The next exciting step in your daughter's education begins in Senior School, where many challenges and rewards lie ahead and where she will begin to make decisions and choices that will affect her life beyond school. Here intellectual and personal growth and academic achievement are of primary importance.
St Mary's vision includes a commitment to providing an innovative curriculum that equips girls for future study, life and work in the 21st century. The broad but rigorous curriculum recognises students' wide spectrum of abilities, interests and ambitions and embraces innovation in classroom practices and the integration of technology. The Senior School comprises over 950 students from Years 7 to 12.
Year 7 provides an introduction to the Senior School, allowing girls a unique introduction to the opportunities and challenges Senior School brings, while still retaining the core pastoral care a central classroom provides.
A balance between the challenges of specialist subject areas and pastoral care within the classroom make this an invaluable step in the learning journey. Support is given to every student in the development of personal organisation and time management, research and presentation skills, which combine to produce independent, life-long learners. The reasoning behind this model is that we believe that knowing one teacher especially well has considerable benefits for this age group.
The Learning Programme
Year 7s are members of the Senior School and involved in all aspects of Senior School life. In addition to the core subjects of Mathematics, English, Science, Humanities and Social Sciences and Technology and Enterprise, taught with their classroom teachers, the girls study Art, Debating, Drama, Health Education, Languages Other Than English (LOTE), Library, Literature and Research, Music, Physical Education and Religious Education with specialist teachers. Interactive whiteboards are also an important tool in assisting with the Year 7 teaching and learning programme.
Developing the Whole Person
Year 7 is a year in which the girls try new things, make new friends, learn new skills and find their own voice all within the nurturing environment this unique year provides. Year 7 at St Mary's includes six classes of girls and the new Year 7 facilities include seven classrooms, an IT laboratory, a Science laboratory and the Learning Support Unit.
The beginning of the year is marked with an outdoor education camp which provides an opportunity for everyone to get to know each other. Later in the year the girls travel to Canberra and Sydney as the culmination of their Year 7 studies.
Girls can explore their interests and develop their talents in the vibrant extracurricular programme of sport, music, dance, drama and after-school clubs.
In Years 8 to 10, girls study a core curriculum in English, Mathematics, Science and Humanities and Social Sciences subjects. Year 8s follow a compulsory programme, which includes studying one or two languages of French, German, Italian or Japanese. In Years 9 and 10, more individual choice is offered with a variety of elective subjects that are enriching, intellectually stimulating, useful and enjoyable. Dance, Electronics, Marine Science, Creative Crafts and Digital Design are just some on offer.
Extension programmes challenge academically gifted students, many of whom experience outstanding success in statewide and national competitions. There is also additional support from specialised staff, who work towards improving skills in literacy and numeracy in a positive, productive and encouraging environment. In most cases, both programmes contribute to an enhanced overall performance. Career education and work experience are aspects of the Year 10 course, which contribute greatly to personal development and an increasing maturity.
A wide range of Year 11 and 12 courses, from Physics to French, Economics to Physical Education Studies, Accounting to Drama, provide for students planning to pursue a university degree. Other courses, such as Food Science and Business Management prepare students for destinations such as TAFE, for employment, traineeships, specialist colleges and for life in an ever-changing world. In addition, students can participate in CareerLink, a selective programme in association with employers, which allows Year 12 students to gain workplace training one day a week and provides an excellent foundation for prospective employment.
Computer technology is an integral part of the curriculum in many study areas. A modern Information Technology Centre, comprising the automated Senior School Library and the Technology and Enterprise Department, with Windows and Apple Mac laboratories linked to the Internet, is a centre of activity within the school.