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Carranballac College P9 VIC

Carranballac College is a multi-campus school in Point Cook, Melbourne, located on two P–9 sites. The college is focused on the development of confident, capable and respected citizens who care about the world. Carranballac College has a relatively transient student enrolment that spans 57 different nationalities. The college's very strong sustainability focus, evident in its interest in migratory birds that move between the local area and the Korean Peninsula, has acted as a catalyst for its engagement with Asia and its Asia capability journey. Students in years Prep–4 are offered instruction in the Japanese language, but the college is keen to ensure that its Asia capability journey is enriched by language instruction. A broader view of the college's challenge has been utilised.

The college has come a long way on its Asia capability journey in the past 12 months, particularly in terms of staff awareness and commitment. Staff members are now well aware of the urgent need for students to be exposed to the studies and languages of Asia. The principal's stated philosophy is that a student will not achieve academic success without experiencing success in life. The college's priority is to provide every child with opportunities to experience success, whatever it takes. Staff members, many of whom travel daily from Geelong, where many manufacturing jobs have recently been lost or are at risk, are well aware that today's students will be competing for new jobs with people from across the globe, particularly from countries in Asia. Staff members who participated in the 2013 Asia Education Foundation National Conference were especially motivated by Professor Yong Zhao's discussion on the need for entrepreneurship in terms of Australian residents competing with their Asian neighbours.

Carranballac College, in seeking to adapt the curriculum offered to its students rather than adding new work, is using the cross-curriculum priory of Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia as the key vehicle for change. Throughout 2014 the college is engaged in a curriculum audit or review in line with AusVELS to ensure that all three cross-curriculum priorities are embedded in all units of work Teachers are being encouraged to plan for the inclusion of examples drawn from Asian countries' histories, traditions, economies, languages in all of these units.

The college's keen interest in the migratory birds that visit the Point Cook area, but also frequent the Korean Peninsula, has resulted in plans to establish sister school relationships with schools in South Korea. The college has made extensive use of Polycom communications technologies to communicate with an English language class in Busan Jungang, South Korea, and will extend this in 2014. The college has hosted a teacher from South Korea, while two key teacher leaders will be hosted in South Korea in the near future. The intention is to ensure that any partnerships developed include real life learning pursuits as opposed to token interactions, greetings and/or conversations. The college is keen to provide its students with authentic opportunities for deep learning through these relationships and arrangements.

Carranballac College's stated moral imperative for actively engaging in this Asia capability journey has acted as a key driver of success. This imperative is often repeated to staff during the regular sub-school (years Prep–4 and 5–9) professional learning meetings. Dedicated professional learning meetings are held every alternate week with opportunities taken to plan the curriculum audit, share opportunities to embed the studies of Asia into the curriculum and expand teachers' knowledge. A project team to coordinate an action research approach to the Asia capability agenda has been formed and will receive prominence in Semester 2, 2014.

The day-to-day demands of a very busy, multi-campus college have presented as a hindrance to early success, although college leaders have adopted a considered and well-paced approach to change. The college sees this approach as paramount in ensuring sustainability of any of the curriculum and systemic changes that have been made or are in the planning stages.

Carranballac College has been involved in the Leading 21st Century Schools: Engage with Asia (L21CS) professional learning programme.


Image: Carranballac College logo – Carranballac College

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