Julie Kennedy

“We strive to see students leave Rowville Secondary College happy, confident and ready for success in a changing world”.

Excerpt from College Vision statement

New families coming in to the College often ask what that actually means?  

Our world needs diversity. We need doctors, lawyers, plumbers, nurses, teachers and Yoga instructors to name a few. Rowville Secondary College (RSC) is committed to a strengths based approach to education. Your child comes to us with great potential and particular strengths. We celebrate individual student differences and strive to provide the right conditions for each child to thrive.

A very important part of our philosophy is having high expectations for all students. Conveying this to students occurs in several ways. One of the most obvious and powerful is through personal relationships in which teachers and other school staff communicate to students, “This work is important; I know you can do it; I won’t give up on you; The harder you work the smarter you will get”.

Our students talk of being respected and of having their strengths and abilities recognized. Successful teachers look at each child and see the gem that is inside and communicate this vision back to the child. They look for children’s strengths and interests, and use these as starting points for learning. A relationship that conveys high expectations to students helps them to believe in themselves and improves their self-esteem

That is why our school has developed a programs approach. Our programs focus on a child’s strengths. We build in lots of opportunities for students to experience success. Being successful makes all of us happy and builds our confidence. When you feel confident you are more likely to take risks, step out of your comfort zone and work on things you are not so strong at.

Students enrol in one of four learning programs.

Based at the Western Campus, GE is an academic program that provides for diversity of talent and interest. It has the broadest range of both core curriculum and elective subjects and allows students to explore and discover their strengths and passions. It provides curricula and extra curricula opportunities for students who love a combination of arts, sports, mathematics, science, language, literature, technology and humanities subjects. In year 11 and 12, students can select to complete VCE, VCAL, VET or SBAT.

Based at the Eastern Campus, RIA offers an integrated arts and academic education for talented and aspiring students who love dance, drama, media, music and/or visual art. Students spend one-third of the curriculum completing specialist and broad arts subjects that are enriched in a variety of ways including Artists in Residence, workshops led by industry professionals and regular excursions and incursions. The 500 seat Performing Arts Centre and two specialist dance studios allow students to participate in authentic performance and exhibition opportunities at an industry acclaimed standard.

Based at the Western Campus, MSA promotes academic excellence and innovative thinking through an integrated, themed and practical curriculum for students who love maths and/or science. Students spend one-third of the curriculum completing innovative mathematics and science curriculum including design and exploration through extended projects. Research and real life application of scientific method combined with an integrated robotics program underpins acceleration, enrichment and promotion of STEM from year 7 to year 12. We have built strong partnerships with CSIRO and Swinburne University who mentor students in Year 8 and 9. Mentoring is extended in Year 10 through our partnership with the Rowville-Lysterfield Rotary Club which enables students to contribute actively to the local, national and international community.

Based at the Eastern Campus, RSA is a full time integrated academic and sporting program for students that love Football (Soccer), Basketball, Golf, Australian Rules Football, Volleyball, Netball and Tennis and Cricket.  Students spend one-third of the curriculum working with highly qualified sporting coaches to develop their skills, talent, strength and conditioning. The exceptional facilities available in the RSC Sports Precinct allow students to be supported by physiotherapists, exercise psychologists, dieticians, and podiatrists. An intensive leadership program is also an integral part of the development of our young athletes.

Curiosity and Powerful Learning

Our strength’s based approach to education values diversity and uses students’ passions to motivate individuals to be the very best learners and the finest people they can be. We have been very excited about the launch of ‘Curiosity and Powerful Learning’ in 2016 which supports this approach.

The goal of ‘Curiosity and Powerful Learning’ is that all RSC students will be literate, numerate and curious. As powerful learners, students need the ability to respond successfully to the tasks that are set and the tasks they set themselves.

Teachers have invested in a clear set of values and professional learning process that informs what we do every day, for every child in every classroom.

This ability comprises the capacities to:

  • Integrate prior knowledge
  • Acquire and apply a range of learning skills
  • Solve problems individually and in groups
  • Think carefully about their successes and failures, and learn from both
  • Evaluate conflicting evidence
  • Think critically
  • Accept that learning involves uncertainty and difficulty

ACE model

The ACE model is a unique and exciting approach to differentiated learning that impacts on literacy and numeracy growth for students specifically in year 7 and 8 English and Mathematics lessons.

ACE stands for accelerate, challenge and extend:

Accelerate: – Students above the expected level. Our aim is to increase the percentage of students in the top two NAPLAN Bands.

Challenge: – Students at the expected level. Our aim is that each student aims for excellence: “nothing but your best” (one of our school values).

Extend: – Students below the expected level. Our aim is to decrease the percentage of students in bottom two NAPLAN bands and achieve 2 years growth in one year.

At the commencement of each unit of work, teachers pre-test students to identify whether their skills, knowledge and understanding is at, above or below the expected level. They then divide the class into three differentiated groups and deliver specifically targeted lessons based on student need.

I am thrilled with the feedback I have had from students, parents and teachers about the positive impact that our ACE model is having on student learning. Students feel that they get more targeted instruction based on their individual learning needs, teachers feel they are able to utilise individual learning data to develop and deliver differentiated lessons and parents have reported a growth in the learning confidence of their child.