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20/06/18

College has right ingredients for student growth

Demand for secondary education continues to grow at Sovereign Hills with St Joseph’s Regional College increasing its Year 7 intake to more than 200 students.

The state-of-the-art facility near the College Rise precinct and future town centre development is attended by more than 1,000 students, and this number is expected to rise to 1,200 over the next 12 months.

Parish Education Coordinating Executive Officer John McQueen said the College’s modern environment is a drawcard.

“More importantly, I think they have a great leadership team and a dedicated staff who have developed a very structured, caring environment for students, and parents pick that up when they enter the College,” Mr McQueen shared.

The combined Year 7 2019 enrolment of St Joseph’s Regional College and MacKillop College will exceed 450 students, reflecting the reputation St Agnes’ Parish maintains as a provider of education in the Hastings.

The steady growth has prompted the Parish, which is actively considering its expansion options in the Hastings, to plan for the next generation of primary and secondary students.

“The two areas where you would consider it are Bonny Hills and Sovereign Hills,” added Mr McQueen.

“We’ve just bought some land at Bonny Hills. There’s 350 secondary students that go to either St Joseph’s Regional College, if they’re on the southern side of Houston Mitchell Drive, and MacKillop, if they’re on the northern side.

“We’re keen to make sure we work with council and we work with development to have schools where the demand is… It’s going to take a little bit of time but we’re working on that.”

St Joseph’s Regional College will soon be joined by the nearby Sovereign Hills town centre, which will provide long awaited amenity for the community, and the College’s students, staff and parents.

Sovereign Hills’ developer Lewis Land Group will also prepare five regional playing fields at the northern tip of the college grounds, and it’s edging closer to opening a link road featuring path and cycle ways, which will connect residents on both sides of the development and provide safe passage for students via an Oxley Highway underpass.

St Joseph’s Regional College, which is headed by Principal Jim Dempsey, continues to impress and invest in its students and facilities, with the opening of a hospitality unit built to commercial standards.

“The construction of this state-of-the-art commercial kitchen will serve the needs of all students who intend to gain employment in the hospitality industry in the future,” explained Mr Dempsey.

“There’s a lot of programs that encourage students to extends their skills and talents right across the curriculum and there are also programs in place that support students who find ‘traditional’ school a challenge. Sport and project based learning are innovative ways of assisting students in this area,” added Mr McQueen.

“No matter what you build, if you have good leadership and good teachers, you have all the ingredients of a great school.”

For more information about St Joseph’s Regional College click here.