Originally administered by the Anglican Church, Djarragun College has been governed by a Board of Directors since 2011, comprised of members of Cape York Partnership (CYP) and others. The Board is chaired by long-time Djarragun advocate and Cape York indigenous leader Noel Pearson.
Years P-6 Curriculum
Direct Instruction (DI) with its standardised, rigorous approach to literacy and numeracy lessons and regular testing have proven to be effective in reaching students who are failed by conventional classrooms, particularly in the primary sub-school. DI accelerates student learning and closes the education gap for students who have fallen behind.
The DI curriculum, in the Primary sub-School, is complemented by grade level teaching of the Australian Curriculum (Science, The Arts, Technology and HPE). Students also have a weekly library lesson as well as Kitchen Table. In Kitchen Table, students are taught a variety of life skills including values which ensure the education provided at Djarragun College is holistic and includes student well-being.
Years 7-10 Curriculum
In Middle Secondary (Year 7-Year 10) students are allocated to classes based on their literacy and numeracy learning needs. Students who have met national benchmarks in literacy and numeracy study English, Mathematics, Science and Humanities aligned to Australian Curriculum.
Students not yet at age appropriate literacy and numeracy benchmarks engage in DI programs in Reading, Writing,
Comprehension and Mathematics to close the gaps in their learning.
All students in Years 7-10 participate in a range of electives in The Arts and Technology. HPE is delivered by a specialist HPE Teacher.
Years 11-12 Curriculum
Prior to commencing in the senior school, students receive careers and guidance counselling to determine their interests and prior knowledge of the world of work. The careers and guidance session helps students develop skills to identify options and opportunities for young people and also how to progress in the workplace over time.
Parents and families are welcome to join the discussions around careers and guidance for the senior student. Students also complete academic placement testing and previous school results are reviewed, before discussions are held with students and their families about the appropriate study pathway for the student: Tertiary Entrance (OP) or Vocational Education & Training (VET). All students in the senior phase of learning will work towards achieving their Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) upon graduation.
Tertiary Entrance Pathway
Djarragun College’s Tertiary Entrance pathway offers student a choice of subjects to provide each student with the best opportunity to succeed. In preparation for University pathways, students study three core subjects of English for ESL Learners, Mathematics A, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies and chose two electives from Music, Visual Art, Science 21 and Legal Studies (Distance Education). The Tertiary Entrance class has two dedicated full time teachers to support a small group of focused students. We believe this approach and a focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies supports the highest academic success.
It is our intention that students on the Tertiary Entrance Pathway will receive an OP (Overall Position) and their QCE upon the successful completion of their senior schooling. Students are also supported to complete applications for university placements both through the QTAC system and via direct application to universities.
Students study English Communication and Pre-Vocational Mathematics and chose to study either Hospitality or Recreation for an elective over the two years of senior schooling. Senior students are also offered the resources, time and support to complete one VET certificate in Year 11 and one VET certificate in Year 12. Students have a choice of seven VET certificates across five course areas:
- Trades: Cert II Engineering Pathways
- Trades: Cert I Construction (includes White Card for Construction Safety Pass)
- Hairdressing: Cert II Salon Assistant
- Conservation: Cert II Rural Operations (Conservation & Land Management)
- Indigenous Health: Cert II Community Services
- Indigenous Health: Cert II Health Support (includes CPR and First Aid certificates)
- Education: Cert III Education Support (Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander)
It is our aim that on completion of their senior schooling VET Pathways students have attained the QCE; have two VET qualifications; have safety inductions complete; and possess a mix of practical and job-related skills and experiences to be ready to gain apprenticeships, traineeships, direct employment, including ADF entry requirements and other Indigenous recruitment opportunities.
Students enrolled in VET Pathway, study the practical and theoretical knowledge of their chosen course with their VET Tutor for a full day each week. Spending a full six hours immersed in the content, supports higher level practical experiences and the retention of the skills and knowledge needed by the students to be ‘competent’ and receive their qualification. Students are encouraged to think of their VET day as their ‘work day’ and an opportunity to transition into the world of work.
VET courses (Education exception) are delivered on site at Djarragun College. The Certificate II in Rural Operations utilises a dedicated horticulture facility on site and the College has a recently refurbished the Hairdressing Salon for Certificate II Salon Assistant. The certificates in Engineering Pathways and Construction are run in the fully equipped Trade Training Centre and the certificates in Health and Community Services utilise Science Laboratory facilities and a range of specialised equipment that supports the practical learning of the students.
The Certificate III Education is delivered at Cairns West State School one day per week and is available to all Indigenous students throughout the Cairns / Tableland region to enrol.
With most VET courses on site at the College, transition time is minimal with the students having more time for strong mentoring relationships to be formed between VET Tutor and student.
The VET Pathways students, will complete a minimum of one week’s work experience in their chosen vocation with support from the College to find the work experience placement; transport to and from the workplace; meals; PPE and other appropriate workplace attire and guidance for acceptable protocols in the workplace. Further work experience placements are encouraged and will be organised dependent on the student being on-track to complete the course during the year.
The VET Tutors plan a range of excursions each term including work place visits, observations, visits from employers and guest speakers and awareness of further tertiary training opportunities.
It is the goal of the VET Pathways stream to build the confidence and capacity of the senior students to transition into the workplace or further training, upon their graduation.