SOME students can fall through the gaps and become disconnected, but a new college in Bathurst has its sights sets on exactly these type of people.
Skillset Senior College is the first of its kind in Bathurst, and will focus on individualised learning for secondary students.
While conventional high school might be great for around 95 per cent of students, college principal Craig Randazzo [pictured] said there was a small percentage who required more focused education.
College principal and Skillset chief executive officer Mr Randazzo said the college would feature an adult learning environment and will initially cater for up to 34 Year 10 students from term 1, 2015.
While the learning environment may be different, the curriculum will be Board of Studies approved and focus on five key areas – mathematics, science, geography, PDHPE and English.
“We talk with employers regularly and they are telling us they are looking for young people with better foundational skills in maths,” he said.
“There’s young people who are just not fitting in in a standard school. Why can’t they try out this different environment.”
Mr Randazzo said the school was based on the successful Alesco Senior College model, first implemented in 2002 in Newcastle. There are now seven schools across NSW using the same approach.
“The exciting thing is we’re bringing this type of college to Bathurst for the first time,” he said.
“We understand that not everyone fits into the conventional model of school education, however, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to learn or aren’t able to achieve success.”
Mr Randazzo said the college would not be in competition with conventional high schools.
“Where I see us fitting is there’s 95 per cent of the student population very well served by conventional system, but I think there’s always going to be a small percentage of people who the conventional system doesn’t work for,” he said.
“We want people who want to be here ... they really do need to want to make a change.
“We need students to take control of their own learning.”
Mr Randazzo said the college was approved to offer Year 10 only in 2015, but the aim was to then apply for approval to deliver years 11 and 12 from 2016, providing a complete alternative senior school for the Bathurst district.
“I’d just like to engage young people back into a love of learning and if we can instill in them the building blocks,” he said.
Enrolment applications for Skillset Senior College for young people going into Year 10 in 2015 are now being taken.
An interview with the potential student, parents and / or carers and an eligibility check list will be part of the application process.
Register for more information on the college and to receive updates on news and events through www.skillsetseniorcollege.com or by calling 6330 1400.