Shelford's Vision is to have a reputation for excellence in girls' education. Shelford's Mission is Shelford strives to provide a quality education that encompasses the moral, physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and aesthetic development of all students within a safe, caring, and supportive community that acknowledges its rich heritage and Christian traditions. Shelford's Values are at Shelford; our core values underpin all that we do. They are embedded in every endeavor that we undertake.
Respect: celebrating excellence and diversity, being mindful of the needs of others, caring for the environment, and encouraging community building and service.
Integrity: being courteous, reliable, honest, loyal, and trustworthy and behaving ethically, and making principled decisions that positively contribute to our community.
Passion: encouraging independent, self-aware, and confident girls and young women to develop a love of learning, a desire, and determination to make a positive contribution to a changing world, the courage, and confidence to try new things, reach out to others, and strive for justice.
Creativity: embracing the challenges of a changing world and responding with curiosity, imagination, and innovative thinking.
Research conducted by Australian National University (ANU) and Essex University has suggested that teenage girls who attend single-sex schools are more competitive than girls who attend coeducational schools. The Choosing to Compete: How Different are Girls and Boys study compared the behavior of 260 English boys and girls when asked to enter a competition that included a small financial reward and their attitudes to risky economic decision-making. It found that girls from single-sex schools and boys from both single-sex schools and coeducational schools were equally likely to behave competitively in the experiment. Girls from coeducational schools were much less likely to participate in the competition, but the girls' likelihood increased after they were placed in single-sex groups. The research also suggested that the student's family background was not a significant factor.
Professor Alison Booth from ANU and Dr. Patrick Nolen from Essex University concluded that "our major finding is that single-sex schooling can affect economically important preferences...the benefit of single-sex education - in terms of increasing competitive behavior more than the average male but we have shown that this varies depending on the environment that females find themselves in. You cannot say that the difference in behavior is only due to some innate genetic characteristic because we have shown that girls in single-sex environments make similar choices to boys.' Professor Booth indicated that she intended to repeat the study for Australian students.
The keystone of Shelford's Educational Philosophy is its Individual Differences Policy. Talented, perceptive, and sensitive teachers - working closely with parents and ancillary staff - design personalized programs to meet each child's needs, abilities, and interests. Students are placed in learning groups according to their social and cognitive readiness. Vertical grouping allows students to work with 'like minds,' and academic progress is not determined by chronological age.
All administrative structures, resourcing policies, and staffing practices support and complement our Individual Differences Policy, which operates with our youngest child in the Toddler Group to our Year 12 students - and beyond. Students aspire to the highest levels of achievement in everything they do. They are encouraged to 'dare to dream' and experience the exhilaration of discovering talents and abilities they did not know they possessed.
A feature of Shelford is its small class sizes. While many of Shelford's students are exceptionally able, some of our students have specific learning needs, and individual programs are also designed. All students participate enthusiastically in the co-curricular activities, and consequently, a strong sense of community pervades the school. The Pastoral Care program underpins and enhances the broader educational philosophy. Shelford is proud of its tradition of academic achievement, understanding, and care.