MACKILLOP Catholic College observed its 25th anniversary in 2019 and with enrolments at an all-time high, there is plenty for the Eastern Shore secondary school to celebrate.
There are additional streams for 2020 and 2021 and the college is moving to extend to years 11 and 12.
According to MacKillop principal Eamonn Pollard, while the reasons for the record intake are manifold, the appeal of its expanding curriculum and new tailored learning programs played a role.
MacKillop Catholic College is blessed with a number of high-achieving students and nurtures them through learning extension programs and opportunities in areas such as mathematics, science, philosophy and languages.
“Learning Extension Key Teachers were appointed for the first time in 2018 and they are focused on delivering a challenging program that caters to a broad range of high-achieving students,” Mr Pollard said.
“Subject teachers are also trained in differentiation and can offer extension within existing programs.
“Departments also run competitions targeting high-achieving students.
“The Japanese Speech Competition is one example, where very engaged students train after school to sit for the Japanese N5, a national Language Proficiency Test at Level 5.”
The college also caters for students more suited to alternative learning styles and environments.
Another successful program called Hands-On Learning (HOLS) proved a hit with students during 2019, its inaugural year.
A group mainly comprising boys undertook practical and creative projects one day per week, providing them with a wider choice of curriculum.
“HOLS students learn by doing and experiencing,” HOLS coordinator Katie Gardner said.
“On the day they devote to the program they are expected to be punctual, a cooperative team member, work within a timeframe and be able to listen to and follow instructions.
“Each student has an individual focus plan to help them improve on personal behaviour patterns, which is a key aim of the program.
“The boys who undertook HOLS in 2019 were highly engaged.
“They transformed an underused garden space in the college grounds, creating a pizza oven and outdoor settings, among other things.”
Mr Pollard said educational programs that recognised difference were reflective of the Catholic ethos.
“Catholic education holistically promotes the development of the human person as an individual in relationship with others, and these programs achieve this,” he said.
“We will continue to offer Learning Extension, HOLS and more to our students going forward.”
To find out more about MacKillop Catholic College, come to the College Open Day on Thursday 19 March.
Tours will be held from 8.30am to 10am and 3pm to 4.30pm.
Alternatively, you can book a tour via the website at www.mackillop.tas.edu.au.
Caption: Year 10 Learning Extension students Brooke Williams and Jode Brewster Jones with principal Eamonn Pollard.