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16 November 2017

Developing confident life-long learners

“We want to give all of our students the opportunity to become confident, innovative and successful learners.”

With almost 1500 students, some would say this is an ambitious statement from Melville Senior High School principal Phillip White. But he says it’s the vision that the school is built on.

“We want to be the school of choice in our community. One that provides a distinctive education for students following both academic and vocational pathways,” he says.

“We want our students to feel supported as they prepare to meet the challenges of the future.” 

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Melville Senior High School is a finalist in the WA Education Awards

The suburban school, nestled near the Swan River between Perth and Fremantle, is a finalist for WA Secondary School of the Year in the WA Education Awards 2017.

Mr White believes it’s the multi-cultural school’s “wonderful sense of community, commitment and care” which sets them apart.

“Our onsite Intensive English Centre welcomes international students who bring a wealth of culture and talent to the school,” he explains.

“We’re so lucky to have staff who genuinely want the best for our students, and work hard to achieve this.

“We also have a very supportive parent body and students who are friendly, respectful and engaged. It really is a wonderful place to be.”

A dedicated student services team can be attributed to much of the school’s success, providing guidance to every student in their secondary schooling.

“The team has a robust and successful individual case management approach,” Mr White says.

“Staff guide students throughout Years 10 to 12 to ensure they all graduate with meaningful results.

“We ensure our younger students are supported in their transition from primary school with networking activities and student preparation workshops.”

There is no shortage of options for students at the school with highly regarded programs including a Gifted and Talented Program in humanities, mathematics and sciences.

“We also run specialist programs in aviation studies, graphic design media and netball,” Mr White explains. “Our creative students are heavily invested in the Music in Focus program.”

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Students have access to a number of specialist programs

Developing students into global citizens extends to activities outside of the classroom with extracurricular programs in sport, music, dance and debating.

“We have a long-standing Emergency Services Cadet unit with 30 cadets who work closely with local and State emergency services,” Mr White says.

“The best thing I ever heard a student say was actually recently during a visit from the WA Education Awards judges.

“The student said he’d been to many schools before coming to Melville and it was the first place he learnt to take pride in his culture and where he felt like he belonged to a huge family who cared.

“There wasn’t a dry eye in the room after that!”

Melville Senior High School is a finalist for WA Secondary School of the Year in the WA Education Awards 2017. Winners will be announced at a gala dinner on Friday 24 November. 

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