Our Philosophy

About Stella Secondary School

In a world characterised by many people’s search for orientation and meaning, we believe that one of the urgent purposes of education is to enable people to develop a vision for their lives, to ‘dream big’, and to achieve audacious targets. We seek to fulfil this purpose by bringing together students, parents and teachers who are attracted to Christian values and who wish to form a community of learners with us.

The mission of our school is to empower young people to take ownership of their lives and responsibility for others, drawing strength and inspiration from a Christian vision, and, working closely with their families, to enable them to achieve their personal, academic and career aims.

We want to shine forth as a committed school community with a clear vision that builds on a solid and inviolable Christian foundation, a community that gives its members an excellent education, offers them a supportive space to develop their characters, and nurtures their leadership skills.

Our purpose is to help provide orientation to students and their families in a complex world, delivering world class education and supporting students’ personal formation in a spirit of Christian fellowship.

Download a document with detailed information about our educational philosophy here: Our educational Philosophy

The five pillars of our Educational Philosophy

1. Academic excellence: Delivering an in-depth education for mature, well-rounded personalities

Our curriculum emphasises modern foreign languages (MFL), with a particular focus on English.

We believe that a thorough and well-rounded education cannot dispense with knowledge of our cultural treasures and their continued relevance to our times. To this end, we ensure that our students acquire an in-depth cultural knowledge and are exposed to high-quality literature, visual arts and music, all of which help sharpen their faculties of critical judgement and creative thinking.

We encourage our students to become or remain avid readers, particularly of literature and fiction.

Academic excellence and the constant pursuit of improvement are two of the crucial values that encompass all areas of our school life. We see ourselves as a community of learners guided by international, evidence-based education research.

We strive to provide our students with ever better opportunities to learn by engaging our staff in Continuous Professional Development throughout their time with us.

2. Personal development and leadership education: students learning to lead themselves and others

Character development and the acquisition of leadership skills for every student form the core of our educational philosophy. We believe in empowering students to be able and willing to take ownership of their lives and responsibility for others.

We are a Leader in Me® school. Our students learn to take on roles of responsibility, set and achieve objectives, treat others with respect and fairness, listen empathetically and actively, and communicate their ideas and points of view effectively and confidently. We teach them the importance of being in tune with their physical and psychological wellbeing and help them to acquire healthy attitudes and habits in relation to lifestyle, physical exercise, friendships, sensible use of technology, and related issues.

Our Community Volunteering Service Programme gives our students valuable practical experience of roles of responsibility while encouraging them to ‘give back’ to their society and respond practically to the needs of others.

Through our Mentoring Programme each student at our school has their own personal mentor, a teacher or another member of the school’s staff who has received training in student mentoring and who provides support to them in all matters of their learning and personal development.

Our programmes

  1. Leader in Me: rising to responsibility
  2. Community Volunteering Service Programme: actively seeking to serve others
  3. Mentoring: growing towards our full potential

You will find more information here: Our Educational Philosophy

3. Internationalism and cosmopolitanism: shaping future global citizens

We are aware that we are preparing our students for life in an interconnected 21st century world, with complex and entangled links extending across and beyond national and cultural boundaries.

Firmly rooted in our own tradition, we value the wealth of different cultures across the globe and we believe we have much to learn from exploring and appreciating them. We maintain partnerships with schools outside Austria and support our students in undertaking intercultural exchange.

We recognise the immense importance of English as the world’s international lingua franca by teaching various curricular subjects partly in English and drawing on the support of teaching assistants whose first language is English. During our regular ‘English Weeks’, the whole school engages in projects entirely conducted in English.

Our students demonstrate their progress in English language proficiency by taking Cambridge Assessment English tests, which cover listening, reading, speaking and writing skills.

We aim to enable our students to obtain at least a certificate of proficiency at level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) at the end of their final year at our school. This certificate, officially recognised by 20,000 universities, employers and governments around the world, gives our students significant advantages in entry to higher education and in their future careers, including potential international mobility.

4. Partnership with parents and carers: working hand in hand for our young people’s wellbeing

Parents are their children’s first and most important educators. International education research has emphatically confirmed that parental involvement in children’s learning at home and in school significantly improves learning outcomes.

We value our partnership with parents or carers who entrust their children to our care and work closely with them to encourage our students to grow as people and develop character strengths.

Our approach keeps the lines of communication between parents and our school continuously open, enabling responsive conversations around students’ development and needs.

We affirm, advise and support our parents as they in turn support their children, and reflect continuously with them on how we can ensure our children grow and thrive on all developmental levels.

Regular parent-teacher meetings help identify possible areas for improvement, viewing them as opportunities for the student’s personal and educational growth. We offer parents an ongoing programme of seminars, talks and events around issues of education and parenting in cooperation with GFO –  Gesellschaft für Familienorientierung.

We involve parents in various areas of school life, inviting them to share their professional expertise or skills and to run activities with the purpose of broadening students’ horizons.

5. Christian values: living in personal relationship with God

Drawing on our firm belief that the development of a balanced personality includes attention to the spiritual dimension of life, we nurture our students in developing a personal relationship with God.

Stella International School follows a Catholic Christian values program inspired by the teachings of St. Josemaria Escrivá, the founder of Opus Dei.

In line with the established Christian traditions of our country, we follow the liturgical year of the Catholic church, marking its principal liturgical seasons and festivals, and hold Catholic services and other Christian celebrations.

In religious instruction, our students obtain a comprehensive knowledge of the Christian faith and the teachings of the Catholic Church.

While respecting students’ personal freedom and individual backgrounds, we invite them to live an actively Christian life. However, we welcome students from all faiths who value what the Stella International School can offer them.

Would you like

to support us?

Stella International School came into being on the initiative of a group of committed parents. We seek to provide a cosmopolitan education centred on values that will enable young people to forge the society of tomorrow. Public funds cannot cover the crucial extra support, inspiration, resources and activities a Stella education gives.

For this reason, we ask you to please support us with your donation!