STUDENTS across Port Stephens now have an alternative to mainstream public and private schools.
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The Alesco Senior College at Nelson Bay offers a different individualised learning space which is available to those seeking a different learning environment.
This different approach to learning can plainly and simply change students lives.
As enrolments for 2020 open at the Tomaree campus of the award winning Alesco Senior College, graduating students are encouraging young people to consider a different pathway to completing high school.
In the past three years, more than 60 young people who were at risk of not completing their school education, are now creating exciting employment and further education outcomes for themselves.
Alesco student, Zephyr said that Alesco was different and a good alternative that helped students get through high school.
“People who don’t fit in at school or find it hard to attend for a lot of reasons, find Alesco a safe place.
“Teachers are here to help you.
“Classes are smaller and students support each other.
“So many of us might never have completed school if it wasn’t for Alesco,” he said.
Typically, students of Alesco have not been able to connect with traditional schooling, and are at risk, or vulnerable.
The school currently caters for 15 students and will be able to enrol up to 35 students in Years 9 through to Year 12 in 2020.
Alesco Head Teacher, Wendy Ratcliffe, who has been working with the school since it was established, three years through a partnership with PCYC, Council and the community and has resulted in great education outcomes for local teenagers.
Wendy Ratcliffe told News Of The Area, “The main thing about Alesco is it is community based, creating a community feeling within the campus.
Alesco offers education as a social construct, paired with high staff to student ratios and a dedicated youth support worker on the campus to assist students in accessing the services that they need.
The College provides young people who are unlikely to find success in a traditional school environment with a safe and supportive environment in an adult learning framework, it is all first names and students are treated as adults in a community where the teachers and students all have access to the same areas.
Alesco is a registered and accredited school that was created by Atwea College (formerly WEA Hunter) in 2001 as an alternative learning environment for young people wanting to complete years 9 to 12 with locations in Newcastle, Tuncurry, Cessnock, Raymond Terrace and on the Tomaree Peninsula.
More than 60 local young people have completed their school studies at the Tomaree campus with many of them now moving into jobs and some graduating into further studies.
“The school offers young people support in their lives no matter how challenging life can be,” she said.
The goal is to ensure that these students attain their HSC as there is a great deal of research around greater success in life for those who have attained an HSC.
Enrolments for 2020 are open to interested students.
By Marian SAMPSON