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Building girls’ futures

IN an exciting move for its future, St Mary’s College will mark a historic milestone by enrolling its first ever girls-only kindergarten class in 2021.

Specialising in girls’ early childhood education, a review of Catholic education in Tasmania’s south suggested this new way forward for the college.

St Mary’s College principal Helen Spencer said although staff would certainly miss the boys, she was excited about the opportunity to have more girls at the college.

“As a college of predominately girls, we are specialists in education for girls and young women,” she said.

With a strong and vibrant history of 152 years of Catholic education, students learn in an environment where they are seen as individuals, each of whom can learn and grow to be more compassionate, just, loving and build a hopeful world together.

“Founded by strong women, we know the key to building bright futures is ensuring girls and young women have all the opportunities Catholic schooling and education presents,” Ms Spencer said.

“In the early years, we teach our girls in a framework of belonging, being and becoming, and St Mary’s is just the place for girls to belong, be and become.”

The St Mary’s College learning vision is “growing our love of learning” and this reflects how the college explores important teaching and learning concepts like motivation, efficacy and independence, and shapes these in a way that is understandable for all stages of development.

Director of the Junior School Brigid Knight, who is a passionate early years educator, said she believed the change to all girls for kinder in 2021 would provide a great start for students at St Mary’s College.

“In a class where there are only girls, girls take on every available role and opportunity,” she said.

“There are no engendered roles in a girls-only class.

“Every girl can be who she is, and teachers can ensure there are no hidden messages about gender and limitation.”

The college’s kinder program is designed to nurture and provide opportunities to build confidence, independence and joy of discovery and learning, which will carry on well beyond the student’s year in kinder.

Mrs Knight said the change to girls’ education in the early years was an exciting way forward for the college community.

While changing to girls only in the early years is new for St Mary’s, the college has been leading the way in girls’ education for decades, having girls-only education for year three to year 12 on the one central campus.

St Mary’s College students are flourishing and building their own unique futures with strength and determination.

College staff are recognised as leaders in their field who are passionate about lifelong learning and embracing innovation and creativity in education.

An Open Day will be held on Thursday 2 April and St Mary’s warmly welcomes prospective families to come and see the college on a regular day.

Tours will run regularly from reception from 9.30am to 12.30pm.