CBR is widely recognised as the learning capital of Australia, and this is in no small part due to the strong foundations of the Canberra school system.
Our city has a national reputation for achieving excellent academic results. Indeed, as demonstrated throughout the annual NAPLAN testing, the ACT continues to return the top or equal top result in the majority of age groups and subject categories.
Just like the city itself, the Canberra school system is filled with opportunity across academic, sporting and cultural arenas- whilst also retaining a distinct appreciation for community and values.
As a result, schooling in Canberra provides a well-rounded education that can cater to the diverse needs of students.
Here are five reasons why our school system is the best in Australia.
- Accessibility to national learning institutions
Canberra boasts some of the nation’s most famous resources through its national institutions, stunning landmarks and international-standard amenities.
There is something for everyone when you live and teach in Canberra. Teachers have direct access to the Australian War Memorial, Parliament House, the National Museum of Australia, Questacon, the National Zoo and Aquarium, the National Botanic Gardens, Tidbinbilla and Cotter River Nature Reserve, Canberra Theatre and the Australian Institute of Sport.
These attractions all offer educational programs that provide a great opportunity for students to learn in an interactive and exciting environment.
- Strong support for Public Schools
Canberra Public Schools are known for providing inclusive, accessible and high quality education. Currently around 45,000 students are enrolled in 87 schools across the ACT.
A network of qualified and dedicated principals, teachers and staff provide students with a broad curriculum that involves exciting subjects, programs and activities. This education is provided in a supportive learning environment and is strengthened by the active engagement and communication with parents, carers and local communities.
Canberra Public Schools are also creative communities, located on extensive grounds with first rate facilities. The schools reflect the emerging technologies of the 21st century by offering interactive whiteboards, broadband networks and teacher training to provide engaging learning opportunities for all students.
- Variety in schooling models
Canberra’s schools endorse inclusion, recognising the strengths of students and create programs that support and challenge students to reach their potential.
To achieve this, the Canberra schooling system offers a range of educational structures, ranging from traditional models to more specific structures. This variety in schooling includes; early childhood schools (Years P-2), primary schools (Years P-6), primary/middle/high schools (Years P-10), high schools (Years 7-10) and secondary senior colleges (Years 11-12).
Whilst there is the ability to progress through one model, the options to attend more specific schooling can provide a greater focus on the educational requirements that are associated with that age-group. For example, the secondary senior colleges – a predominant feature of ACT education for the past 30 years – supports student learning within a more adult environment and build responsibility, independence and skills in decision making.
- Focusing on the individual
Schools are also available in Canberra for students who wish to prioritise certain areas, whether that be academic, sporting or cultural.
The UC Secondary Senior College Lake Ginninderra’s elite sports program, for example, offers gifted sportsmen and women the opportunity to develop their sporting skills while maintaining their academic studies in a supportive college environment.
Specialist schools also cater for students with high and complex needs. These schools (Cranleigh, Malkara, Black Mountain and The Woden School) provide more intensive educational learning environments for students with a significant level of disability and high support needs.
Variety further exists through single sex and co-education schooling options, with a multitude of schools that also cater to different religious beliefs. Best of all, the geographic spread of schools in Canberra mean that they are all largely accessible with short commutes.
- Emphasis on professional development for teachers
The Canberra school system also provides high level support to educators through extensive training and development. The education system in Canberra firmly believes that the more qualified the teacher, the greater the opportunities for every child to learn and grow. As such, there is a large emphasis placed on education, training and a zest for life-long learning.
In order to maintain excellence in innovative and leading practice, teachers undertake a minimum of five days of professional learning each year to incorporate relevant and current pedagogical research and understanding of teaching practice. Through their professional pathways agreements teachers extend their experience and ensure their commitment to their profession.
In return, the schooling system offers excellent superannuation schemes, competitive salaries and packaging, generous leave entitlements, staff welfare services, mobility and flexibility for teachers to teach across the different sectors.
This encourages the brightest graduate talent and ensures quality teachers for Canberra students to learn from.
*Some content sourced from: http://www.education.act.gov.au/employment/teach_in_canberra/teaching_in_canberra