Young people struggling with the mainstream education system will have the opportunity to achieve their Year 12 certificate when the Galilee School opens to Year 11 and 12 students in 2021 and 2022.
Galilee School is a registered, independent secondary school, designed specifically for disengaged and vulnerable young people and is currently catering for years 7 to 10 in the ACT and the surrounding areas for students who have struggled in the mainstream schooling environment.
As the only Special Assistance School in the Canberra region, the Galilee School provides training, skill development and job-ready support for students transitioning to the workforce or to further education.
There are two campuses in Canberra, one in Holder for Year 10 and one in Kambah for Years 7-9. The Kambah campus of Galilee School is undergoing a program of capital works to construct a purpose-built senior secondary college. Students starting Year 11 in 2021 will initially start at the Holder campus and continue in the purpose-built senior secondary college building at Kambah.
Galilee School Principal Tim McNevin said the decision to provide senior secondary education to students came from observing the outcomes for some of Galilee’s Year 10 graduates who have gone on to study at other Canberra senior secondary colleges for their Year 12 qualification, and become disengaged or dropped out.
“When we look at our data, we’re graduating an increasing number of Year 10 students, but what we notice is that when they transition out of the school, 60 to 70 per cent go on to a senior secondary college but after one or two terms a significant proportion of them are either disengaged or not learning in their environments,” Mr McNevin said.
“I think having Galilee School offer a senior secondary program is a game-changer – some of these students might not do Year 11 and 12 if they have to go into a mainstream environment.
“On a broad level, the research says the achievement of your Year 12 certificate is the greatest predictor of future success in life.”
Galilee School differs from other schools, providing support from youth workers, support staff, a school chaplain, and a highly experienced teaching team which ensures students remain engaged in learning and are prepared both academically and personally for success in their post-school lives.
“We also graduate some high performing young people from our Year 10 program whose challenges may be able to be supported in a mainstream college; in such circumstances, a good decision for them may be to go to a mainstream college where they have an established pathway to university.”
“For others, staying at Galilee might be a better decision or employment might be the best option. All of our students have a transition plan so they’re set up for a positive transition wherever they go after they leave Galilee school,” said Mr McNevin.
“We’re not offering tertiary entrance programs – we’re offering learning that’s pitched at an appropriate level for our learners, at an accredited level. We’ll be making the learning applied, so students can see the relevance of what they’re learning to their lives and their employment pathways.”
“At this stage we’ve limited enrolments to 25 students for Year 11 in 2021, staying true to our culture and identity, but also because of accommodation constraints,” said Mr McNevin.
Mr McNevin said the school is actively seeking opportunities to provide work placements in business and source training opportunities for students with other registered training providers.
“We hope to have strong partnerships for vocational placements, work experience and potentially undertaking training with other RTOs if our students choose industry pathways,” said Mr McNevin.
“We have existing partnerships with a number of Registered Training Organisations in Canberra including the CIT. There are other Registered Training Organisations we’d love to have partnerships with – we’re a small school so we need partnerships to open up opportunities to our young people.”
“We’re in a very exciting stage of our school’s history,” said Mr McNevin.
“There’s a lot of good, strong positive momentum.”
If you can assist Galilee School with work experience placements for students, or your Registered Training Organisation can provide opportunities for Galilee School students, contact the school on (02) 6293 6314, or email them.