Welcome

Welcome to our Ringwood Campus.

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

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

Senior pathways available include VCE, VET and VCAL.

- Mini Saundry

"If it wasn't for St Mary’s, I would be finding it extremely tough with my studies. But their support makes me want to continue, realising that they always have my back."

- Sam, Year 11

Ringwood Campus overview

Environment

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

The Ringwood Campus encourages students to see the world from multiple perspectives and take their place in a global environment. Aquinas College sits within a green belt on 30 acres of land with native vegetation and sports areas surrounding it.

Location

Our campus is located in the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne, at Aquinas College, 46 Great Ryrie Street, Ringwood.

Transport

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

There are numerous public transport options with public buses dropping and collecting students either at the Great Ryrie Street bus bay located within the College grounds or at one of the two stations.

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

For specific routes and times 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 that ensuring they have a great start to secondary school.

Students can attend several events while in Year 6. Aquinas 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 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.

Students are provided with further primary to secondary school transition assistance with pastoral support from their Aquinas Homeroom teacher and the pastoral chain to achieve a seamless transition to secondary school.

House system

St Mary’s College students are allocated to one of three Aquinas College Houses: Dominic, Rice or Mackillop and a Team Leader who, alongside their Teacher of the Deaf, oversees their general wellbeing and progress.

The House system provides a healthy intra-school rivalry at our annual swimming, athletics and cross-country carnivals.

Learning overview

Our Ringwood 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 Aquinas 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. Areas taught 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 the 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.

This can be achieved through accessing a comprehensive curriculum across Middle and Senior Years.

Year 9 students are particularly challenged with an experiential education program incorporating outdoor education, personal development and the very popular Cafe Program.

Years 7 to 9 attend camps

Opportunities to be involved in musicals, plays, choirs, bands, debating, robotics and study and cultural tours both interstate and overseas.

Student Leadership

Students participate in leadership programs offered at St Mary’s College and Aquinas 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 College 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 College students can be enhanced. They also plan for campus and whole school social and fundraising activities.

Aquinas Leadership

There are opportunities for students to nominate themselves to represent a group of students from the Aquinas College student population in formal and informal activities.

Social justice activities are a key feature at our Ringwood campus with students encouraged to participate in Project Compassion, Tinnies for Vinnies and the annual giving Wishing Tree.

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 Aquinas programs offered through both the curriculum and co-curricular activities.

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 Aquinas 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.

Student voice

Our students feel a sense of belonging, connection and ownership at our Ringwood 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.

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Get in touch

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

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