Mount Ridley P-12 College was founded in 2009 and is located in the City of Hume, one of Melbourne's rapid growth corridors. Situated on a 13.66 hectare site along Hampton Street in Craigieburn and approximately 26 kilometres north of the CBD, the College includes provision for both primary and secondary students and currently has an enrolment figure of 2450 students across the whole College. The current College's Student Family Occupation (SFO) level is 0.62.
The College offers curriculum provision and facilities for students in Prep to Year 12 governed by a single School Council. It incorporates an innovative and flexible design to meet new and changing pedagogical approaches to State education. Located adjacent to the Maternal and Child Health service developed by the Hume City Council, the College works closely with the Craigieburn Child and Family Centre in integrating learning and teaching programs so as to achieve a seamless transition into primary school. Adjoining recreation facilities established by the Hume City Council, Stockland, the AFL and the Calder Cannons Football Club are also providing opportunities for shared ventures. The College has developed a Community Garden project which is focussed on providing students of all ages with the opportunity of working with outside community groups for the purpose of learning, applying and sharing practical sustainability and healthy living skills.
The College has four Mini Schools:
- Early Years (Prep – Year 4);
- Junior Years (Years 5 – 7);
- Middle Years (Years 8 and 9); and
- Senior Years (Years 10 – 12).
The Principal Class team, assisted by Administration Staff, Leading Teachers and Learning Specialists, supports each Mini School.
Mount Ridley College is well serviced by a range of facilities. Buildings in the Early Years Mini School are based around Learning Neighbourhoods with creative, interactive and reflective spaces in each neighbourhood. There are Prep, Years 1 and 2 and Years 3 and 4 Learning Neighbourhoods. The creative spaces are used for small group work and for problem solving or project based work. A common space in the centre of each Learning Neighbourhood is used for larger group work and team teaching. An art learning area is also incorporated into each Neighbourhood. In addition, there is a separate music space, a multipurpose room and gymnasium that can be used for performing arts and indoor recreational activities. A canteen, library and designated administration area service the needs of the Early Years Mini School.
As part of the national Community Hubs project, the College operates a Community Hub on the Early Years site for the purpose of connecting refugee families with their community. Services being provided include English language programs; cultural heritage and diversity projects; and vocational training.
The Junior Years Mini School consists of two Learning Neighbourhoods incorporating art facilities, large interactive learning and teaching spaces, lecture and creative studios, computer labs and specialist science rooms. Years 5 and 6 students are exclusively accommodated in one of the Learning Neighbourhoods, whilst Year 7 students are located in the other Learning Neighbourhood. Each Learning Neighbourhood has flexible learning areas that promote creative, interactive and reflective practices. An administration area servicing the needs of the Mini School is based in one of the Learning Neighbourhoods, accommodating support and senior staff. Teaching teams are also located across the two Learning Neighbourhoods.
Students and staff in the Middle Years Mini School are accommodated in two Learning Neighbourhoods, along with a number of re-locatable general purpose classrooms. Specialist facilities in one of the Learning Neighbourhoods include a Science laboratory, computer suite and a combined Art and Technology room. In order to support students, the student management team is located in one of the Learning Neighbourhoods. Year 8 and 9 students are assigned to distinct Learning Neighbourhoods.
The Willandra building incorporates a Prep to Year 12 Student Pathways Centre and teaching and learning spaces for our Years 10 – 12 students. A Community Hub has also been incorporated into this facility to support and expand our numerous business and community alliances. An administration area is located in the building to service the needs of Years 8 to 12 students. An Assistant Principal, senior staff and teachers are on hand to support students. Adjacent to this building is our Languages and Professional Learning Centre, which services our Italian and Japanese Languages program, EAL Classes, Sister School partnerships and International Students Program along with professional development programs for staff.
Indeed, connecting our students to the world around them has been a major focus of our College. Our sister school Japanese program has been successfully operating for the last seven years. Students from Akatsuki Junior High School have visited our College on five occasions and students and staff from our College will visit Akatsuki in Japan for a fifth time this year. The sister school partnership program developed with the Liceo Scientifico Alessandro Volta in Sicily, Italy has been in operation since 2013. During this time our College has visited the Liceo Scientifico on three occasions for the purpose of enhancing student language skills; providing a rich cultural experience; and developing staff professional opportunities. Alongside this, we have developed a sister school partnership with Delhi Public School (DPS) in Noida, India. This has resulted in two visits from students and staff from Delhi. Members of our senior leadership team toured India and visited DPS at the start of this year for the purpose of investigating joint programs including staff professional learning exchanges and student learning opportunities. Late last year we worked closely with the Victorian Department of Education and Training for the purpose of expanding our sister school program to include partnerships in China. As a result, the College has signed reciprocal agreements with Chengdu Eldu Wisteria Primary School and Chengdu Shishi Tianfu High School in the Sichuan Province. A program including student cultural tours and staff professional learning exchanges is currently being developed.
Two full sized gymnasiums for Years 5 – 12 students; a synthetic grassed futsal playing field; undercover hard-court; two synthetic surfaced basketball courts; a grassed football/rugby oval; numerous hard-courts; and synthetic surfaced combined running track and soccer field allow our students to keep active. In recent years, the addition of a strength and conditioning gym provides both Middle and Senior Years students with a state of the art facility that supports the achievement of health and fitness goals.
For students interested in the arts, the Performing Arts centre includes a music studio, instrumental music learning pods, drama room, and exhibition gallery and stage area. Our Art and Technology facility (DICE Centre) boasts a series of external courtyard areas which allow students to undertake projects involving the use of materials such as paint, clay, wood, metal and fabric. A senior student art studio, lecture theatrette, exhibition area, and high-tech computer lab are also available for student use.
The College’s Main Administration building houses a student cafeteria, conference facility and 150 seat tiered auditorium. State-of-the-art hospitality/food technology classroom kitchens are directly linked into the cafeteria's commercial kitchen facilities so that it can be utilised as an added resource for students. A Resource Centre featuring a computer lab, a quiet reading area, internet style café, exhibition and display areas, and reference and research spaces provide students with a variety of learning opportunities.
Our Student Services and counselling facility provides students and their families with easy access to a range of services provided by specialist staff such as a medical doctor, psychologists, speech pathologists, youth workers, etc. A case management system is utilised to provide individualised assistance to students experiencing wellbeing issues.
The Prep to Year 12 nature of the College offers great advantages. Comprehensive curriculum and transition programs allow the College to cater for the needs of all students through their various stages of development. Indeed, there is an emphasis on the social, emotional, cultural and academic needs of all students in order to develop their full potential. Through a caring and safe environment, individual students are encouraged to think, reflect and develop into life-long learners so that they can take their place in society as informed, responsible and active citizens of the global community.
Select entry programs such as ACED (Acceleration, Challenge, Enrichment, Discovery) cater for capable and committed students who are able to meet its academic rigours, whilst the Elite Sports Program (ESP) has students accessing exclusive sports training and intensive conditioning. A Middle Years High Achievers Class and VCE High Achievers Club (MHAC) also provide opportunities for students to focus on achieving high levels of academic excellence. Alongside this, a range of programs including the Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD), English as an Additional Language (EAL), Oral Language, Language Support, Little Learners Love Literacy, Corrective Reading and Numeracy Intervention provide specialised assistance aimed at meeting the specific individual learning needs of students.
The College has expended considerable time and resources on building social capital, creating structures, refining practices and establishing effective staff teams. Flexibility, creativity and collaboration form the basis of our success and staff at the College are required to demonstrate a willingness to take on these approaches.
Mount Ridley College is defined by:
- A well balanced curriculum program that utilises purposeful and explicit teaching aimed at empowering students to be active learners, striving for personal excellence and ongoing growth and development;
- Challenging, innovative and creative approaches in learning and teaching practices that embrace the delivery of cross-curricula programs, including the extensive use of Applied Learning Tasks for Prep to Year 9 students and a full range of post compulsory pathways for Years 10 to 12 students ;
- Highly skilled, versatile, dedicated and caring staff committed to life-long learning and developing the full potential of each student through the implementation of an effective personalised learning program;
- The active participation of staff in TaLT (Professional Learning teams)
- Shared educational responsibility between parents, staff and students;
- Seamless transition for students as they progress through their various stages of development; and
- Effective channels of communication that promote trust, positive interactions and strong links with the wider community.