Holy Cross College | Ellenbrook
'I came that they may have life, and have it to the full' John 10:10

Holy Cross College Ellenbrook

Learning


Learning Pillar

Challenging each student to achieve their personal best in an environment that values the respect and dignity of each person.

Pre-Primary

Learning at Holy Cross College takes place in a culture of high expectations. We aim to foster in students a love for learning and an appreciation of the satisfaction that comes from achievement reached through genuine effort. Students are encouraged to set high standards and to apply themselves in the pursuit of excellence commensurate with their abilities.

Learning at Holy Cross College caters for the needs of students at each stage of development. Being a Kindergarten – Year Twelve learning community enables consistency for students in their growth. The College utilises whole-school data to inform teaching practices and to ensure progression for all students.

Religious Education at Holy Cross College is fully implemented across Kindergarten – Year Twelve in accordance with Catholic Education Western Australia’s policies and curriculum that was developed through the Bishops of Western Australia. The students in the Religious Education classroom develop their knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith, enabling them to live a life enriched with the Christian traditions.

Vision for Learning

Holy Cross College VISION for LEARNING

Junior School

Holy Cross College Pre-kindergarten 3 year old programme

Our Junior School has been specifically designed to promote collaboration and creativity in a safe and secure environment. It includes internal and external learning spaces and play areas where students can enjoy diverse and stimulating experiences. Junior School students will also have access to other specialist facilities in the College.

Pre-kindergarten

The Pre-kindergarten Programme caters for children who have turned three years of age but are not yet old enough to be in the Kindergarten Programme. The programme is designed to be developmentally appropriate and meet the children’s interests and needs. Session times are every Monday and/or Friday 9:00am to 2:30pm. Parent involvement is welcome.  

Acceptance into the Pre-kindergarten Programme does not guarantee enrolment into Kindergarten. Kindergarten applications are required separately.  

Early Years

Junior School starts in the Early Learning Centre, the Tui building, for Pre-kindergarten to Year One.  At Holy Cross College, we aim to foster the intellectual and creative development of inquisitive early learners inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to learning. The curriculum for our youngest students promotes a sense of identity and well being, allowing for the development of confident and engaged learners. Children are encouraged to develop an enjoyment of learning, an understanding of the world around them and positive relationships with others. Our learning spaces are set up in innovative ways to encourage curiosity, inquiry and exploration.  

Middle and Upper Junior School

Children starting in Year Two move up to the Fitzroy building where learning experiences are designed to provide a firm foundation for future learning. The child-centred approach continues and is enhanced with the move through to concrete experiences and introduction of abstract thinking. There is a continued focus on literacy and numeracy, as well as social, emotional and physical development. Holy Cross College is a future-focused school and the use of information communication technology is an integral part of the learning programme.

In Year Six, students move to the Paris building, designed to facilitate their transition into Middle School. Learning experiences are specifically designed to extend students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Students work collaboratively to develop their understanding of the world around them. There is an increased focus on student responsibility, ownership and organisation for learning.   

Middle School

In Middle School, Years Seven, Eight and Nine at Holy Cross College, the focus is on meeting the needs of early adolescent learners. 

Holy Cross College Middle School

This is a time when young people are establishing their identity, learning about themselves, their peers and their community. It is a time when they discover what they like, their skills and talents, the interests and hobbies that they wish to pursue and the strengthening of their friendship groups. 

Students in Middle School are part of a learning community and will have a designated learning space in purpose-built Middle School facilities. Year Seven students have all their class-based learning taking place in the same area. This should give students a greater sense of security as they make the transition from primary school to secondary school. Students move to other areas of the College to access the Learning Resource Centre and other specialist facilities.

Students in Years Seven, Eight and Nine study specialist subjects as well as Big Ideas, Holy Cross College’s inter-disciplinary programme, through which they have the opportunity to come to a greater understanding of themselves, their community and the world in which they live. The real world is not divided into separate areas of study and to engage with the world requires knowledge of how all areas of study are linked.

Year 7 Curriculum includes all of the following: Religious Education, Big Ideas, Science, Maths, Humanities, English, Physical Education, Digital Technologies, Health, Food Science, Woodwork, Visual Arts and Dance. At the completion of Year 7, students are able to select some of their electives as described in the handbooks below.

Senior School

In Senior School at Holy Cross College, the Year Ten, Eleven and Twelve courses become increasingly focused and specialised. Students can choose from a range of subjects that will prepare them for tertiary or vocational pathways. The Year Ten students start in Term Four (Spring Term) of what would traditionally be Year Nine, in order to give Year Twelve students four terms to complete their work in their final year of schooling. The College offers students ATAR, General and Uni-Ready pathways. Uni-Ready is an alternative pathway for Year Eleven and Twelve students to access a selection of Curtin University courses.

In Year Ten, students start thinking about their pathway and is the first year level at the school to have examinations. Year Ten students meet individually with senior teachers at the College to ensure that they are selecting courses in Year Eleven in which they have the ability to thrive.

Holy Cross College Ellenbrook Senior School

Students in Year Ten are prepared for the increased rigour needed for ATAR courses through extension in English, Mathematics and Science. In Years Eleven and Twelve, students can access ONSITE, which is a College Workplace Learning Programme. Students spend one day per week in an industry of their choice. With the benefit of an ONSITE programme behind them, students can be better prepared to find their niche in industry. Students who are accepted into the Specialist ONSITE programme have access to specialised training in numerous areas. In these specialised courses, ONSITE manages the workplace training while TAFE deliver the qualification. The College also has access to a selection of TAFE courses that can be completed offsite while at school.

Digital Learning

Holy Cross College has been recognised as an Apple Distinguished School for innovation, leadership and educational excellence.

Holly Cross College Kindergarden

Holy Cross College leads the way in the use of digital technologies in education.  We are a future-focused learning community where Apple technology supports and extends innovative approaches to learning. Our College Mission calls us to be a future-focused school, developing visionary young people who embrace their changing world with confidence and optimism. We are committed to educating and encouraging students to become competent, discriminating and creative users of a range of technologies. Technology is fully integrated into all learning areas from Pre-kindergarten to Year Twelve. This enhances learning and prepares students for their role in the digital world in which we live.  As a College, we are committed to promoting the dignity of the human person and, in doing so, promoting ethical and appropriate use of technology by all members of the College community.

Digital Technologies provide opportunities for:

  • greater flexibility and differentiation in meeting the needs of individual students.
  • students to take greater ownership of their learning as they develop skills to become independent, life-long learners.
  • engaging with new learning possibilities to extend interaction by both students and staff within their local and global communities.

High-quality learning and teaching experiences are the key drivers in the use of technology in the College, not the technology itself.  All students from Year One to Year Twelve have an Apple iPad, which they use as an integral part of the learning experience. Contemporary learning spaces support our concept of ‘anywhere, anytime’ learning.

Big Ideas

All Junior School and Middle School students, Kindergarten to Year Nine, engage in Big Ideas. Big Ideas is an interdisciplinary programme through which students have the opportunity to come to a greater understanding of themselves, their community and the world in which they live. The real world is not divided into separate areas of study and to engage with the world requires knowledge of how all areas of study are linked. 

In Big Ideas, students are provided with opportunities to grow in the following global competencies:

  • Character
  • Creativity
  • Citizenship
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking
Holy Cross College Big Ideas

Big Ideas embraces real-world contexts through posing a big picture question within termly projects. Students answer their big question by showcasing their project to authentic audiences.

In Junior School, Big Ideas utilises a cross-curricular approach, with skills being taught across all learning areas and applied during a dedicated double period each week. In Middle School, the programme runs for four periods in Year Seven, and three periods in Year Eight every Thursday. A devoted Big Ideas Team, led by an Innovator, draws upon the skills and expertise of staff from a range of learning areas.

Da Vinci STEM

Holy Cross College Da Vinci STEM

The Da Vinci STEM programme, an initiative unique to Catholic schools, is centred on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The programme caters for students with high academic potential in Year 5 and Year 6 in our regional Catholic schools. It enables selected students to meet with their intellectual peers to strengthen their understanding of the process of scientific investigation, whilst developing the skills of critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, design-thinking and problem-solving.

For selection into the programme, students must be nominated by their classroom teacher, as well as submit an application form, along with a copy of their school report. The programme is divided into two semester-long programmes.

Students selected for the Da Vinci STEM programme attend Holy Cross College on Thursday mornings, 9.00am – 10.45am.

Primary Schools involved in the Da Vinci STEM programme:

For further information please contact davinciprogramme@holycross.wa.edu.au

Learning Enrichment

Students who have a high level of academic ability are catered for within the classroom through intentional rigorous learning experiences. These experiences are designed to extend the critical thinking and creativity of these students. In addition, the College provides a range of extra-curricular programmes to further challenge students with a high-level academic ability, such as the Simpson Prize (History) and the STEM Da Vinci programme. 

Holy Cross College Academic Special Achievements

To support students with additional needs, the College has Individual Education Plans (IEPs), Individual Education Plans – Learning (IEPLs) and Curriculum Adjusted Plans (CAPs) that enable individual goals to be targeted and monitored through the support of the Learning Enrichment Team.

In Junior School, the College offers both literacy and numeracy intervention programmes.

Reading Recovery (RR) and Levelled Literacy Intervention (LLI) is run on a daily basis to support students with literacy skills. Likewise, the Extending Mathematical Understanding (EMU) programme is designed to promote numeracy growth in Years One and Two.

Students in Year Seven to Year Ten who have significant learning needs are provided with an opportunity to participate in the English For Life (E4L) programme. The aim of this programme is to better prepare students for life outside of school and prepare them with the literacy skills they will need in the workplace and as a member of society.

The Learning for Life (L4L) programme runs alongside the College Big Ideas programme for students in Year Seven to Year Nine. The emphasis of this programme is to develop the students’ social and emotional skills. It involves authentic learning experiences in the community and assists students to understand their disability, whilst providing individual strategies to assist them in achieving their own individual goals.

Furthermore, specialised teachers and educational assistants provide in-class support for students with additional needs across the College.

Facilities

Holy Cross College Ellenbrook Aireal View

The design of the facilities at Holy Cross College is underpinned by the philosophies and principles of contemporary learning theories, which intentionally exploit the advantages of space, connectivity, landscape, lighting, furniture and technology to enhance the learning experience. Our flexible learning spaces organically integrate technology, helping teachers to better engage students and facilitate the mix of independent, small-group and whole-class learning that is now considered essential to student success.

Our facilities allow the for free flow of students between spaces with large open areas called Da Vinci spaces, operable glass walls and big sliding doors, cosy learning nooks and meeting rooms. Landscaping includes creative outdoor spaces, areas for contemplation and reflection, a rooftop garden and nature play spaces.

Holy Cross College Science Contemporary Facilities

The impact of the learning environment on our students’ motivation, engagement and progression is an important factor in the way our teachers plan and deliver lessons. Gone are the industrial rows of factory-style education within the confines of four brick walls that promoted rote learning, teacher-directed instruction and passive learners. Our contemporary learning environments encourage student voice in the learning process, collaboration, active participation, critical thinking, and seamless integration of digital technologies.

The College boasts state-of-the-art facilities including:

  • Spacious Early Learning Centre and primary learning studios.
  • An abundance of free-flowing and creatively furnished learning studios.
  • Dedicated dance and drama studios.
  • Individual sound-proof instrumental music rooms.
  • Two outdoor amphitheatres.
  • Rooftop garden and outdoor teaching spaces.
  • Sixteen multi-purpose courts.
  • Three sports fields: soccer, hockey and Australian rules football.
  • Multi-purpose learning resource centre.
  • Well-being centre accommodating the College Psychologist, Social Worker and Nurse.
  • Visual Arts room and Makerspace.
  • MasterChef-style foods rooms.
  • Café and undercroft.
  • Information Technology and Media Centre.
  • Design and Technology Centre for wood, metals and plastics.
  • Year Twelve common room.
  • Four Science laboratories.
  • Atrium-style lecture theatre.

2019 will see the construction of the College sports centre, which will incorporate two international-size courts, climbing wall and an abseiling facility.

The College is also fortunate to be collocated with the Parish of Saint Helena of the Holy Cross. The parish church enables strong links with the parish and provides a wonderful sacred space to enjoy Masses and liturgies.