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Home » School News » “Planting the Seed” for a Lifelong Love of the Outdoors at Xavier College

“Planting the Seed” for a Lifelong Love of the Outdoors at Xavier College


After a significant period of home-learning, Xavier College is committed to ensuring all students can engage closely and respectfully with natural environments and global cultures. It is more important than ever for students to immerse themselves in the world around them.

Expedition programs at the college aim to put meaningful purpose at the heart of learning. Over the first Semester of 2021, students braved the pristine Mornington Peninsula waters to swim with seals, journeyed along Anglesea’s rugged coastline, canoed along Warrandyte’s bending Birrarung (Yarra River) and much, much more. These day expeditions are centred around “growth” and “exploration” frameworks, aimed at fostering positive wellbeing and personal development. The program provides opportunities for students to engage with nature, challenge themselves and build relationships with their peers.

In the Junior Schools, students embrace Outdoor Education camps in country and rural Victoria where they participate in activities such as canoeing, bushwalking, high ropes courses and confidence building exercises. Many senior students travel overseas for activities associated with music, sport, service and global engagement. In recent years, Xavier College supported a Wind Ensemble tour in the UK, an Athletics tour in Europe, a Water Polo tour in the US and a World Challenge trip to Peru, as well as annual overseas Immersion trips to assist marginalised communities. Closer to home, students travel to Indigenous communities to learn more about the history and culture of our land, centring on Indigenous perspectives. In working to pursue critically a depth of learning, students are taught to first reflect on these experiences, then move to action. Border closures have unfortunately put a pause on a number of these opportunities, but students are looking towards many of these exciting trips in the future. In the meantime, various “retreats” and “gauntlet” getaways allow senior students to reflect in natural environments about their position in the world around them.

The college’s Outdoor Education also incorporates numerous on-campus projects to bring in the natural world while providing outdoor learning opportunities. Gardening projects are sprouting on the Junior and Senior campuses, and provide the context for climate change education.

To learn more about the Expeditions program, visit the Xavier College website: https://www.xavier.vic.edu.au/our-programs/our-expeditions

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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
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Home » School News » Barker Robotics on the World Stage

Barker Robotics on the World Stage


It has been an incredibly successful competition season for Barker College’s robotics students, with a string of titles being awarded to both the VEX and FIRST teams.

The VEX Robotics Competition is the largest Robotics Competition in the world, with more than 20,000 teams. This year, Barker had three teams qualify to VEX Worlds; two from the Middle School in the VEX Robotics Competition and one from the Junior School for the VEX IQ Challenge.

The final result saw Barker’s 4613W – HyperSphere – win the Middle School Technology B Division, the Overall Technology division, and be named semi-finalists for the Overall VEX Worlds Championship – an incredible achievement to place them in the top eight teams in the world.

Barker’s Senior FIRST Robotics Competition team, the Barker Redbacks, has placed 6th globally on raw competition scores. They were also awarded the Chairman’s award for the school’s ongoing outreach and support of the community including establishing robotics at Barker’s Indigenous campus, Darkinjung Barker, and the establishment and continuing to support of the Springbots, the first FRC team in South Africa. The team also won the Engineering Excellence award for the quality of the design, construction and engineering process of the robot.

Year 11 student, Suzanne Brian won nomination as a Dean’s List Award winner. She will now compete at FRC Championships level as a Dean’s List Finalist. This is now the fourth Dean’s List Finalist that the school has had recognised since 2015.

For more information

Barker College

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Religion Anglican
Type Independent
Day/boarding Day and Boarding
Boys/Girls Co-edu
Years Kindergarten - Year 12
Enrolment Students from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12 including 60 Year 10 – 12 boarders.
Fees Over 16k
Tuition from $25,000
Phone
8438 79******* 8438 7999
Fax
8438 76******* 8438 7609
Address 91 Pacific Highway, Hornsby NSW 2077
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enrolme*******
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Home » School News » Does Choosing a Strathcona Education for your Daughter Provide an Additional Advantage?

Does Choosing a Strathcona Education for your Daughter Provide an Additional Advantage?


School is important, but which school is also important. What is the part of a school in student results? This is an important question, especially for parents investing considerable financial resources in sending their daughters to a school like Strathcona.

Each year it is very exciting to see the VCE results that Strathcona students achieve. With last year being so unusual with its (un)fair share of challenges there was more uncertainty about how the students would perform than usual. With conditions different to those we had been used to with lockdowns, modified study designs and assessment practices, there was the possibility that we would be surprised, and not in a good way. However, as you would be aware, our students did not fail to deliver.

What is the part of a school in student results? This is an important question, especially for parents investing considerable financial resources in sending their daughters to a school like Strathcona. It is a question I was challenged with by my neighbour soon after the results came through. When he asked how we went, I replied “we did very well”. With a cheeky grin he asked, “you or your students?” Tactfully I replied “that they were the students’ results, but it is very good for us that they did well.”

There is no question that our VCE results being ranked ninth in the state in terms of Study Scores by the newspapers helps the school’s reputation. However, principal Marise McConaghy and I wanted to explore the question of how Strathcona helps the students achieve what they do. We often call this ‘Value Add’. After all, our students come with many advantages over the average Victorian student. Does the School provide an additional advantage?

The VCE results come from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA), the administrative body for the VCE, with a prediction of how each student will go in each subject. This prediction is made based on student performance on the GAT, the General Achievement Test, a three hour examination that every student undertaking a Unit 3/4 subject sits, usually in June, but in 2020 in October. This test assesses three areas that are statistically correlated with achievement in every subject: written communication; mathematics, science and technology; humanities, the arts and social sciences. The GAT serves several purposes including providing schools with an indication of how scores for each subject compared with the expectations given the students in the subject. These results do point to significant gains for many of our students, but the test is taken so close to the final examinations, indeed after some of the assessment has taken place. Are the student GAT scores higher than they would otherwise be if they had not already spent years of their schooling at Strathcona?

Stratchcona-1

I dug deeper. Each student is tested on entry to the Strathcona Senior School using Edutest. This test provides percentile rankings against the broader population on verbal IQ and numerical IQ, achievement in reading comprehension and achievement in Mathematics. In Year 7 we also test students using PAT (Progressive Achievement Tests), which give percentile rankings in Reading, Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation and Mathematics. Using these benchmarks, we find that Strathcona students are above average in terms of potential and achievement in Year 7. However, the distribution is much broader and the average much lower than that achieved in the ATAR, another percentile rank that correlates strongly with performance in numeracy and literacy. To make this statement more concrete, those of our Year 7 students who perform at or below the national and school average in Years 6 and 7 very often achieve ATARs in the 80s and 90s. Fifty-seven per cent of our students achieved an ATAR of over 90 in 2020. By contrast, only 12 per cent of these students achieved an Edutest ranking in the top 10 per cent of the population when in Year 6.

Strathcona does make a big difference for its students. This difference is revealed in the VCE statistics, but it is also evident in their broader successes. There are differences in resources, and focus. The rich, supportive community is so strong at Strathcona and not just about examination preparation but nurturing of human beings, learners, who are respected and empowered. It is a community of students, teachers and other staff, parents, and past students who band together to provide the unique experience that is a Strathcona education. It is not infallible, and it certainly requires the students to work hard. Some students for whatever reason take greater advantage of the opportunities available to them in their learning and reap the rewards.

I have heard many speakers in my life, and one whose words I will never forget is Reverend Tim Costello. On a visit to Strathcona perhaps a decade ago he told students and staff about how people often dream of what they would do if they won the lottery. “By being born in a place like Australia, you have already won the lottery. So, what are you going to do?” he challenged us. Most of us have been born into privilege and as parents we have done all we can to provide the best opportunities for our children. A very significant part of that work as parents is to send our daughters to Strathcona. Different students will benefit in different ways and take up different opportunities at school. Some will achieve amazing VCE results, some will perform on stage, on the sporting field or contribute wonderful service to the community. Some even manage all of the above.

We are thrilled with the achievements of our students and the contributions we have been able to make to their lives. We also look forward to the vast diversity of outstanding contributions, grand and humble, that they will go on to make in their lives and Strathcona are proud to play a part in making that happen.

Mr Ross Phillips

Senior Dean of Learning Futures

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From $10,416 (ELC) to $30,980 (Year 12) per annum.
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Address 34 Scott Street, Canterbury 3126
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Home » School News » Join De Le Salle College for a Tour

Join De Le Salle College for a Tour


 

When considering a school for your child, a College tour provides a unique opportunity to see the school in action and to experience the learning environment first hand.

Monthly tours are led by current students and members of our leadership team and include a presentation by our Principal, Peter Houlihan. Families have the opportunity to view both our Tiverton and Kinnoull Campus’ and hear about the wide range of opportunities available at De La Salle College.

De La Salle College continues to follow the advice of the Victorian Chief Health Officer and maintains best COVID-19 safety practices. To ensure everyone has an opportunity to experience De La Salle College, join us on a Virtual Tour of all three campuses or watch our four information videos which give you a deeper insight into our College and our community.

Join us for a College tour or visit www.delasalle.vic.edu.au to find out why the College is the right choice for your son.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Admission Team via email enrolment@delasalle.vic.edu.au

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Enrolment 1,100 from Years 5 to 12.
Fees Annual tuition fees range from : $9,500 - $12,500
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Home » School News » First in Engineering at Da Vinci Decathlon

First in Engineering at Da Vinci Decathlon


Meriden’s Year 7 students have taken out the Engineering category at the 2021 Da Vinci Decathlon. The win puts the girls ahead of the best and brightest from more than eighty schools across New South Wales.

Heidi Bartlett, Vinudhi Silva and Keira Wakes made up the Year 7 Engineering dream team. They were tasked with designing and constructing a scale model of a mini-golf course that incorporated the concept of chance, with “chance” being the overarching theme of this year’s event.  The girls built their model using paper, cardboard, straws and plasticine and designed it to incorporate a system of tunnels hidden along a ramp, making the possibility of achieving a high score a matter of both chance and skill.

Dr Phoebe Poon, Coordinator of Learning Link – Gifted and Talented, said the girls’ performance speaks to their solid foundations in STEM disciplines and Lateral Learning principles.

“The Engineering task was particularly challenging as it required lateral thinking and collaborative problem-solving,” Dr Poon said.

“The outstanding success of our girls in Engineering can be attributed to their hard work and enthusiasm for innovation, together with the many hours they spent engaging with STEM technologies and concepts to develop important skills.”

To prepare for the decathlon’s Engineering component, the team practised building different types of models that were both functional and strong, deliberately limiting their access to resources to increase the level of challenge and experimentation.

Keira said, despite the broad nature of their preparation, the task they received on the day was a surprise. “We weren’t expecting to build a mini-golf course!” she said.

“The biggest challenge was figuring out a design that met the brief but we brainstormed together and then divides the tasks according to our strengths. When constructing the course, it was crucial that we balanced the weight of the ball with the strength of our ramp to stop the course from collapsing. To incorporate the chance element, we made the tubing the same size as the ball and ensured the ball rolled through the course smoothly,” Keira said.

Vinudhi and Heidi agreed that the collaborative nature of their group was one of the greatest assets and was also what made the Da Vinci Decathlon a fun, interesting event.

The renowned decathlon is open to students from Year 5 to Year 11 and tasks are designed to extend students’ higher-order thinking skills, problem-solving abilities and creativity. Teams complete across ten disciplines: Engineering, Mathematics and Chess, Code Breaking, Art and Poetry, Science, English, IDeation, Creative Producers, Cartography and Legacy.

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Type Independent
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Boys/Girls Girl
Years Kindergarten - Year 12
Enrolment 1,500 students
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$19,950 (Kindergarten) - $33,240 (Year 12)
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Home » School News » Tennis Turns Eight at The McDonald College

Tennis Turns Eight at The McDonald College


The McDonald College has had a thriving Tennis stream for eight years.

Across the Junior and Senior schools, 30 students train each day on the courts at Sydney Olympic Park under the careful eye of Voyager Tennis Academy coaches. Sometimes they train twice a day.

Voyager’s co-founder Luke Bourgeois adheres to the view that talented tennis players should not give up their education to pursue their sporting dreams. Nor should they have to give up their sport to pursue their education. “In our partnership with The McDonald College they can excel at both,” he says. “It’s the 10,000 hours theory. You can have all the talent in the world but it won’t flourish without investing time on the court.”

Luke is careful about who he will admit into Voyager. The ultimate – but not the only – pathway for his students is the US College circuit.

He is the youngest of eight children and a graduate of St Aloysius College, he first picked up a racquet aged four and played his way up to being a national champion at the age of 17. He was mentored by Australian champion Tony Roche, and as he began doing well at international tournaments, he received offers from US Colleges.

He was advised to hit the professional circuit and so he knocked back offers from Harvard, among others. His career on the circuit flourished and in his 20s he settled in Florida. From his base in the US he managed wins over some of the biggest names in tennis, Andy Murray, David Ferrer and the Bryan brothers.

He travelled as part of Roger Federer’s team for three years but at 30 he was ready to come home and over time, he has come to the conclusion he should have gone the College route after all.

“It gives you four more years of nurturing, not to mention an academic back-up,” he says.

This is the advice he gives his students and so far he has a 100 per cent success rate of Voyager full time students securing a place in a US College if they want one.

“There are 18 so far, and counting” he says.

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Years Kindergarten - Year 12
Enrolment 300 students
Fees on application. sibling discounts available.
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02 9752******* 02 9752 0500
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Address 17 George Street, North Strathfield, 2137
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Home » School News » Big Plans in Store for Boarding at Xavier College

Big Plans in Store for Boarding at Xavier College


As Victoria navigates through lockdowns and changing restrictions, the Xavier College Boarding House has provided a greatly needed sense of certainty for its tight-knit community.

When the 2020 lockdown forced students to decide whether to return home or bunker down on campus, every Senior student who had the option to do so decided to stay. The cohort’s decision to remain together as one highlights the unique bonds shared across the intimate senior boarding group. Head of Boarding Alex Smith says that this is thanks largely to the smaller community of boarders: “One of our greatest strengths is having a small boarding community where the boys form fantastic relationships with each other,” says Alex.

The boarding community also shares a real sense of excitement and optimism for the future. Xavier College recently released the first part of its Master Plan, which outlines a new and exciting boarding house as part of large-scale plans for the Senior Campus.

The proposed state-of-the-art boarding facility will match the exceptional quality of experience and opportunity that boarding students receive at Xavier College. The Master Plan envisages contemporary accommodation for a diverse mix of regional and urban students who wish to optimise all that the College has to offer.

In the meantime, Frankie, the golden retriever pup, was a welcome addition to the Boarding House family in 2020. If students ever need a break from their studies, or just a change of scenery, Frankie is a willing companion on walks around the immaculate College grounds.

With students from Camberwell to Calgary and everywhere in-between, the Xavier College boarding community provides an excellent environment for the next generation of young boarders. As the College expands its popular boarding services, Years 7 to 12 will be available from 2023.

You can read more about the Master Plan here: https://www.xavier.vic.edu.au/strategy/masterplan

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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
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Home » School News » Mission Action Day 2021

Mission Action Day 2021


On Thursday 1 April 2021, the school community at De La Salle College, Malvern celebrated ‘Mission Action Day’, an event that over many years has become a signature fundraising event at the college.

The key motivation of this campaign is to provide support, both locally and internationally, to Lasallian projects in need of financial aid. In recent years, more than $100,000 annually has been raised and distributed to mission projects in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, The Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. This tangible reflection of our commitment to social justice, one of the underlying principles at the College, has been and remains a key focus in our efforts as a community to ‘walk the walk’ and help those in need.

1

Students, parents, sponsors and staff worked closely together to once again make the event a success. Blessed with fine weather, under staff supervision, students walked approximately 13km along the Gardiner’s Creek Trail between Ashburton and Kooyong to validate the wonderful work done in raising close to $50,000, another amazing total in a challenging post COVID-19 environment.

The college raised $47,284.24 and these funds will be distributed to key Lasallian mission projects in coming weeks. Visit the Mission Action Day page to view the MAD Fundraising Top 10 Tally and the 2021 sponsors.

3

The college thanks public users of the Gardiner’s Creek Trail who, over many years, have shown overwhelming understanding and support for the cause. De Le Salle College also thanks the many school suppliers who donated to our 2021 effort and their generosity is very much appreciated.

Though times may change, the needs of those less fortunate than ourselves do not. Planning for Mission Action Day 2022 will soon be underway and as a community, De Le Salle College again looks forward to going M.A.D. and continuing to do what we can for those who are in need of our assistance.

4

Chris Martin

Mission Action Day Coordinator

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Religion Catholic
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Years Year 5 - Year 12
Enrolment 1,100 from Years 5 to 12.
Fees Annual tuition fees range from : $9,500 - $12,500
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Address 1318 High Street, Malvern 3144
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Home » School News » De La Salle Year 12 VCAL Enterprise Class receive funding for a new garden space

De La Salle Year 12 VCAL Enterprise Class receive funding for a new garden space


 

The Year 12 VCAL Enterprise-Class are working to create a new garden space on the Kinnoull Campus at De La Salle, Malvern. This garden project is part of the Communities Environmental Program: an Australian Government initiative to support small scale, community-led environment projects to address local environmental priorities whilst encouraging the community to connect with their local natural environment.

The College received a grant to create a sustainable garden designed to increase habitat and available food sources for animals and thereby increasing biodiversity. Our project has been sponsored by Dr Katie Allen MP, Federal Member for Higgins.

Students were recently visited by Dr Katie Allen MP, and Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, Trevor Evans MP. The VCAL students proudly displayed their progress, answered questions about the project and had the opportunity to ask the Ministers questions about local politics.

The final garden will feature native vegetation that will attract and provide a food source for birds, bees and other wildlife. The end project will also see the De La Salle College community reducing our carbon footprint and increasing sustainability, whilst providing an opportunity for our students to gain the knowledge and skills to care for the environment both now and into the future.

So far, students have cleared the invasive weeds, dug holes and set posts for retaining walls and a decorative timber fence, built birdhouses and selected the native plants that will be planted in the garden. The garden is coming along well and, through their continued hard work each Friday, the project is expected to be completed by the end of Term 2.

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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
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Home » School News » Learning Outside the Square

Learning Outside the Square


Located in Melbourne’s south-east, on the cusp of the Mornington Peninsula, Cornish College sits on almost 40 hectares of parkland. Encompassing natural bush, wetlands and farming pasture, aquaponics area and vegetable gardens, the school has beehives and harvests its own honey, and is home to alpacas, chickens and ducks.

“As educators, we have a strong moral purpose,” principal Nicola Forrest says. “Instead of just teaching a subject because it’s in the curriculum, we say, ‘What’s this got to do with making a better future for our children? How can we teach this in a way that they will really live it’?”

The school not only has an exciting outdoor education program but prides itself on its local “outdoor learning” philosophy, where students learn in, with and from nature, and “every inch” of the college property is utilised.

Maths, sciences and art are some of the subjects that are regularly relocated out of doors.

“We find our kids respond hugely to getting outside,” Nicola says. “The change of scene, fresh air, there’s a surge of serotonin … they connect with the subject on a deeper level.”

Cornish College students are not consumers of education, but contributors to, and creators of, their learning experience, adds Nicola. The result, she says, is a lifelong “disposition for learning”.

“We believe that you need to be a problem identifier in life, not just a problem solver,” she says. “The young people at our school aren’t afraid to ask questions; they have enterprising mindsets, and they’re future-focused.”

The school’s alumni include lawyers, doctors, researchers, outdoor educators and environmental activists.

Interest in Cornish College is growing. “People are excited by change, and they’re excited by what we’re doing here,” says Nicola. “People are seeking out places where things are done differently, where education isn’t following the same dated models it has for 50 years.”

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Religion None
Type Independent
Day/boarding Day School
Boys/Girls Co-edu
Enrolment 700 students
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03 9781******* 03 9781 9000
Address 65 Riverend Road, Bangholme, 3175
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admissi*******
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