From humble beginnings in a pineapple shed to becoming one of the Coast’s most respected independent schools, we meet Marion Trotter, Deputy Head of Primary at Suncoast Christian College, to find out more about this dynamic school.
Can you tell us a little about the philosophy of Suncoast Christian College?
Suncoast Christian College is a dynamic, vibrant, safe and secure learning community. We are committed to growing children that will make a difference in the world. Through a Christ centered approach to education, we seek to genuinely love and nurture each individual child. This way they can grow in their learning, faith and character. Whilst this process occurs across the whole College, the Primary school provides a strong foundation for this journey. Our authentic Christian faith is lived out each day as we grow together and equip our students to think well, believe strongly, strive for excellence and practice personal integrity.
What makes the Suncoast experience different from other schools?
Relationships are very much a part of our DNA here at Suncoast. We genuinely seek to know and understand each individual student. We develop and nurture their unique, God given strengths, gifts and abilities. Right from Prep, our educational programs are innovative and exciting and students work together on authentic projects, thereby developing their ability to collaborate, communicate and create. I think we have a found an excellent balance between explicit teaching and student inquiry, which sparks our student’s curiosity and love of learning. Due to our small class sizes, we can cater for individual needs and unique learning styles. Together, we work to help each child to discover their passions, strengths and to develop the persistence required to be a successful, motivated and happy learner.
What do you enjoy most about your role at the school?
I have the wonderful privilege of partnering with families at the very beginning of their child’s educational journey. Being in a P-12 school, we get to see every part of the journey and it is always an inspiring moment when you see a child that you enrolled in Prep standing proudly on the stage as a confident Year 12 graduate, equipped and ready to embark on the next stage of his or her life’s journey.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love being a mum and though my children are now all adults and have left home, I love spending time with them whenever I get a chance. Family means the world to me. We live on acreage and, much to the delight of our students, I actually fancy myself as a bit of a farm girl! The students have been quite amused of late by my stories of having to chase a cranky, runaway bull who persistently jumps the fences and heads to the neighbour’s house. It is in these moments that the students realise that my life exists beyond the classroom!
Can you tell us about your proudest moment as Deputy Head of Primary?
I am so proud of our Primary team! They continually collaborate to create an environment where all our students can flourish both educationally and emotionally. To be part of such a committed, purposeful team is humbling. I am very proud of what we are building here. At Suncoast, we are constantly reflecting and refining our practice and that requires commitment and tenacity from all members of our team.
Can you tell us something about Suncoast Christian College that people might not know?
Our College has very humble beginnings. With just $1000 in the bank, the Church launched the College in 1979 in a pineapple shed. The same shed was used for Church on a Sunday and then cleared out in preparation for the school week ahead. Some of the original students have referred to learning in a classroom under the building with a dirt floor! There are many wild and wonderful stories from these early days. We are very proud of our journey over the past 40 years. It is one that reflects the determination, servant heartedness and unstoppable mission that is so ingrained here at Suncoast.
For more on our local schools, try Why all kids need STEM skills and The Big Write helping to develop a love for literacy.