$5.5-million school-building project opened

A multi-million dollar building project to cater for growing student enrolments and increasing demand for services at Carinity Education Rockhampton has been officially opened.

Four new buildings on the school’s campus at Glenlee were officially opened by Associated Christian Schools Executive Director Dr Lynne Doneley on August 1.

The new facilities comprise a hospitality and vocational training building, an industrial art building and gymnasium, an art and design building, and an administration building.

The $5.5 million building project, constructed over three stages, was jointly funded by Carinity and the Australian and Queensland Governments. Over $3 million was provided by Block Grant Authority capital funding for non-government schools.

Prior to construction of the new buildings, students attended classes in one permanent classroom block and a few demountable buildings.

Carinity Education Rockhampton opened in 2016 with 24 students. Catering for increased demand for Carinity’s alternative education model, the independent secondary school now has almost 90 students from Year 7 to 12.

Principal Lyn Harland says Carinity Education Rockhampton provides education, vocational training and mentoring for students who are having difficulty succeeding in traditional schools.

“We welcome young people who are disconnected from their schools or community and are committed to developing our students’ self-belief and hope for a future,” Lyn explains.

“We have a focus on learning that develops creativity as well as providing real-world application for lessons. Expressions of creativity through art and language can have extremely positive impacts, while our hospitality training gives students the chance to learn valuable life and employment skills.

“Our approach to learning is individualised and we acknowledge that students learn in different ways and at different speeds, with different goals.

“Each student works closely with an allocated mentor, usually a youth worker, so that their journey is supported and they are never left to feel isolated or invisible within the community.”

Carinity Education Rockhampton’s first cohort of ten Year 12 students graduated from the school last November.

“Our teachers and staff gain much satisfaction from seeing teenagers who arrived at Carinity Education schools lacking direction, confidence and with a clouded educational future and develop into valuable contributors to their local community,” Carinity Executive Manager of Education Services Christine Hill says.

Dr Lynne Doneley says Carinity Education Rockhampton is “one of the growing number of Special Assistance Schools in Queensland offering alternative educational settings”.

“The teachers and staff who work in these schools are unique. It is not a job, but rather their mission and calling. They recognise the potential within each student and seek to connect with them and walk the learning journey with them through relevant learning experiences,” Lynne adds.

“Their care and belief in every one of these students enrolled is testament to the commitment they have in seeing these students’ lives change for the better.”

Carinity Education Rockhampton is one of five Carinity Education schools around Queensland, the others being in Gladstone, Hervey Bay, Brisbane and Townsville.

“These schools are for students and families who are looking for another option – a safer, more nurturing, individualised learning environment,” Mark Newham from Independent Schools Queensland says.

“They have the flexibility to do things a little differently and provide wraparound supports that not every school can manage. Carinity Education people are goodhearted, generous and smart, and I’ve only positive things to say about what they’ve done, and how they’ve grown.”

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