BILOELA’S HIGH SCHOOL CHOICE

Lo­cals given more op­tions with two se­nior schools

Central Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - Zhanae Con­way-Dodd Zhanae.Con­way-Dodd@cen­tral­tele­graph.com.au

BY the be­gin­ning of 2019 Biloela will have two high schools in the com­mu­nity cater­ing for older stu­dents.

Biloela State High School is cur­rently the only school which of­fers a cur­ricu­lum for Years 11 and 12 but Redeemer Lutheran Col­lege will join that list af­ter be­ing given the fi­nal tick of ap­proval by the non-state schools ac­cred­i­ta­tion board last Thurs­day.

The ex­pan­sion has been a long time com­ing with plans for a Year 11 and 12 cur­ricu­lum in the works since the col­lege ex­panded to in­clude a Year 10 cur­ricu­lum in 2014.

Over the past two years the push for the ex­ten­sion has ramped up with the school com­plet­ing a fea­si­bil­ity study in or­der for ap­provals to be given by both the school and church coun­cil district of­fice.

Long-time prin­ci­pal at Redeemer Col­lege, Jenni Krenske said the fea­si­bil­ity study in­ves­ti­gated how the col­lege would of­fer a broad cur­ricu­lum and ac­cess to qual­ity teach­ers.

“When we went through that ini­tial process of ex­pand­ing to sec­ondary school from pri­mary, a lot of par­ents wanted the whole pack­age from seven to 12 but at that time we weren’t in a po­si­tion of be­ing able to do that be­cause of the of­fer­ings you need to be able to make for year 11 and 12,” Mrs Krenske said.

“So we ini­tially ex­panded from Year 7 to 10 and as that grew we felt more con­fi­dent that we had a way to of­fer a re­ally broad cur­ricu­lum for Biloela with Years 11 to 12.”

The first Year 11 co­hort will be­gin at the col­lege at the start of next year with an in­for­ma­tion night hav­ing al­ready taken place on Mon­day.

“We’ve been plan­ning and were ready for it so that as soon as we had ap­proval we could ac­tu­ally move for­ward,” Mrs Krenske said.

“We had a very pos­i­tive re­sponse so we are go­ing to start with a fairly small co­hort of six to 10 stu­dents but they are able to choose a re­ally broad cur­ricu­lum area to study.”

The col­lege has also submitted ap­pli­ca­tions for fund­ing for a new Years 11 and 12 learn­ing precinct to be built.

“The Years 11 and 12 precinct is go­ing to go on top of our build­ings so it will be a top storey, very open-plan learn­ing cen­tre and cafe,” Mrs Krenske said.

“It will be the type of learn­ing cen­tre where you see peo­ple learn­ing around a cof­fee ta­ble in groups and fo­cus­ing on their par­tic­u­lar sub­jects.

“For the type of de­liv­ery we are look­ing at we need some­thing that is dif­fer­ent and gives some in­de­pen­dence and just says these guys are ma­ture adults.”

While Year 12 won’t be in­tro­duced at the col­lege un­til 2020, Mrs Krenske said it still gave par­ents op­tions to keep their chil­dren close by.

“There are two op­tions at the mo­ment, they can ei­ther go to board­ing school in Rock­hamp­ton or stay at the State High School lo­cally,” she said.

“I think as a mum and long-term com­mu­nity mem­ber it’s about pro­vid­ing more op­tions for Biloela

“Op­tions which al­low fam­i­lies to stay to­gether and a choice for fam­i­lies com­ing into this com­mu­nity.”

Year 10 stu­dent Jye Austin said the ex­pan­sion meant he no longer had to go away to board­ing school in Rock­hamp­ton.

“If we didn’t have Year 11 and 12 be­ing added I was go­ing to the Cathe­dral Col­lege in Rock­hamp­ton,” he said.

“It’s good be­cause now I can stay home and help out on the farm. I can be home ev­ery af­ter­noon in­stead of

just on week­ends.”

Year 9 stu­dent Molly Den­dle shared Jye’s sen­ti­ments say­ing she was happy she had the chance to stay close to home.

“I am def­i­nitely ex­cited they are ex­tend­ing be­cause I’ve been here for three years and my fam­ily are def­i­nitely happy that I can stay here with my other sib­lings and Redeemer will def­i­nitely help me work to­wards my fu­ture,” she said.

PHOTO: ZHANAE CON­WAY-DODD

HIGH SCHOOL TIME: Redeemer Lutheran Col­lege prin­ci­pal Jenni Krenske with Year 10 stu­dent Jye Austin and Year 9 stu­dent Molly Den­dle who are look­ing for­ward to com­plet­ing their se­nior years at the col­lege.

Col­lege prin­ci­pal Jenni Krenske with Jye Austin and Molly Den­dle.

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