Learning @ HSC

The educational focus of Holy Spirit College is to engage young people in a journey of returning to learning and transitioning to better outcomes in health, well-being, academic education, training and employment. Each young person will have a different journey and transition pathway which may include transitioning:

  • from disengagement towards achieving a level of qualification, 
  • to engagement through TAFE and vocational training, school-based traineeships, apprenticeships or other employment
  • from remote communities towards a successful introduction to boarding school [Cooktown Campus] or
  • back to other styles of schooling.

Each young person has different needs and aspirations; outcomes are developed specific to the individual. 

The foundation on which the educational purpose is built is the total development of each individual young person, according to a specifically Catholic Christian vision. Here, values, including the value of the human person, are conveyed in a life-context, encouraging young people to exercise their intellect and support them to discern true and positive cultural factors from false and destructive ones, using the teachings of Christ as our touchstone.

There are four critical elements of effective service deliver:

  • outreach, 
  • wellbeing, 
  • learning, 
  • and pathways. 

The model to which Holy Spirit College subscribes and continues to develop is a learner centred, wrap-around service delivery model. We provide an education rich in life-skills for disengaged young people.

Right Relationships underpin the learning at HSC, it is one of engagement through the mentors building positive relationships with young people and having a curriculum focus to assist young people to gain skills in the fundamental areas of English and Mathematics as well as a range of elective topics. Right Relationships are essential in maintaining an environment which is both physically and psychologically safe for all.
While attendance is important it is recognised it is only one factor in improving outcomes for young people, they must also be engaged and participate in their leaning program. 

Each young person has an Individual Learning Plan which is developed in conjunction with the student, parent/carer, mentor, and other members of the young person’s Care Team.
Holy Spirit College staff use a strength-based approach. The approach bases the learning program on the young person’s skills, experience and strengths and is based on the Australian Curriculum, the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Framework and pre-vocational courses.
During the units of study the evaluation methods are integrated and make the learner feel valued and supported. The learning achievements of each young person are communicated to parents/carers through a variety of means, which are appropriate to the individual and their learning. 

Our behaviour focus is on the relationships in our school community. We disapprove of inconsiderate behaviour and want to assist young people to understand that what they do impacts on others.
Poor behaviour is not tolerated at Holy Spirit College (HSC) and procedures are developed to ensure that young people can learn and participate free from harassment and disturbance. 
Our system, is grounded in applied behaviour analysis, and is the basis of our behaviour expectations. 
“Traditional” approaches to behaviour usually focus on young people’s problem behaviour, whereas HSC staff focus on the needs that students are trying to meet by using any inappropriate behaviour.
“Traditional” approaches focus on stopping problem behaviour through the use of punishment – often consequences that are undesirable to the young person – whereas at HSC we focus on actively teaching the young person replacement behaviours that allow them to get their needs met in more efficient and socially acceptable ways.
“Traditional” approaches often leave alterations to the teaching and learning environment out of the equation, assuming that the young person must change in order to accommodate the environment. In contrast, at HSC we also focus on changing the behaviour of adults, and on building environments that make the learning of replacement behaviours more effective and durable. 
The focus is to encourage students to feel safe, included and to attend school.
The school does not have a prescriptive list of rules with associated consequences as it is not possible to cover every situation. We focus on equity, meaning that each individual situation is treated in an individual way. “What I do, will depend on the special person and the special situation” and within the spirit of the College's working principles of 'Relationship, Respect, Responsibilities'.