Mt Maria College Petrie recently held an Enrolment Information Session, where they outlined why the coeducational high school is a good choice to consider for a child finishing primary school.
Principal, Kerry Maher focused on the academic pathways, including the benefits enjoyed by the close proximity between the college and UniSC Moreton Bay, Queensland’s newest university campus.
“And for those students looking to go to university, we certainly offer a tertiary pathway, an ATAR pathway,” Principal Maher said in the video above.
“And embedded across all of these subjects is the 21st century skills in preparation for what lies beyond.
“Our location to the University of the Sunshine Coast makes it ideal for our students who are looking to study university courses whilst they’re with us in year 11 and 12.
“In fact, we’ve had a number of students being very successful in this regard.”
Also, during the information session, the principal explained some of the more unique aspects of the college.
“As part of our mantra for high expectations for our learners, our experienced teachers are able to deliver excellence in learning and teaching through a dynamic and responsive curriculum designed to meet the needs of our learners,” Principal Maher explained.
“I want you to know that we are student focused.
“We even have developed a wellbeing program that we implemented last year.
“This is designed for students in year seven and 10 and meets the various needs that they have at these stages.
“So, in year seven, our wellbeing program is about developing that sense of self.
“Who they are as learners, about getting to know themselves, their strengths, and, of course, a sense of belonging to this wonderful community.
“Whereas towards the Year 10 program, we are looking at pathway options.
“Their strengths and their interests in readiness for what lies beyond when they leave us.
“So, this is an important aspect that we find makes us different to other schools in terms of that wellbeing program.”
Mt Maria College Petrie is currently encouraging enrolment enquiries and applications, which can be submitted on the college enquiry page.
Mt Maria College Enrolment Information Session Transcript:
Good evening. My name’s Kerry Maher, I’m the acting principal of Mount Maria College Petrie. It’s a privilege to be able to welcome you to our 2023 enrolment information evening. We will have the opportunity to listen to the many options available for students at our college. You may have a student in year three, four, or possibly older, and considering the many options available for secondary education. As a parent and principal, I understand that you don’t make these decisions lightly and you are looking for the very best for your student, so I consider this an honour that you might be looking at us in this regard.
Tonight, is certainly an opportunity to gain some insights into our unique college, what we can offer in terms of their learning, wellbeing, extracurricular and leadership opportunities, and equally important, hear about the many pathways on offer here at the college. I’ll also share other aspects of our college that may be of interest. If you have any questions throughout tonight’s information session, please drop them in the comments box. My leadership team are here waiting to take your questions and will respond. Also know we offer principal tours every third Tuesday of the month. You can simply go onto our Mount Maria College Petrie public website, select enrolments, and book a tour, or simply call the college. They’d be happy to help and make that booking for you. Our college motto is ‘Lead by Example’. It was only the other day when I had the principal’s assembly that I talked to the students and the community about what it truly means to lead by example, giving them the insights into what it means to me and how, as a principal, I lead by example.
Really embedded with our motto, is the college mantra. We speak of high expectations, perseverance, and resilience. These are important attributes for our students to be able to go out when they leave us and make a difference in the world, knowing that this world is forever changing and there are the skills that will carry them on well into the future. We are extremely fortunate that we have a dedicated and committed team of staff who support us to deliver excellence in learning and teaching.
Of course, I’m extremely proud of our college leadership team, Rachel Fletcher, our deputy principal, who looks after student wellbeing. Sally Carr, our assistant principal for learning and teaching. Cameron Hogg, our assistant principal, identity and mission, and our business manager, Donna Appleman, who looks after our wonderful facilities at this college and the finances. We are very proud of the fact that Mount Maria College Petrie, forms part of Marist Schools Australia, which is part of an international network of schools across the globe, which provides many services, learning opportunities and leadership opportunities for our students. We know that positive student teacher relationships are crucial for successful learning and wellbeing outcomes for our students, so much so, that it forms part of our annual plan and our explicit improvement agenda. We are a restorative practise school, so this forms part of our practises, both inside and outside the classroom.
As part of our mantra for high expectations for our learners, our experienced teachers are able to deliver excellence in learning and teaching through a dynamic and responsive curriculum designed to meet the needs of our learners. I want you to know that we are student focused. We even have developed a wellbeing program that we implemented last year. This is designed for students in year seven and 10 and meets the various needs that they have at these stages. So, in year seven, our wellbeing program is about developing that sense of self. Who they are as learners, about getting to know themselves, their strengths, and, of course, a sense of belonging to this wonderful community. Whereas towards the Year 10 program, we are looking at pathway options. Their strengths and their interests in readiness for what lies beyond when they leave us. So, this is an important aspect that we find makes us different to other schools in terms of that wellbeing program.
At Mount Maria College Petrie, we offer the vertical house system. So, we have four houses, Kolbe, MacKillop, Champagnat and de Marillec House. And they’re designed in vertical, meaning, that there’s 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12, all in that one house. What that provides for year seven students is a peer support within their PC. So, the student in year 12 is able to just support them, not only in the PC class, but it’s, for me, a face that they can go to, out in the yard, if they’re lost or need some direction, so it’s a wonderful opportunity in that regard. So, when students enter our college in year seven, they have a set program where they meet their core teachers and electives. So, our core subjects at the college are religion, English, maths, science, history and health and PE.
And then they have the opportunity to study all our electives, which forms part of the Australian curriculum. So that includes information technology, design technologies: food and fibre, design technologies: materials, where they have a wonderful opportunity to experience design, they interact with 3D printers, laser cutters, and the design process, and they will bring home a number of products through this process. And then, of course, there’s the arts. We have visual arts, media arts, music, and drama. They’ll also study economics and business and civics and citizenship. That forms their program for the year.
What we’re most proud of, is the fact that we can offer multiple pathways that meets the needs of all our learners. So, what that looks like in our secondary phase is that we have general subjects, applied subjects, and many vet subjects on offering, including vet in schools. And for those students looking to go to university, we certainly offer a tertiary pathway, an ATAR pathway. And embedded across all of these subjects is the 21st century skills in preparation for what lies beyond. Our location to the University of the Sunshine Coast makes it ideal for our students who are looking to study university courses whilst they’re with us in year 11 and 12. In fact, we’ve had a number of students being very successful in this regard.
For those students not looking to go to university, we have a depth and breadth of vocational education and training opportunities here at the college. This includes the Cert two in engineering pathways. It’s most popular with our students. They develop the skills and capacity to create their own race car that they do get to race around the track. New this year is our certificate three in remote pilot. This is also introduced to our college as a future option. We see this as a viable pathway for students or a career pathway in terms of having a certificate to fly the drone. We have certificate three in sports and recreation, certificate three in hospitality, all of these subjects are an offer here at our college. And then, of course, our connection with the TAFE and school program. Many of our students study these courses externally through South Bank TAFE or Bracken Ridge, Caboolture, in nursing, in a wide range of subjects.
We see ourselves equipping our students for what lies beyond. We’re always looking to the future, so what our students need when they leave us. So, we talk about those employability skills, communication, teamwork, problem solving, all of those 21st century skills that employers are looking for when they leave our college. I suppose the fact that we’re a part of Mara Schools Australia also increases our opportunities for our students for leadership, not just within our school, but the opportunity to meet all the other Mara Schools in the Queensland region. So, what you are seeing here is a photo where our students across all Mara Schools in Queensland came together as a leadership opportunity and they also met with the schools. So, this is a very important part of our college, with many students have gone on to these leaderships through this program. We also provide many other leadership opportunities for students, including the Student Representative Council.
So, we also recognise that we need to develop the leadership skills of our students in year seven to nine, as well as the senior phase 10 to 12. So, in this student representative council, we have formed two groups. We have this year seven to nine, where they have the opportunity to share their views with their peers, and then we have the senior program for 10 and 12, who then come together once a fortnight in the hope that they can take on the many opportunities that they see around the college and to support their peers to do the same. So that’s a great opportunity for our students across seven to 12. We recognise our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island students here at the college, it forms important part of who we are. So, we have an indigenous engagement program, which includes our participation officer, Crystal, who works with our students along with Cameron Hogg, to provide them with the opportunity to lead, not only for the school, but for their culture. And we have many immersion programs on offer. In fact, this year, our students are going to Darwin.
We’re a Catholic school that promotes Mara’s values. So, what’s important to us is the ability for our students to see the needs within their community or in the wider community. So, part of that is our community service programs. One particular one that we’ve taken on is the Breakfast Club. No, it’s not breakfast time, it’s actually in the afternoon. Every Thursday afternoon, our college has made a commitment to this wonderful organisation to go and support them to feed the homeless in the nearby Redcliffe area. We see that as an important part of who we are as a community. So, we do this in the pastoral care houses. So, their pastoral care teacher will take two or three students and they go to the organisation, they help feed the homeless that are there, and it just provides another opportunity for our students to see that they can make a difference in the world. And this is one small aspect of that.
But we also support a number of other community service or opportunities for our students. We have Mara Solidarity that supports disability students overseas, those on the margins, we look after St. Vincent de Paul. We have, of course, [inaudible 00:12:56] Caritas coming to Easter. So, there’s a range of opportunities that we provide. We support Cancer Foundation. There’s a number of opportunities for our students to see that they can make a difference. I mentioned, earlier, about the importance of relationships and those positive relationships between staff and students. We find that one of the best ways to develop those relationships is through our extracurricular programs. So, we offer a number of those. We have, just recently, introduced, again, the eSports. So, our students take part in a competition across Queensland. In terms of eSports, our students are practising hard, here, together at lunchtimes, with the teachers that are really that way, interested in those sort of eSports.
We have theatre, sports, we do music, chess, and, of course, the seeker sports. So, Seeker Sport is an opportunity for those students that love to engage in sport, to have competition with other Catholic schools in our area. So, we have Seeker North, we have Seeker South, and we also have the carnivals or the gala days where these two competitions come together. So, throughout the whole entire year, our students can participate in these competitions. They have the opportunity for district sports through the Queensland Schools program and states.
We have many representatives in swimming and athletics here at our college. Part of our school program is, of course, our Carnivals. So, we have our swimming carnivals, our cross countries athletics carnivals, and in this regard, we emphasise participation. We talk, here at the college, about presence and participation. So, for our students, even those students that don’t really enjoy swimming, we have a variety of activities that they can engage with to show that house spirit, earn the points for their team, and that really, we also feel, that that develops their resilience, their perseverance, and that sense of team and belonging to the team. We also have a wide range of art and music options here at the college. This year, we actually have our performing arts evening. We have our showcase in term two. This is where the houses get to compete against one another, not in sport, but actually in music. So, it’s a very competitive time. I believe I get to judge the winner this year, for the best house.
Last year, it was the musics of the seventies, the eighties, the nineties, where they would perform these, have a lot of acting, so we are really looking forward to that. We have a very creative performing arts group of teachers that really wish to engage their students in that area. And of course, media arts and film and television and new media is also a part of the arts program here at the college. So, they have the opportunity, not only to study it as a subject from year seven, right through to film, television and new media in year 11 and 12, but they have the opportunity to work with the teachers. Some get to take photos or film of our various sporting activities.
As I mentioned earlier, we have, in the senior phase of learning, the certificate two in engineering pathways. So, the industrial technologies and design is also a wonderful opportunity for our students from year seven, right through to the senior phase. It provides that critical thinking, the creative thinking, the opportunity to create their designs and bring to life what they have designed, whether that’s with the 3D printer or the laser cutter, or using their hands with the tools, because that’s also very important.
Our formula student is a program in our cert two in engineering pathways where students get to design and create their own car. They actually learn the skills of how to weld and create the components that would make up a race vehicle, and they learn that they need to be precise. So, there’s a lot of quality control insurance that goes on. We have all the equipment required to run this program. Even technology comes into it. We have an iPad, so students, like they would in the workplace, have to log in and log out, they have to show that they’ve created the 20 components.
It gets marked off, and not only do they come out with their certificate two in engineering, but they come out with a range of skills working as part of the team, being able to weld and all the tools for metalwork. So, it’s a wonderful program which has many pathways for the future. At the heart of our college, and it literally is in the centre of our college, is our college cafe. So, it is literally a cafe. It’s beautifully designed. On Fridays, we have Fun Fridays where students have musical performances, stand-up comedies, karaoke going on. But the cafe itself provides a wonderful range of food options. So, it actually opens at 7:30 in the morning. For students, on a Thursday morning, we run tutorial sessions, that’s very popular. Students come in at 7:30, they grab their bacon and egg McMuffin or their hot chocolate, they eat, and they go in and join the lessons with their teachers at 7:45.
So, you know you can send them, they’ll have a wonderful meal before they go into the tutorial sessions. But literally, they line up. So, they line up, they walk in, they take their drinks out of the cabinet, they take their hot food out of the hot food box, wide range of selection there, and then they go to the cashier, they can use their phones, they can use their cards, and then they pay for their meals. So, it is really the heart and soul of our college. We have wonderful new facilities here to match that as well.
So, we’ve just recently built three new classrooms, all air conditioned. In fact, all our classrooms are air conditioned. Apple TVs, we’re an Apple school, so Apple TVs and presentations can occur all around the school. We have a wonderful new oval. We’ve actually moved our oval from this direction to this direction, increased the size of it, so the opportunity for sport, athletics has been wonderful there. And, of course, we now have our own stage. So, what’s been the Kolbe Sports Centre is still the Kolbe Sports Centre, but we have our stage where we can do our presentations, we can do our performances, so that’s a really new facility that we are very excited about and we’ve used it quite a lot now, not just for the students, but for parent engagement. They come and be a part.
Which brings me to the point that parent engagement or involvement in our college is very important to us. We know that without your support, we are not going to achieve the learning outcomes or wellbeing outcomes that we wish for our students. So, we encourage your involvement. We’ve provided a number of opportunities already this year. So, we had our welcome breakfast in the very first week, we’ve had our year seven information night where all our year seven parents came. They got to me meet the pastoral leaders, hear about the learning, and, of course, the students got their laptops so that was important. We’ve since had another parent engagement meeting, and we’ve got a wonderful parent PNF here that we work together in partnership to ensure that we can be there for our students because we are learner centred. It is about our students, but it’s also about you as parents. It’s important that you continue involvement even though your child is now in secondary school, it’s most important for their learning outcomes.
Of course, we can’t have all of these wonderful facilities that we have here at the college. We are a fee paying school. We belong to Brisbane Catholic Education. So, you are most welcome to ring the college if you wish to inquire about our school fees, you can also go onto our Mount Maria College Petrie website and take a look at them there. Our fees are all inclusive so that includes our camps, our levies, they’re all there as part of that fee. So, I really encourage you, I mentioned our tours, I encourage you to come and take another look for yourself, in person.
So, I’d like to thank you for joining me here tonight. And remember, we’re here waiting to answer your questions, so please drop them into the box. And I really do look forward to seeing you either at a tour or a possible enrolment interview very shortly.