Ursula Frayne Catholic College is a dual campus coeducational Catholic College with students from Kindergarten to Year 12. The College is led by the Principal with support from the Vice Principal and an executive leadership team comprising the Business Manager, Head of Ministry and four Heads of School.
The College operates four sub-schools:
- Preparatory School (Kindergarten to Year 2)
- Junior School (Year 3 to Year 6)
- Middle School (Year 7 to Year 9)
- Senior School (Year 10 to Year 12)
Recent educational research recommends this level of grouping because it enables the College to better target its programs to meet the developmental needs of the students.
Ursula Frayne Catholic College aims to develop students from within, enabling them to become fully integrated human beings. Programs are directed to the growth of the whole person: spiritually, intellectually, physically, socially and emotionally. While all aspects of human development are important, the emphasis changes as students move from Kindergarten to Year 12.
Research into the early years of schooling (Preparatory School) indicates that the focus should be on the physical, social and emotional dimensions. The physical aspects include the motor skills such as running, jumping, catching a ball and cutting with scissors. The social attributes involve following instructions and relating to adults and peers. The emotional dimension emphasises the capacity to behave in an acceptable way. Therefore, to meet these needs, the focus in the Preparatory School is on purposeful play.
By the time students reach the Junior School, the intellectual dimension has really gained prominence with formal instruction in the eight learning areas of the Curriculum Framework. There is an emphasis on literacy and numeracy development. The spiritual dimension begins to mature with students receiving the Sacraments of Penance and First Eucharist.
Early adolescence brings new challenges for students. In the Middle years of schooling the research indicates a slowing in the rate of learning. This is particularly true in the area of students’ reading levels. Interestingly, the same three dimensions that were important in the Preparatory School become increasingly important for Middle School students, but for different reasons. Physically students are becoming adults and beginning to grow very quickly. This can result in the need to re-establish and refine motor skills. Socially students begin to seek more independence, freedom and autonomy from their parents and teachers. The rate at which this newly found independence comes varies for each child and can result in conflict and confused emotions. Students need to learn how to express their emotions in a more adult way. Learning strategies in the Middle School focus on student centred activities, integrated studies, flexible teacher teaming, smaller learning communities, collaboration and explicit models of what students are expected to do.
While students continue to grapple with the physical, social and emotional dimensions, the Senior School focuses on career formation. The intellectual dimension directs students on pathways to university, TAFE or employment.
Orientation programs, camps and retreats, discos and socials, vertical integration of classes, sports carnivals, arts programs, leadership and community service programs all help to provide a seamless education as students’ progress through the sub-schools.