The Catholic school system is ‘different’ and, being a faith community, an integral part of the Church. Catholic schools deliver the Australian curriculum as do all other schools, with the added learning area of religious education, which discusses important moral values, ethos, and complex metaphysical concepts, which is also integrated into the life and fabric of the schools. Caroline Chisholm Catholic College has been a role model for schools and colleges which aspire to be a good Catholic school that nurtures the intellectual, physical, emotional, and mental development of its students and the community as a whole.
Caroline Chisholm Catholic College was established in 1997 and is dedicated to learning excellence in a faith-filled, engaged, and supportive environment. At this illustrious school, students enjoy a single-sex education in their formative years at separate all-girls and all-boys campuses for Years 7 to 9, before moving to the senior co-ed campus for Years 10 to 12. At Caroline Chisholm Catholic College, the values of faith, acceptance, compassion, and excellence (FACE) are practiced daily and contribute to building the college legacy.
The College’s mission is to educate and prepare their students to be the best they can be in a faith-filled and inclusive community.
The College envisions to be the leader in learning excellence in their community.
The infrastructure of Caroline Chisholm Catholic College, as remarked below, is designed specifically for the holistic development of their students. Christ the King (all-girls campus) caters for Year 7 to 9 girls in an inclusive, focused learning environment. The facilities at Christ the King include a state-of-the-art food technology area, dedicated Arts Centre, a new science wing, technology spaces, as well as bright, welcoming classrooms with a focus on engaged and active learning.
The College has a new performing and visual arts building, St Madeleine Centre, which opened in 2019 and houses music, drama, dance, and other subjects. Students are well supported by the dedicated staff in and out of the classroom via a breakfast club, homework club and free after school tutoring, as well as through a range of co-curricular activities.
St John’s (all-boys campus) caters to Year 7 to 9 boys. Here, students are challenged and encouraged to be the best they are called to be. The facilities at St John’s include a modern and well-equipped library, with a range of break out spaces for use by students in and out of class, newly refurbished and welcoming classrooms with access to data projectors, modern science labs as well as a number of specialised classrooms for art and technology subjects.
Sacred Heart is an inclusive senior co-educational campus educating Year 10, 11 and 12 students in a focused learning environment. It offers a range of learning opportunities and pathways including VCE, VCAL and VET, where each student is valued and encouraged to aspire for excellence.
Garema-Dumont is Caroline Chisholm Catholic College’s 56-acre outdoor and environmental education facility located in a native bush land setting on the Moorabool River near Steiglitz in the Brisbane Ranges. The Moorabool River provides opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, rafting, and swimming. The property also has high and low ropes courses, a rock-climbing tower, archery field, bush tucker garden as well as a range of mountain biking tracks. On-site facilities include a dining hall and kitchen, amenities with toilets and hot showers as well as a barbeque and campfire area.
The College is the perfect offering of both single-sex and co-education. The early years of secondary school in their single sex environments allow students to focus on establishing study routines, while building their learning confidence and addressing their personalised development needs. The adjustment to the co-ed pattern later is seamless in many ways because the students have experienced some co-education classes whilst in years 7-9. They will have also grown in confidence and their resilience will have developed. This allows them the opportunity to build on skills taught in the younger year levels.
Well-planned study groups support a rich learning environment with a focus on the engagement of all students, with regular lunchtime activities delivered by passionate and dedicated staff.
The wellbeing of students is central to their experience at the College. All programs of the College are well resourced and represent a high priority to promote the personal, psychological, and emotional growth of their young people. The Wellbeing Team includes three full-time counsellors, bilingual support, refugee and outreach coordinators, parent liaison and primary school links officer, as well as partnerships with local and state organisations to support the students across all years.
The college has a proud tradition of offering a robust number of learning programs, in addition to a core curriculum and co-curriculum options. Students in year 7 study a broad range of subjects including music (keyboard and guitar), science, textiles, food technology, drama, visual arts, design and technologies and languages (Italian and Japanese). Students are given innumerable opportunities to make personalised choices at years 9 and beyond.
Among its many achievements, Caroline Chisholm Catholic College was recently awarded an ‘Employer of Choice’ award, the first and only to be awarded to a Catholic school.
The Motivational Force
Anne Maire Cairns, Deputy Principal Staff, has been the motivating force behind retaining standard of the school along with her dedicated fleet of staff.
She has been committed to Catholic education for 25+ years and has been privileged to work in a variety of Catholic schools, including her current school, Caroline Chisholm Catholic College, Braybrook. “I believe the driving focus in schools should always be about improving student learning and experiences. Student learning, growth and improvement are central motivators every day I come to work. Engaging and connecting with students, staff and our wider community are critical to the success of the young people we journey with daily,” she shared.
Educators that Care
In aiding students, the college has a Learner Mentor Program to assist students in the setting of personal and academic goals in all subject areas. The Learner Mentors are the first point of influence and contact in the wellbeing of students and foster personal responsibility for learning while providing each student with the necessary balance of support and challenge to allow for personal growth as a learner. Students maintain the same Learner Mentor for three years.
The Learner Mentor Program acts as the foundation for facilitating relationships between students, staff, and parents/carers. Learner Mentors serve as coaches, mentors, guides and role models. They facilitate an open relationship with the aim of assisting the student holistically and academically.
The college provides a wide variety of opportunities across the academic curriculum, including VCE, VET and VCAL programs, as well as a comprehensive co-curricular program, spanning sport, music, visual and performing art, drama, technology, maths, languages, and faith in action.
The students’ academic results are strong; 95% of Year 12 students have gone onto tertiary education, and in 2020, the College DUX achieved an ATAR score of 98.7 and the Proxime Accessit 98.5. Several students were successful in achieving scholarships to leading universities.
Caroline Chisholm Catholic College’s leadership is constantly seeking out innovative ways to deliver a robust curriculum to prepare the students for the future.