Upholding Christian Values

Trinity Grammar School

Trinity Grammar School is so much more than bricks and mortar, pens and paper. It is an independent Anglican boys’ school that aims to provide students with a thoroughly Christian education on their journey to adulthood.

“We’re mainly a day school but we have a small boarding house of 15 boys,” says the Headmaster of the last 15 years, Richard Tudor – known as Rick. “Some of them are from overseas, some are country kids and others are Aboriginal students. There’s a very strong inclusive nature in the school and support for people from different backgrounds. They are all Trinity Grammar boys and they’re all regarded that way.”

Teaching at Trinity Grammar is based on the philosophy that education must nurture the mind, body and spirit to develop well-rounded individuals who will become contributing members of society. And with an eight-year waiting list for enrolments, it looks like parents could not agree more.

The boys at Trinity Grammar School are achieving exceptional results across all areas. Trinity Grammar has fostered a culture where boys from Early Learning to Year 12 are encouraged to get involved with their education and set their sights high. Around 92 per cent of the senior Trinity graduates will go on to university and that figure varies only slightly each year. “We do get a significant proportion of our boys going on to university,” remarks Mr Tudor, who estimates that around 30 per cent of the graduates will attend Melbourne University and 40 per cent will go to Monash. “It’s a very strong intake into the tertiary world and it reflects the outstanding academic performance of the students overall.”

Trinity Grammar School has recently built the Richard and Elizabeth Tudor Contemporary Learning Centre that has been specifically designed to meet the individual learning needs of boys. Discussions for the Learning Centre started seven years ago. “We looked at our old library and found it to be very traditional; you had very set spaces where you’d go in and get on with your own work quietly.” What Trinity needed was a bright and inviting learning space, one that could be altered to suit the needs of the boys without having to knock out walls. The Learning Centre has room for lecture style learning. There are collaborative working areas as well as individual study spaces. “It gives students a whole range of learning opportunities which they are able to take up,” comments Mr Tudor. “What happened when we first opened the Centre was the boys were very eager to explore the area and all its nooks and crannies, the seating in the windows, the comfy chairs, the different reading areas…”

Indeed, the Learning Centre has been enormously popular with the Trinity boys. Students use the space to read recreational and reference books, access online material, form presentations, debate ideas and work together. In cold weather, they can even find a spot by the fireplace to read. Mr Tudor has noticed that some students continue to frequent the quiet areas where they can work individually while others prefer learning in small groups. Then there are boys who would rather be in the busier, office style areas. The Learning Centre remains open until 9 o’clock three nights a week and around 50 senior boys will voluntarily stay back on those nights to have a meal and study for a few hours. It is a comfortable environment where they can focus on their work without too many distractions.

Of course, sport also plays an important role in the life of a Trinity Grammar student. All of the senior boys play sport every Saturday morning while the juniors have sport during the week. During summer, Trinity has around 90 teams that range from archery to badminton, to cricket, squash and tennis. Winter sports include football, hockey and soccer. Off the field and out of the classroom the Trinity Grammar School calendar is packed as well. There are leadership, tutoring and mentoring programs, as well as outdoor education camps and student exchanges with schools in China, France and Germany. It is all about providing the boys with life changing experiences and opening their minds, according to Mr Tudor. “We hope that the young men coming out of the school are really interesting and motivated people wanting to give their best and make a contribution to their community.”

Trinity Grammar School celebrates the creative talent of students up on the stage and welcomes artistic expression. “We have a very strong music program,” says Mr Tudor. “We have around 24 music ensembles in the school; the major ones are the symphony orchestra, the string orchestra and symphonic wind.” Many Trinity Grammar boys enjoy playing musical instruments, debating and drama. There are spectacular concerts, musicals and plays held throughout the year. “Earlier this term we had a musical which included boys from Year 7 right through to Year 12 and we always combine our musicals with Ruyton Girls’ School,” says Mr Tudor.

“The vision for the future of Trinity Grammar School is that it remains being a school of true excellence across the whole spectrum of educational activity,” he shares. When it comes to boys’ schools, Mr Tudor would like to see Trinity become a school of first choice with parents, one that continues contributing to the local and world community. “We want it to be a school which has very strong values.” There are ten core values at Trinity Grammar that are displayed in classrooms and often spoken about during assemblies and chapel services. “We want those values to be affirmed and remembered.” And Trinity Grammar School practices what it preaches by helping the less fortunate; once a year a group of Trinity boys works at a school in the Philippines. The boys have also worked with a school in Papua New Guinea and walked the Kokoda Track.

Closer to home, Trinity Grammar School has developed strong connections with four Aboriginal school communities. In a program that has been successful over the last 14 years, Trinity boys visit the Aboriginal school communities and students from the Aboriginal schools have the opportunity to visit Trinity. Trinity Grammar School offers five boarding scholarships a year to Aboriginal boys. Over the last 14 years, more than 20 boys have passed through the Indigenous Scholarship Program. Upon graduation, some went on to university while others joined the workforce but they have all benefited greatly from attending Trinity. “There’s some terrific work going on in Aboriginal communities with schools now,” remarks Mr Tudor. “There’s so much more awareness of our responsibilities in that regard and schools are much more prepared to reach out and put funds toward those kinds of programs.”

Trinity Grammar School in its 111th year. “It is a school full of young men who have a good heart for each other, a good heart for their community and have a good sense of where they might travel in their lives beyond school.” Mr Tudor will be retiring at the end of the year leaving the new Headmaster, Michael Davies from St Kevin’s College, to step into a school that is running smoothly, is strongly financed and has a great reputation. The Deputy Headmaster, Rohan Brown phoned to say what an amazing contribution Rick has made over his headmastership, one that will never be forgotten by the school community. “Rick still teaches biology, he still teaches junior school science. He works ferocious hours and enjoys that genuine involvement which is fabulous. He has continued to teach all the way through his headmastership. I think that’s remarkable.”

Rick has been central to developing outdoor education, sports and the Indigenous Scholarship Program at Trinity. “He didn’t mention that he started it, he drove it and he is actually the one who built the links with Indigenous communities,” comments Rohan, who adds that Rick spends his holidays with his wife serving in an Aboriginal school in the Northern Territory. “He’s led by example; unquestionably he’s led by example.”

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December 19, 2018, 5:10 AM AEDT