Lutheran School in the senior years aims to provide students with valuable educational and interpersonal skills outside everyday school life and responsible interaction with the environment. Through challenges in different situations from those normally experienced, physical capabilities will be tested and developed within a safe, supportive and encouraging framework whilst fostering independence, self-esteem, communication skills, responsibility for self and others and adding value to classroom learning. Through interaction in different situations from those normally experienced, social skills such as co-operation, consideration and courtesy will also be further developed. A carefully developed sequence of camps begins with a one-night experience on site at school in Year 3 and concludes with a 6 day tour of Sydney/Canberra/Snowfields in Year 6. Each experience and dedicated class time ensure students are well prepared for each new challenge.

    The current features for each camp are:

    · Year 3: Excursion to Paradise Country followed by overnight sleepover at school

    · Year 4: 3 Day/2 nights camp within a beach setting.

    · Year 5: 3 Day/2 nights camp within a bush setting.

    · Year 6: 6 Day/5 nights experience in Sydney, Canberra and Jindabyne

    This experience combines a historical and political themed educational tour to Sydney and Canberra with 2 days skiing. This popular and memorable experience for our Year 6 students, many of whom recall it to us years later, sees the most development of personal growth and independence

    Inspired Learning for Life

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