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A Holistic Education


Xavier College prioritises student wellbeing with an emphasis on service

The image of a school is largely determined by its academic and co-curricular programs, its performance in both, as well as by its facilities and reputation. These days, however, more and more parents are also looking at the quality of pastoral care and the focus on student wellbeing and mental health in choosing a school. The experience of the past 18 months — with COVID and online learning — have only emphasised the importance of this dimension of modern schooling.

Xavier College emphasises pastoral care through its House system, ensuring that students are surrounded by tight-knit communities and points of contact throughout their time at the school. Central to the students’ education is the Jesuit ethos cura personalis, the “care of the individual”. The House system and the support and sense of community it provides characterise the experience of a Xavier education. Beginning in the Early Years and continuing into the Middle Years, students are allocated a House and participate in friendly competitions, fundraising initiatives and community-building activities together. Upon their arrival at the Senior Campus, students are allocated into one of 10 Houses and, as part of that, a Tutor Group. Tutor Groups consist of up to 10 students from Years 9-12 from within the same House and are overseen by an allocated tutor for the entirety of the four-year Senior Years journey. The Tutor Group system not only provides students with peer support from younger and older students, but the tutor also provides a consistent source of pastoral support.

Students are also encouraged to develop greater agency in their own mental health and wellbeing. Since 2015, Xavier has appointed a Prefect for Student Wellbeing. This student is a member of the Student Consult, a group of student leaders within the prefect body who meet weekly and always begin with a discussion on student wellbeing. More widely, there has been something of a reconfiguration of the role of prefects to explicitly include the dimension of pastoral care and to see their leadership as part of the college’s student wellbeing and safety net. During COVID-19 lockdowns, it has borne fruit in the way so many students have been checking in on mates and how priority has been given to wellbeing wherever possible.

Xavier College allows students to engage with others through its Ignatian Service program. Over a number of years, this has been firmly embedded in the school operations and gives expression to their desire to the mission of Jesuit schools to form “men and women for and with others”. Student involvement with tutoring in the Friday Night School program, aged-care homes, working with kids with disabilities and many other extra-curricular activities give weekly expression to this commitment in the ordinary routine of school life. It extends to advocacy for human rights, a commitment to reconciliation with our First Peoples and to support of refugees.
One Year 12 House President recently reflected on his time at the Friday Night School program: “The service opportunities I have been a part of, I believe, have been where I have truly learned the most about myself. I have had the opportunity to tutor a variety of kids, each of different ages, abilities and nationalities with a range of different stories and personalities, allowing me to deeper understand the diversity of our community in Melbourne.”

By giving students a greater say in their own mental health and in addressing contemporary social issues, accompanied with strong communities and safety nets, Xavier College provides a holistic education with an emphasisis on student wellbeing and instilling a call to care for those around them.

For more information

Xavier College

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Religion Catholic
Type Independent
Day/boarding Day and Boarding
Boys/Girls
Years Year 1 - Year 12
Enrolment Xavier College has approximately 1800 students across our Co-educational (Prep – Year 4) and Boys (Years 5 – 12) programs. Campuses are in Brighton (Kostka Hall) and Kew (Burke Hall and the Senior Campus).
Fees Fees range from $21,000 to $33,000 depending on Year level. More information: https://www.xavier.vic.edu.au/2021-fee-schedule
Phone
Senior ******* Senior Campus: (03) 9854 5411 ; Kostka Hall: (03) 9519 0600 ; Burke Hall: (03) 9855 4100
Address 135 Barkers Road, Kew VIC 3101
Email
enquiri*******
enquiries@xavier.vic.edu.au
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Home » School News » Snowy Mountains Grammar School Breaks Ground on Stage 1 and Stage 2 of Master Plan

Snowy Mountains Grammar School Breaks Ground on Stage 1 and Stage 2 of Master Plan


Snowy Mountains Grammar School broke ground on Friday 19 November for Stage 1 and Stage 2 of its Master Plan.

Proudly funded by the NSW Government in association with Snowy Mountains Grammar School, the Stage 1 – New Learning Hub will house a wide range of stimulating internal learning facilities, equipped with the latest technology, diverse flexible learning areas, modern science laboratories, a digital technology and robotics room, art room and display gallery, a state-of-the-art design and technology workshop, conference rooms, study spaces and student and staff amenities. A key feature of the design will enable the outdoor spaces to be incorporated into the learning environment.

Stage 2 – the Sports Precinct is fully funded by the School. This area will provide access to more green space and a sports oval, two high-quality multi-purpose outdoor courts and cricket nets, and a shade structure for spectators. The fully-fenced facility will offer potential opportunities to add other recreational and competitive sports in the future. It will also enable us to expand lunchtime play areas, with more room to move and socially gather, all while looking out onto beautiful Lake Jindabyne and the Snowy Mountains.

Principal, Dr Andrew Bell, was joined by SMGS Board member, Lachlan Maclean, members of the SMGS Executive Leadership team, Mrs Kelli Wilson, Head of Senior School, and Mrs Jennifer Thompson, Head of Middle School, student representatives from across the school, including 2022 School Captains, Alexi Cross and Sam Roche, and contractor, Project Coordination (Australia) Pty Ltd.

‘We are thrilled to finally be starting construction on this project. I’m elated for our whole school community, which deserves a high-quality facility where our students and teachers will benefit from a beautiful yet practical and inspiring environment to enjoy now and well into the future’, said Dr Bell during his address to those in attendance.

Master Plan

Further information about SMGS’ Master Plan can be viewed via the following website: http://future.smgs.nsw.edu.au/ or by contacting SMGS’ Marketing and PR Officer, Brooke Darlington, on 02 6457 1022.

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Religion Anglican
Type Independent
Day/boarding Day and Boarding
Boys/Girls Co-edu
Years Kindergarten - Year 12
Enrolment 384 students
Fees
Visit website for reference
Phone
(02) 64******* (02) 6457 1022
Address PO Box 258, Jindabyne 2627
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Home » School News » The Heart of the School

The Heart of the School


The Alphington Grammar School Library is a modern learning environment supporting student wellbeing.

Libraries have existed for millennia. Their purpose has always been focused on knowledge acquisition and sharing for the development of society. In the 21st century, school libraries are re-engineering themselves to focus on learning, curriculum and the skills needed for 21st-century learning.

The heart of the school, the library is a valuable and vast collection of resources and knowledge and a nod to the libraries of old, but it is an engaging, collaborative, and inclusive space that can accommodate both individual and group study.

The Multifunction Rooms, equipped with smartboards, have been designed to accommodate class groups and deliver spaces for reading, complete with luxurious cushions. The White Zone is a space complete with writeable whiteboard walls and provides a great place for students to brainstorm and collaborate on their learning. Sensory zones have been created to provide quiet reading areas for students. Spaces throughout the library cater for individual study, booths for group work and study zones. The Primary Zone delivers a space that is a visually engaging and stimulating area, with face-out displays and little nooks that offer younger students a quiet place to read.

Building digital health literacy skills:

The role of inquiry plays an important part in the school and curriculum. It’s important for students to navigate the sea of information, misinformation, fake news, and opinion, and knowing the fundamentals of judging creativity and credibility online. Library programs and online resources are designed to empower their knowledge and confidence to move into higher education and careers. It is about lifelong learning.

Reading for pleasure:

Reading is an essential life skill and libraries help all students develop literacy skills. Reading for pleasure is also associated with mental wellbeing. At Alphington, the library helps facilitate a love of reading by providing comfortable reading spaces and nooks that allow younger students a quiet place to read. Reading classes and planned reading challenges encourage students to read for pleasure, expanding their horizons and building empathy, enabling them to see the world through others’ experiences. Reading for pleasure can provide a valuable escape from the challenges of everyday life.

Safe spaces:

Creating a positive, safe and supportive school environment can help meet students’ academic, emotional and social needs. The flexible and dynamic learning spaces facilitate all learning styles by creating an environment where students feel productive yet at ease. The new space comprises multiple zones designed to deliver targeted and unique learning experiences.

Both the library as a whole, and spaces within it, have been adapted to be comforting sanctuaries as well as a quiet space with cushions and comfortable furniture to make it a place to “get away from it all”.

Libraries are still cherished places of knowledge and learning and, at Alphington Grammar, the school also recognises the importance of this space and the role it
plays in students’ wellbeing.

 

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Religion Non - denominational
Type Independent
Day/boarding Day School
Boys/Girls Co-edu
Years Kindergarten - Year 12
Enrolment 550 students
Fees Can be found on their website.
Phone
03 9497******* 03 9497 4777
Fax
03 9497******* 03 9497 3479
Address 18 Old Heidelberg Road, Alphington 3078
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Home » School News » Learning in Lockdown: Roseville College

Learning in Lockdown: Roseville College


A sense of stability and confidence was important for Roseville College students, their families and staff during the months of unpredictability in 2020.

While there was a gentle buzz of excitement from the students as they carried books, artworks and instruments out the school gate to commence learning from home on 23 March, my conversations with their parents were vastly different,” explains Roseville College principal, Ms Deb Magill. She clarifies that Roseville College chose the term “off-campus learning” to remind the girls that school would continue with equitable rigour and commitment, just off campus.

“In total, Roseville College delivered an off-campus mode of learning for seven weeks,” says Ms Magill. “While our mode of delivery during off-campus learning was different, the work of Roseville College stayed the same: education, care, community. A sense of stability and confidence on our part was important for our students and their families, and our staff, especially when many other ‘normal’ aspects of life were subject to sudden and dramatic change.”

During this time of off-campus learning, students began their daily school routine at 8.20am (as usual), gathering online with their year groups for a morning roll call and attendance register. This precious 10-minute window of personal connection, before classes, was a forum for girls to share photos and enjoy light-hearted moments, such as birthday celebrations in virtual mode. The majority of girls donned school attire each day, which also helped maintain a sense of connectedness so easily lost when students and teachers miss face-to-face interaction, and our girls seized the opportunities afforded in this new environment.

Mrs Jane Sloane, assistant head of Junior School — curriculum and wellbeing, says it was “vital that Junior School teachers adapted to the unique online environment, which had ‘different rules’ to physically being at school”. She adds that there was intention around balancing the academic learning of girls in the primary years with their physical, mental and social wellbeing while away from school.

“Learning remained distinctly differentiated for girls of different ages and needs, even off campus, and teachers worked hard to provide authentic ways for our younger learners to inquire and engage in meaningful ways,” says Mrs Sloane. “It brightened our days to see smiling children who still loved ‘coming to school’, even though it was starkly different at the time!”

In Senior School, too, the learning was adapted — as creatively as necessary —
to the online forum, and much emphasis was placed on each girl’s adaptability, her digital literacy (to achieve the requirements of her learning) and,
most importantly, her wellbeing.

“We saw our Year 12 leaders, for example, quickly adapt their annual ‘Spirit Week’ event to an online format so all girls in Kindergarten to Year 12 could participate,” adds Ms Magill. “Our students, as learners and as emerging leaders, have proven themselves to be agile, creative and courageous. And our parent community has shown us trust, encouragement and goodwill.

“Isn’t it amazing that we look at seven weeks with such disproportion to the rest of the school year? At Roseville College, when that time ended, it was true cause for celebration. We were overjoyed to welcome back our girls; many of whom had expressed missing being at school and being among their friends and teachers. Still, what we learnt about our teaching, our capacity, our learning and our character during those seven weeks has enriched us as a community in ways we hadn’t imagined.”

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Religion Anglican
Type Independent
Day/boarding Day School
Boys/Girls Girl
Years Kindergarten - Year 12
Enrolment 830 students from Kindergarten to Year 12
Fees Available under ‘Enrolments’ on Roseville College’s website.
Phone
02 9884******* 02 9884 1100
Address 27 Bancroft Avenue, Roseville NSW 2069
Email
registr*******
registrar@roseville.nsw.edu.au
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Home » School News » School Choice Speaks with Simon Le Plastrier, Principal of ELTHAM College

School Choice Speaks with Simon Le Plastrier, Principal of ELTHAM College


What made you want to enter teaching?
My own education was supported by inspiring and committed adults whose efforts went well beyond the classroom to ensure I was successful. I also saw the value in educating the whole person, which many schools do through classroom experiences, activities outside the class environment and by building strong interpersonal relationships.

What do you like most about working in a school?
Schools are dynamic places where young people find their personal place. This can happen in myriad ways, and witnessing the personal growth that occurs when that window of realisation is quite special. Winning a final, performing a play, making a scientific discovery, being enthralled in a piece of writing, learning to form letters and to multiply numbers are all moments of mastery which leads to real growth.

What are some of the changes to education that you have witnessed in your time as principal?
There have been a couple of quite significant changes in my time. The most obvious is the impact of technology on learning. In my early days of teaching with blackboards and TVs on trolleys, the capacity to grow an idea was limited by each student’s access to information. That restriction has been removed; and a good thing, too.

The other profound change is the capacity for adults to listen to student’s voices. Young people have more agency over their lives. This provides them with the capacity to build on experiences and sees each young person to build their life around their voice. As their life experience changes, their capacity to adjust their lives is dynamic.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of the job, which is reflected in our recently developed Amplify program, is to see young people find an experience that helps define their learning path. To see this occur with teachers guiding the journey, rather than curating the learning experience for them, is what education is all about.

What are some special achievements of your staff, students and the school that you are most proud of?
ELTHAM College prides itself on the relationship between staff and students. This has built a community of learning with a deep level of trust and where young people feel safe to express their views in an atmosphere of mutual support.

What hopes do you have for the future of your school?
That ELTHAM College is a beacon for embedded deep learning, where young people experience learning in dynamic ways, with teachers facilitating that learning. We have published authors, composers, scientists, performers who have not waited for formal certification from government to move to their next step in learning.

What is your motto for running a successful school?
We have a noble choice in this world, and that is to make the most of this one life we have been granted. Successful schools must provide experiences that work in tandem with families, to assist young people in that journey.

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Religion Non - denominational
Type Independent
Day/boarding Day School
Boys/Girls Co-edu
Years Kindergarten - Year 12
Enrolment 690 students
Fees 8k - 12k 12k - 16k Over 16k
Fees range from $12,180 in ELC (50% child care rebate can be applied to ELC programs) through to $26,772 for Years 10 to 12; Year 9 fees are $28,208
Phone
03 9437******* 03 9437 1421
Fax
03 9437******* 03 9437 1003
Address 1160 Main Road, Research 3095
Email
recepti*******
reception@elthamcollege.vic.edu.au
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Home » School News » Learning in Lockdown: De Le Salle College

Learning in Lockdown: De Le Salle College


Learning is more than acquiring knowledge, it’s the social element of learning that isn’t easily replicated online.

The year 2021 has involved the snap-in and snap-out of lockdown learning and teaching that we’ve become so proficient in throughout 2020. Routines are well established and learning continuity is strong. Each student at De La Salle College is known and supported through a specialised Wellbeing Team, which ensures student engagement. Additionally, the college’s sophisticated online learning management system and digital tools have allowed learning to continue with little need for radical modification or reinvention.

In 2020 and 2021, teachers adapted their programs and teaching to varying degrees. For many, remote learning has been a smooth process, however subjects with a heavy practical component had to become creative. Art teachers developed interesting activities for students using everyday household items. These student artworks were later displayed in a digital gallery, reflecting the intimacy and introspection of what was a life dominated by interior spaces throughout the year.

In many ways, remote learning did not significantly extend the scope of the college’s existing suite of digital tools. The college invested in online delivery of curriculum for many years prior and remote learning consolidated these existing systems and approaches. This solid foundation contributed to the highly successful movement into remote learning.

Importantly, humans are social beings and learning with peers helps students build a sense of self. Learning is more than acquiring knowledge, it’s the social element of learning that isn’t easily replicated online.

De La Salle addressed these challenges by supporting both students and teachers through an accessible online learning environment and the college’s Wellbeing Team. This team consists of Class Mentors, Year Level and House Coordinators, Directors of Students, the Year 9 Head of Campus, college psychologists and Health Centre Officer. Students feel supported through daily check-ins with their mentor teacher and participating in GROW (Growing Responsibility for your Own Wellbeing) classes. GROW teachers facilitate students’ learning about mental health, respect and consent, sexual health and self-management.

Despite lockdowns, every day the Wellbeing Team continues to support all students across the school. To improve student engagement, the team implemented House and Year-Level activities, online quizzes and wellbeing challenges including longest-held plank, best photograph and longest time keeping a ball in the air. They also encourage students to look after their wellbeing at home by taking screen breaks, eating well, exercising and checking in
with friends and family.

As many college gatherings moved to online equivalents, it revealed some benefits in this mode of event delivery with unequivocal support for the college to keep some of these occasions online. For example, online parent-teacher interviews are more manageable for everyone as parents and their sons can engage with teachers in their home. Some events, however, haven’t translated quite as effectively. Awards assemblies miss the atmosphere and sense of occasion that comes with an audience and team sports, camps, excursions, concerts and drama performances are dimensions of schooling that are special for so many students. We hope for their return soon!

The 2021 lockdowns have seen students, staff and parents confidently approach remote learning. Students and parents are comfortable with De La Salle’s processes and strategies to support learning and wellbeing. We react quickly to snap lockdowns and ensure continuity of learning and connection, however, with each subsequent lockdown, students experience time away from friends and usual routines. That takes a toll, so when students are on campus, De La Salle ensures that time is allocated for them to reconnect and re-engage with each other, and their teachers.

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Religion Catholic
Type Independent
Day/boarding Day School
Boys/Girls Boy
Years Year 5 - Year 12
Enrolment 1,100 from Years 5 to 12.
Fees Annual tuition fees range from : $9,500 - $12,500
Phone
03 9508******* 03 9508 2100
Address 1318 High Street, Malvern 3144
Email
enrolme*******
enrolment@delasalle.vic.edu.au
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Home » School News » Girls in STEM at Caulfield Grammar School

Girls in STEM at Caulfield Grammar School


“Statistics continue to tell us that over half of Australian girls have never considered aiming for a STEM-related career. It is important for girls to take up STEM subjects so that STEM industries become more diverse. And with diversity comes innovation.” Sonia Cotugno, Teacher of Applied Computing, Creative & Digital Media, Digital Technologies at Caulfield Grammar School’s Wheelers Hill Campus.

For the past couple of years there has been a particular focus on inspiring girls to pursue studies and careers related to STEM. “We are continuously incorporating digital learning opportunities and ‘hands-on’ activities into the curriculum to give our girls the 21st-century skills — the knowledge, skills, values and experiences – they need to thrive in a rapidly changing world,” Sonia explains.

Implementation of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) has helped us develop STEM in the Middle Years curriculum. All students in Years 7 and 8  study Product and Digital Design, and Years 9 and 10 students can now choose from brand-new electives such as Design & Engineering, Virtual Reality Futures, Computer Science, Creative Technologies and Design Technology.

STEM at Caulfield

Sonya Cotugno  says of the MYP programme, “It’s a very exciting time at Caulfield Grammar School as we continue to expand our Design and Technology curriculum and provide students with the opportunity to experience different topics such as robotics, sustainable fashion, computer science, software development and creative technologies.”

Year 9 student Sophie loves art and design, but until this year hadn’t been very interested or involved in coding. The MYP Programme has given her the opportunity to explore this space and discover new skills and interests.

“When I found out coding and computers was a subject that our School offered, I decided to try it out before I started choosing my subjects for VCE. I was curious about how devices, games and animations are programmed and I wanted to learn how I could program one myself.”

Sophie found herself quickly embracing the new technology, which combined her artistic design skills with her newly learned coding and technical skills. Her image of Flinders Street Station for a STEM class project was designed using Python language and comprising hundreds of lines of code.

STEM at Caulfield

“I am really drawn to this field because there’s a lot of freedom in the type of work you produce and you can easily express your style through it. I had no prior knowledge of Python or other coding languages before I designed my Flinders Street Station promotional poster. It was a lot of fun as I got to use my design and art skills as well as my new coding skills. I discovered that coding is a great way to practise planning and designing efficiently, and it definitely improves critical thinking skills.”

Year 9 student Iris also discovered a passion for STEM when challenged with a task in her Product Design and Technology elective. Product Design sits in the field of industrial design and engineering, and is more about the physical construction of real-world products instead of digital solutions.

“We had to take a traditional board game and re-imagine it for a modern market increasingly obsessed with online video games. My project was a braille Chess re-design, which addressed the needs of the sight impaired. I had to look at adapting the traditional design in an innovative way and also design a container that would appeal to this target market.”

Iris used computer-aided design software to model her design and then 3D printed the final prototype.

As well as the implementation of the IB MYP, which is proving successful in engaging girls in STEM, Wheelers Hill Secondary Campus is focusing on providing more opportunities and facilities to give girls the confidence to explore and experiment.

STEM at Caulfield

“Currently the digital fabrication laboratory has five 3D printers along with capacity for electronics, robotics and traditional fabrication. In 2022 students will have access to a laser cutter and a CNC router, which will enable students to realise their engineering design ideas quickly and therefore iterate,” says Matthew Plummer, Learning Area Leader for Design & Technology. “In 2022 we will invest in virtual reality headsets where students will not only participate in fully immersive learning experiences but create their own content in, and for, Virtual Reality.”

Wheelers Hill Campus has also introduced a girls’ coding club and there will be a competitive Robots Club in 2022 that will compete in the VEX global robotics competitions.

“We hope to have so many more opportunities for girls in STEM next year,” says Matthew, “and it would be great if there was an all-girls team in the global comps!”

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Religion Anglican
Type Independent
Day/boarding Day and Boarding
Boys/Girls
Years Kindergarten - Year 12
Enrolment
Fees caulfieldgs.vic.edu.au/fees
Phone
+61 3 9******* +61 3 9524 6333
Address 217 Glen Eira Road, East St Kilda 3183
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Home » School News » Jacinta to represent Australia in International Junior Science Olympiad

Jacinta to represent Australia in International Junior Science Olympiad


Jacinta Rees will join five of the country’s brightest science students to compete in the world’s most rigorous multi-disciplinary science competition for high school students: the UNESCO-sanctioned 2021 International Junior Science Olympiad.

To gain selection to the team, our Year 10 student outperformed thousands of other competitors in the initial qualifying examination. Jacinta was invited as one of twenty-four science enthusiasts to attend a specialist week-long program during which she studied biology, chemistry and physics up to an advanced Year 12 level. Her exceptional performance in the program secured her a spot on the inaugural Australian team.

Jacinta said she is thrilled to have been selected and is looking forward to representing her country.

“It is an exciting opportunity to grow my knowledge in science and connect with people who love science as much as I do,” said Jacinta.

The International Junior Science Olympiad is an annual competition, but this is the first year Australia has entered a team. Students from approximately seventy countries compete in the hope of being named international champions. This year, due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, all students will compete remotely in their home countries. Jacinta will travel to Canberra in December where she will meet her team members and, over seven days, compete in a team practical examination and two individual theory examinations.

At Meriden, Jacinta is excelling in many areas of STEM. Recently, she was selected to participate in Tournament of the Towns, an internationally renowned Mathematics Olympiad in which she will compete against some of the highest-achieving Mathematics students from around the world. She has also been invited to the Earth and Environmental Sciences Olympiad Summer School in January 2022.

Jacinta said she has always been fascinated by science and is planning a career in biomedical engineering following the HSC.

“I love science because it helps explain and make sense of the world that surrounds us,” she said.

“I would highly recommend taking up the opportunity to attend an Olympiad School to any student interested in pursuing a career in science. It is a valuable learning opportunity and it is also lots of fun.”

The School community wishes Jacinta the very best as she embarks on this exciting intellectual challenge and congratulates her on being recognised as one of the brightest minds of her age in the country.

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Religion Anglican
Type Independent
Day/boarding Day School
Boys/Girls Girl
Years Kindergarten - Year 12
Enrolment 1,500 students
Fees Over 16k
$19,950 (Kindergarten) - $33,240 (Year 12)
Phone
(61 2) ******* (61 2) 9752 9444
Address 3 Margaret Street, Strathfield NSW 2135
School Search


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Girls in STEM at Caulfield Grammar School


Jacinta to represent Australia in International Junior Science Olympiad


From COVID-19 to a new Declaration


The Best of Both Worlds


Home » School News » From COVID-19 to a new Declaration

From COVID-19 to a new Declaration


As our society slowly but inevitably emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing is becoming ever clearer: the world we return to will not be the one we left.

Over the past 20 months or so, we have faced, individually and collectively, a host of challenges, not only beyond our experience but actually beyond what any of us could have foreseen.

COVID-19 clusters have been met with lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, witnessing not only the greatest migration of office workers from the city to the home, but also the greatest shutdown of schools and learning centres in our entire history. Literally overnight, education moved online and curriculum and high-stakes examinations were revised to not only take into account the unique at-home learning environment, but also the wellbeing of students and staff alike. As we return to face-to-face classrooms, could these very same challenges be the actual catalyst required for us to rethink education in a broader sense, for us to recommit to high-quality schooling and for us to issue a new Declaration?

In 1989, the Hobart Declaration, and in 1999, the Adelaide Declaration, committed the state, territory and Commonwealth Education Ministers to work together to deliver high-quality schooling for all young Australians. These were followed in 2008 by the Melbourne Declaration, which acknowledged major changes in the world and, in 2019, by the Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Declaration, which emphasised addressing education gaps, as well as preparing students to thrive in a rapidly changing and challenging world. Although these Declarations are noble and important, and although the fundamentals of the Australian Curriculum are arguably sound, two criticisms seem universal and ever-lasting: our curriculum is overcrowded and our reliance on high-stakes examinations is not conducive to fulfilling the bold standards made clear in each successive Declaration. COVID-19, somewhat paradoxically, has created an opportunity for Australian educators to consider addressing these two criticisms.

At-home learning during COVID-19 resulted not only in changes of delivery, but also in what was being delivered. With considerations for the wellness of all, content was revised and reduced, differentiated assessments were introduced and collaboration increased. “Content-heavy” was universally understood as detrimental to both wellbeing and learning, and engagement was managed by a refocus on deeper learning, real-life learning, which made the exercise all the more worthy and worthwhile. The competitive and fast-paced nature of test results was replaced by a gentler, more thoughtful and deeper learning and teaching process that was differentiated to meet every learner’s needs. The curriculum was not slashed blindly, rather essential and fundamental elements were recognised for what they are, while other areas were jettisoned for the greater good.

It is my hope that the opportunity for deeper learning that came out of the COVID-19 crisis is not ignored, and we simply go back to what we were doing before. Educators have a wonderful opportunity to create a better learning ecosystem from the lessons of COVID-19, and truly bring to life the intent of all Declarations.

Words Mary Farah, principal, St Aloysius College North Melbourne

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Religion Catholic
Type Catholic
Day/boarding Day School
Boys/Girls Co-edu
Years Year 7 - Year 12
Enrolment
Fees
Phone
(03) 93******* (03) 9325 9200
Address 31 Curran Street, North Melbourne, Victoria, 3051
Email
registr*******
registrar@aloysius.vic.edu.au
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Home » School News » The Best of Both Worlds

The Best of Both Worlds


Scotch College gives boarders access to an exceptional education.

Offering boarders access to an outstanding academic education is a point of pride for Melbourne’s Scotch College. The non-selective school, which has been educating boys for more than 160 years, has a strong history of providing regional students with a high-quality curriculum and excellent teaching staff in a supportive environment.

From creative arts, to science and technology, to foreign languages, Scotch College students have unparalleled opportunities in working towards achieving their maximum potential.

However, it’s not only the education that makes Scotch College an in-demand school for boarders from across Australia. Tim Byrnes, Dean of Boarding, says the students have the ‘best of both worlds’. “As well as wonderful classroom teachers, boarders have access to extra tuition, with staff always at hand, facilities to practice sports on weekends, study sessions and a great sense of community,” Mr Byrnes says. “Boarding at Scotch is the extra on top of an outstanding school education.”

Captain of Scotch College’s boarding community, Will MacKenzie, says being able to attend Scotch College means access to a high-quality education. “At Scotch, I’m able to study subjects at a level I otherwise would not have had the chance to,” he says. “The calibre of the physics department, for example, is just incredible. The teachers are very knowledgeable and offer so much support.”

Boarder and vice captain of the school, Alex Meggitt, agrees, adding that as well as an excellent curriculum they have many opportunities to excel outside the classroom. “The school supports you in finding and pursuing your extra-curricular passions such as debating,” says Alex. “This is something that will help me succeed in my career as I plan to pursue law at The University of Melbourne.”

Community is another huge benefit to boarding at Scotch College. Both Will and Alex credit Scotch College’s support network with helping them find encouragement, build resilience and excel in the classroom. “Our shared experiences mean we are an extremely tight-knit community and are always there for each other, socially, emotionally and academically,” Alex says.

Overall, boarding at Scotch College provides the means for regional students to access the best education available. “We have a strong commitment to boarding and will continue this tradition into the future, ensuring regional families have access to a unique Scotch education,” school principal, Mr Batty, says.

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Religion Christian
Type Independent
Day/boarding Day and Boarding
Boys/Girls
Enrolment 1700 day students, including 160 boarders
Fees Tuition from $7750 (Prep) to $9691 (Year 12) per instalment (three times a year), boarding $24,657 per annum
Phone
03 9810******* 03 9810 4203
Fax
03 9810******* 03 9810 4333
Address 1 Morrison Street, Hawthorn 3122
Email
admissi*******
admissions@scotch.vic.edu.au
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