Harkaway Hills College is an independent school teaching the Catholic faith. In 2019 we offer co-educational Foundation, Year 1, 2, 3 and 4 classes, and in each coming year we will be opening a new year level, through to Year 12.
The College is a project of the Parents for Education (PARED) Victoria Foundation and is characterised by the following features:
* That parents are the primary educators and our schools exist to give parents every support. This support is found in the quality of the academic curriculum, in the way that staff work with students and parents in a unique mentoring program, in the emphasis on character development and virtues in the curriculum, and in the concern that staff and peer example be fully positive and supportive of parents.
* Great emphasis is placed on the development of virtues seen as good habits, the building blocks of character. By developing strengths of character such as sound judgment, self control, courage and respect for others, students are better able to use their freedom to make the right choices in life.
* The Personalised Mentoring System, pioneered in Australia by PARED, ensures that each student is tutored by a personal mentor, who is a constant source of support with example, advice and friendship. The mentor meets regularly with the student during term and with the child’s parents at least once each term, reviewing progress, helping with goal setting, and coordinating the services of the College on the parents’ behalf.
Parental involvement at Harkaway Hills means involvement in the education of your own child through the mentoring system. The mentoring system helps to ensure that parents do not lose their key role in overseeing the education of their son or daughter. Parents are encouraged to talk frequently with the mentor of their child, thereby gaining insights from the College, and keeping track of priorities in their child’s development.
When parents work closely with the mentor, the College is better able to address the specific needs of the child, and most importantly, parents receive the school’s support to be the decisive influence in the upbringing and character formation of their own child.
The specific commitments asked of parents in Harkaway Hills College are:
• To work closely with their child’s mentor, involving a meeting of both parents with the mentor, usually at the College, at least once a term.
• To provide home follow up of the goals from this parent tutor meeting.
• To both attend the Key Parent Functions and other formal functions organised by the College in order to keep up to date with developments at the school, be informed of issues which the College regards as important for the education of the children, and to meet with their child’s teachers when necessary.
• To attend appropriate Family Education Courses as they become available.
• To do their best to create an extended family within their child’s class, forming friendships with other parents and offering support when small or more challenging crises of life arise.
Additionally Harkaway Hills parents often contribute with tremendous energy, giving their time generously, to occasional working bees or in helping out at various College functions and activities.
Fostering the development of character means helping students grow in the good habits – the virtues – each one needs to flourish as human beings, including responsibility, good judgment, resilience and self-control among many others.
The Harkway Hills College Virtues Program teaches our students not just the meaning of these virtues in a theoretical way, but more importantly how they can personally live out these virtues in their study, in the playground, and at home with their families.
In Junior Primary, virtue is taught through themed units of work covering Obedience and Courtesy, Generosity and Friendship, Best Work and Best Efforts, and Responsibility.
In Middle and Upper Primary there are weekly lessons on virtue. The teacher and students discuss the virtue in focus and its practical implications. In future, there will also be input from Secondary student mentors who provide positive role models for the younger students.
There are weekly ‘Mottos’ to bring the virtue in focus and help to integrate it into all aspects of school and home life.
Harkaway Hills College offers students a solid grounding in the Catholic faith as the basis for love of God and service to others. Students are encouraged to practise their faith with freedom and conviction. In the youngest classes, we are utilising the SALT approach.
The chaplains of the College are priests of Opus Dei, a personal Prelature of the Catholic Church whose aim is to assist all people to live the universal call to holiness. In 2019, Holy Mass will be celebrated at the College each week. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is also available before and after Mass. Parents are most welcome.