Billanook College is an independent, co-educational Early Learning to Year 12 school in the Uniting Church's tradition situated in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne. The College commenced operations in 1980 with an enrolment of 140 students. Currently, the enrolment is around 850 students from our Early Learning Program to Year 12 – a testament to the esteem that the local community holds in the College.
As a school, we aim to develop a dynamic and caring learning community that fosters the growth of each girl and boy's whole being – in mind, body, and spirit with a vision to provide a range of pathways to lifelong learning. Our mission goes beyond academic excellence. It is our express intention to develop graduates who are dynamic, caring, and optimistic. We hope that they will be well-rounded individuals grounded in the Uniting Church's way of faith, hope, and love.
Our wish for our departing Collegians is to have a passion for learning and value the virtues of wisdom and integrity. They will be individuals who endeavor to transform the communities in which they live and work positively. In the great and the small things they do, they will enliven and enrich our world.
What makes a successful School? It is an important question to ponder as it is at the center of what we do at Billanook College. For me, the critical ingredient is excellent Staff – research shows that you and I have a considerable effect. A school becomes a "good school" on this measure only because it has excellent Staff performing well outside the classroom. Great Staff makes it matter" and "make the student matter."
Throughout this comes the common theme of our relationships with students. Staff performs at their best when encouraged by keen students, so good schools have a strong culture of excellent behavior. Students' behavior depends on many factors. These include a keen sense of self-worth, good positive peer-group friendships and connections, a strong feeling of connectedness and belonging (and being loved) at school and home, and an awareness of being capable of succeeding at things outside the classroom.
This is why Independent Schools promote so intensely pastoral care and co-curricular activities to enhance belonging, connectedness, and strong positive relationships. At Billanook College, the role of every Staff member in pastoral care is critical. It is at the core of what we do.
Firmly set and consistent expectations and values by all Staff are critical to each of our students' success.
You might be interested to note that intelligence has not been mentioned. In the long run, this element appears to be a much lower factor in academic success than the virtues of persistence, doggedness, well-being, connectedness, ambition, goal setting, good teaching, and drive. "Ticker over talent" is right in most human activities. The deadly combination is when "ticker" and "talent" are combined.
Vision To educate for a future that is creative and sustainable. Mission As a school in the tradition of the Uniting Church in Australia, our mission is to develop a dynamic, caring learning community which fosters the growth of the whole being of each girl and boy – in body, mind, and spirit providing a range of pathways to life-long learning through and beyond academic excellence.
Relationships are all-important at Billanook College. Our faith in humanity is a common bond, and the hand of friendship connects individuals both near and far. This community is built on a three-way bond between students, parents, and school and at the heart of our community is the relationship between teacher and student.
Learning is life-long, and at Billanook College, we encourage students to be leaders of their learning, developing self-discipline, confidence, and character to take the initiative in a friendly, supportive learning environment so that they may be leaders of the future. Ours is a learning community where both Staff and students are part of the learning journey that is holistic in approach.
Our Early Learning Program offers your child a fun, colorful, safe, and nurturing place to grow. Children in our Early Learning Program are challenged to learn joyfully and engagingly, focusing on the individual needs of every child.
The learning journey at Billanook College commences with the Early Learning Program (ELP) and provides a seamless transition into the Primary years. Our Early Learning Program (ELP) for three and four-year-old children invites them to participate in an open learning community where the natural wonder, curiosity, and questioning of young children is guided through play to exploration and discovery while developing social connections and skills.
The curriculum in the Primary School at Billanook College is designed to enable students to achieve success in attaining their maximum educational development by catering to individual differences and needs. The curriculum is implemented in a vibrant and engaging environment where the children develop a love for life-long learning.
The Early Years Literacy program provides the foundation of English language skills in the Primary School. Our curriculum is based around relevant, shared learning experiences, with an emphasis on engaging and enriching experiences in oral and written language in Prep and early levels. Themes continue to provide a rich context for the exploration of Literacy in later Primary years. Many opportunities arise for students to gain confidence in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
"Billanook graduates are well-rounded individuals, resilient in the face of challenge, assured through a self-belief, with respect for others, and acceptance of difference. Borne out of a strong sense of community, both local and global, they are caring and compassionate, not afraid to take the initiative and ably equipped with the skills to do so."
Our Middle School Learning Model sees the emergence of three distinct types of learning experiences for our students.
The Mastery experience involves in-depth conceptual and skill based learning that comes from crucial learning area studies.
The Discovery experience empowers students to leverage their innate and natural curiosity to learn both deeply and broadly. This opportunity is provided through activities such as Discovery Projects.
The Journey experience is about community and authentic learning.
Billanook offers over 33 VCE subjects, allowing your child to follow their real interests and passions. Your child will have choices that range from English and Mathematics to Business Management, Theatre Studies, and Languages. As students enter the Senior School, they are also offered the opportunity to undertake accelerated VCE subjects in Year 10. If they choose to challenge themselves with this option, it can help lessen VCE studies' pressure over Year 11 and 12. Accelerated subjects can also help provide your child with a better understanding of VCE processes, greater appreciation of VCE requirements, and a greater breadth of studies so they can choose more widely in Year 11 and 12.