Higher education goal
JUST one year after opening, Pacific Valley Christian School at Townsend has extended into high school with 12 students starting their secondary education there last week.
The school became a campus of Pacific Hills Christian School in Sydney last year after a strong parent body was adamant that Christian education remained an option in the Lower Clarence following the imminent closure of the former school, St Andrew’s, Maclean.
Head teacher of the Pacific Valley Christian School, David Johnston, said that while some of the high school students had moved straight from the primary school, other families were attracted to the school for its small community aspects and some were pleased not to have to travel on the Pacific Highway to find a Christian school for their kids.
The 12 students who are in years 7, 8 and 9 at present share one classroom in keeping with the school’s long-term model to have a ‘stage-based’ approach to learning even when the school expands in numbers, similar to composite classes.
“Stage-based learning encourages students to relate to others outside their own age bracket, which is good for the development of a whole person,” Mr Johnston said.
Mr Johnston will be teaching maths, science and PDHPE, while Tony Asquith will focus on the humanities subjects including English, music and art.
He said he was confident that the school would be able to offer a good range of electives for the high school students, using local professionals in the area, video conferencing from the Sydney campus and local TAFE to enhance learning opportunities for the children.
Clarence Valley developer Matt Dougherty donated a substantial amount of land to the school that will be developed this year to create a portable science lab, library and distinct social setting for the high school students.