There’s lots to learn about picking the right school

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SCHOOL open days and information evenings for Catholic, private or public schools are an important opportunity for parents and potential students to gain an insight into the everyday learning of Canberra’s educational centres.

Whether it be for children or teenagers, visitors can discover what each has to offer for the 2020 school year.

Small school knows its students

THE small Campbell school, St Thomas More’s Primary School, is opening its doors on Monday, May 6, to share with families its inclusive and friendly community, says principal Julie Wiley.

“Being a small school with 150 students, we can provide a personalised education for our students,” she says.

“We know all our students really well and have a close relationship with our families.”

Julie says the school has a high defence population, with about 50 per cent of its enrolments coming from defence families.

“We have a Defence schools mentor who works in the school to support our Defence families,” she says.

“When students transition, we understand the impact this can have on the family and on the child’s education. The Defence schools mentor can be that link between families and the school to ensure a seamless transition.”

As for the school’s teachers, Julie says they are highly experienced and provide a quality education.

“We provide an inclusive education and welcome students with disabilities or learning needs,” she says.

The open day on May 6 runs from 9am to 3pm. During the day, Julie says, parents are welcome to pop in at any time and look around the school to get an idea of what it can offer their child and their family.

“If they’d like a one-on-one guided tour with me they can ring and book,” she says.

St Thomas More’s Primary School, 24 White Crescent, Campbell. Call 6249 8869, email or visit


Great day in store at St Eddie’s

ST Edmund’s College has been leading boys’ education in the community since opening 65 years ago, says assistant principal, college operations, Jacob Knowles.

“St Eddies is a really warm and caring environment,” he says.

“We offer a range of opportunities for the boys to explore success in many different areas such as a tailored learning program which caters for the diverse level of needs that each boy has.

“We have a pastoral care program that has student wellbeing at its centre and we have opportunities for faith formation through mission and service programs, and links with the international community.”

The school’s co-curricular program also means students can engage in activities such as sport.

Jacob says the proud and welcoming teachers at St Eddies will be at the school on Saturday, May 11, 11am-3pm, to tell interested parents and potential new students all about the inclusive school.

“They can come along for a self-guided tour or be shown around by one of the student leaders,” he says.

“The facilities will also have showcases on display. Parents and carers can register online if they want to come along. It’s going to be a great day.”

St Edmund’s College’s open day, 11am-3pm, Saturday, May 11. Register at

Students share love of school community

AS Canberra’s largest secondary school, St Mary MacKillop College can stay true to its mission to be a Catholic school for all, says principal Michael Lee.

Located across two campuses in the Tuggeranong Valley, Michael says St Mary MacKillop’s is able to welcome boys and girls, as well as students from a range of different faith, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.

“In order to cater to the wide range of students, MacKillop provides them with great teachers, a wide range of curriculum options, extensive facilities, and a huge range of sport, performance and co-curricular choices,” he says.

College captains Chris Caruana and Gabrielle Petersen say there’s something for everyone at St Mary MacKillop College.

“We’ve had so many opportunities at MacKillop, from leadership opportunities to representing the school in sport,” they say.

“What we love about MacKillop is the community aspect, the interesting classes and that we’ve formed really strong relationships with our friends and teachers.

“Even though it’s a big school, we have always felt valued here.”

St Mary MacKillop College’s year 7 information night for 2020 begins at the Wanniassa campus, 6.30pm on Monday, May 6.

St Mary MacKillop College. Wanniassa Campus (Years 7-9), Mackinnon Street and Isabella Plains Campus (Years 10-12), Ellerston Avenue. Call 6209 0100 or email


Girls’ school creating next generation of leaders

CANBERRA Girls Grammar School is creating the next generation of pioneers and leaders, says principal Anna Owen.

Principal Anna Owen.

“Every second, in every classroom, is tailored in a very purposeful way to give the remarkable girls in our care the opportunity to unfold into young women who are able to articulate what it is to be well-educated, who understand the great responsibility of receiving a great education and who insist on living ethically and purposely,” she says.

Described as a warm, supportive and driven school, Anna says it’s a perfect environment for able and focused girls.

Often girls who have been in a co-ed environment in primary school articulate their frustrations in year 5 or year 6,” she says.

“We offer tailored programs and a personalised approach for each of the girls, [which means] your daughter won’t get lost at Canberra Girls Grammar School.”

But it’s not all about hard work and Anna says they also have a lot of fun.

Our student-run assemblies each week epitomise this, where academic rigor, sporting achievement, creative expression and generosity of spirit are all highlighted and celebrated,” she says.

Canberra Girls Grammar School is having its senior school information evening on Thursday, May 2.

The sit-down event will be hosted by Anna and will feature short presentations, a Q&A with current students and opportunities for one-on-one conversations with staff and Anna.

Canberra Girls Grammar School, 48 Melbourne Avenue, Deakin. Register for the information evening at

The supportive journey of discovery

WHEN students go to Burgmann Anglican School, they’re also joining a community, says admissions administrator Megan Davis.

“We’re very much a community where students can go on a journey of discovery,” she says.

“We’re a very diverse and supportive community on a number of levels. Whether it’s looking at the interests that students have or whether it’s looking at cultural backgrounds – we’re very welcoming.”

Burgmann Anglican School has a number of scheduled school tours throughout the year, which are noted on its website, and it also has a couple of information nights.

The year 11 information night for 2020 is on Wednesday, May 29, and the year 9 information night for 2020 is on Wednesday, August 21.

For the year 9 information night, Megan says there will be an expo with faculty booths to showcase the subjects.

“We have outdoor education, a strong science program, a strong maths program, an arts and design program and computing electives,” she says.

“The students will be challenged but also given support and guidance to help them be the best they can be.

“We cater for students doing tertiary and accredited subjects and we also offer school-based apprenticeships (ASBAS),” she says.

“We have student support, too, and our library is open later into the evening for senior students to offer study support.”

Burgmann Anglican School, call 6204 3207 or visit

Mission to develop knowledgeable and caring kids

HOLY Trinity is a small primary school and early learning centre in Curtin and prides itself on living out Jesus’ message of faith, hope and love and upholding the equality, dignity and worth of each individual, says principal Philippa Brearley.

“The school’s mission is to inspire connections with our God, ourselves, our learning and our world,” she says.

“This mission aims to develop curious, inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who are responsible for creating a compassionate and more peaceful world in the future.”

Through the International Baccalaureate, Primary Years Programme, Philippa says the school offers an engaging, relevant and stimulating curriculum which prepares its students to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

“We strive to nurture students who are internationally minded with an understanding of their responsibility to themselves and the world,” she says.

Holy Trinity Primary School is having two open mornings from 9.30am to 11am on Tuesday, May 7 and Monday, May 13, and one open evening, 5.30pm to 7pm, on Tuesday, May 7.

At the open days and night, Philippa says year 6 leaders, parents of the community and members of the school and early learning centre leadership team will show interested families around the school, early learning centre and surroundings.

“Whilst we take you on a personal tour, we will talk to you about our school philosophy which aligns with our Catholic faith and International Baccalaureate’s beliefs,” she says.

Holy Trinity Primary School and Early Learning Centre, 18-20 Theodore Street, Curtin. Call 6281 4811 or visit

Confident Grammar keen to answer those questions

WHETHER a child is a high achiever or a student needs a bit more help, Canberra Grammar School is a great place for all kinds of students, says the head of school, Dr Justin Garrick.

From preschool to year 12, Justin says Canberra Grammar School treats each individual student with care and consideration.

“We believe children need an environment that encourages them to seek out academics and social relationships, to find their passions and purpose in a complex world; to be ready for the world,” he says.

Justin understands that choosing the right school is one of the most important decisions a parent or guardian can make, which is why Canberra Grammar School’s open days consists of a tour, morning tea, an information session, a Q&A session and an opportunity to speak with staff and with the students.

“Our students are our greatest ambassadors. Speak to them and they will tell you what makes CGS special,” he says.

Canberra Grammar School is now accepting enrolments for 2020 and invites parents and guardians to come along to its open days on May 29 and October 16.

“Open Day is your opportunity to visit our beautiful Red Hill or Northside Campus and to have your questions answered,” Justin says.

Canberra Grammar School, Northside Campus, 33 Blamey Crescent, Campbell. Southside Campus, 15 Alexander Street, Red Hill. Visit

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