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Students thrive at Gateway Community High

Above: Josh receiving the 2022 Australian Defence Force Long Tan Youth Leadership and Teamwork Award.

Gateway Community High students have experienced a 32% increase in self-worth after one year of attending the school, according to the recently released Huber Social Impact report.

The report was commissioned by Gateway Community High during the school’s first full year of operation. Further follow-up over a 3-year period of this important research will ensure they are achieving their goal to improve the wellbeing and life outcomes of young people by providing transformational education.

The school, an initiative of Macquarie Community College, launched in 2021 to cater to year 9 and 10 students who may have disengaged with mainstream schooling, and is expected to be able to offer years 11 and 12 in the future.

It’s one of a growing number of independent schools meeting the need across New South Wales for an alternative education setting and has already seen transformative results for students.

“Gateway Community High is different to other schools because we are much smaller, which enables us to have smaller classes. We have a higher ratio of educators to students, but we like to look at the student as a whole. We try to address their needs as individuals to enable them to participate in education and to succeed at their education while maintaining independent individual growth,” says Head of School, Natalie Creighton.

How Gateway Community High gave Josh a reason to smile again

Deborah was desperately seeking an alternative solution to mainstream school for her “shy” son Josh when she decided to try Gateway Community High in 2021.

“Gateway was that something else we were looking for and never thought we would find. Josh became a happy child again, was keen to go to school and found a love of learning and life again,” Deborah noted.

Deborah said the small setting of the school was nurturing and welcoming for Josh, with the teachers and support staff approachable, caring and understanding of her son’s needs.

During the two years Josh was at Gateway, the School implemented an individualised learning and support plan which included a number of specific learning supports and other wellbeing measures for Josh. Supports included one-to-one in-class assistance for some specific subjects areas, as well as providing quiet zones and activities.

Soon after arriving at the school Josh was thriving in the different learning environment. Josh, now 17, was awarded his Year 10 ROSA last year and is now on track to complete his HSC. In addition, he was awarded with the Long Tan Leadership Award, presented and sponsored by the Defence Force, a significant personal achievement for Josh.

“I highly recommend Gateway to anyone looking for alternative education. It was a relief for us to see our son smiling again,” Deborah said.

I belong here

Current Year 10 student Bailey said Gateway Community High had changed her life and made her look forward to school again.

“It got me out of depression, which is insane to think about. It's hard to believe that it did and now I just feel like I belong here,” she said.

Bailey said at her previous school she would be lucky to attend once a week whereas now she never missed school unless she was unwell.

“Students should come to Gateway Community High, because there's no judgement and looking down on you for who you are. You are always accepted, everyone's kind, and accepting, and they're there for you no matter what.”

The Huber Social Impact report also found that:

  • Students recorded significant improvements in their connections (31%).

  • Attending Gateway Community High has a positive impact on overall student wellbeing, with wellbeing increasing by 15%.

  • Gateway Community High addresses what matters most to student wellbeing.

  • The positive, personalised and inclusive experience improves their engagement in learning about their curriculum subjects, themselves and important life skills.

  • Students reported wanting to attend school more, with students sharing feedback that they have an increased desire to attend school at Gateway Community High in comparison to their previous learning experience.

You can download the full report here.

If you're interested in finding out more about Gateway Community High, please contact us or call us on (02) 8845 8835.



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