University links at Lake Ginninderra


Lake Ginninderra college recently changed its name to: UC Senior Secondary College Lake Ginninderra (UCSSC – Lake Ginninderra). This is to signify its increasing links with the University of Canberra (UC).
We happened to be in the school on the day of the naming ceremony where Lake Ginninderra College became: UC Senior Secondary College Lake Ginninderra and Kaleen High School became UC High School Kaleen. These new names recognise the growing links between the schools and the University and were unveiled on banners with Lake G students abseiling down alongside them.
“This collaboration is part ACT governments’ commitment to ensuring that every young person in the territory up to the age of 17 is engaged in some form of educational training… It’s also a reflection o the ACT Governments commitment to life long learning, in particular to assist young people in the transition from High school to college and from College to further education or training.” [Andrew Barr: Minister of Education and Training Australia]

The partnership has developed over several years. The preceding Principal teacher at Lake Ginninderra was interested in the idea of forming ties with the University, and asked the question ‘What can we do?’ This led to discussion, and over time, increasing workplace links were formed. A partnership was formed, an MOU was agreed and later, a licensing agreement was signed.
Both the College and the University benefit from the partnership. For the school, there is access to facilities. For example, in H courses students in 11th and 12th grade can gain University credit points. Thus far, H courses in Design and Accounting are being developed and there is scope for further developments in the future. As well as this, the College can use the partnership from a marketing and promotion perspective, which is more important now, with the recent opening of a new, nearby College.
“Its about making sure that we use combined expertise to focus on the individual need of every students that participates the UC High School and College – to enable them to have choices and to have pathways where they have options as they go through life.” [Dr Jim Waterston: Chief Executive of the ACT department of Education and Training]
We hope that the curriculum at the schools can increasingly be linked with the courses that we offer at the University to widen the choice that is open to students and teachers.” [Professor Steven Parker Vice Chancellor of the University of Canberra]
At the University, the main benefiters are those studying for their Diploma of Education and those researching education.
“The links we’re strengthening will help student teachers really get to know two schools in detail, and other students at UC. We also expect that these relationships will help with the University’s research, adding to our knowledge of how young people today learn and what is the best preparation for a world in which they’ll have multiple careers and possibly a working life that is longer than in their parents’ generation. We hope that the teachers in these schools will come to know and work together with the academics at the University, for the professional development o us all. [Professor Steven Parker Vice Chancellor of the University of Canberra]


The college is located nearby and University students often come along the College, getting a feel for classroom set-up, interacting with teachers and students and learning new skills, such as use of the interactive whiteboard.
We spoke to Peter Blunt, outdoor education teacher at Lake Ginninderra College, who designed the Outdoor Leadership Monitoring Program. Trainee physical education teachers from UC can come down to the college and work towards certificates in specialist outdoor education; all the practical and theory elements are done through the school, but there is correspondence with the University, who can award the qualifications/certificates. The link allows University students to spread the work load across the 3-4 years of their training, rather than having to gain the qualifications separately, after their studies. We spoke to a student in his third year of teacher training, who was working towards specialist certificates in snorkelling, vertical rescue and abseiling. He found the courses enjoyable and valuable as the qualifications gained make one more employable.
We also spoke to two students in their second year studying to be teachers of physical education and design & technology. The students were in the middle of building tables in a college Technology class, but we took them aside for a moment to ask them about the UC’s connections with the college. The main benefits for them included having a regular opportunity to interact with teachers and students, and having access to resources and guidance that allows them to improve their general woodwork skills.
“We do two hours a week in the classroom. Seeing how the teachers operate and interacting with the students.” [UC student]
“Get to know a few teachers, get to know how they relate with their students. So you pick up teaching strategies.” [UC student]

We asked if they felt their presence in the class benefited the students:
“Yea, to a degree. There’s more helpers for the teachers.” [UC student]

“As we get more experienced we get more hands-on stuff with them, and help them when they have problems and stuff.” [UC student] Go Back