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.
"The teachers at MacKillop are really friendly, approachable, supportive, and easy to talk to. They are extremely professional and they always try to make learning enjoyable. Over the years, your relationships with your teachers will strengthen and they’ll get to know you really well, especially once you’re in Year 11 and 12. This means that they'll know how to support you and how to get the best out of you."
"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 community is definitely one of my favourite things about MacKillop. It’s genuinely welcoming with a really good vibe. Despite being a big school, it feels like everyone knows each other, staff and students are friendly, and people feel comfortable enough to be themselves. When we have whole- school events, it’s electric. People get involved, it’s fun, and there’s an amazing energy."
"I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that MacKillop is a Catholic school for all. This means that we have students from different faith backgrounds and all walks of life. Even our Religious Education classes are inclusive and cover a broad range of topics and religions. We’re encouraged to follow the values of our patron saint, to be generous, inclusive, welcoming, and to help those in need."
"I am really happy I chose to come to MacKillop. There’s lots of people here so you’ll find friends with similar interests, there are lots of courses to choose from, and the teachers are really good. It’s a welcoming school and there’s so much you can do here, including heaps of opportunities to find and pursue your passion. If you’re looking for a high school for next year, I definitely recommend MacKillop!"
"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!"
"The sporting culture at MacKillop is really big, inclusive, and fun! Our carnivals are huge and everyone participates with a lot of enthusiasm. Our school teams participate in gala days, which give students the chance to test their skills, play with friends, try new sports, and have fun. We often do really well in those competitions! Elite athletes can take part in the PE Pathways/Sports Development Program, which is designed to help us achieve our sporting goals."
"There are lots of opportunities for students both in and outside of the classroom. There’s a huge range of classes, and I’m looking forward to having even more choice in Years 11 and 12. I have had lots of sport and leadership opportunities, competed in academic competitions, been on interstate camps and excursions, and I’m looking forward to overseas travel as well. There’s lots of performing arts opportunities, extension programs and there’s a club for almost anything!"
"I love the co-ed environment - it’s a fun, friendly, and welcoming place. There’s lots of diversity so I’ve been able to make lots of different friends. In the classroom, you get lots of different opinions and perspectives from the diverse range of classmates who have had very different life experiences. It’s important to incorporate the perspectives of others. I think that going to school in a respectful, co-ed environment at MacKillop has helped set me up for the future and the challenges of the wider world."
Hear from some students and our Principal, Mr Michael Lee, about choosing MacKillop and the transition into High School. We also interview two past students who tell us what they're up to while they reflect on their six years at the College.
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.