At Whitsunday Anglican School, we pride ourselves on a number of points of difference that enhance our students’ education and lives and therefore make us one of the leading regional schools in Australia.
The Whitsunday community
A strong school community fosters positive, rewarding relationships for students, parents and staff. Whitsunday Anglican School is a community of committed educators and professionals who are genuinely invested in each student’s development and wellbeing. We strive to unlock your child’s full potential, giving them the greatest opportunity to be the best they can be. Our community is culturally diverse, both from a rural and multicultural perspective. Our boarding and day students typically originate from local, rural and remote locations or are visiting us from overseas.
The Whitsunday Anglican School community was recognised in 2018 when it was named as a finalist in the Regional School of the Year category in the inaugural Australian Education Awards. The criteria for this category was based around academic achievements, high standards of teaching and learning, strong community links and commitment to innovation and continuous improvement.
Another great aspect of the School is that there is always something happening and despite the School’s short history in comparison to other schools, there are a number of traditional events that engrained in our school year and in the hearts of our students which also strengthens our community. One such event is the Year 12 Commissioning which is an annual ceremony where our Preparatory students present our Year 12 students with their ties as they officially embark on their final year of schooling at Whitsunday. Another is Celebrate Whitsunday which is a celebration of the School’s birthday and a celebration assembly which is preceded by the Run for Cover event which is a Kindergarten to Year 12 House event that involves a relay race with a house icon acting as the relay baton. Though our House events are mostly centred around sport, the Interhouse Choir Competition is also a favourite for most with each House and each Junior/Middle and Senior group presenting a choir performance and dance with the champion house being crowned at the end of the performances.
Another notable opportunity that our students can participate in is the Mackay Sony Foundation Children’s Holiday Camp. The Mackay Sony Camp is an annual Service Learning initiative that started at the School back in 2014. The camp is a free-of-charge three-day/two-night camp for young people with special needs. These children, known as Campers, are cared for by our Year 11/12 students (Companions), who are assisted by a support team of volunteers. Last year’s camp was particularly notable as singer, actress and Sony Foundation ambassador, Samantha Jade, made a special appearance at the camp.
In July each year, the School also hosts the Whitsunday Voices Youth Literature Festival where between 5000 and 6000 students from around the region enjoy two days of book talks and workshops with Australia’s leading authors. Running since 2004, The Whitsunday Voices Youth Literature Festival is the largest and only literature festival of its kind north of the Sunshine Coast. It provides a unique opportunity for students, teachers and residents in and around Mackay to experience a literary and cultural event not normally available outside major metropolitan centres.
We live in a time of great global change and have a responsibility to “future proof” students for changing political, economic, employment and social climates. We embrace a holistic approach – at all stages – and for all stakeholders – in a rich culture of learning.
Last year, the School was named one of The Educator’s Innovative Schools for 2018. The Educator’s report profiled Australian schools leading the way in their efforts to best prepare students for tomorrow’s world. Whitsunday Anglican School was recognised for its Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) elective subject, which was introduced in 2018, and the exciting educational opportunities its students have experienced in this area so far.
As a non-selective school, Whitsunday Anglican School caters for students of all academic abilities. We pride ourselves on academic excellence and our academic results reflect this.
Below is a list of just some of our recent academic achievements:
- Our 2018 Overall Position (OP) results saw us named by The Sunday Mail amongst some of Queensland’s top schools for the percentage of OP-eligible students who earned a ranking from 1 to 5.
- We have consistently high NAPLAN results across all year levels and 2018’s results were no different with Whitsunday Anglican School being recognised as a top performer in the Mackay region by The Daily Mercury.
- Our students competed in the Australian Mathematics Competition in 2018 with Year 4 student Soham Rana receiving a prize for achieving in the top 0.3% of students in Queensland.
- In 2018, Whitsunday had 82 students achieving Distinctions and High Distinctions for the annual International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) competition. Year 12 student Danya Bushell also received the highest mark in Queensland for the Year 12 ICAS English exam.
- Whitsunday Anglican School was ranked 18th in The Courier Mail’s Top 50 Queensland Schools for 2017 OP Results with 38.33% of our OP eligible students receiving an OP of 1 to 5. This demonstrates our ability to compete with our metropolitan counterparts.
- In 2017, two of our Year 12 students, Ryan Olsen and Ruturaj Vaidya, were recipients of Peter Doherty Awards for Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) education. Only 14 students state-wide were recognised and this came on the back of our success in 2015 and 2016 when sisters, Cara and Dana Stolp respectively, also received the awards.
- In 2017, our Year 10 students also experienced success as they were the runners up in the NGS Super National Virtual Debating Competition defeated by Canberra Girls Grammar. Approximately 140 debates were held over the competition with 96 teams in total competing. Whitsunday students from Years 5 – 10 enjoyed this new virtual opportunity.
Leading the Change to the new Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE)
This year the Queensland education system will undergo its biggest change in 50 years. We endeavour to be at the forefront of future curriculum delivery and in 2018 our Year 10 cohort started their Year 11 in Term 4 as we lead the change to the new Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE). These students will be the first to graduate with an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) in 2020 as the ATAR will replace the Overall Position (OP). Our students are also undertaking an additional class that will prepare them for the new internal and external assessment requirements.
Booth House Boarding
Boarding is offered for students in Years 5 to 12 at Whitsunday Anglican School. The availability of a bus service to rural locations on weekend allows our students to return home on weekends if they wish. The School also has a boarding van which is available for use for after-school activities, allowing our students to participate in sport or other activities outside of school. Our Booth House boarding students are enriched through belonging to a safe, vibrant and family-minded community. Boarding provides the School with students from many backgrounds and this adds to its character and allows it to provide an interesting living and educational environment. A home away from home is provided in Booth House boarding and our boarding family has its own special bond within Whitsunday Anglican School. This bond is strengthened through shared time, friendships and mentoring, as well as coming together for special occasions such as birthdays and special events including the Booth House Boarding Valentine’s Day dinner, Christmas in July event, Melbourne Cup and End of Year celebrations.
As part of the Whitsunday’s vision statement, the School “Leads with Service” and this has always been a cornerstone that provides students with opportunities to give back to the community. We believe that learning through service engenders a worldly education of the community, including local, national and international affairs, that are often only alluded to or briefly touched on in a classroom setting.
Whitsunday Anglican School has a strong commitment to Service Learning, both within the School and the wider community. Service within the School is driven by our desire to promote and exemplify our core values. The School’s Service Learning Program not only teaches but also encourages our students to carry out well-meaning activities that will benefit others more than themselves. The program seeks to raise awareness of the needs of others and develop a culture of responsibility and care for them inspiring a sense of empathy towards all members of the community.
Beyond the classroom, Whitsunday Anglican School offers its students every opportunity to develop, learn new skills and give back to the community. One way in which students do this is through the School’s Global Learning Program which encompasses global exchanges and expeditions. This unique program which is designed for a regional school has seen over 300 members of the School community participate in the various global experiences on offer. These Global Expeditions have included serving communities in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, the personal challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and developing independence and cultural understanding in a number of countries around the world. Additionally, partnerships have been established with seven partner schools throughout the world to provide collaborative opportunities for staff and students, including Global Exchanges. Additionally, these partnerships have allowed for three visiting academics from the US and the UK to spend time at our school.
The School also prides itself on its extensive Co-Curricular Program which encourages students to step outside their comfort zone, develop new skills and provide balance within the School’s holistic approach to education. The activities on offer are broken down into five categories:
- Academic Extension
- Personal Development
- Service Learning
- Music and the Arts
All students from the Preparatory Year through to Year 12 are encouraged to be involved. Students from Years 5 to 12 are expected to participate in at least one of the School’s co-curricular activities per semester. Student involvement in co-curricular activities is recorded on report cards at the end of each semester.
Outdoor Education Program
The School also has a developmental Outdoor Education Program held in September each year. This program sees the whole school undertake a week of activities intended to focus on the growth and development of students as individuals, their ability to interact with others, and their ability to function within their environment. The Outdoor Education Program is an integral component of the total curriculum offerings and is compulsory for all students from Kindergarten to Year 12.
Homework Assistance and Tutorial Scheme (HATS)
Whitsunday Anglican School offers a Homework Assistance (Middle School) and Tutorial Scheme (Senior School) free of charge. The Homework Assistance and Tutorial Scheme has been a unique part of the School’s offerings for over a decade. Students, formally from Year 5 onwards, are encouraged to be involved in this optional internal tuition program. Teachers in the Preparatory Year to Year 4 offer selective tutoring sessions before or after school each week also.