Well a lot of things actually. Most schools expect the students to fit in with the school rather than the school trying to adapt to best meet the needs of the individual student. We think very carefully about the direction the school is heading. We want to be educational leaders and innovators, not followers and we want to inspire these qualities in our students. We believe that the education programs that we are now putting inplace will be replicated in many schools in 5 to 10 years time, simply because the existing model of education does not work for many students.
Dynamic & Caring
Quite simply we care about our kids!
We care for our kids! We open our large and comfortable Resource Centre, from 7.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Thursday and on Fridays from 7.30am to 4.00pm, as a safe and inviting place for students to study in comfort with a free coffee, tea or Milo! This area can also be a great back up if parents are running late for a pick up.
Rather than being allocated a Form or Home Group Teacher, ourstudents select their own Learning Mentor as the person to assist them with school issues and help them set goals for their learning. Because parents know that their child likes this person and that this staff member has made a personal commitment to help and assist their child, this obviously reduces the reluctance parents can sometimes feel at secondary school level to raise issues. We are not aware of another school in Victoria that offers this.
Students are allocated to a House overseen by a Head of House who monitors their progress and acts in the role of a parental figurere inforcing positive behaviour and correcting inappropriate behaviour. Students participate in a wide collection of House activities and events throughout the year.
In any school there will still be some issues that are not easily resolved. Whilst we have excellent support structures in place it is my belief that eventually the buck stops with the Principal. Parents, staff and students have access to the Principal's phone number and if issues remain unresolved in spite of everyone's best efforts is happy to be contacted directly.
A Hassel Free and Inclusive Environment
We insiston a learning environment that is free of harassment, disruptive behaviour andracial intolerance. The school is a member of the Safe Schools Coalition, andas such is fully supportive of sexual and gender diversity.
Be a Name not a number!
We have taken the conscious decision to remain a smalllearning community. Our aim is t oachieve and maintain a total size of 650 students, comprising one hundredstudents per year level and fifty international students. As we do not wish to exceed this number of students at any year level, we will reach this eventual size in 2016.
Why remain a small school?
Simply because we know that small schools can deliver a more personalised learning experience and better care than big schools can ever do. Don't just take ourword for it though, try Googling "research on school size” and see what the evidence says. The results really are overwhelming!
Our attitude is different
We invite you to be a partner with us in the educational process. We have a saying that everything is negotiable and "yes” is the default. That is not to say that we are in any way slack or laissez-faire when it comes to standards. We simply offer students and their parents and guardians the opportunity to be involved in making suggestions and decisions about their educational experience.
Taking the stress out of Homework for families – Homelearning
Each childis different, as are their parents views on homework, and this will also depend on whether the student is likely to pursue a University degree, a trade qualification or is still undecided. We accept that there are differing views on the importance and effectiveness of homework at the younger year levels and respect and can accommodate the views of parents. Those students taking part in VCE are expected and required to complete homework so as not to negatively impact on the rest of the class by students being unprepared or behind.
We have developed a home learning policy at Year 7 to 9 that we believe supports families to devise a home learning program appropriate to them. It is based on the notion that students complete a minimum of 10 hours home learning per week, but the options of what is home learning includes a broad range of options.
Read more about our;
- Year 7-9 Home Learning Policy
- Year 10-12 Homework Policy
- VCAL Home Learning Policy
A summary of the research on the effectiveness of Homework and advice to parents written by the Principal, Peter Hutton
The 2 Minute Rule – a classroom environmentfree of disruption
Any student who disrupts the learning environment or interferes with the learning of others for more than 2 minutes will be asked by the teacher to leave the class and report to the Resource Centre. Students will then be requested to complete a form outlining their account of events. Parents will then be contacted by the classroom teacher. Naturally, incidents of the more significant nature will be dealt with immediately.
Likewise we do not want to be wasting time dealing with things such as incorrect uniform, inappropriate language or issues of smoking etc.
We ask that all students and their families respect the right of staff to concentrate on working positively with students.
Our students now have a head start in developing their ICT ability and can take advantage of all the latest learning technologies available in all their classes. Templestowe students in Years 7 to 12 all have their own Netbook computer. We were the third Government School in Victoria to do this and are currently exploring Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) options.
A dynamic and future focused curriculum
To help us decide what electives to offer we asked the students what they wanted to study. Our 2013 List of Electives include; art, visual communication and design, photography, media, dance, drama, music performance, fashion textiles design, computer gaming design, food technology, design and technology (incorporating wood, metal, plastics, and 3-D model design), agriculture, fitness (held in our own commercial gymnasium with classes conducted by Steve our professional trainer), sport and working with animals.
If astudent has a particular interest that does not fit one of these electives they can devise their own
Personalised Learning Program (PLP)
In this elective students can undertake learning inan area of their own interest. Past students have followed their passion increative writing, researching their family tree, obtaining a helicopter pilot'slicence, composing digital music and learning six different foreign languages.
One sizedoes NOT fit all
We have agenuine emphasis on personalised learning so that students have greater ownership and enjoyment in what they are studying. Many schools claim this but I encourage you to ask them how they actually do this? At Templestowe, right from Year 7, students can choose 30% of their course through a range of student directed electives. We also encourage our more self-directed students to design their own Personalised Learning Projects (PLPs) and support them in this process.
In 2011 we introduced three different streams at Year 7 with the students divided on the basis of their preferred learning style; direct instruction, collaborative learning and independent accelerated learning. This means that students are taught for a greater amount of time in ways they prefer to learn and are given additional support during activities that are taught in ways that may come less naturally to them. How is that for personalised learning!
In 2012 we introduced a fourth stream called Erdkinder, which in German means Children of the Land, specifically designed to support students who have come from a Montessori educational background. We have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Montessori Secondary Education Centre to best meet these students' needs.
See Erdkinder Montessori Program
In 2013 wewill continue to offer students a class preference based on their preferred style of learning comprising direct instruction, collaborative learning, two independent accelerated learning classes and a Year 7-9 Erdkinder class.
In 2014, when our new vision officially takes effect, all students will be taught in an Independent Learning format for the first year. Following this introductory year, focusing on the development of independent learning skills, they will move into a flexible learning environment, each with their own Individual Learning Plan designed by the student and their parents, under the guidance of specifically trained school staff.
After Hours Tutoring Assistance
Templestowe employs a number of tutors who are currently University students. These students act as role models, extend able students in junior science and mathematics classes, support our senior integration students in classes, provide information to our current students about what university life is really like, and provide free after hours tutoring in the Resource Centre from 3.45pm to 5.30pm Monday to Thursday.
In additionto live tutoring, Templestowe College was the first school in Victoria to offer the innovative Your Tutor program where students can connect with a live tutor located around Australia between 3.00pm and 10.00pm six nights a week to receive assistance with their homework, assignments and study techniques. These tutors are postgraduate students, current or retired teachers and can assist with anything from a Year 7 English essay to the hardest Year 12 Specialist Maths problem. The feedback from our students and their relieved parents has been very positive.
Freedom to Learn
Where astudent or small group of student has a particular interest area that falls outside the existing curriculum, staff will encourage and assist students to plan and carry out their own activity or Individual Learning Project (ILP). Whenever students develop a proposal for an activity with educational value we will do our best to support them in making it happen. Remember at Templestowe, "Yes” is the default.
Catering for a range of pathways and interests
VCE Delivered over 3 Years
We believein supporting student at all levels of academic ability. We offer VCE overthree years to enable students to spread out their academic program and for themore capable students to attempt Unit 3 & 4 subjects in Year 11 and repeat them again in year 12 which they can do without penalty. This enables studentsrepeating subjects to refine their understanding the second time around andmaximise their Australian Tertiary Admission rank (ATAR).
Having three year cohorts rather than two studying VCE together with our fifty International Students means that we can offer a truly broad based VCE with alarge subject choice.
VCAL - Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning
We offer aselect entry VCAL class at Year 10 to 12 available to students wanting to pursue a trade practical vocation. Students complete studies in Work Related skills, Literacy and Numeracy through a range of practical hands on activities.
It is said that in the new economy that "A person with a head but no hands, or hands and no head, is dead.” The most valuable employees and entrepreneurs in the future will be those who have both academic AND practical skills. We encourage students of all academic abilities to consider taking a Vocational Educational Training (VET) subject in their Unit 3&4 course load.
We offer studentsaccess to over 28 other courses delivered as part of the Mullum and CentralCluster of schools and TAFEs.