Canowindra was developed in 1997 to provide a unique educational experience at a separate Year 9 centre in which students would develop a strong sense of individual worth and a sense of community, supported by Christian values.
We recognise that students in the 14-15 year old age group are going through transformation as they develop themselves spiritually, mentally, physically and socially. Canowindra provides a special environment where students can focus on the development of their individuality, whilst maintaining social interaction with their peers. Students become personally involved with their education by participating and collaborating in an integrated, hands-on program.
Canowindra is a small community of 180 students and a team of specialist staff working and learning together. Students have graduated from the two Middle Schools from the Taylors Lakes and Keilor Campuses. Canowindra represents a coming together of the cohort for the first time, with the purpose of uniting the students for their final four years at school.
The Canowindra staff members specialise in the needs of middle adolescents aged 14-15. They see the student as a whole person, an individual who needs adult support and guidance during one of the most important growing stages of their life. Students continue to move from a dependent stage in their development into a more independent stage. Teachers help them to make the transition through this stage of their adolescence as smoothly as possible and at the same time, help each one become a lifelong learner and gain strong Christian values.
The Canowindra Pastoral Care Program enables teachers to cater for the needs of the early adolescent. Each student belongs to a Home Group and has the support of a dedicated Home Group Teacher. These teachers have a significant amount of contact per week with their students, including Pastoral Care sessions. Every effort is made to reduce the number of teachers a student has during the week to ensure students and teachers have the opportunity to develop positive relationships and learning environments. The program focuses on the values of respect, environment, learning and community. It aims to promote student wellbeing and facilitate strong social relationships within Canowindra and among the broader community. Topics covered address general organisation, conflict resolution, resilience, goal setting and self reflection, notebook familiarisation and digital citizenship. However, a good pastoral care program must be flexible; it must allow for issues to be raised and problems resolved without delay.
Home Group Teachers are the first point of contact between school and home. They are responsible for the general wellbeing of the students in their charge. Teachers are well-informed of the individual needs of students. They liaise with parents and other staff members to ensure that the students’ special needs are addressed.
Student Leadership at Canowindra is structured to take into account that Year 9 is a year of great change and growth for most of our students. Traditional models of leadership lock students into roles from early in the year. The Canowindra model is open to all through an application process designed, not to exclude any student, but rather focus on developing themselves and their peers.
As members of the Canowindra Leadership Team students will have creative ownership to develop unique and relevant opportunities that could best support each of the eight portfolios based on the College Values of Learning, Environment, Community, Respect and Co-Curricular Shields: Encore, Be Heard, Activate, Synergy.
The Leadership Team meets regularly to allocate roles and responsibilities amongst its members and discuss initiatives that could be implemented to enhance the Canowindra experience for all students.