How a digital and construction revolution is ushering in a new era at Broome’s St Mary’s College

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Tom ZaunmayrBroome Advertiser
Jorani Pigram, 13, Alexander Keating, 13 and Daijon Puertollano, 13.
Camera IconJorani Pigram, 13, Alexander Keating, 13 and Daijon Puertollano, 13. Credit: St Mary's College

St Mary’s College Broome has thrown open its doors to prospective Year 7 students for 2022 who will be among the first to benefit from an overhaul of the school’s facilities.

The intake comes as St Mary’s presses ahead with a digital and built revolution which has seen a host of new and renovated classrooms completed with tech-savvy students in mind.

St Mary’s principal Carol Bell said the rollout of school-owned iPads in the secondary school was equipping students with the digital literacy needed to be successful in the 21st century.

“It allows them to do independent research and to share it in unique ways — it could be a film, a TED Talk, a group script they dramatise. That is the beautiful thing about the iPads, is it enhances that teaching and learning experience,” she said.

“St Mary’s is a growing school environment and we are thinking about the future.

“That is what we are trying to achieve — future-proofing and being accessible to everyone.”

The school takes in up to 90 Year 7 students each year, with many coming across from the campus’ own primary school.

New students have a few weeks to focus on making friends, understanding high school and learning key expectations, which culminates in a camp before diving into the curriculum.

“That is all about making kids feel welcome, helping them feel at home here, understanding how to be successful at school and feel safe to be able to explore that,” Ms Bell said.

New students will be among the first to benefit from St Mary’s new flexible classrooms.

They include general rooms where students can choose to sit at desks or on couches and stools; a modern food and textiles room complete with an above-workspace camera; and a repurposed performing arts building with separate spaces for music, drama and dance.

Ms Bell said the new facilities made for a more welcoming, modern and open school while staying true to the campus’ existing built form. “There was a need to modernise the facilities and offer a contemporary, Catholic education for kids here in Broome that was strong in pastoral care and educational excellence,” she said.

“The intention was to be more open, welcoming and modern in our facilities.

“It’s not just come in and sit behind a desk anymore, it is about having flexible learning spaces and flexible furniture so kids actually have a sense of ownership over their own learning.”

An information session will be hosted from 4pm-6pm on Tuesday, August 17, and will include a sausage sizzle.

  • This article was produced in partnership with St Mary’s College Broome

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