Starting secondary school is an exciting part of a student’s educational journey and at Avila College we assist the girls in any way we can to make the transition with ease.
The School has a number of systems in place to help students to settle in well including:
- The Transition Coordinator in conjunction with the Year 7 Coordinator liaises with the students' Year 6 teachers to gain an understanding about each new girl. We also ask parents to complete a questionnaire to provide information about their daughter's strengths, expectations and any possible concerns.
- A Parent Information Evening is held in November the year prior to the student commencing at the School. Parents are given details about their daughter starting at the School so they can help them to settle in well.
- Welcome to Avila Day is designed to help new students become familiar with the school itself, the routines and it also provides the chance for the girls to meet each other prior to school starting. Students are provided with information about the subjects they will study, their teachers and the location of their homeroom.
- The Year 7s spend a half-day at school on their first day. Year 10 buddies meet them at the front gate, help them find their classrooms and answer questions they may have. There is a lot to take in on the first day and the half-day format allows them not to be overwhelmed.
- Friendship skills are actively promoted at Year 7. The Year 7 Camp in Term 1 provides excellent opportunities for students to move outside their own circle and meet other friends.
- Many homeroom teachers also teach other subjects at Year 7 and this dual role enables them to get to know their students both academically and personally.
For further information please contact the Transition Coordinator or Year 7 Coordinator on 9831 9600.
Year 8 & 9
Years 8 and 9 are consolidation years at Avila College where there is an expectation that students will take an increased responsibility for their learning.
Students choose to specialise in one of the three languages: French, Italian or Indonesian. They continue a broad study of all disciplines which is further enriched by excursions or visiting specialists. Year 8 students are given the opportunity to develop independence during their week long ‘City Experience.’
Year 9 students are given the opportunity to make more personal choices and they are encouraged to take more responsibility for their learning. This is in keeping with research that clearly shows adolescents learn better when they feel they are involved in the path their studies take.
At the Year 9 Camp students are challenged to move outside their comfort zones to extend themselves mentally and physically. This helps to reinforce the belief of achievement through effort. They often surprise themselves with their accomplishments and this forms a lifelong basis for future challenges. Much of what is learned at camp can be transferred back to the classroom setting. Greater self-confidence, the importance of having a go and perseverance are reinforced in the classroom.
Formal examinations commence in Year 9 for English, Mathematics and Science to prepare students for the rigour of senior years study.
Year 10, 11 & 12
In Senior School we encourage a more adult relationship between staff and students to enhance learning and to prepare students for life beyond secondary school. A Monash University study has cited Avila students as being among the best prepared for making the transition from secondary school to first year University. This commendation reflects the relationship that develops between Avila teachers and their students with the emphasis on independence and personal responsibility.
At Avila College we cater for both the academic and the workplace-oriented student. Academically strong students may be given the chance at VCE acceleration opportunities.
Students more focused on post secondary employment also benefit greatly and, through the VCAL program, develop intensive work related skills through practical experience.
An extensive range of VCE subjects and the VCAL program are offered at Years 11 and 12. VET subjects may be undertaken as part of VCE or VCAL. The Pathways Coordinator, the Deputy Principal Learning and Teaching and the Curriculum Leaders, as well as specialist staff, work closely with students to provide an insight into the diverse range of career pathways and to assist with suitable curriculum choices. Monitoring of a student's progress involves conversations between teachers, Year Level Coordinators, parents and the student. Parent teacher interviews are with both the student and the parent as this partnership will help to achieve the best outcome for each girl.
Participating fully in school life is considered of paramount importance at this level in order to achieve overall balance. It also helps keep the pressures of study in perspective. At Year 10, one week is devoted to community service. Senior students are involved in leadership roles, social justice, initiatives, interschool sport competitions and help to offer general encouragement to younger students.
At Senior School at Avila College students:
- Participate in study skills sessions, explore career pathways and opportunities for extension, take up leadership positions and volunteer for community service
- Become familiar with the choice and breadth of the Curriculum and understand study and examination requirements
- Select their areas of study, in conjunction with Careers Pathways staff to maximise their chances of being accepted into their preferred course of tertiary study.