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June 26, 2024

New Ballina high school reflects vibrancy of region

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Ballina Coastal High School students sporting their new uniforms. (supplied)
Ballina Coastal High School students sporting their new uniforms. (supplied)

The name and logo for Ballina’s first ‘future focussed’ high school was unveiled yesterday at Ballina High School.

The new school will be known as Ballina Coast High School, and its new logo, with colours inspired by the hinterland, sunshine, beaches and coastline, is a reflection of the vibrancy of the north coast region.

The school’s guiding principles are Innovation, Excellence and Diversity, and its vision is ‘Growing together, creating futures’.

The announcement by the Assistant Minister for Education, Leslie Williams, and Deputy Government Whip, Ben Franklin is another step in the school’s redevelopment journey, as it transitions towards a 21st century centre for educational excellence with flexible learning spaces supported by the latest technology and an inspired new curriculum.

The launch was officiated by joint MC’s, Southern Cross School Captains – Hayley Carter and Jessie Kernagan, Ballina High School captains – Thomas Caesar and Leila Monti.

Eli Cook, Aboriginal Education Officer, Ballina Public School gave a rousing ‘Welcome to Country’, and those in attendance were treated to performances by the Ballina High School Aboriginal Boy Dance Group.

Following presentations by school principals Janeen Silcock (Southern Cross School), Danny Henman (Ballina High School) and Peter Campbell (Director Public Schools NSW – Richmond Valley network), Minister Williams outlined her appreciation for the way both schools had worked collaboratively on a shared future vision, and her enthusiasm for the new approach to learning on offer.

‘Ballina Coast High School will be a lighthouse for public education, not only in NSW but throughout Australia,’ she said.

‘Over the next 18 months there will be a dramatic physical transformation of the site. The weatherboards and old bricks will be replaced by steel, glass and new age building materials forming a 21st century learning environment.’

Learning at Ballina Coast High School will be delivered in modern way that reflects the needs of today’s learners. The school will offer a coordinated curriculum that crosses over subject areas, and with the support of Learning Coaches, students will be encouraged to decide what and how they will learn. This innovative approach is designed to drive engagement in the learning process.

With planned flagships in aquaculture, agriculture, marine technology, performing arts and sports, and cutting edge facilities, the school will look like no other. Key features include:

  • Classrooms of the future: Large, flexible spaces with attached break out and tutorial rooms to meet a range of learning needs.
  • Sporting stadium and sports grounds: indoor sporting stadium and generous outdoor sports grounds including handball areas.
  • Performing Arts: A Performing Arts Centre will incorporate a state-of-the-art auditorium, plus drama and dance studio, music practice rooms and a film and recording studio.
  • The Learning Centre: dedicated learning space with multi-media capabilities and extensive resources supported by the latest technology.
  • Technology Suite: Purpose designed workshops will be created to support activities such as forming, fabrication, welding and 3D printing.
  • Science: Learning will be aided by wet and dry laboratories with capacity for electronics and robotics.
  • Staff: The approach of our teaching staff will reflect their dedication to lifelong learning.
  • Student Services: Students to benefit from incorporated learning support, a learning coach, and a health and careers service
  • Learning Support: Specialist programs will be offered for students with special needs, who speak languages other than English, or to challenge the gifted and talented.

During the launch, a collection of current Southern Cross and Ballina High students proudly wore the newly designed school uniform, which will be phased in over a two year period commencing January 2017.

While Ballina Coast High School does not formally open until 2019, the new approach to learning at the school will commence with the class of 2022 (Year 7) in 2017.  This innovative approach to education will be phased in over the next three years in preparation for learning in a future focussed environment.

The redesign of learning spaces for the class of 2022 is currently taking place on the Southern Cross site, ready for 2017. Creative and adaptable furniture has been ordered along with sound proofing to ensure an optimum learning environment.

Students who are completing Years 8 – 12 will benefit from the ‘HOW 2 Learn’ training currently being undertaken by the combined teaching staff. This training focuses on developing a growth mindset approach to learning.

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