Secondary campus end-of-year letter

Wednesday, 15 Nov 2023

We extend our gratitude to you for your unwavering support of our students, the school community, and the diverse educational opportunities they experience each year. We also wish to offer our heartfelt congratulations to Mr. Nick Johnstone, our college Principal, on his recent appointment as a Lay Canon of the Cathedral in Grafton. We continue to hold him in our prayers for guidance. The Canons of Christ Church Cathedral in Grafton play a vital role on the Cathedral's Chapter, a committee that assists the Dean in advancing the mission and ministry of the Cathedral. Mr. Johnstone's appointment will strengthen the connection between our Anglican schools in the Diocese and our Cathedral.

Looking to the Future and Our Community
We are pleased to report that student enrolment numbers are on the rise, with waiting lists for most year levels from Kindergarten to Year 10. In 2024, Year 11 is expected to be the largest cohort we have ever had. Unfortunately, we had to decline over 80 Year 7 enrolment applications for 2024. If you know of friends or family interested in enrolling at BDC, we strongly encourage them to enroll early, with kindergarten being the ideal starting point.

Wellbeing remains at the core of our Anglican college, and it continues to receive significant focus and resource allocation across all year levels from Kindergarten to Year 12. Our pastoral and rites of passage programs are evolving, with an emphasis on connecting to the land, character development, and integrating social-emotional learning through the CASEL framework ( We are also excited to announce that Barkley, The Wellbeing Buddy dog, will become an active member of BDC in 2024, and we eagerly anticipate Mrs. O’Connor's integration of Barkley into the wellbeing program.

For your planning, please take note that the Year 11 Camp in 2024 will be held in Term 1, Week 6, commencing on the 4th of March.

Our commitment to learning and teaching priorities continues as we review and improve our strategies. We are focused on further embedding essential skills such as character development, critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration, and citizenship, with a vision for the future. We have established a partnership with AISNSW for in-depth study of the Deep Learning Framework. Our staff will participate in ongoing professional development to enhance these transferable capabilities, which contribute to our digital credentialing program, Kaizen, World Options, career pathways, and learning and teaching initiatives.

We are pleased to announce that the 2025 Academic Scholarship applications are now open. Please visit our website for more information.

In conjunction with the NESA syllabus review and the rollout by the state government, our focus in 2024 will be on English, Mathematics, and Stage 6 technology. All Key Learning Areas will implement a revised curriculum from 2023, which will necessitate significant effort in developing these changes. Moreover, we anticipate the opening of our new Mathematics block and the recording studio in 2024, as well as the introduction of Entertainment and Agriculture Courses for Year 11.

The transition to the "Off and Away" policy for personal devices such as phones, smart devices, and airpods has had a positive impact on student interactions during the day. We appreciate your support in implementing this change, which is now an integral part of our daily routines.

Our Performing Arts department celebrated significant successes this year with their performance dinner, and these achievements were also recognized at the annual Sport Awards Dinner. Our BDC Barracuda Sports Club is thriving, and our academies and High-Performance Programs are showing remarkable progress.

Staff Updates on the Secondary Campus
Given our continuous growth in Year 11, we would like to inform you about some staff leave and movements for the start of 2024. We welcome back Ms. Teena Goodman as the Head of Faculty Visual Arts, and we have Mr. James Brown and Ms. Julie Bain sharing the role of Acting Head of Faculty English. Additionally, Mrs. Kate Law will be returning from leave to teach PDHPE part-time, and Ms. Melinda Eckford will return from leave to teach HSIE/REP part-time. Mr. Matthew Ryan, Mr. James Atkin, Mr. Alistair Smith will be teaching Science/REP, Mrs. Emma Turner, Mrs. Alisha Eden, Ms. Sheree Downs, Christian Dayment, Mrs. Rosey Lang will be teaching HSIE/REP/English, Mr. Adam Newman will be teaching TAS, Mr. Phil Atkinson will teach Mathematics part-time, Mrs. Prue Graham will serve as a Sport Assistant, Mrs. Melissa Atkinson will be involved in Learning Support, Ms. Janine Ryan will serve as a Careers Pathways Adviser, and Mrs. Leah Ham will continue as Acting Head of House for Cottee.

The Class of 2023
We are proud to report that many of our Year 12 students have achieved success through TAFE, apprenticeships, and receiving early offers into universities, with over 70% of students securing these offers before the commencement of HSC examinations. This achievement underscores the BDC advantage, and we extend our gratitude to the local industry and work placement providers for their invaluable support, as well as our dedicated staff for guiding our students on their journey.

Uniform items for 2024
For details regarding uniform requirements for 2024, please refer to our uniform code and guidelines. It is important to note the requirement of black polishable shoes, limited jewelry, adherence to moderate hair styles, and a prohibition on nose rings. Adhering to these guidelines will ensure that students begin the new year in 2024 on a positive note. House Shirts are now available and can be worn on Fridays.

Reports and Access to Parent Lounge and Student Café
After the reports are published in Week 9, we kindly request that you download and save all reports, documents, and items by the 6th of December 2023. There will be IT upgrades and maintenance changes, and access will not be possible until late January.

We hope you can join us for the Christmas Service and our presentation assemblies in 2023. Please refer to the following page for key dates and activities for the end of the year and commencement dates for 2024. On behalf of our secondary staff, we wish our families a blessed and joy-filled Christmas.

Read the full letter for families here.