Mt Maria College, Petrie Open Day presentation VIDEO
Mt Maria College, Petrie Open Day presentation PODCAST
At the recent Mt Maria College, Petrie 2019 Open Day, Principal Wayne Chapman talked about a number of reasons why the college is best positioned to educate the next generation for opportunities and the workforce of the future.
“The college has done an authentic and deep amount of work into ensuring that’s done (delivering the national curriculum) in a really rigorous, intensive way for our young people,” Principal Chapman said in the video and podcast above.
“It’s really important because the new senior curriculum is based upon our students having access to the full Australian Curriculum from year seven to 10.
“So our teachers have written very detailed plans and they monitor and review those, every week in fact, so that we’ve got thorough and detailed coverage of the work that our students need to have the skills to be good members of society.
“But also to be successful in whatever pathway they might choose in year 11 and 12. And there are multiple pathways in year 11 and 12.”
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Mt Maria College, Petrie Open Day presentation transcript:
Welcome everyone. I’d just take this opportunity to welcome you to Mt Maria College at Petrie. My name’s Wayne Chapman, I’m the principal here. Started this year at the college and I’m certainly really enjoying it and I hope you get a feel for the community that we have here at the college this year. And I know there’s some familiar faces and some new faces here as well, so you’re all very welcome. I hope you get to enjoy a bit of our hospitality this afternoon and see the work that our young people do, which is really wonderful. I thought this afternoon I’d just speak a little bit about the college to give you an idea of how we operate and what we do and then also give you an opportunity to ask any questions that you might have at the end as well. So please be assured of our welcome and we hope you really enjoy this afternoon.
Firstly, I’d like to talk about the values that underpin our college. So we’re a Marist college and we’re part of Marist Schools Australia, which is an organisation that connects Marist Colleges right around Australia, and in fact right around the world. So the Marist Schools follow the lead of St Marcellin Champagnat, who started schools in France many, many, many years ago. And there’s a great connection and organisation of those schools around the world. And we’re certainly part of that. Some of our school values are being present to each other. Simplicity. So we try and uncomplicate things, which is quite challenging in current days. Develop a love of work. So we want our young people to be industrious, to try their best, to put their best effort into the work that they’re doing. And family values. And I noticed certainly when I first came into the college, there’s a real sense of family and community here and I hope that you feel that this afternoon and this evening as well.
In terms of learning and teaching, our college operates with the Australian curriculum from year seven to 10. And the college has done an authentic and deep amount of work into ensuring that’s done in a really rigorous, intensive way for our young people. It’s really important because the new senior curriculum is based upon our students having access to the full Australian Curriculum from year seven to 10. So our teachers have written very detailed plans and they monitor and review those, every week in fact, so that we’ve got thorough and detailed coverage of the work that our students need to have the skills to be good members of society. But also to be successful in whatever pathway they might choose in year 11 and 12. And there are multiple pathways in year 11 and 12. Certainly when I went to school you probably went to uni or you did a trade and you left after grade 10. That was sort of your options then.
Now there’s just multiple ways to move through senior schooling, so we have students now who are aiming for university. We’ve got students now who want to go to TAFE. We’ve got students who are doing school based apprenticeships and trainee ships. We’ve got students in our Senior Vocational Access program, which is an alternative program. And they’re some of the students that welcomed you into this very room and you can see some of the work that they do in this space as well. We’ve got some students who will start university courses while they’re at school. So they’re able to do one or two university subjects while they’re in year 11 and 12. And we’re very lucky. I think we’ll be the only school in Queensland where you could, just about, where you could walk from school to a lecture and back again. So… and we just walk straight up through Our Lady of the Way and cross Anzac Avenue and be in the lecture theatre in about 10 minutes.
So it will be really easy for our students to do those processes. And it means then that they get early entry and guaranteed entry into university at the end of that as well. So that’s for students who would like to do that. We also have many students who are in a school-based traineeship or apprenticeship where they’re working one day a week and coming to school other days. Or they’re doing some training for example at TAFE, and then come into school for the rest of the week. So there’s just so many possibilities in grade 11 and 12 now, and all of those possibilities are available to our students here. And because we’re growing, it’s certainly possible for us to offer more and more subjects as the students do get into year 11 and 12. so it’s a really nice time for the college with that significant growth that we’ve had.
We’ve got about 420 students here this year. So by secondary school standards we’re very small, and that’s a really nice part of the school. So I’ve been here for six months and I can just about name every student. There’s a few I might just have to check, but we get to know them really quickly. And certainly the teachers who’ve been here for some time know the students very well. And they know their strengths. They know their areas that they have to work on. And they know what to do, how to bring students to be their very best. So it’s a very relational place where we develop relationships with the students and with families so that we get to know each other and help each other develop as much as we can.
We’ve got a really strong focus on technology in the college. You’ll see that the students each have a MacBook computer, so they commence in year seven. They’re provided with a MacBook that’s part of your school fees. They keep that for year seven, eight and nine and then they get a new one for year 10 and keep that for year 10, 11 and 12. So that’s theirs to take home, they charge up each night, do their homework on it, do their research on it, bring it to school, ready to go the next day. So it’s an important learning tool. It’s not the only tool that we use for learning, but it’s a cutting edge piece of technology that they can use.
All of the schoolwork is stored on a service called One Note, where the students can see their class notes and the presentations and videos and information that their teachers present to them each day. They can see that at night and you can see that as well as a parent and see what they’re up to and how well they’re going and see the feedback that we’re getting. So that’s an important part of the college. You’ll notice all of the classrooms have interactive white boards or projectors, and the whole campus is wireless internet, including our External Learning Centre, which is up in Our Lady of the Way there, behind the church.
Sport and co-curricular are really important parts of life here at the college. We know that if young people are active physically, it enacts part of their brains that make them active academically. It’s a really important connection there. Important health connection as well for them. So we’re part of a sporting organisation called SECA Sport. And for students who want to compete in an inter school way, they can go to SECA on Wednesday afternoons and there’s a whole range of sports that we participate in. From your traditional cross country athletic swimming, to Rugby Sevens, Rugby Union, Rugby League, Netball, a whole range of sports. And we had our first season of SECA Sport last season, the first round of that, and half of our teams won premiership. So we’re really pleased with that. Not that winning is everything, but we want the students to be competitive and to do well. And they certainly did that, which was very, very pleasing.
Another important part of the college is our service to the community. And it’s part of our Marist values, that we go and serve those in need, and there’s a few opportunities for that for all students in the school. One of those is in the Care to Cook process, and you would have been offered some biscuits at the front as you walked in today. They’re cooked by students. So each week groups of students volunteer to stay after school and do some baking. And then those are provided to various charity organisations in the local community to support the work that they do.
There’s also a breakfast club program which operates where students from each house travel to Redcliffe and serve the homeless people some meals, on a regular basis. That happens every Thursday of the year, right through the school holidays. So it’s something that we’re very proud of and there’s many, many other opportunities to contribute and help those in need. And they’re certainly some of the regular systematic ones.
Our facilities, we’re very lucky in that over the last few years the entire college has been redeveloped and culminating in the building which we opened last Monday, which if you haven’t been through it yet, you’ll get a chance to have a walk through there. And it’s just a wonderful facility. So the Cafe there is industry standard. It looks like a very nice restaurant or cafe somewhere and we are able to use that for serving students. But also, we will be able to deliver programs of learning where students who are doing the Certificate in Kitchen Operations, or students who are doing barista courses and so on, can actually work in an industry standard kitchen and industry standard cafe to do that work and do that learning as well, so…
That’s really important. We got new bathrooms in there, we’ve got three new science laboratories which are downstairs. I’m sure you’ll get a chance to have a look through those and some of the work that teachers are doing there. Three new classrooms and the new Learning Centre and Pastoral Centre upstairs. So it’s just a wonderful facility that’s really the hub of our school. And you would have seen the students playing music on the deck out there. So it’s going to be a real celebration space for us. And it’s really important, that physical environment, if we make that nice for students then they’re able to engage in learning in an adult way. So that’s what we’re trying to do with them as well.
I guess our points of difference from other colleges around the place. We are small, so we get to know students. We’re very well staffed. We have incredibly high staffing levels, which means we have really small classes. So our average class size in the school is around 11 students across the school. We have some classes which are smaller than that and some that are bigger. But generally we’re very much smaller classes than any of the other colleges that are around here. And that’s because we can get to… That’s what, so we can get to know students really well. So that’s a real point of difference for us. We know that young people are able to be successful if they feel safe and secure. So we’re really clear on our expectations with the students. We’re really clear on what the processes and procedures are, so that they feel safe and confident to engage in the learning process. And that’s really important for all of our young people. It’s common sense, but we’re really clear about that with our young people.
And I have to say that after six months here, the level of care from the teaching staff and the level of work that they put into the planning for our young people is second to none, from all the schools that I’ve worked in. There’s this incredible intense amount of work that goes into making sure that the learning that we do in the classroom is catered specifically for the various needs of the students in the class. And we certainly have been recognised in Brisbane Catholic Education for the work that we’ve done around that. So it’s a really important part of the way we work. I’m really proud of our teachers for the way that they really care for our young people, so… That’s a quick snapshot of life here at Mt Maria College at Petrie, and you’re certainly very welcome this evening, and I’ll be really happy to answer any questions that people might have.