Kooweerup Secondary College is a Year 7 –12 co-educational school of 965 students on one campus. It was established in 1957 as a regional College and draws students from over 20 primary schools in a vast geographical area in the Shire of Cardinia and City of Casey. The majority of students come to the school via the 15 school buses provided by DET. Students are grouped horizontally in year level class groups from Years 7 to 12, although students in Years 10 to 12 can access studies from more than one level. Since 2002 we have also run the Select Entry Accelerated Learning (SEAL) program for gifted students in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 which is now known as the S.E.A.L. Academy program.
The primary focus of Learning at Kooweerup SC is to help all students develop a pathway suited to their needs and talents, which then allows them to strive for their personal best and move with confidence and understanding into the community and the future. The College values personal best, respect, responsibility, fairness, honesty and integrity. We want our students to be responsible and independent young people who value lifelong learning; to develop social skills, especially resilience and compassion, so that they can be sensitive to the needs of others, make appropriate decisions and have the courage to speak up; and to have the ability to effectively use digital technologies for learning and communication and also the knowledge and understanding to respond to its challenges.
An integral aspect of our 21st century curriculum has been the incorporation of the New Pedagogies for Deep Learning framework and the use of the key 21ST century competencies. We are now into the second year of this program with the 6 Cs being progressively embedded throughout the curriculum.
Student Learning and Wellbeing is supported through Learning Communities at each level and the vertical House system. A new building program was completed in 2015 which has facilitated the creation of the Learning Communities which have a strong focus on community identity, learning teams, supportive relationships and the 6 Cs. The College looks forward to getting approval for the next stage of our Masterplan and future building works.
Student leadership, teamwork and citizenship are encouraged through the Student Representative Council, community work with local organisations, the Advance program, the Duke of Edinburgh program and the use of student leaders to drive assemblies and co curricular activities. An extensive camps program is also made available to all students. In past years school groups have also travelled to the UK, France and Italy and in 2016 we have a group going to China for 6 weeks. The College is particularly proud of the way in which staff and students work together as teams to support these and other activities.
The College enhances student engagement through providing a significant range of co curricular activities and is particularly well known for its Performing Arts program. There is an extensive instrumental music program which includes primary school students, four bands, an annual House Music Festival and an annual Musical. The College has won numerous awards for its Performing Arts program. Sporting activities also feature very strongly at the school and the College actively supports full participation in inter school sport and the HPV program.
Kooweerup SC has very strong links with its feeder primary schools and has been part of a network with these schools for over 30 years. The network is known with pride as the SWAMP Network because of its geographical origins. While the College’s size has grown over the years, the school sees itself very much as a ‘community’ focussing on the community of students, staff and parents – and actively seeking opportunities to contribute to, and engage with, the community beyond its boundaries.
THE LEARNING COMMUNITIES
Students in each year level are allocated to the Learning Community for that level. Each community has a team of teachers dedicated to working with the student cohort through team teaching and collaboration. They are led by a Learning Community Leader and two assistants. For students and parents these three people should be their first point contact if there are questions or concerns.
Each Thursday after period 2 there is a 20 minute session for LEARNING COMMUNITY TIME which can be used for assemblies, presentations or mentor groups.
THE HOUSE SYSTEM
The College has a HOUSE SYSTEM which originated in the 1950s. It is one of the key features of the College’s pastoral care system. Students are grouped vertically, from Years 7 to 12, and work together to support each other, their House and the College.
- Students are allocated to one of the four Houses: BASS (blue), FLINDERS (red), MAWSON (green) and STURT (gold). Families are placed in the same House and where parents have a past connection to the College, their children are placed in the same House as their parents, continuing the tradition.
- Each student belongs to a House Group within one of these Houses.
- Each House Group is made up of students from Years 7 to 12 and meets each Tuesday for 20 minutes.
- Every month all the students in each House meet for House Assembly where they discuss whole school issues and forthcoming House events.
- The House system is used to actively promote student leadership and the senior House Captains and Vice Captains take a leading role in running assemblies and organising House competitions and activities.
The House system is also used as the foundation of our co-curricular activities such as Sport and the Performing Arts.
The College belongs to the ‘Swamp network’ and the ‘Cardinia Network’ – two collections of schools in the region which mutually support each other through a number of common activities and sharing of resources. These clusters strongly promote links between the secondary college and its feeder primary schools.