The Aquinas myFUTURE program utilises a blended learning model to provide our Senior School students unique opportunities and skills. Year 11 & 12 ATAR students now enjoy a much more personalised education, typically only accessible to VET students, which will not only help them achieve entry to post-secondary education, but the skills to thrive within it.
By combining four days of face-to-face learning with one day of teacher-designed vodcasts we have liberated ourselves from the industrial model of education as our students spend their Fridays spread across the metropolitan area:
on uniPATH – LOGOS (12%) attaining their first two university credits whilst studying Philosophy and Ethics at the University of Notre Dame.
on uniPATH - IPQ (2%) completing the Cambridge International Project Qualification with a PhD mentor from the University of Western Australia who is offering them an ATAR bonus.
attending TAFE or pre-apprenticeships on a Friday on combinedPATH (12%), as they can complete their online lessons for their ATAR courses when it suits them over the weekend.
studying in the learning centre, in a collaborative environment on ATARplus (74%), where they can enhance their portfolio by attending guest lectures, complete service in the community or mentor Middle School students through sport assist.
Aquinas College has also reached out to our parent and Old Aquinian networks to develop an extensive internship program for our students. In 2021 students were able to apply to attend a 5-day professional internship on Fridays in companies such as KPMG and Nexxus which helped give purpose to their ATAR studies or, at times, gave them a reason to make changes to courses when they realised what they did not want as a career!
To support the Aquinas myFUTURE blended learning model, we have set-up a pedagogical structure for online lessons which is supported by a lesson observation process. During the last year a great portion of our professional development has centred around sharing learnings between colleagues and looking at the research behind effective online lesson design.
We believe that the Aquinas College myFUTURE graduates will be more equipped for post-secondary education, due to their engagement with both online and off-grid learning to complement the rich education they get in the classroom. For more information please contact John.VanDyk@aquinas.wa.edu.au.
About The Author:
John Van Dyk is a passionate Physics teacher and the Head of Senior School at Aquinas College. He has held roles as Head of Year, Director of Learning and Director of Academic Studies prior to his current role. With the support of many dedicated Aquinas College staff, John lead the development integration of Aquinas myFUTURE program which commenced in 2020.