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Moving schools for senior? It could be the step your child needs

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If there’s one cohort to have felt the uncertainty and challenges of the past few years, it’s our senior students. The need for good grades doesn’t stop for a pandemic. Our young people need to be adequately prepared for life beyond the school gates and the senior years of schooling offer plenty of opportunities.

It’s hardly surprising then that there’s been an increase in families searching for the best possible environment to help their kids through the critical senior years of school.

One school seeing a marked increase in enrolments for Years 11 and 12 is St John Fisher College (SJFC) on Brisbane’s northside.

“Students are either dissatisfied with their current high school experience or are looking for a higher quality education for their remaining two years at school,” says St John Fisher College (SJFC) Principal Catherine Galvin.

Kyra McDonald made the switch to SJFC midway through Year 11. She will be one of two of the school’s Mission and Social Justice captains in 2023.

“I was so nervous about moving to a new school halfway through the year,” Miss McDonald says. “But it has been the best decision I have made [to date].”

Kyra’s mum Janelle Schlitter had initial concerns about her daughter changing schools mid-year.

“We had been at her previous school since Prep,” Ms Schlitter says. “I phoned SJFC and arranged an interview, and from that moment everything just fell into place.”

Ms Schlitter says that from the front office administration to the school’s teachers, students, and even other parents, everyone has been encouraging and welcoming.

The benefits of moving school for the senior years

As it is a natural break in the education journey, many students look to move for the start of Year 11. There are many advantages to changing schools at this time, including:

  • approaching studies with a fresh and more focused frame of mind
  • having the opportunity to study new and more suitable courses
  • experiencing a better way of teaching
  • making new likeminded friends
  • developing adaption skills
  • adding extra-curricular choices
  • accessing to better facilities

“Academically the school has pushed me to do my absolute best in my schoolwork,” Miss McDonald says. “All the teachers and students are incredibly motivating. There is also much excitement around our studies and to achieve the best result possible.”

Students are also exposed to many academic, sporting and volunteering opportunities.

However, Kyra says for others considering a change, it is important to ensure the new school has the right support systems in place.

“The move to SJFC was incredibly smooth and came with so much ease,” she says.

“Every staff member has our best interests at heart. They get to know you on a name-to-name basis, which I found comforting when I knew nobody.”

Miss McDonald says the amount of  support from the school community has been overwhelming.

“I have been pleasantly surprised at how wonderful the girls all support and encourage each other,” Janelle Schlitter says.

“Even before Kyra started at SJFC, during the Open Day we met a lovely young lady in her year level who showed us around the school and provided Kyra with a fabulous insight. This young lady also messaged the night before to wish Kyra well. I have been so impressed with the friendships and the focus of these young ladies.”

Ms Schlitter believes her daughter’s move to St John Fisher College is an invaluable life experience Kyra can reflect on positively after school.

“Kyra has expressed that she wished she had moved to SJFC sooner. For me, I believe it was the right time and the right school offering the right pathways,” she says.

St John Fisher College prepares students to make their mark

“Our college really is the hidden gem of schools in Brisbane’s northern suburbs,” Catherine Galvin says.

“While our fee is certainly affordable, our focus is on delivering a curriculum designed to prepare girls for a changing world.”

Ms Galvin believes SJFC’s holistic approach to education guides students to learn, lead and succeed.

“It marks the beginning of a journey of growth that will continue well beyond school,” she says.

The success of SJFC students is evident in the school’s consistent ATAR record.

For the past five years, 100 per cent of students from St John Fisher College have received their Queensland Certificate of Education.

“These results tell us our students are on a learning pathway suited to both who they are now and who they want to become in life away from school.”

The entire eligible 2021 cohort received an ATAR above 60. Thirty per cent achieved an ATAR above 90 and 13 per cent above 95.

The cohort’s top ATAR score was an outstanding 99.55, while the median ATAR of 84.6 shows a marked growth in ATAR attainment.

“St John Fisher’s strong academic outcomes, combined with an appreciation of vocational experiences, allows students to succeed and thrive as they move into adulthood,” Ms Galvin says.

“When St John Fisher College students graduate they are real world ready.”

Principal’s Tours take place at St John Fisher College on the first Friday of each month (excluding school holidays). Book your tour now to learn more about the College on-site.

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By Angela Sutherland
After spending many years hustling stories on busy editorial desks around the world, Angela is now mum of two little ones and owner/editor at Kids on the Coast / Kids in the City. She is an atrocious cook and loves cutting shapes to 90s dance music. Angela is the editor of Kids on the Coast - a free family magazine whats on guide for Kids: things to do, school holiday fun and free activities for kids... Fun attractions, family food & travel, kids health & wellbeing, kids parties venues, parenting, pregnancy & babies, guide for parents. Servicing Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and beyond, Kids on the Coast is an online guide for parents with kids things to do with kids, schools and education and lifestyle news located on Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & Brisbane, QLD.

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