Expanding our Social Impact: Galilee School

“We’re in a very exciting stage of our school’s history. There’s a lot of good, strong positive momentum.’ – Tim McNevin, Galilee School’s Principal.  

Galilee School Year 11 and 12 Expansion

And we couldn’t agree more with Tim. For the first time in its 20-year history, our Galilee School is opening its doors to Year 11 students, and it is a big moment.   

Until now, our school has been providing support to students in Years 7-10. As the only Special Assistance School in the Canberra region, we have been filling a unique niche by supporting the learning of vulnerable young teenagers, who struggle in mainstream school environments.   

After more than two years of planning and effort, we are proud to extend Communities@Work’s Galilee School’s scope of registration to include Years 11 and 12, to help vulnerable young people achieve their ACT Senior Secondary Certificate (Year 12 Certificate).   

The delivery of a Senior Secondary College program is a very significant undertaking for our school – many hours of thought, effort and administration have gone into reaching this milestone, with the support and guidance of many people on this journey.    

After more than two years of planning and effort, we are proud to extend Communities@Work’s Galilee School’s scope of registration to include Years 11 and 12, to help vulnerable young people achieve their ACT Senior Secondary Certificate (Year 12 Certificate).   

The delivery of a Senior Secondary College program is a very significant undertaking for our school – many hours of thought, effort and administration have gone into reaching this milestone, with the support and guidance of many people on this journey.    

How it all began  

Galilee School End of Year Assembly 2020

Photo: Galilee School End of Year Assembly 2020

Over two years ago, we identified that while we were able to impact young people’s lives until Year 10 positively, it wasn’t enough. Many of our Year 10 students were not thriving once they moved back into mainstream schools or went on to further training opportunities, despite leaving us with firm transitions in place.  

That realisation set the wheels in motion for careful planning and deliberation with the Communities@Work Board and eventually the ACT Government. There was a collective sigh of relief when we received the final Ministerial approval late last year for the Year 11-12 plans!   

Finally, in January 2021, we were pleased to write to Galilee School Year 10 students from 2020 and their families to advise that we had been successful in our application to establish a Senior Secondary College.   

Inside the Senior Secondary College   

Photo: First day of classes for Year 11 at Communities@Work Galilee School

The close-knit environment of the school is much smaller than mainstream colleges in the ACT. We have fewer than 40 students enrolled across Years 7-10 this year, and 19 enrolled to begin Year 11.   

This environment allows us to focus on students’ social and emotional well-being first, and their education needs second. It is the key to enabling these students to rediscover themselves as learners and grow into confident, capable young people with hope for the future.   

The school has a boutique learning program responsive to the individual student’s needs. It will provide students with significant support and adjustments as needed, whilst allowing them the opportunity to reach the significant milestone of achievement of the ACT Senior Secondary Certificate. It will enable teachers and support staff to work intensively with each student, delivering a program that meets the integrity of the standards set for Year 11 and 12 by the BSSS (ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies) and the  ACT Education Directorate.    

Moreover, we will be deliberate about seeking feedback from students and their guardians/families to deliver a program that meets student needs and provides them with a quality learning and development experience that will benefit them and continue them on their pathway to success.   

In addition to scheduled classes, students are also able to attend school for a supported study day each week. Each student can opt to attend school to access “study support” and complete their flexible classes or catch up on other work with school staff available to support. Additionally, we will also support students to undertake work experience, volunteering, or an ASBA or vocational training (where appropriate).   

The road ahead   

Galilee School Principal Tim mcNevin with student

Photo: Galilee School Principal Tim McNevin with student Oliver O’Shea

We are very excited about the year ahead and the future of the school in the longer term. Galilee School is the only Special Assistance School in the Canberra region. Galilee School provides training, skill development and job-ready support for students transitioning to the workforce or further educational opportunities.   

With our expansion to Year 11 and 12, we are also expanding our social impact for young people in the Canberra community.   

Oliver O’Shea, one of the new Year 11 cohort students, says, “Without Galilee School, I would not have graduated from Year 10. The support here is amazing. It’s a much quieter learning environment, and everyone’s pretty good friends with each other. I am looking forward to being part of the school’s first graduating Year 12 class next year!”  


Find out more about Galilee School’s impact in the Galilee School Annual Report (2019). 

For more information on the Galilee School Senior Secondary College (Years 11-12), visit this page.  


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