Communities

Middle Learning Community

Hillcrest Christian College proudly announces that the College structure in 2021 will include a Middle Learning Community (MLC) for students in Years 5-8.  This will create three similar sized learning communities with approximately 500 students in each providing smaller communities and deeper connections consisting of:

  • Junior Learning Community (JLC) Prep – Year 4
  • Middle Learning Community (MLC) Years 5-8
  • Senior Learning Community (SLC) Years 9-12
Why Middle School?

At a stage where students are undergoing many physical, social and emotional changes, students require a focused approach in early adolescence to meet their specific needs. A distinctive feature of the MLC will be the strong emphasis on student welfare which focuses on the critical relationship between home and school, in pursuing the best outcomes for our students.

As Professor Stephen Dinham writes, ‘The middle years are a critical period when young people experience substantial physical and emotional change…’

Hillcrest Christian College plans to address these changes through building quality relationships with our students and providing real-world and authentic learning in a new, state-of-the-art facility.

Educational research makes it clear that students learn differently. These differences include the manner in which they engage and interact with learning materials, their preferred learning styles and the degree and manner in which they construct new learnings.

New Facilities

With the introduction of the MLC, students in Years 5-6 will share an open learning environment that is only a few years old while students in Years 7-8 will be moving into a brand new, specifically designed learning environment.

This open plan layout provides flexibility for teachers to utilise space that aligns with student learning and more closely resembles the experience of working in the real world. This plan enables both group based learning along with various break out spaces and learning focused areas.

Each of the large agile learning spaces cover the entire floor of a common building with a third floor on top of the building providing a multi-purpose court facility for students in the MLC.

The bottom level that is currently under construction for Years 7-8 will be open for the start of 2021.


Social Spaces

An outdoor space will continue to enable interactions within the MLC community appropriate for developing adolescents and social spaces.

Outside the existing building, a new covered area is also being built to provide a beautiful new space for indoor/outdoor learning as well as adding to the existing space for MLC students during breaks. This will be similar to our Senior undercover area (pictured right) where students spend time socialising during break times and as extended outdoor learning areas.

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​Design-Centred Learning

Design-Centred Learning is a teaching model in which students learn by actively engaging in real-world and personally connected projects. Collaboration is at the heart of the model and drives students in groups through a ‘Design Thinking’ framework known as the six8s. Through empathy and learning about audience, students start at the Investig8 phase and move through refining, testing and evaluating phases before finishing at the Celebr8 phase, creating a public product or presentation for a real audience.

Students are encouraged to demonstrate their understanding in innovative and effective ways and share this with their peers. To facilitate collaboration and learning differentiation Hillcrest uses both specific facilities and appropriate use of technology to maximise our delivery of these contemporary learning skills.

Having more flexible learning environments enables students to work in small groups, work together on problems, discuss solutions, use and evaluate data, and present their findings.

SECRET Skills

The SECRET Skills are a set of essential life and work skills that have been identified by business and educational leaders across the world as being critical to success in the workplace.

Designed by British educator Dan Buckley, the SECRET Skills framework is comprised of six skill domains which make up the SECRET acronym:

  • Self-Manager
  • Effective Participator
  • Creative Thinker
  • Reflective Learner
  • Enquirer
  • Team Worker

Within each skill domain, there are four sub-skills, covering Cognitive, Strategic, Social and Emotional elements. One of the defining features of the SECRET Skills framework is that it is self and peer-assessed; while teachers facilitate and encourage students to achieve their SECRET Skills goals, it is the students themselves who are ultimately responsible for collecting evidence in order to achieve accreditation and recognition at each of the nine levels of the framework.

​Partnerships to support students

The leadership team has worked with international researcher, Dr Rob Loe, to study the effects of relationships within the schooling system. His Relational Schools Project has outlined the opportunity that smaller learning communities provide for building robust relationships between our students, staff and the wider community.

Organisational Structure

The MLC will focus the student journey through four domains that support personal interests and continue to build strengths in all of our students. These domains include:

  • Intellectual - Design Centred Learning, Academic Programs, Literacy & Numeracy
  • Global - Innovation, SECRET Skills, Real World Learning
  • Emotional - Wellbeing, Relationships, Positive Behaviours
  • Spiritual - Service Mindset, Student Leadership, Student Identify in Christ

Quality Teaching and Professional Development

Middle Learning Community (MLC) at Hillcrest is engaging with professionals in the field such as Prof Donna Pendergast (Dean and Head of the School of Education and Professional Studies at Griffith University) to support our staff to deliver a future-focused education and support for your child.

It is this focus on relationships and individualised learning that we believe will foster an individuals' skills underpinned by the existing Design-Centred Learning and SECRET Skills frameworks.

Senior Learning Community

Students move into the Senior Learning Community (SLC) at Year 9, choosing their pathway based around studying Core subjects, Elective subjects or Vocational and Tertiary pathways. This flexibility aligns to an individuals personal interests and strengths and combined with staff support, provides the necessary roadmap to drive students towards their future goals.

​Partnerships to support students

The leadership team has worked with international researcher, Dr Rob Loe, to study the effects of relationships within the schooling system. His Relational Schools Project has outlined the opportunity that smaller learning communities provide for building robust relationships between our students, staff and the wider community. Organisational Structure The MLC will focus the student journey through four domains that support personal interests and continue to build strengths in all of our students. These domains include: Intellectual - Design Centred Learning, Academic Programs, Literacy & Numeracy Global - Innovation, SECRET Skills, Real World Learning Emotional - Wellbeing, Relationships, Positive Behaviours Spiritual - Service Mindset, Student Leadership, Student Identify in Christ