We want our girls to grow into global citizens; girls who are caring, open-minded, reflective and principled, girls who take risks with their learning to approach uncertainty with confidence and independence. Students at Tara have the opportunity to participate in the School's cultural and exchange programs, at a number of different year levels, and in a number of different countries. These opportunities provide students with first hand understanding of different cultures and lifestyles and in some cases, opportunity to work on linguistic fluency.
A Space Adventure: Years 5-6 American STEM Tour
An integral aspect of the International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Programme (PYP) is inquiry and conceptually driven teaching and learning. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learning at Tara acknowledges inquiry is intimately connected to curiosity and ingenuity and an understanding that our knowledge is constantly changing and evolving. Our girls are encouraged to understand the excitement and importance of these areas in their lives and the potential benefits that science and innovation can bring to us all.
There are many reasons why STEM education at Tara is important: to capitalise on and develop their natural curiosity, to investigate and harness the wonder and beauty of God’s world, to teach them how to remain agile within a dynamic and changing future where STEM skills will be increasingly valued, and finally, to open their eyes in understanding how science and technology are applied and work in real life settings.
At Tara we are uniquely placed to be able to offer the study of astronomy as an aspect of science due to our collaboration with Oxford University, England. Our involvement with the Global Jet Watch telescope, the largest privately owned telescope of its type in Australia, provides opportunities to develop skills and studies in astronomy for Tara students. The program enables students to engage with the physical sciences in unique and meaningful ways.
With these understandings as our foundation, the Junior School provided an opportunity for girls in Stage 3 and their accompanying parent to embark on our first ever International STEM tour to the USA. While parents jetted off for a little adventure of their own, the girls and their teachers started the trip in Huntsville Alabama, at the US Space & Rocket Centre (the Official Visitor Centre for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Centre), commonly known as ‘Space Camp’. Our week at Space Camp introduced the girls to the disciplines of space travel and rocketry. Through simulations and inquiry involving equipment and spaceflight missions, the girls became junior astronauts in training. They were encouraged to pursue STEM disciplines through hands-on educational and training activities, learning about the mental, emotional and physical demands astronauts, engineers and technologists face.
At the end of the week, during their graduation ceremony, the girls had the ‘Team Award’ presented to them. This honour is awarded to groups of students, who throughout the week, exhibit outstanding teamwork and collaboration. This was the very best acknowledgement we could have hoped for: a tangible acknowledgement of the way the girls became a supportive unit over the course of the camp.
After our week at Space Camp the girls and their teachers met up with their parents in Florida. We all continued our learning by visiting the Kennedy Space Centre, where the girls intrigued their parents by applying a lot of what they had learned over the past week, explaining exhibits and regaling them with tales of their space exploits. While in Florida, we also attended various theme park education programs: exploring light and sound energy at Magic Kingdom, animal behaviours at Animal Kingdom, and global citizenship at Epcot. Our week would not have been complete without some serious playtime, and everyone enjoyed 3 days exploring the theme parks and shopping outlets.
For the adults on the trip, teachers and parents alike, one of the most rewarding aspects of the trip was the unique opportunity it gave for some really wonderful parent/child experiences. It was a fortnight of great memory-making and relationship-building, at a time in the girls’ lives that is so crucial! From mums and daughters testing their courage on the rollercoasters or chilling out with a movie, to dads and daughters hitting up the outlet stores or spending an hour lounging around the pool, our trip gave Tara girls and their parents that much needed commodity: time together. This time was fun, enriching and unforgettable.
Sister School Exchange Programs
Tara benefits greatly from its sister school relationships around the world . As part of the program, our students are given the opportunity to participate in an exchange program. This provides them with the wonderful opportunity to experience the other cultures, languages and develop lasting friendships with students and their families.
The School has exchanges with the following countries:
- South Africa
- The UK
Exchanges are mainly offered to girls who are completing Year 10 studies. Family hosting opportunities are also available. Periods of exchange vary, from two weeks through to one year. Enquiries about the programs should be directed to the languages department, and the TEC Co-ordinator.
Study Tour & International Studies Programs
Examples of study tours experienced by Tara students are:
- Music Tour - 12 Day Europe Program (England, Austria, Czech Republic, Italy)
- Performing Arts Tour - 10 Day United Kingdom Program
- History (Ancient and Modern) Tour - 10 Day Italy Program
- Service Learning - 10 Day Bali Program
- Japan Tour - 10 Day Japanese Program
- Visual Arts Tour - 10 Day New York Program
For more information on our languages program visit Junior School and Senior School pages for more information.