Despite the delays in the completion of construction of Brisbane South State Secondary College, this Dutton Park school has received the most noteworthy validation from the Australian Education Awards as one of the finalists for their Excellence Award.
The award-giving body recognises the top-performing schools in the country for “their outstanding achievements and transformative work,” that significantly impacts the lives of young Australians. BSSSC has been nominated under the Innovation in Curriculum Design category. The winners will be announced on 27 Aug 2021.
The school has remained open amidst the $130-million construction work, funded by the State Government, which started in mid-2020 and will continue until the end of 2021. Despite the disruption, BSSSC students have already been benefitting from the school’s improved curriculum and partnership with universities, biomedical providers, and sports communities, such as the University of Queensland (UQ), the Translational Research Institute (Princess Alexandra Hospital), and the Brisbane Lions AFL Academy.
Perhaps one day, BSSSC will produce the scientists who will be able to unlock the mysteries of the Sars-Cov-2 virus (COVID-19) or become the chief of a successful start-up that will be solving the next pandemic as the school has provided the students with the right tools, training and environment to pursue studies in medicine, science, as well as sports and the arts.
Executive principal Kirsten Ferdinands said that 20 percent of the students are focusing on studies in biomedicine, sports and nutrition, whilst 80 percent are taking the standard curriculum. Regardless, all classes at BSSSC are similar to a university environment because of the programs and facilities.
BSSSC has “ideation rooms” with 3D lounges for presenting projects and a lectorium for brainstorming or learning new ideas. It has dance rooms with a theatre stage and large trade rooms for various school activities.
Under the Mini-Masters program, the students are enjoined to do digs with actual archaeology experts, whilst some are coached into managing and producing a YouTube channel on sports, or guided into writing or directing the school play.
All these programs are conducted into the various hubs around the campus for learning, creativity, health and wellbeing, and the outdoor green space called The Oasis.
BSSSC’s current student body is 204 but the school is expecting 250 in 2022, and grow to to 1,500 in five years. Most of the graduating class are planning to enter UQ.