School success spotlight: Aldinga Payinthi College

Aldinga Payinthi College

School success spotlight: Aldinga Payinthi College

23 August 2023

Welcome to the first in an occasional series of case studies featuring South Australian early childhood education services and schools. One of the responsibilities of the Education Standards Board is to assess applications to establish new schools, fulfilling its vision to ensure access to high-quality education and early childhood services.

Aldinga Payinthi College, a birth to year 12 service, opened its doors to learners in January 2022. The word ‘payinthi’ is pronounced bay-in-dee and its Kaurna meaning offers inspiration to look, seek and be curious.

The college currently has 700 enrolled learners and is expecting a 30% increase in 2024, making it one of South Australia’s fastest growing schools. The college employs 120+ staff including 80 teachers and student support officers.

Aldinga Payinthi School

“A new school represents an opportunity to consider contemporary teaching and learning practices and add value to educational outcomes through a pedagogical approach that focusses on collaboration, communication and building lifelong skills,” the college’s Foundation Principal, Ali Colbeck, said.

The college offers education and care for its learners, with a focus on diverse learning. The physical design ensures for example that science labs are situated close to food tech labs and arts spaces are interspersed with tech spaces. This provides an opportunity to teach across curriculum and for learners to experience interdisciplinary learning.

“Our learning is embedded in an integrative curriculum. Kumangka, which means learning together as one in Kaurna, supports our learning framework and ensures concepts thread across curriculum areas,” Ali said.

“Our vision was to create a place where all members of the community, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and other marginalised groups, can be safe and develop their sense of belonging.”

Aldinga Payinthi College interior

The college includes the first secondary school to open within the local Aldinga and Sellicks Hill community and, as part of the $125 million build, community usage was a key component for its success. The ability to harness community usage has set the stage for the college to be a local hub that adds value to the community, beyond the college day.

“Community usage of the college is currently around 140 hours each week. Sporting clubs, dance groups and even two church services on Sundays are an example of community taking advantage of the cutting-edge facilities,” Ali said.

Ali said the college’s approach to behaviour emphasises a theme of ‘tread lightly’. A key ethos from this is to ‘Be you, be the most authentic version of yourself, without impacting negatively on others’.

To learn more about Aldinga Payinthi College, please visit: