There are many reasons so many students enjoy coming to MacKillop every day! Find out why MacKillop is one of Canberra's favourite schools through the interviews and testimonials below.
"I had a lot of choice when it came to high schools but I'm happy I chose MacKillop and I would definitely recommend it to others. I like that it’s co-ed, there’s such a wide range of subjects, we have a vibrant community where there’s so many people to meet, the teachers are helpful and supportive, and there's lots of opportunities. As they often say, there really is something for everyone here."
"We have a huge range of classes! In Year 7, you’ll get to try lots of different subjects and as you get older you'll have more choice over what you study. My favourite subjects are English and Art, but you can also do things like Woodwork, Science, STEM, Game Design, Food, Textiles, Performing Arts, PE, and more! We have supportive teachers and amazing facilities to help with our learning experience."
"The school community is one of the best aspects of being a student at MacKillop. It's a really inclusive and dynamic environment and everyone is there for each other. We have a friendly, happy, and welcoming atmosphere. Our whole-school events, when all year groups come together, are awesome – they’re fun, people get involved, and there’s always a good energy and atmosphere."
"At MacKillop, we are a school for everyone and we’re welcoming of people from all walks of life. Sure, we’re a Catholic school, but this is a community for everybody, whether you’re religious or not. We follow the values of our patron saint, Mary MacKillop – we’re encouraged to be generous, inclusive, welcoming, and to help those less fortunate than us."
"The teachers at MacKillop are supportive and easy to approach and talk to. They’re super fun to be around and really helpful. During your time here, you'll build strong relationships with your teachers and they'll get to know you really well, including the way you learn and how to support you. My advice would be to use these relationships to your advantage so they can help you achieve your best."
"My year group had some awesome Year 12 results – but that success is pretty typical of MacKillop to be honest! The College has a strong culture of academic achievement as well as amazing teachers, extension programs, tutorials, and academic workshops, which helped us to achieve our best and to open up opportunities at university and beyond. If you’re a high achiever, MacKillop is a great place to be!"
"MacKillop has a wide range of classes and extra-curricular opportunities. In terms of my studies, I was able to focus on the areas I’m passionate about and enjoyed studying. I was heavily involved in performing arts and had lots of opportunities in that area. There are also so many sports, academic competitions, art exhibitions, clubs and groups, extension programs, camps, overseas trips, and class-specific activities and excursions."
"We have a great sporting culture at MacKillop. We participate in lots of different sports and we usually do really well in those competitions! Our carnivals are massive and everyone gets involved. Physical Education also offers lots of opportunities to get active and try new things, including classes like Outdoor Ed, Active Lifestyles, and Exercise Science. If you’re an elite athlete, you can pursue your sport in the PE Pathways and Sports Development programs."
"At MacKillop, boys and girls learn together, achieve together, and respect each other. I have enjoyed the making lots of different kinds of friends and experiencing different perspectives on everything – not just how other people view the world, but also how they work, why they make certain decisions, and what they value. I have been able to consider and incorporate the views and perspectives of the opposite sex, which has helped in my own learning."
At MacKillop, we're faithful to the Gospels, attentive to the example of Jesus Christ, and challenged by the life and work of St Mary MacKillop. We are not perfect at MacKillop but we endeavour to be just, loving, faithful, inclusive of all, and joyful in each other's company.
Using the teachings and example of our patron, Australia’s first Saint, the College aims to be welcoming of students from different faith, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as students with a range of abilities – from the most academically gifted to those who need extra assistance achieving their optimum.
The sense of belonging, no matter what your background, is one of the College’s greatest strengths. MacKillop is truly a Catholic school for all!
St Mary MacKillop College is committed to co-education. Our belief is that students learn best in a safe, respectful environment where difference and diversity is respected and recognised as the first steps towards authentic inclusion.
A powerful belief underpinning co-education at MacKillop is that all students learn differently – it’s not a case of all boys or all girls learning the same. Our teachers are trained and encouraged to use a range of pedagogical strategies in their teaching, a wide range of forms of assessment, and to discuss the strength and challenges of each student in their class through a flexible or differentiated approach to teaching.
Co-education brings a healthy energy to our school; a respect for gender difference, a maturity and confidence in learning together, and a broad range of social, co-ed, extra-curricular opportunities that foster a healthy, tolerant learning environment.
Co-education reflects the working, cultural, and social patterns of adult life and is fundamental to MacKillop’s desire to be a Catholic school for all.
Each student at MacKillop has the opportunity to become the kind of person they want to be – it’s our job to give them the best platform for that.
While most opportunities are provided by the classroom experience, MacKillop considers education to be broader than just a sound curriculum. With parents, we strive to provide a balanced education that not only prepares students academically but also physically, socially, and spiritually.
Supporting the formal curriculum, the College provides a range of co-curricular opportunities for students to further explore their interests and talents. Since co-curricular activities are usually conducted out of normal school hours, students are able to work with their peers in a less formal environment. These valuable opportunities are made possible by the generous support of teachers, parents, and friends of the College.
The College has a long tradition of involvement in sports, debating, public speaking, musicals, Duke of Edinburgh Award Program, liturgy, camps, retreats, overseas trips, and youth ministry.
There’s something for everyone at MacKillop!
A school can be no greater than its teachers, and MacKillop prides itself on employing the very best. With teachers committed to engaging, challenging, and encouraging each and every student to develop their love for learning, it's no wonder the students often say that MacKillop's strength is truly found in its talented staff.
A large number of staff at MacKillop have industry experience in the subjects they teach and many of our teachers have achieved PhDs and other postgraduate qualifications.
The College's NAPLAN results show that students who enrol in Year 7 at MacKillop achieve remarkable progress by the time they are in Year 9 – the kind of progress that continues into their senior years. The "like school" NAPLAN data reflects brilliantly on the quality of our academic environment, as do our Year 12 results. In recent years, all students wishing to go to university achieved a score high enough to gain entry, and a large number of students received early offers. The College Dux of 2018 achieved a score of 99.90 - one of the highest ATARs in the country. Students do well at MacKillop!
MacKillop boasts a Pastoral Care program that has been held in high regard by teachers, students, and parents alike. It promotes an open school that is welcoming, respectful of differences, enthusiastic about different talents, and where students can speak openly about their concerns and where they can expect that they will be helped.
Every student is valued as a unique individual and MacKillop's Pastoral Care program encompasses a commitment to the spiritual, physical, emotional and mental well-being of all students.
When parents were surveyed in 2020, 98% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: "MacKillop is a safe school for my child".
The two-campus setup means that, although MacKillop is a large school, class sizes remain small and each student is provided with the time and support that they require. There's an energy at MacKillop that is fun, safe, and truly irresistible!
In the past few years, MacKillop has achieved excellent Year 12 results. In 2021, all students wishing to go to university achieved a score high enough to gain entry, while the College also awarded one of the highest numbers of VET Certificates in the territory. Our top ATAR is regularly among the highest in the ACT.
MacKillop has helped to nurture many students who have cultural, performance, and sporting pursuits. Many of these students have gone on to represent their country, have been accepted into NIDA, or have been recognised for the difference they are making within the wider community.
If you want academic achievement, MacKillop is the place to be. If you want to achieve your sporting goals, MacKillop is the place to be. If you want to set yourself up to begin a trade or join the workforce, MacKillop is the place to be. Students come to MacKillop with many different talents and dreams, which MacKillop's teachers seek to nurture and encourage. MacKillop's achievements in cultural, sporting, and academic life serve as a source of pride to the student body and the wider community.
When MacKillop bids farewell to its Year 12 cohort, they leave knowing they were deeply loved by their teachers and their friends. MacKillop students are enthusiastic, generous, proactive, intelligent, and have a good sense of humour. They become young women and men who proceed to tertiary studies or the workplace with confidence, possessing initiative and the ability to make informed decisions.
Upon leaving the College, a massive 98% of students from the Graduating Class of 2020 said they agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: "I enjoyed my time at MacKillop".
MacKillop's hope for each of its students is that when they leave, they have achieved their best, have the ability to bring wisdom and judgment to their choices, understand their place in their community, and have a group of fine friends who will support them into the future.