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Take a tour through Waverley College

With Ray Paxton, our Head of College

Welcome and thank you for your interest in Waverley College. We are proud of being a school that is unique in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs for its genuinely inclusive community, authentic Catholic education, breadth of opportunities and innovative approach to educating boys.

Head of College talking with Interviewer in quadrangle

This is an exciting time for Waverley. Our mission to ‘Liberate the potential in every learner’ is now entering Phase 2, placing the student ‘at the centre’ of our strategic imperatives. Our Phase 1 strategy has seen the sense of confidence from within and beyond the school grow. And as we move into Phase 2, we will be aiming to challenge our students to a liberated way of living – meaning that our deepest hope for a Waverley student is that he will be freed by his learning journey, unconstrained by fear, energised by courage so that he may achieve liberation for himself and others.

"Waverley doesn’t ask what you want to spend your life doing, it asked me, who do I want to spend my life being."

CHRIS PANZETTA, CLASS OF 2003

"We make learning active, we harness their interests and use technology to support different learning styles."

KEITH GAWMAN, SCIENCE TEACHER

Over its 112-year history Waverley College has educated many eminent Australians in law, medicine, the military, sport and the arts. Inclusiveness is one of our touchstones and we remain proudly non-selective. Nevertheless, roughly 80% of our Year 12 graduates go on to attend university. Student care is supported by firm discipline and a proactive approach to managing bullying in all its forms. Heads of Year, Home Group Teachers and School Counsellors share responsibility for individual student care.

The thriving Old Boy network is also available to support and mentor current students and young graduates, as well as foster connections through the decades of life after school.

Experienced and motivated staff have a firm focus on academic achievement, which is enhanced by our 1/11 overall staff to student ratio. Globally researched teaching innovation programs are enabling the College to deliver leading-edge teaching techniques in the classroom; and the appointment of a Director of Learning Innovation is ensuring we continue to monitor and implement best practice. Blending innovation with traditional classroom teaching helps us maximise student engagement, with pay-offs in individual achievement and class discipline.

"You get a lot of support at Waverley from teachers, but there is a huge emphasis on independent learning."

ANNIE BYRNE, PARENT OF LIAM BYRNE, HIGH ACHIEVER, CLASS OF 2014

Max Sherry talks about his time at Waverley with his parents

"It’s beyond the ATAR result, because it’s their outlook on life, each other and themselves that makes a difference."

ALAN SHERRY, PARENT OF MAX SHERRY HIGH ACHIEVER, CLASS OF 2014

Educational diversity is our focus. With 41 HSC courses, the hardest part is choosing: from Engineering Studies to Food Technology and Vocational (VET) and Content Endorsed options such as Construction, Visual Design, Photo, Video and Digital Imaging and Hospitality. Our students achieved 79 places in the Distinguished Achievers list for the 2014 Higher School Certificate. 83% of HSC subjects ranked above the State Average.

Waverley’s Social Justice Program encourages even our youngest students to participate in outreach activities, and to develop a lifetime commitment to activism for the world’s marginalised in the spirit of our founder Edmund Rice. This is a school with an important mission at its heart: to transform the minds and hearts of young Australians to build a more just, tolerant and inclusive community by educating for liberation and possibility.

"Social justice plays a big role in everyday school life. Rather than thinking about themselves they think about others."

RICHARD CHEN, HEAD OF YEAR 12, 2015 & JAMES MALONEY, HEAD OF YEAR 7, 2015

Art student talking with teacher in classroom

"Here we recognise that no-one thinks alike, everyone thinks differently, sees things differently. As an artist, if you see things differently everything you do is original."

JONATHAN GIOVENCO VISUAL ART STUDENT, YEAR 12, 2015

Our Visual Arts Department boasts a number of senior teachers who also successfully practice and exhibit painting, ceramics, photo-media, sculpture and installation. With particular expertise in digital media, we frequently see students claim awards
in photographic and short-film competitions. Our annual Art Showcase also provides students with a forum to exhibit their work.

Because physical activity is vital for health, discipline and focus, sport is compulsory for all students from Year 5. The commitment includes two training sessions per week and a weekend sporting fixture. Graded competition allows every student to represent his school in sport according to his ability.

"One of his goals is to mentor our junior players, to get them ready to lead by the time he graduates."

CONVENOR OF WATERPOLO

"In a game you need quick thinking, speed, good passing…and friendship. It’s easier if you’re friends because you know all their moves, it means we play better."

ZAVIAN TAYLOR-SIMI, REEVE SMITH, ELIJAH GARRATT OF YEAR 7, 2015 WITH STEPHEN O’DONNELL, HEAD OF SPORT

Recently we have added AFL to a comprehensive list of sport options that range from tennis to water polo and cycling. Intra-school competitions are also organised between the eight houses.

Because learning is a lifelong process, we aim to develop our students as critical thinkers who are ready to engage with their world: a learner at Waverley College is a problem solver, a communicator, a collaborator, an innovator, globally aware, and media and information literate.

"Once they go beyond what you’ve asked of them, you know they’ve taken control of their own learning."

WESTLEY FIELD, DIRECTOR OF LEARNING INNOVATION

Students at a Critical Thinking class

"Socratic questioning such as, What does that mean? or What would be an alternative? helps them to find the answers themselves."

NEHAL BADIANI, TEACHER YEAR 9 APPLIED PHILOSOPHY CLASS

Our Critical Thinking course, lasting for two years from Year 7, is taught by key members of the College Executive and Academic Enrichment Team. The course enhances problem-solving and higher-order thinking skills right from the early high school years, with HSC expectations firmly in view.

Our artists and performers are celebrated in equal measure with our sportsmen and academics. The Junior School has been a frequent finalist in the state-wide Wakakirri dance competition and also boasts the award-winning Cantores boys choir. The Senior College stages biannual musical and major drama productions, each produced to a professional standard. We strongly encourage participation by students in the musical life of the College, not least for the beneficial effect music study can have on other academic outcomes.

"The unique personality of each individual, their playing ability, and their confidence level is what forms our band."

JAMIE MCCARTHY MUSIC CAPTAIN, 2015

"He’s at Waverley because they believe in the boys doing the best they can."

JENNIFER AND THOMAS WALKER YEAR 5, 2015

Junior Preparatory School

The Junior School caters for approximately 280 boys in Years 5 and 6 on a separate campus in Henrietta Street, overlooking the Bondi to Bronte coastline – five minutes walk from the Senior School. We focus on giving students the best possible preparation for their transition to high school. Coordinating with the Senior School’s cycle, students are able to access specialist teachers for languages, music, physical education and computing.

Waterford Preschool

Our co-educational pre-school caters for up to 60 students. It is committed to provision of the Early Years Learning Framework, with a strong emphasis on play-based learning and preparation for transition to school.

There is an emphasis on developing language and social skills, exploring, experimenting and constructing. We also offer an intensive pre-instrumental music program, run by a qualified music teacher.

"A flexible daily program responds to the needs of each individual child and they are encouraged to develop a feeling of self worth, and a positive self-image."

FIONA MACGREGOR, DIRECTOR WATERFORD PRESCHOOL

College Captain portrait in church

"Waverley cultivates the best in individuals and creates an ethos of teamwork and community."

RUAIRI BIOLLO COLLEGE CAPTAIN, 2015

Catholic beliefs remain at the centre of our school life, and we are fortunate to have a strong College Board, enthusiastic parent bodies and a dedicated Old Boys Union. Together as a community, we strive to support our students as they liberate their potential and contend with the challenges of the 21st century. If you are seeking a school which can offer your child educational excellence with the broadest possible opportunities to explore and grow, we would like to partner with you in that endeavour.

For more information on our Phase 2 strategy and our hopes for our students, please read the conversation I had about the future of Waverley College. If you are interested in joining the Waverley Community with your son(s), you can find out more about the enrolment procedure here or book a tour here.

You can also download our online prospectus.

Thank you for your interest in our school, we hope to be able to welcome you in person soon,

Ray Paxton

HEAD OF COLLEGE