Welcome

Welcome to our Dandenong Campus.

Our deaf and hard of hearing students enrol into St Mary’s College and attend our campus based at St John’s Regional College Dandenong, where they immerse and thrive in all aspects of school life.

Our Dandenong Campus offers an integrated secondary education for deaf and hard of hearing students from Years 7 to 12. Students attending the Dandenong campus wear the St John’s Regional College uniform and are welcome in all classes and extracurricular activities.

Senior pathways available include VCE, VET and VCAL.

- Mini Saundry

"Having a St Mary's education is incredibly beneficial for me and other peers. Being surrounded by such a positive and supportive environment allows me to want to do the best of my ability and achieve much more than I ever thought I could."

- Kayla, Year 12

Dandenong Campus overview

Environment

Our Dandenong campus is a welcoming local school community where students experience a sense of belonging and develop their own confidence and communication success for any school, work or social environment.

The Dandenong Campus boasts diverse cultures and languages and is renowned as one of the most multicultural schools in Melbourne. The school community extends beyond the school to include our families, parish and wider community groups.

Location

Campus is located in the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne, at St John's Regional College, 5-11 Caroline Street, Dandenong.

Transport

Students can access public transport or private bus services making getting to and from our Dandenong Campus easy.

Crown Coaches provide private school charter buses for students to access in transporting to and from school. Charter buses service the areas of Cranbourne, Lyndhust, Lynbrook, Narre Warren, Hampton Park, Endeavour Hills, Keysborough and Noble Park.

Students can also take a short walk to and from the Dandenong railway station.

For specific routes and timetables please refer to the Public Transport Journey Planner.

Transition

Transition programs for new students, particularly at Year 7, commence the year prior to starting helping students navigate their secondary school learning environment and make connections.

Program Support Group (PSG/SSG) meetings are held with students, parents/guardians and others including primary school Deaf Facility Coordinators or visiting teachers to gain a holistic understanding of the academic and social needs of every student.

PSG meetings are an opportunity to discuss student subjects, therapies or supports required ensuring they have a great start to secondary school.

Students can attend several events while in Year 6. St John’s provides an opportunity for students to get to know its College and other St Mary’s students that will commence in Year 7.

Extra transition

St Mary’s offers extra transition sessions focused on meeting and getting to know our staff and other deaf and hard of hearing students. The smaller orientation sessions allow students to familiarise themselves with the school and ask any questions they might have about secondary school life in a safe environment.

House system

St Mary’s College students are allocated to the St John’s vertical homeroom system that’s divided into six houses – Aquila, Columba, Delphinus, Leonis, Monoceros and Phoenix. The vertical homeroom system encourages peer support, leadership and mentoring through the combinations of students from all year levels for the daily morning homeroom time.

Each House consists of seven Homeroom Groups, with each Homeroom containing approximately 4 students from Years 7 to 12. Each House Leader with the Learning Mentor and Teacher of the Deaf is responsible for the overall development of student’s sense of belonging, loyalty and spirit in his/her House.

House activities include aquatics, athletics and cross-country competitions alongside quizzes and science and maths problems.

Learning overview

Our Dandenong Campus offers an individualised deaf and hard of hearing program delivered by Teachers of the Deaf who are passionately committed to student growth and learning in an environment that stimulates and encourages six years of secondary school excellence.

Students negotiate their course of studies to fully participate in the school curriculum as offered through St John’s Regional College while accessing St Mary’s College Expanded Learning Program (EXP).

Expanded Learning Program (EXP)

EXP is a subject taken as part of each student’s year level subject timetable. Taught by Teachers of the Deaf, EXP is determined in collaboration with students and parents and based on the Expanded Core Curriculum for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students, designed to support students in accessing and experiencing success in their core subjects.

Teaching areas may include literacy, expressive and receptive language, audition, speech or social-emotional learning. EXP is flexible and varies from student to student and from year to year, depending on subjects and wellbeing needs.

PSG/SSG meetings are held with parents each term as a way of monitoring student progress, receiving feedback and planning for future teaching and learning. In between meetings, we maintain regular phone and email contact with parents.

Courses and activities

As part of the broader St Mary’s College of the deaf and hard of hearing community, our students participate in:

  • Secondary School’s Deaf Sports Day
  • St Mary’s College assemblies
  • St Dominic’s Day celebrations
  • Lunchtime Social Club.

Many students develop close and lifelong friendships with other students they identify with at these St Mary’s events and activities.

Students also have the opportunity of accessing a wide range of subjects and senior courses of study. Our goal is that students develop into strong and capable contributors who are pursuing their dreams and discovering their potential.

The Secondary Transition Education Program (STEP) in Year 7 helps create a solid foundation.

Some of the course and activities offerings include:

  • Years 8 to 10 focus on developing and applying key skills students need to succeed when they enter more advanced studies at senior levels.
  • Years 7, 9, 11 VCAL and 12 attend camps and retreat.
  • Year 9 students participate in the City Immersion Program and visit Melbourne landmarks under staff supervision. They experience the College Cafe Program for a two-week period during the school year and receive a Certificate in Food Handling.
  • Cultural events and competitions such as the Performing Arts Evening, Theatre Sports, Debating, Public Speaking, Chess, Art and Technology Exhibition, Teen Chef and Book in a Day provide many opportunities for students to get involved and showcase their skills.
  • Social justice is an important aspect of school life at our Dandenong campus with students participating in the annual MAD Day. Make a Difference Day recognises that we can make a difference in the lives of those in need both in our own community and around the world.

Student Leadership

Students participate in leadership programs offered at St Mary’s College and St John’s Regional College. Student leadership gives students the opportunity to develop confidence, experience the benefits of doing things for others as well as being positive role models.

St Mary’s Leadership

A senior St Mary’s student is elected as Student Campus Leader each year. Part of this role is to meet other Campus Student Leaders and the College leadership team and provide feedback on how the educational experience for St Mary’s students can be enhanced. They also plan campus and whole school social and fundraising activities.

St John’s Leadership

Formal leadership positions are available to Years 7 to 12 students who represent the St John’s student community. Leaders take an active role in developing the College’s faith life and House spirit and be outstanding ambassadors for both Colleges.

Wellbeing

A positive approach to student wellbeing underpins the spiritual, emotional, social, academic and physical growth of all students. Activities offered to strengthen wellbeing include St Mary’s Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) Program and St John’s Pastoral Care and Student Wellbeing Programs.

Career pathways

Students can access the VCE pathway, a well-established VCAL or a VET program. Work experience is promoted from Year 10 with a focus on managing hearing loss in the workplace to prepare students for success in either their first part time job or starting their dream career.

Career Action Plans are developed and regularly reviewed with students and their parents/guardians at PSG/SSG meetings ensuring they have the right subjects, skills and experiences once they complete their education with St Mary’s.

Further considered pathways and professional career advice can be accessed through St John’s College or through our partnership with community organisations such as Expression Employment and Sign for Work.

After gaining workplace experiences in Year 10, students participate in extensive career counselling interviews at the College.

Assistive technology

Assistive hearing technologies support our goal in building strong and capable student communication skills through listening and spoken English.

Classrooms and assembly spaces are fitted with Roger SoundField speakers, FM transmitters and wall pilots making syncing in for students subtle and seamless. Technology is regularly maintained ensuring good working order.

Large student spaces such as the stadium, lecture theatre, new STEM building and the St Paul Apostle Centre are also fitted with assistive technology.

Student voice

Our students feel a sense of belonging, connection and ownership at our Dandenong Campus. It’s a place where they care and respect each other while reaching their potential.

It’s a great place to be! But don’t just take our word for it – listen to what other St Mary’s College students have to say.

Enrolment Information

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Get in touch

We’d love to hear from you!
Feel free to contact Mini Saundry Head of Dandenong Campus

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