This piece is written by Tim McNevin, Principal at Communities@Work’s Galilee School.
2019 was a year of momentum for Galilee School, with our highest ever student enrolment, the introduction of new programs, activities and curriculum subjects, a celebration of our 20th anniversary, opening of a new and dedicated STEM building for our Design Tech units, plans for capital works programs on both our Holder and Kambah campuses, and consultations with the government around a potential expansion to Years 11 and 12.
Indeed, we are looking at a potential expansion of Galilee School by way of establishing Galilee School Senior Secondary College (foreshadowed for opening in 2021-2022). It is an exciting time for the school as we seek to support increasing numbers of amazing young people from Canberra and the surrounding ACT region.
For a number of years now, we at Galilee School have identified that our Year 10 students were leaving us with firm transition plans in place, but many were not thriving once they moved back into mainstream schools or on to further training opportunities. Therefore, we are taking a step forward in the direction of a Special Assistance School that operates at senior secondary level in the ACT.
Our aim is to offer a boutique range of accredited (A) subjects to enable Year 11 and 12 students to achieve their ACT Senior Secondary Certificate. The boutique program will be responsive to individual needs, allow for significant support and adjustments as required, and provide room for working intensively with teachers and support staff.
Tim McNevin spending quality time with a Year 7 student
Regardless, I am confident that if the Year 11 and 12 intake proceeds as planned, the Senior Secondary College will continue to align with the Galilee School philosophy of a learner-centred, strengths-based, relationship-driven, and restorative approach that helps students realise their full potential.
We will continue to facilitate Individual Learning Plans, Positive Behaviour Support Plans, and wrap-around support to all students. We will also support students to develop their independence and maturity outside of the school environment.
The subjects we offer will be strategically identified with the support of the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies (BSSS) – we have made available more information on the learning journeys and proposed curriculum on the Galilee School Year 11 and 12 Senior Secondary College dedicated web page.
2019 saw us design a purpose-built student management system to better support our students and their families. We also improved our compliance and assurance systems to build depth and confidence in school operations. We encouraged our students to contribute to the culture of the school by inviting them to have input into the design of their learning spaces and by encouraging involvement in our Student Leadership Program.
Now, as we look forward to establishing a Senior Secondary College for Year 11 and 12, I acknowledge the amazing work done by all the staff of the school for making a real difference in our young people’s lives, and for striving to extend this positive impact beyond Years 7-10.
I would also like to acknowledge the amazing individual progress made by so many of our wonderful young people. The growth, the development, the learning that occurs in the young people attending Galilee School continues to be truly inspirational and is what really gives ‘heart’ to our work.
With students at the centre of what we do and with so much amazing growth and development happening in so many facets of the school, Galilee School is a school with momentum, and we hope to carry this momentum forward as plans for Year 11 and 12 continue to materialise.
Find out more about our school and our plans for the Galilee School Senior Secondary College here.