Page 1

State-of-the-art Education

Special 16 page supplement celebrating the opening of our new science centre

Notre Dame College state-of-the-art education

‘To seek, to see, to respond’

MODERN COLLEGE… From left, Notre Dame College Senior Science Technicians, Dianne Read And Helen Mcmillan, Principal, John Cortese, St Brendan’s Parish Priest, Fr Joe Taylor, Notre Dame College Finance Manager, David Smyth, Facilities Manager, Paul Christensen and Deputy Principal – Student Wellbeing, Emma Reynoldson inside the college’s new $7.5M state-of-the-art science centre. Photo: Alicia Niglia.

Notre Dame College opens state-of-the-art facility H

aving just opened a state-of-the-art $7.5M science centre, Trades Skills Centre and an art precinct currently under construction, Notre Dame College offers state-of-the-art educational options for students from Year 7 right through to Year 12. The new science centre, which is now open, consolidates three separate science locations into one specialist science precinct, eliminating the need to either replicate or transport equipment and chemicals across three locations. The first floor consists of eight laboratories including specialist science labs for Chemistry, Physics and Biology and also features a central science preparation area, a staff work room, a tutorial room and collaborative learning zones. Providing eight general learning areas on the ground floor which will accommodate Year 7 and Year 8 Jennings and Mungovan Houses, along with Head of House offices, staff workrooms, meeting spaces, collaborative zones, outdoor learning areas, a tiered seating gathering area and toilets. Principal, John Cortese said, “Newer facilities and contemporary science teaching (when linked to our

outstanding teaching and science ancillary staff at the science level) will help drive a passion and love for science and stimulate student thinking towards careers in maths and science. “The science rooms and the general purpose classrooms are designed to facilitate greater collaboration between students, allow for breakout groups and/or individual research to occur and, if need be, provide spaces for individual support or tutoring for students. Problem solving and large scale experimentation can occur with ease in the new spaces, at all times under the active supervision and observation of staff. “A key feature of all rooms are the display areas that run along each wall. Significant science treasures are located in each room that provide challenging visual stimulation for all students whilst in class or when students are in recess or lunch break. Likewise, there are murals on the walls of the building that depict great religious scientists who have had an impact in the science fields over the past two centuries – this has been a great link to our Catholic culture and the science domain, a link that already has sparked great conversations amongst staff, students, parents and visitors to our college.

Page 2 – The Adviser, Notre Dame state-of-the-art education special feature, April 2018

“Students in the Jennings and Mungovan Houses have state-of-the-art modern areas to collaborate, reflect, share best practice and develop relationships in spaces that allow both small and large group interaction, in both internal and external settings. Likewise, parents and students have areas to meet with Heads of House, Pastoral Group Leaders or classroom teachers in spaces that are conducive to great discussion. “A key feature of the new science building is the central staircase/gathering space. In excess of 140 students can gather in this space for large group instruction, for assemblies or share time with friends. Obviously, this is also a wonderful space for staff meetings/presentations to occur.” On Friday, May 4, 2018 Notre Dame College will be holding a special Open Day event, which will allow the community to drop in and see what the modern Catholic College offers students a co-educational learning experience from Years 7-12. For further information, phone 5822 8400, visit www. or drop in to the Knight Street campus at 139 Knight Street, Shepparton.

Notre Dame College state-of-the-art education

A college steeped in a successful history W

ith recent developments bringing Notre Dame College facilities into the 21st Century and readying it for the future, it is important to take note of the journey the college has taken over its time in operation. Catholic secondary education commenced in Shepparton on February 23, 1902, when the Sisters of Mercy opened Sacred Heart College with an enrolment of nineteen boys and girls ranging in age from six to 16 years. For some 50 years, the Sisters were responsible for Catholic secondary education in the area and catered not only for day pupils, many of whom were from other Christian denominations, but also for boarders. The Marist Brothers were then invited to conduct a secondary college for boys and so, on July 9, 1951, St Colman’s College commenced with an enrolment of 105 boys from Grade 5 to Form 3 (Year 9). Both colleges began to expand in the early 1960s and extensive building projects were undertaken to cater for the increasing enrolments. In the following decade the possibility of some form of rationalisation of resources and shared classes was explored at length. Finally, in April 1983, a decision was taken by the Bishop of Sandhurst and the superiors of the two religious congregations concerned to amalgamate the two colleges in 1984. The new college was given the name of Notre Dame College. This name is derived from the French translation of Our Lady, a title used universally by Catholics for Mary, the Mother of God. Notre Dame College is

EDUCATIONAL HISTORY… While Notre Dame College is moving into the future with its recent developments, the college has had a long history educating students across the region. Photo: Supplied.

the only college of this name amongst the Catholic Secondary Colleges of Australia. Since the two religious orders historically involved in the college, the Marist Brothers and the Sisters of Mercy, are both dedicated to Mary, their common tradition is symbolised by this choice of name. Notre Dame College occupies the buildings and grounds of its predecessors and the administration centre is situated in the former Convent of Mercy. Late in 1998, Notre Dame College and St Brendan’s Primary school moved into a shared reception area situated between the college and the primary school. Notre Dame College moved from being a co-sponsored college involving the Sisters of Mercy, the Marist Brothers and the Bishop of Sandhurst as Governors to

a Parish-based College, with the Parish Priest of St. Brendan’s Shepparton as the Canonical Administrator in 2008. Following an extensive period of investigation, an applied learning orientated curriculum was designed for the college’s Year 9 students, and purpose-designed facilities were built on the Emmaus Campus. The Year 9 students moved to the Emmaus Campus in 2009. Notre Dame College’s specialised McAuley Champagnat Programme, which was established in 2005, also moved to the Emmaus Campus in 2010. Notre Dame College derives its strength and vision for the future from the long tradition of service to Catholic education provided for over a century to the people of the Shepparton area.

The Adviser, Notre Dame state-of-the-art education special feature, April 2018 – Page 3

Notre Dame College state-of-the-art education

BUILDING SKILLS OF STUDENTS… Notre Dame College’s Trades Skills Centre offers students a range of Vocational Education and Training subjects in automotive, engineering studies, building and construction. Photos: Alicia Niglia.

Offering unique opportunities A

new, purpose built $2.2M Trades Skills Centre is now operational at Notre Dame College, which is providing opportunities to students that cannot be found at a secondary college across the Goulburn Valley. Officially opening in 2016, the centre provides students with the opportunity to complete three Vocational Education and Training (VET) subjects in automotive,

Page 4 – The Adviser, Notre Dame state-of-the-art education special feature, April 2018

engineering studies, building and construction. Students gain a nationally recognised qualification or credit towards a qualification that contributes to their VCE or VCAL certificate. The school has the ability to, and is the only secondary school across the region that can, offer Certificate II in Automotive Vocational Preparation, which is an accredited course for senior secondary students considering a career in automotive. The aim of this course is to provide pre-employment training and pathways in the automotive or related industries and to accommodate entry into the wider automotive industry. The Certificate II in Engineering Studies on offer is an accredited course for senior secondary students considering a career in engineering. The aim of this course is to provide pre-employment training and pathways in the engineering, manufacturing or related industries and to accommodate entry into the wider engineering industry. The Certificate II in Building and Construction Pre-apprenticeship is a recognised qualification for preemployment within the construction industry in Victoria, and allows students to

gain knowledge and skills in preparation for work or further study within the building and construction industry. Facilities Manager, Paul Christensen said, “We were able to make this facility happen via funding support through the Commonwealth Government Trades Skills Centre. “The Trade Skills Centre has three specialist room that allow students access to equipment and machinery that is the equivalent of what they would experience in industry. “This provides students with a rich and highly relevant educational experience. Students also benefit from being able to complete their VET qualifications without the disruption of going off site.” Finance Manager, David Smyth said, “Our students are extremely fortunate to have this facility. This allows engineering, automotive and building and construction to be studied on campus and within our standard timetable. Previously these students would attend GOTAFE for one day a week and would then have to catch up on the work they missed from other classes on the day.”

The Adviser, Notre Dame state-of-the-art education special feature, April 2018 – Page 5

Notre Dame College state-of-the-art education

$4.5M art precinct takes shape F

ollowing on with Notre Dame College’s master plan, the school has begun construction of a state-of-the-art $4.5M art precinct, which aims to be completed by early to mid-November and open for commencement of classes from 2019. The new, two storey, 1,475m2 facility will be home to 2D and 3D art, textiles and visual communication design classes as well as staff rooms and house offices. Notre Dame College Facilities Manager, Paul Christensen said, “The construction of the new art facility is part of stage three of the school’s master plan.

“The college is very much looking forward to opening yet another state-of-the-art facility to continue offering the high level of education to our students that will allow them to achieve such outstanding results as the students did last year, and then further advancing those results. “It’s going to be another really exciting building with some fantastic artwork on the side, bringing it in line with our new science building. The artwork will be a rendering of The Fruit Bowl by Pablo Picasso, which was picked because of the relevance of Shepparton being the fruit bowl.”

ARTY EDUCATION… Artist impressions of the new art precinct, currently under construction at Notre Dame College. Images: Supplied

Page 6 – The Adviser, Notre Dame state-of-the-art education special feature, April 2018

The Adviser, Notre Dame state-of-the-art education special feature, April 2018 – Page 7

Notre Dame College state-of-the-art education

Architecturally designed for students E

nsuring a purpose built facility has a unique flair about it can be a challenge, but this was the task successfully undertaken by architects, Baldasso Cortese when Notre Dame College approached them to come up with a unique design for their new science centre. Baldasso Cortese Senior Project Architect, Nic Lymn said, “Baldasso Cortese toured other facilities with the college stakeholder/project control group to provide a benchmark to our design. “We confirmed the number and kind of facilities they wanted in the building, and the spatial relationships needed. “We determined a number of planning options which we workshopped with the college and then developed conceptual frameworks for design – inspired by chemical symbols, the busy-ness of bees and the shape of the indigenous eel traps. “Once a preferred solution was agreed with the college, we began to develop the design in relation to the building’s scale, materiality, setback from the street, environmental responsiveness and functionality, e.g. the creation of outdoor

FROM CONCEPT TO REALITY… From left, Baldasso Cortese Senior Project Architect, Nic Lymn, Notre Dame College Facilities Manager, Paul Christensen, St Brendan’s Parish Priest, Fr Joe Taylor, Principal, John Cortese, Finance Manager, David Smyth, Fairbrother Site Foreman, Mark Miller and Project Manager, Rick Carson on site of the new science centre before the build. Photo: Supplied.

learning areas linked to internal classroom spaces. “We added a layer of interior design that worked within the same design framework. It was aimed at inspiring students about

Page 8 – The Adviser, Notre Dame state-of-the-art education special feature, April 2018

what they were learning. We wanted to create contemporary and vibrant learning spaces, and engaged the assistance of graphic artists in this process. “It’s great to know that we have been

able to assist in empowering regional students with skills, knowledge and robust learning environments on a par with their metropolitan counterparts through this state-of-the-art building.”

Notre Dame College state-of-the-art education

A building to inspire learning T

he constrcution of a state-of-the-art building that fits the needs of the ever evolving world of education is important to make sure it is done right, and builders, Fairbrother have done just that with Notre Dame Colleges new science centre. Fairbrother Project Manager, Rick Carson said, “The building came together well. We were privileged to be involved. We had a good team from Baldasso Cortese. They were fantastic to work with on any queries, which meant we could flow construction a lot easier. “It’s a good looking building and something that we are proud to showcase. The college has expressed how pleased they are with the quality of the project. “Being a purpose built state-of-the-art building it had its challenges. There were some new materials that were used on the project such as the external cladding, Terracade tiling on the outside of the building and some of the internal finishings that were interesting to work with. “The benches inside were brought in as separate pieces and then welded together to give students a continuous

CONSTRUCTING THE FUTURE OF COLLEGE’S EDUCATION… The new purpose built science centre at Notre Dame College was constructed by builders, Fairbrother. Photo: Supplied.

seamless bench to utilise. The sinks were also welded and integrated into the benches with a seamless weld, to give a product that is easy to clean. “The ceiling is a suspended acoustic ceiling meaning we had to survey the whole of the ceiling and install it in pieces…there were a couple of hundred pieces that we had to fit together snug.

“The large internal sliding doors needed to be recessed up inside the ceiling and the componentry in the rack system and hanging them perfectly and inserting the floor guide into the concrete was a challenge. “Working on some of the features and the internal and external cladding was new to a lot of us and something that a lot of us hadn’t worked with before.”

The Adviser, Notre Dame state-of-the-art education special feature, April 2018 – Page 9

Notre Dame College state-of-the-art education

Students achieve top results O

ne thing that goes hand-in-hand with students having access to state-ofthe-art facilities is achieving high results, and Notre Dame College (NDC) will be able to build on the outstanding 2017 end-ofyear results with students accessing the new science centre, art centre and trades skills centre. As well as 18 students achieving an ATAR score above 90 in 2017, the highest numbers ever recorded at NDC and twice the number of students than previous records, the numbers of students presenting for VCE were 215, the highest number of students taking on VCE at Year 12 in the history of NDC. Fifty-seven students also presented for VCAL (at Year 12 level), which was also the highest number ever recorded at the school. Notre Dame College Principal, John Cortese said, “The overall aggregated results are outstanding, having reached performance levels in all criteria that have not been reached since such data was compared is incredible. “The percentage of study scores that achieved about 40 was 6.55 percent, which is more than double the 2016 percentage,

Page 10 – The Adviser, Notre Dame state-of-the-art education special feature, April 2018

REACHING FOR THE TOP… Notre Dame College principal, John Cortese is pleased that the school has seen some great results from students in the 2017 year, and with state-ofthe-art facilities available to students the top results are set to continue. Photo: Alicia Niglia.

which was again the highest percentage on record. “The average of all ATAR scores in 2017 was 65.77, which is significantly up from the 2016 average of 57.37. “This is only the second time in the past eight years that the average has been in the 60s and easily the highest average ever recorded for the college. “The average ATAR score of the top 10 students in 2017 was 95.92, which is by far the highest average ever recorded of the top 10 performers and the Dux ATAR score of 2017 was a super impressive 99.5…the highest Dux ATAR ever at the school. “All of these achievements are a brilliant result for the school, students, families and

teachers. “We’d like to thank the students for the amount of effort and dedication they applied to their studies and the families, who have not only supported the students throughout their schooling, but have also been invaluable supporters of the college itself. “Also thanks needs to go to all of the Notre Dame College staff, both teaching and non-teaching, who, by even the smallest task, build our college to be the exceptional institution that it is. “And all of this wouldn’t be possible without the valued support from the community itself.”

Notre Dame College state-of-the-art education

Year 8 students, Charlotte Chadwick and Callum McGrath.

Year 12 student, James Gerrish

All for the benefit of students H

aving access to state-of-the-art learning facilities is something that helps students to excel in their learning, and the new facilities as part of Notre Dame College’s master plan are offering just that. The new science centre in particular is something that students across the board are already benefitting from. Year 8 student, Charlotte Chadwick said, “The new science centre is a lot better. Our old science wing was out-dated and we were working with old equipment, but to now have access to the latest, new equipment, it feels like we’re studying in a Melbourne university facility.”

Year 8 Student, Callum McGrath said, “This new centre provides new opportunities to explore and see what can happen in science more than we could before. It’s going to allow us to learn and grow with our education.” Year 12 Student, James Gerrish said, “The new facility is already helping us get our heads around tasks and our learning better, and with access to more equipment it is allowing us to do more practical work. “It is certainly helping to better prepare for further educational studies as it is on par with a university facility.”

The Adviser, Notre Dame state-of-the-art education special feature, April 2018 – Page 11

Notre Dame College state-of-the-art education John Cortese, PRINCIPAL AS we move along in the 21st Century, there appears to be a looming shortage of people following careers in maths and science. International assessment tools (Programme of International Student Assessment) have Australian performance in maths and science annually dropping when compared to other countries. Students are moving away from maths and science across all Australian schools. Science facilities, equipment and resources at Notre Dame College (NDC) needed to be improved to meet 21st Century standards so that our students are exposed to current science laboratory standards, techniques and equipment that they will use when they attend university. Thanks from me to the following:

Baldasso Cortese Architects for their inspirational design – they challenged us to dream and take a chance and the final product is outstanding


The many staff

it is rare to find a building group that is so willing to work collaboratively with the school, the architects and all other contractors in order to achieve their targets in a timely and efficient manner

who provided significant input into the initial planning and then fitting out of rooms with furniture etc, namely my Deputy Principals, Emma Reynoldson, Kris Walker, Karen Fox and Les Billings, Heads of House, David Cuzens and Wendy Watt, Science Learning Area Coach, To Seek To See To Respond Sarah McKinnon and her science team who played a significant role in helping design our science wing and Jeff Chmiel and the Notebook Service Centre team who played a key role in establishing the infrastructure that allows all of our technology to work seamlessly.

NDC Facilities Manager, Paul Christensen and NDC Business Manager, David Smyth

for their outstanding leadership throughout this project, from initial planning and design, managing budgets, hands on through the building phase in regards to meetings, alterations to plans etc and continually suggesting changes and improvements – your commitment and input to the whole project has been outstanding and truly appreciated

Page 12 – The Adviser, Notre Dame state-of-the-art education special feature, April 2018



– LEARNING AND TEACHING THE opening of the science building and classrooms has coincided with the commencement of the new curriculum at Notre Dame College. The college aims to engender a love of learning and the amazing new state-of-the-art facilities have certainly excited our students in their studies. The innovative curriculum at Notre Dame now includes PBL (Project Based Learning). PBL requires students to respond to complex questions and challenges as they engage in rigorous projects related to the themes of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). Access to the wonderful facilities in science have certainly created a ‘buzz’ in the faculty for the entire learning community.

Notre Dame College state-of-the-art education


AS WELL as the new science area, the ground floor of the new science centre building provides eight classrooms and spaces for the junior Mungovan and Jennings students. The ground floor has spacious areas for student lockers, a tiered presentation area for up to 100 students with full audio visual requirements, kitchen and bathroom facilities, staff offices and meeting spaces. The junior students are certainly enjoying flexible classrooms that allow for a range of environments – from outdoor spaces, quiet withdrawal areas, highly visible and collaborative areas as well as the ability to transform areas into conventional classroom spaces. In particular, students are enjoying the bright, open communal areas where they can relax on casual furnishings with their friends. They have already shown an enormous sense of pride and gratitude for the facility.

Fr Joe Taylor P.P. ST BRENDAN’S PARISH IN AUSTRALIA, science has taken a bit of a beating in popularity over the past decades and it is good to see the slow resurgence that is happening in this area of curriculum. Whilst science has always been a priority at Notre Dame College a new building always allows a leap ahead. The first and most obvious sign of this new life at the college is our new science block. It is very impressive from the outside but even more educationally friendly and professional on the inside. It has been a long time in the future planning and is a great credit to our dedicated staff and Board of Notre Dame College. I love the stories of the three scientists featured on the impressive murals: Hildegard of Bingen, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and Julian Tennyson Woods. They are three religious persons who made amazing contributions to the scientific world. They remind us of the church’s fostering of science for many, many centuries. These three characters are worth some good research. May we continue to grow in our understanding of our cosmos.

AFTER the 2014 master plan vision was penned the hard work began to realise that vision. Behind the scenes many passionate and dedicated people were devoted to the educational needs of Notre Dame College (NDC) and the realisation of that plan. The first priority was the Jennings/Mungovan Science Centre and possibly the most fundamental guideline for our Science building design was flexibility. That is, learning spaces with the ability to adapt to a rapidly changing educational future. A small group of NDC staff visited a selection of schools to determine our requirements with the focus toward specialist science rooms. From this the building management group worked with builders and architects when the build kicked off in December 2016 through to completion December 2017. I feel all parties involved have delivered an exceptional facility which will serve 21st Century learning and teaching needs as initially envisaged. Congratulations and thanks to all concerned from the teams of NDC staff through to Baldasso Cortese architects and Fairbrother builders on delivering a magnificent facility where students will be comfortably engaged in their learning for many years to come.

The Adviser, Notre Dame state-of-the-art education special feature, April 2018 – Page 13

Notre Dame College state-of-the-art education

David Smyth, FINANCE MANAGER IN 2014, we completed a master planning process whereby five projects were identified. These five projects were prioritised in order to replace a number of extremely out-dated areas of the college with modern facilities that support 21st Century learning. The master plan aims to support our Pastoral Care model by creating buildings that accommodate physically connected houses with their sister houses, as well as creating specialist learning precincts for technology, science, visual arts and performing arts. As we work through further stages of the master plan, we will be able to remove additional buildings in order to de-clutter the site further, increase outdoor communal spaces and create a stronger relationship between both sides of Knight Street and St Brendan’s Church.

Sarah McKinnon, LEARNING AREA COACH - SCIENCE THE new facility seems to be having a positive influence on both staff and students. Students are genuinely excited to be using the new facility and I think were pleasantly surprised by what the new facility had to offer. Students appreciate their new learning environment and have been engaged by the displays and the bright new facilities around them. They have found it easy to move between their workspace and the laboratory benches for their practical investigations and have been eager to use the open space outside of the classrooms as well. Staff say they feel spoilt by the new facilities. They have welcomed the top quality laboratories, general purpose rooms with demonstration benches as well as the open-learning areas that can be utilised outside of the laboratories. These spaces include collaborative whiteboards in the common areas, flexible furniture for small group work and small tutorial rooms.

Page 14 – The Adviser, Notre Dame state-of-the-art education special feature, April 2018

Katherine Hunt, BOARD CHAIR I HAVE had the privilege of being part of our Notre Dame College Board since the early discussions about the amazing science facility we now have. It is very exciting to see the many hours of planning and discussion, to say nothing about the months of inconvenience to our current students and staff during the actual building stage, come to fruition in this stateof-the-art building. I have had the opportunity to walk through the building while staff and students are working in it, during our recent parent-teacher interviews and while it was empty and silent, and each time I have seen something remarkable, whether it be the recognition of some of our notable Catholic scientists on the walls, the way the space caters for a diverse range of learning styles or the way literally hundreds of people move so comfortably through the building. The streetscape complements the rest of the college, while making it immediately obvious to passersby, through the periodic table representation at the front door, what our new building is for. Our current and future college community is and should be very proud of this latest addition to our Notre Dame College facilities.

Notre Dame College state-of-the-art education

NOTRE DAME OPEN DAY… Drop in and see what Notre Dame College has to offer when the college opens its doors for an Open Day on Friday, May 4. Photo: Supplied.

See what Notre Dame College has to offer N otre Dame College is holding a special Open Day event to allow the community to drop in and see for themselves the state-of-the-art educational options available at the school following redevelopments that have recently taken place at the college. As a community, there is a commitment to providing each student with a comprehensive and challenging educational experience in a faith-filled, pastoral setting. The college lives out its Catholic Mission in many ways, including the celebration of Masses, Religious Education classes, fundraising initiatives, Social Justice programmes and maintaining strong connections with local parishes. The college provides a dynamic learning environment with modern and extensive facilities, accommodating many subject areas. Additionally, students spend Year 9 on the Emmaus Campus, where they gain

a unique learning opportunity in a purpose built environment. The curriculum at the college’s Year 9 campus facilitates deep engagement with learning and provides students with practical involvement in applied learning on a daily basis. Notre Dame College also offers a range of support services and assistance to its students, including counselling, psychological services, educational assessments, a homework club, English as an Additional Language (EAL) programme, work experience, vocational education programmes and a Learning Enrichment Centre for students with learning difficulties. On Friday, May 4, 2018 the Open Day will present what the modern Catholic College offers students a co-educational learning experience from Years 7-12. Located at 139 Knight Street Shepparton, tours will commence from the Administration Building at 9:15am, 9:30am, 11:30am,

1:45pm, 2pm, 3:30pm, 3:45pm and 4pm. Tours of the Emmaus Campus – Year 9 Programme will be held between 2pm and 4pm commencing from the Administration Building, with entry to the campus via St. Luke’s Primary School, Goulburn Valley Highway. For further information, phone 5822 8400, visit or drop in to the Knight Street campus at 139 Knight Street, Shepparton.

The Adviser, Notre Dame state-of-the-art education special feature, April 2018 – Page 15

Page 16 – The Adviser, Notre Dame state-of-the-art education special feature, April 2018

Notre Dame Feature 2018  

Notre Dame Feature 2018

Notre Dame Feature 2018  

Notre Dame Feature 2018