Cairns’ newest and most innovative school has given key stakeholders an exciting first glimpse of the building ahead of its 2022 opening.
The first stage of Newman Catholic College, co-located with James Cook University in Smithfield, is complete after a mammoth 12-month construction phase and the purpose-built rooms are being fitted with furniture and technology in preparation for students to walk through the door.
Bishop of Cairns James Foley, JCU Vice Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding AO, JCU Cairns Campus Director Dr David Craig, Diocese of Cairns Acting Chief of Operations Bill Dixon, Cairns Catholic Education Services Acting Executive Director Dr Andrea O’Brien and Newman Catholic College Principal Dr Lauretta Graham have toured the school, ahead of a planned formal handover.
The new, four-level building of approximately 7,000m² contains five design technology classrooms, four science lab classrooms, a library and administration area, and an indoor PE court. It also features open and collaborative learning environments with sweeping landscape views and quiet retreat spaces.
Dr Graham said the College was designed to support and nurture innovative thinkers. She thanked all the workers, contractors and managers who had worked around the clock to make it a reality.
“Standing on the site a year ago, we would never have imagined what could be achieved in such a short time, especially through the challenges of a long wet season and the many impacts of COVID 19,” she said.
“Our new, technology-rich environments will deliver a greater impact than the more traditional spaces, and our carefully-selected teachers are comfortable using digital resources to enhance teaching and learning.”
Professor Harding said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming Newman staff and students in the new year.”
“The College will be an exciting addition to the range of education opportunities on the north side of Cairns.”
It comes as Newman Catholic College reveals its revolutionary range of study options, including game development, robotics, marine sciences, personal finance and orienteering.
From Term 1, students can choose elective subjects such as Dance, Drama, Instrumental Music, Visual Arts, Photography, Engineering, Game Development, Food Technology, 3D Design, Outdoor Education: Orienteering, Italian or Japanese.
From Term 2 and beyond, students can also choose to study Personal Finance, Robotics, Performing Arts, Marine Science – Extension, Health and Sport Science and Outdoor Education: Active Learning.
Some rules will be in place to ensure students are exposed to a variety of learning material.
“Although students in Year 7 would traditionally not have the opportunity to select subjects, creating subjects that integrate multiple learning areas allow us to provide students with choice while they experience a broad range of subject areas,” Dr Graham said.
“A key element of our mission is to always remain relevant, contemporary, adaptable and agile enough to respond to future change.
“Our aim over the next five years is to further explore opportunities for working in partnership with JCU, other schools, industry and government to continue providing the best for each individual student.”
Newman Catholic College is the first Catholic school in Australia to be co-located with a university.
It will add a new year level every year to be a full Year 7-12 secondary college in 2027.
For more information, visit the Newman Catholic College website here.