Achieving a 100 per cent SACE completion rate for the fifth consecutive year, Christian Brothers College was ecstatic to reveal that 92.9 per cent of all Year 12 results were in the A and B bands. An outstanding 25.6 per cent of the cohort also achieved a 90+ ATAR, up from 14 per cent the previous year.
Principal Dan Lynch said the significant improvement in academic results was largely due to several programs and structures introduced a few years ago, together with the hard work of the staff, the CBC boys and their families.
“We were really thrilled with the 2021 results because we felt we put quite a few structures in place and had been planning on how to get really good results in Year 12 – and last year’s group followed some of those plans through from Year 10,” he said.
“We set targets each year in our improvement plans which is something to work towards…and we’ve often operated on our students achieving between 75-80 per cent of all results being As and Bs, which is comparatively good. However, last year we blew them out of the water!
“They are probably our best results in our recent history.”
Some of the changes implemented to improve academic performance included an overhaul of the senior campus’ pastoral care structures so they are now vertically grouped.
“It’s a house system that has always existed but hasn’t been fully integrated,” Mr Lynch explained.
“Now a boy will enter at Year 7 into a house and have the same Head of House for the next six years, with the Pastoral Care teacher changing only once (in Year 10) during that time. We think this is a better model, particularly in an all-boys school, where we can build a long term, deeper relationship with the student and their families.
“Our view is that the relationship is the cornerstone of everything. If we get that part right – we know the student really well and they know that we care – then the rest will probably look after itself.”
To further support Year 11 and 12 students the college started an after-school study group which runs from 5-8pm three nights a week.
“It’s voluntary and we’ve had a huge uptake, with sometimes 60 or 70 boys attending,” Mr Lynch added.
“It’s not revision time, the students come with their assignments and essays and sit with a tutor who is a bit older and who can support them as they refine their draft. It’s been really powerful.”
The college has also made changes to ensure it is providing an “accessible curriculum” that includes VET offerings.
“We see VET as a really important part of every boy’s subject choices and about 85 per cent of our
Year 12 students would have done a VET subject.”
In addition, there has been ongoing professional development for teachers through a Writer’s Workshop, focusing on improving literacy outcomes in the Junior School, and students in the Middle School can access a homework club.
Mr Lynch said while there was an obvious focus on improving academic results the college was committed to improving results in every area “in the wellbeing space, in student leadership, in social justice, in music, arts and sport”.
In line with that, the Centre of Innovation and Learning was opened in 2019, making a striking statement on the city streetscape.
Among the new facilities at the school are a rooftop observatory and kitchens with the latest equipment for food technology students.
With 1000 students enrolled from early years to Year 12, CBC is a melting pot of nearly 50 nationalities and for a considerable number of students English is an additional language.
Located in the east end of the city, Mr Lynch said the grounds were deceptively spacious for an inner city school.
“When we have open days we find what surprises prospective students and their families most is that there is more space than they thought,” he laughed.
“Certainly the facilities have been upgraded and most are amazed by how lovely they are. For the younger boys, they think the sports fields on the roof are fantastic.”
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