Philosophy, Engineering & Design Thinking, and Leadership


Learning to think is fundamental to success in the Da Vinci years at Preston High School.
Students in Year 7 learn approaches to philosophical inquiry and apply them to delve into complex questions in a variety of contexts across different subjects. The community of enquiry methodology is explicitly taught within the Humanities curriculum and students engage with a range of philosophical texts on topics from human rights to whether machines can think in other subjects. Students learn to think, reason and inquire and to identify fallacies in the presentation of ideas.

Engineering and Design Thinking

Thinking like a designer is a foundational capacity within the curriculum of the Da Vinci years.
Design thinking encourages experimentation and learning by doing. It is the suite of creative strategies that allow learners to order, organise and purposefully direct their innovative and creative ideas into tangible outcomes. Students learn to create and respond to design briefs, explore problems, prototype and work independently and collaboratively in ways that prepare them for varied future careers.


We see all students as people with the potential to lead, whether that be in leading the cohort in formal roles or in informally leading teams or groups of peers.

Leadership, and the pro-social skills that underpin it, can be learned and improved. To achieve our mission of ‘Empowering the Leaders of Tomorrow’ we provide opportunities in all subject areas for students to understand their learning potential and to take a significant role in their own learning growth. We empower all students to contribute to and direct activity within their school and their learning tasks. We teach students to work collaboratively and to take on leadership roles.

Each year a number of formal leadership roles are made available for students to apply for.

See “Our Curriculum” for more detail about our inspirational course structure.