Ballarat Clarendon College regards life as learning. Everything we do is an opportunity to learn; there is no reason for being otherwise. A Clarendon education is embracing and explicit. We are very clear about what drives our decisions around teaching and learning and share this rationale with the entire school community. Nothing, for us, is co-curricular; all is curriculum.
A Clarendon education is about partnership. We are aware of the very real responsibilities that teachers share with parents and the community to facilitate openness, mutual trust and honesty.
A Clarendon education is for this time. We know that the future of individuals and communities is dependent on the power of young people to participate, to lead, to think about values and beliefs, to make decisions, and to make mistakes. We empower them to recover from these mistakes, to learn and to grow.
At Ballarat Clarendon College, we are driven to help students understand the depth of their personal resources and their capacity for change. A Clarendon education is passionate, daring, clear, sharp, authentic and fun. We make learning and life nothing short of extraordinary.
The concept of development is the central idea underlying inspiring and exceptional teaching and learning.
We believe that, in cooperation with the learner, inspiring and exceptional teaching produces extraordinary achievement for every student. Our school’s commitment to achieving outstanding results means that, from the Early Learning Centre through to VCE, we work to create an explicit culture of awareness about everything that our students do in their school lives. Firstly, they are ‘fired up’ to learn and then prepared to participate fully in the process that will ensure individual success. We encourage them to vigorously resist a passive acceptance attitude to life and to be an actor in the universe, not a participant. We help students set clear goals, establish standards and closely monitor their progress. We intervene when progress is not made. Accurate, immediate and continuous feedback underpins our teaching and learning.
We work on this formula:
passionate belief + inspiring, exceptional teaching and learning = extraordinary results
Within real contexts and by exploration of relevant issues, we dare students to determine the direction of their lives and thus their future on the planet.
At Ballarat Clarendon College, we think that ‘if you win, you win, and if you lose, you win.’ This is the best form of risk taking.
Within a culture of relatedness, our students do try and they do learn. We are dedicated to the evolution of students’ knowledge, skills, capacities, attitudes, values and beliefs. These are necessary for effective participation in a community. We provide young individuals with sufficient scaffolding and support them through challenges. This is what builds the potential for lifelong learning. At Clarendon, we know that there is nothing to be learned by being comfortable. When everything seems right, there is never room for the all-important question, ‘How broad are my personal qualities and how deep are these resources?’.
By allowing students to make mistakes, we are providing opportunities for teaching, learning, counselling, support and development. Within real contexts and by exploration of relevant issues, we dare them to determine the direction of their lives and thus their future on the planet. The future will be a community prepared to move into unknown territory, to take on the unpredictable and with a greater capacity to respond positively to, and recover well from, change. This is inspiring exceptional teaching and learning for life.
We are firmly of the belief that thinking and acting ethically, clearly and compassionately, is crucial to the future of society.
Ballarat Clarendon College is a school that is absolutely clear about essential outcomes and curriculum. To claim that our students will make significant contributions to the change and development of our planet requires an absolute clarity.
From the junior years, we build a bedrock foundation for future learning. Here, essential literacy, numeracy, thinking and communication skills are emphasised, as well as the enlargement of personal confidence and individual responsibility.
Middle School extends this responsibility with a spirited pastoral care program, within which students deal with more complex challenges. We show students that every single school activity, such as assemblies, study periods, lunchtime discussions, sport, group tasks are learning opportunities and chances to assume responsibility for development. Students are the key part of the home-school partnership; they manage interviews related to achievement and contribute to decisions about learning.
Our 9/10 School, including the King Island program, empowers students with the skills of social responsibility and global awareness needed to actively participate in our world. A student’s social and emotional development in Years 9 and 10 becomes critically important and it is our responsibility to adequately prepare our young people for an independent and informed life in a global community. With the right environment, right expectations and right demands, this can be a time of immense personal development.
In the Senior School, anticipation for the next stage begins to build. Enticing students is the possibility of university, fulfillment of their individual passions, the excitement of leaving home and emergence into adult life. Their education at Clarendon leaves students well equipped for this transition.
What makes us sharp is an unending pursuit of a curriculum that is relevant and effective for the 21st century.
Students and parents make the decision to become part of Ballarat Clarendon College based on observations about our values and culture. Perceptions about our clarity and passion, about learning, drive this choice. Clarendon is known for its culture of sharing excellent practice and its readiness to implement the most effective models of teaching and learning in order to achieve the best possible outcomes for students. By making learning and teaching explicit, by being precise in our management of learning and by embracing analysis of our performance, we have achieved recognition by national and international standards. Learning outcomes for students of Clarendon will continue to improve as a result of our openness to approaching teaching and learning creatively.
For each level of school – Junior, Middle, 9/10 and Senior – emphasis on the competencies of literacy, communication, numeracy and decision making provides clear direction for the development of every individual. We engage students in the process of building understanding, knowledge and critical capacities at their particular level and provide opportunities to access the curriculum that caters for their individual needs. What makes us sharp is an unending pursuit of a curriculum that is relevant and effective for the 21st century.
We develop an understanding of the complex interplay of values, ethics, attitudes and responsibilities.
Through the strong leadership of our College Council, staff, auxiliaries, Old Collegians and friends of the school, students develop their life journey as a member of a thriving and genuine community. We believe Ballarat Clarendon College to be the extended family of modern times. Now associated with the Uniting Church, the school began in 1864 and 1868 as Ballarat College and Mrs Kennedy’s School for Girls respectively, providing a classical foundation for contemporary lives. Students are taught to respect the past without living in it, to acknowledge the collective wisdom of those who went before and to live out values laid down in earlier times that are still relevant today.
Our students realise that they do not have to make this journey alone. We help them interpret the world and develop an understanding of the complex interplay of values, ethics, attitudes and responsibilities needed to balance the rights of others with their own happiness.
Critical to this are making choices and participating in the all-important task of building community. Early Learning Centre students to young adults build a just, fair society within our school and thus help to create a more connected world beyond it.
What if school is so much fun that students refuse to go home?
There is no law forbidding us from having fun as we strive. In truth, creativity is where work and fun merge. A Ballarat Clarendon College education is about life. It is about the fun of challenge, the exhilaration of change. It is also about engagement and daring; about sharpness and capacity to change; about passion and clarity; about a chance to bring something extra to the ordinary.
Clarendon is a ‘what if’ kind of school. Here we are dedicated to asking the big questions in order to create the best possible outcomes. That is the essence of what drives us. What if school is so much fun that students refuse to go home? What if teachers are always learning? What if we just keep getting better? What if?