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Global Competencies

We are proud of our school’s rich, diverse cultural backgrounds.  Together we learn with Chinese, British, Vietnamese, Central European, Saudi Arabians, Somalians, Italians, Greeks and First Australians.  Our international student program complements and enhances our global understanding and the annual Harmony Day celebrations bring us together through music, dance, costumes and food.


The development of relationships with sister schools in Chengdu (China), Hanoi (Vietnam) and Bologna (Italy) allows for cultural sharing for students, with opportunities to visit and experience school life in another country.  School families host visiting students; and teachers teach abroad, sharing best practice and building our community’s cultural appreciation.


Our teaching and learning program fosters students’ capabilities to live in an increasingly globalised society.  Within our Humanities program, studies of environments, contemporary cultures, ancient civilisations, modern conflicts, and local and global economies enable students to understand our place in today’s reality.  Shaped by views from across the world, students’ passion for local issues take on global perspectives. Our student leadership group formed ‘The Green Team’ to critically reflect on and change our school’s practices to reduce our environmental impact.  VCE students can select History, Accounting, Legal Studies and Business Management.


Language studies play a pivotal role in developing cultural competencies.  At Thornbury our students' understanding of Italy, China or Greece is deepened by learning to speak to other speakers of these languages, and to understand their way of life.  Food, music, popular culture and history provide our students with meaningful connections into European and Asian life, and continuing language studies into VCE is a challenge our students readily accept.  Mandarin students learn how to count to ten on one hand, freeing the other to hold the Yuan when haggling in the markets of Xian. Studying Italian, one might discover that when wishing somebody good luck, ‘in bocca al lupo’ translates to ‘in the wolf’s mouth’ not ‘break a leg’!


Our Italian immersion program starts at Year 8 and allows students who are passionate about learning Italian to be surrounded by the language in other classes.  Following the globally recognised ‘content and language integrated learning (CLIL)’ process, students are taught other subjects such as history, geography, food studies, performing arts and business and civics in Italian.  Luckily we have many teachers who speak Italian!  Bellissima!

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