Aquinas College was established in 1961 as the first purpose-built Catholic regional secondary college in Victoria. As a fully accredited member of the Council of International Schools, the vision of the college is to be an excellent school within the inspiration of the universal Catholic tradition. In its mission the college seeks to promote quality learning in students while developing an awareness of God in their lives, the value and connectedness of all human relationships, a sense of justice, a hopeful spirit and a love of learning. The college is also a major secondary campus for St Mary’s College for Hearing Impaired Students. The total enrolment is around 1670+ students including a cohort of International Students.
Facilities: The college community is committed to providing cutting-edge 21st-century learning environments for students and staff. In 2011 the $12 million Senior Years Building was opened, incorporating 30 varied learning spaces and a Hospitality Trade Training Centre. In 2014 the new $11.5 million Middle Years Building was opened for our 600 Year 7 and 8 students. It will incorporate the very visible learning spaces that are the hallmark of the Senior Years building such that students and staff together have a sense of the school as a learning community. Along with our state-of-the-art library, the college receives many visitors to look at the floor-to-ceiling glassed classroom arrangements with wide corridors that allow such strong visual access.
Curriculum: The college provides a very broad provision of subjects in VCE, VET and VCAL. Both the Performing and Visual Arts flourish in the college and this is supported by excellent facilities including a 300-seat fully functioning theatre and associated Drama and Dance spaces. Years 7 and 8 operate within a ‘middle years’ paradigm while Year 9 is a year of experiential learning and transition to senior years. During Year 9, students are involved in a two-week learning module at the college’s city base in East Melbourne. They are also involved in a one-week work experience program in Café 9, being part of operating a fully functioning, small commercial coffee shop. Students in Years 10 and 11 are encouraged to undertake an accelerated study at the next level.
Sport: The college competes in the Eastern Independent Schools Melbourne sporting competition in both weekly and carnival sports from Years 7 to 12. The college also regularly competes in elite Victorian and Australian school competitions. Both mainstream and non-mainstream sport opportunities are provided.
Extra-curricular activities: Outdoor education experiences feature in Years 7 to 9 while in-country language study tours are available for students of French background from Year 10 on and in Chinese at Year 9. The college receives a visit on a two-yearly basis from each of its two French sister schools and this year students from our new sister school in Mongolia, Ordos No 1 High School, will make their first visit to Aquinas. The well-established Central Australia/Kakadu study tour involves around 70 per cent of the college’s Year 11 students, while the college-based presentation balls are very popular at the Year 10 level.
Student welfare programs: The Youth and Family Centre provides strong counselling support. The college has a careers counsellor and full-time specialised nurses provide quality care in the health centre.