A Personalised Education
De La Salle College is a caring, Catholic community with a focus on personalised learning and achievement. Every student is given the challenge and support he needs to excel both in the classroom and beyond.
We understand that every student learns differently and are committed to providing a variety of pathways. Individualised learning is facilitated for students from Year 4 to Year 12. In the primary years, student progression is monitored closely so that in-class support or extension can be provided as needed, either by their class teacher or a specialist staff member.
Transition into our College, whether that be at Year 4, Year 7 or another year level, is a key stage in the personalisation process, with all available information about a student’s strengths and areas for improvement helping our staff create an individual learning plan for them. As an open entry school, we only use a student’s academic history to build a learning plan – not to determine entry to our College. Staff refer to the transition information and academic testing (AAS in Years 4, 6, 8 and 10 and NAPLAN in Years 5, 7 and 9) to help have a better understanding of each individual student and support them in their learning.
Our Learning and Teaching and Wellbeing Teams are committed to helping students achieve their academic, co-curricular and spiritual goals. Our dedicated Student Progression Coordinators track individual student progress and learning behaviours, allowing for early identification of any issues that may arise. Where an issue does arise, Student Progression Coordinators work closely with teachers, mentors and coordinators to provide support to students and parents.
Year 7 to Year 9 students take part in our Maths Pathway program, an innovative, personalised learning program designed to allow students to progress in mathematics as part of their usual class, but at their own pace. This means that students who are achieving at a high level can complete more advanced work, while those who need to consolidate some basic understandings work on these, both supported by their teacher. Essentially, the content of each class is tailor-made to each students’ ability level, with the aim of challenging each student in a way that is appropriate to them. Following the success of this program, STILE has been introduced to our Year 7 science course instead of the traditional textbook which allows students to explore a particular topic that may be of interest to them despite it not being part of the curriculum for that specific year level. For students who experience ongoing difficulties, extra numeracy and literacy help is available.
In Years 7 to 9 students can participate in our Immersion Program, designed to enable learning which is outside the boundaries of traditional subject-based learning or 54 minute timetabled classes. Students are able to engage in six to eight-week programs that emphasise a substantial investigation of an area, putting skill development to the fore. Available subjects range from Robotics, Active Citizenship and Crime and Punishment, to Game Development where students design and make their own video game using code, to Taking Off!, where students plan some travel within set parameters and explore geography, different cultures, creating budgets and working to timelines, and Urban Impact. This wide range of options allows students to choose subjects that are of interest to them and suit their own learning abilities. These Immersion Units help students to develop problem-solving and inquiry skills which they can then apply when selecting their research questions in Year 9 In9uiry, where students take part in a city experience and rural experience.
At Year 10 our curriculum expands, with over 45 subject choices on offer to students. This enables students entering their first year of senior school to choose more specialised subjects that are relevant to their tertiary interest and to tailor their senior study pathway. Progression and Careers staff are of critical importance at this time, assisting students to select subjects that are essential for their chosen tertiary course (if they have one) or that will set them up for a successful VCE. Some of the specialist subjects on offer include Architecture, Media – Inside the Newsroom, Spit it Out (linguistics, public speaking and debating), Making and Breaking the Law, and Prices, Markets & Finances. All students begin their VCE in Year 10 by undertaking Unit 1 Religion and Society. Students also have the opportunity to build on this by accelerating into a second VCE subject in Year 10 and students who have been performing strongly in a particular area will be encouraged to do this.
This approach to learning and teaching in Year 10 empowers students to take control of their learning and provides a smooth transition to the choice, challenge and rigour of Year 11. In addition to VCE, we also offer a VCE/VET (Vocational Education and Training) pathway as well as a VCAL (Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning) pathway. VET and VCAL provide opportunities for students to finish Year 12 and move straight into full-time work and are suitable options for students who would like to work in a trade or have strong skills in vocations like hospitality or sport and recreation. Through our VCAL course, there is a continued focus on improving literacy and numeracy skills while gaining practical work-related skills.
Students studying VCE, VET or VCAL have access to speciality staff who are experts in their areas, as well as a modern curriculum which will not only help students achieve their best in VCE, but set them up to be contributing members of society. We expect all of our students to leave school with the skills, and confidence in themselves, to problem solve, think critically and contribute their knowledge and ideas to the workforce.
Importantly, our ongoing emphasis across all year levels is for students to achieve their personal best. This is different for every student, but it is critical that each young man identifies and continues to work towards goals he has set with his parents and teachers. We encourage every student to find his strengths and be passionate about something, and we work with students to help them understand how they can lead change in their chosen areas of interest.
To gain an in-depth understanding of our curriculum we encourage you to read our Curriculum Handbook, available here.
To read about the wide range of co-curricular opportunities available to students, please click here.