It has been a big year for Castlemaine Secondary College. After years of development and planning they’re decommissioning their old senior campus and bringing everyone together at a new, purpose-built 7 – 12 site. They’ve also appointed a new Principal, Castlemaine Secondary graduate, Paul Frye.
“I’m extremely proud to have returned to Castlemaine Secondary and be leading it through such exciting, pivotal times,” says Paul.
Paul grew up in Castlemaine, leaving to study then teach in schools around the state before returning in 2010 as one of the school’s assistant principals. He took a detour in early 2017, taking up an acting principal position at one of the local primary schools, and was appointed Principal in July 2017.
“We have some amazing new facilities and are about to open more,” says Paul.
The first new building to open back in 2014 was the Wellbeing Centre and Gym, which includes science labs and classrooms. The Engineering and Trade facilities followed at the start of 2017 and the new performing arts centre, including auditorium, drama and music rooms, will be completed by the end of the year.
Eventually there will be four precincts: Wellbeing, Engineering, Performing Arts and Art/Administration, all built around a central piazza.
“We’re a school that caters for a diverse range of students and we’ve been working on building a 7 – 12 culture for a few years now,” says Paul.
“It’s great to finally all be together. Watching the younger kids walk through the learning spaces and see the Year 12s with their heads down, working away, really adds to the culture. Prior to that VCE was a bit of a mystery to them.”
The school offers a broad range of programs, including a Steiner stream, but is still small enough that students are known by their teachers, the majority of whom live locally.
“I’m proud of the fact that we are a true community school,” says Paul. “We are the only 7 – 12 provider in town and that carries with it a lot of responsibility.”
“We have a strong diversity of students and we cater for everyone, from the high achieving students to those who struggle and we have a range of programs to keep them all engaged and supported.”
“I think we do a really good job of enabling students to get to the destination they choose,” he adds.
“Some aspire to university and we have an excellent record of getting them there with consistently high VCE results. Others want to go out into the workforce or into TAFE and we have programs to help them achieve their goals.”
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