Alternative campus established to support self-motivated students

An innovative alternative education setting has been established in Newcastle to assist self-motivated students who want to continue their secondary schooling but may not feel well suited to a mainstream schooling.

Cooks Hill Campus opens in 2014 for Year 9 and 10 students. The campus is a result of a partnership between DEC and Big Picture Education, a program that provides education opportunities for self-reliant students who are strongly motivated but risk not completing their formal education.

Director of Public Schools NSW Jenny Moody said the campus was taking enrolments for the 2014 year.

She said the Big Picture model worked for students of many ability levels who had previously been switched off from mainstream schooling.

"The Big Picture Education design is a dynamic approach to learning that has been changing the lives of students across Australia since 2006," Ms Moody said.

"It provides personalised learning for students who are self-starters, prepared to take responsibility for their learning, and committed to graduating from school to further learning at university or through other further education."

Learning in small, informal groups of up to 17 students, the program focuses on the student's individual interests as the basis of their learning.

Each student works with their family, advisory teacher and mentors to identify their interests and create an individual learning plan tied to the curriculum. Each term every student exhibits their work, showing their progress towards the goals in their plan.

The campus will begin with 102 students in Years 9 and 10 from the start of Term 1 in 2014, expanding to Year 11 in 2015.

More information can be found on the Big Picture Education Australia or by calling the department's Adamstown office on 4904 3900.

The deadline for applications is Friday, 27 September 2013.

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