Moree Secondary College Year 7 enrolment roster sees big increase in 2019

STARTING high school is a significant milestone in any student’s life, and judging by class enthusiasm, Year 7 at Moree Secondary College does not disappoint.

With a notable increase in Year 7 enrolments in 2019, school principal Paula Barton was equally as thrilled with the transition.

Up to 78 students have signed to start their first year of high school at Moree Secondary College.

“We continuously strive to promote all the fantastic opportunities on offer here at MSC Carol St Campus, and the community has taken note,” Mrs Barton said.

“Parents are excited by the curriculum and the facilities, as are the students, and educationally we are leading the way with some progressive initiatives to ensure students are engaged in, and passionate about, their education.”

One initiative is a new learning centre, recently completed during the school holidays.

Rory Hodges, Preston Tighe, Jamelia Saunders, Ronald Swan, Tyrell Naylor and Jack Colless with school principal Paula Barton (left) and deputy principal Bethany Kelly in the new MSC open plan classroom. Intake into Year 7 at the school has increased significantly.

As part of the school’s commitment to future focused learning, the open-plan classroom has been in development for the past 18 months.

With students now settled – and thriving – in the space, deputy principal Bethany Kelly said the results speak for themselves.

“We’ve wanted to do things differently for a while, and this open classroom is perfect for interactive, team-led learning, to which students respond really positively,” Mrs Kelly said.

Currently participating in a Leadership Development Initiative through the Department of Education, Bethany has unique exposure to numerous new teaching methods from schools across Australia.

“We are so fortunate to have such a progressive and motivated staff and school body. It’s just a case of working out what model fits our students best,” she said.

With four classes of Year 7 in 2019, Mrs Kelly said the open classroom takes two classes at a time on a rotating basis, with two to three teachers on duty.

Traditional subjects such as maths and English are still taught in individual classrooms.

Moree Secondary College’s open-plan classroom has been given the thumbs-up by students.

“There will always be a need for traditional based teaching, but this open model is really valuable for subjects such as science or project-based learning,” Mrs Kelly said.

“We are using the space to make connections between subjects, such as delivering science and maths outcomes in a cross-key learning area setting.”

The new open classroom, as well as refurbished classrooms and computing room, also further facilitates Moree Secondary College’s commitment to engaging and progressive learning techniques.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) learning challenges are a 2018initiative AND proved particularly popular.

Mrs Kelly said the school will continue to explore new ways of teaching.

“Our STEM challenge days were hugely successful, and consisted of three practical and interactive challenges to build better curriculum and teaching links for 21st century learning,” she said.

Mrs Kelly explained how the STEM challenge initiated in 2018 when students arrived at MSC to see a meteorite that had landed in the school grounds.

“Students were tasked with testing the meteorite to determine where it came from, before discovering that a space ship had also landed,” she said.

“Once students had cracked the code, they built rockets to launch the alien back into space.”

The humanities challenge consisted of replicating popular television series, The Amazing Race, while the lifestyle challenge encouraged students to create a ‘Slip, Slop, Slap’ promotion.

“The days allowed the various teaching faculties and students to work together across a range of subject areas and apply their knowledge in real world scenarios,” Mrs Kelly said.

Year 7 student, Rory Hodges, said he was excited to have started high school, and was enjoying his time at Moree Secondary College.

“I like being with my friends and being able to learn with them together. My favourite subject so far is tech – we’re learning coding to build games,” Rory said.

And with potential student inquiries continuing into Term 1, Mrs Barton welcomed community members to come and visit the new facilities.

“We’re so proud of our new learning spaces, our teaching staff and our students and I encourage anyone passionate about their child’s education to come for a visit,” Mrs Barton said.

Words and Images: Georgina Poole