Founding Principal Luke Reed had a positive feeling from the start that the 2016 opening of Mount Peter’s MacKillop Catholic College was going to be a welcome success, considering the early interest and enthusiasm shown by the community. But it was a sign from Cairns Regional Council – or perhaps from Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop herself – that confirmed his belief.
The first stage of the $5.7 million new Prep to Year 12 Catholic college near Edmonton is well on track for its 2016 opening, catering initially for Prep to Year 3 students and growing into a full Prep to Year 12 college. Interest in the new school is high and enrolment positions for 2016 are quickly filling up.
The college’s street address was originally on Springs Road, also known as Deppeler Road West, but Cairns Regional Council approached the Catholic Diocese with a request to change the name of the street to MacKillop Road.
“We were thrilled with the suggestion and the new name of the road,” Mr Reed said. “It’s a wonderful tribute to Saint Mary MacKillop and it’s a great beginning for the school.”
The community has shown a huge interest in the college, which is gearing up for its opening for first term of 2016 with its first stage – Prep to Year 3 classes.
“There is great excitement,” Mr Reed said. “The kids are excited and mums and dads are excited.
“People are saying to us all the time how delighted they are that there is a Catholic school in this area.”
The college is already in the process of planning for the expansion of the college to have facilities ready for Year 5 and Year 6 in 2018 and 2019. Design and planning will occur in 2016 with construction in 2017.
Due to the great deal of feedback from families requesting secondary options be available as soon as possible, the college is exploring the possible early expansion into secondary school (Year 7) in 2018.
“MacKillop’s case for the early commencement of secondary school would be strengthened by expressions of interest from local families keen to have a secondary school option at MacKillop from 2018.
“The college would appreciate if interested families would provide details of children they would strongly consider enrolling at MacKillop if the secondary school option was available,” Mr Reed said.
An on-line confidential form is available at http://goo.gl/forms/bWcjfpWidL . A separate on-line form for each child is required.
“Completing the on-line form is for planning purposes only and does not commit families to enrolling their children at MacKillop Catholic College,” Mr Reed said.
One of the aspects of the new school design at Mount Peter that impresses Principal Reed is the use of flexible classrooms where the classrooms have been designed to use the space.
Gone will be the traditional classrooms where rows of seats faced the front of the class and the teacher. They will be replaced by open spaces with comfortable furniture and different learning areas, some private and some open.
“We want a flexible learning environment to enhance student learning,” Mr Reed said. “Our teachers are very excited to start engaging the students in this new environment.”
The school will also have an Outside School Hours Care Facility operated by Catholic Early Learning and Care.
Families interested in enrolling at MacKillop are encouraged to submit their applications soon to avoid missing out or being placed on a waiting list.