Hands-on learning opens door to career

Posted by Gavin Box

Year 12 student Anthony looks forward to school each day because of his special role in the horticultural yard.

Anthony is responsible for tending the goats and has developed a close connection with the small herd of does and their kids.

He has completed a Certificate II in Animal Care and when he graduates from school he plans to work with animals.

Mrs Kelly Harrington, Wholistic Land Management Coordinator, said the Horticultural Yard is a key aspect of Wholistic Land Management, a unique learning experience only offered by the College in Geraldton.

She said the hands-on experience at school means Anthony is well placed to pursue a career in his chosen field.

Anthony’s affinity with the animals enables him to understand the personality of each, knowing who likes attention and who is shy.

“I watch over the animals to make sure people don’t treat them poorly,” he said.

Teaching a dream come true for Miss Chapman

Year 2/3 teacher, Miss Rachel Chapman, has dreamt of becoming a teacher ever since she was eight years old.

She enjoyed working with children and especially helping in Children’s Ministry at her church, so teaching seemed a natural pathway for her life.

“I love the opportunity to help kids learn, to see them get those little achievements and grow in understanding,” she said.

“It’s great to help them find the fun and to help them see that learning is connected to everything in life.”

As well as bedding down the basic building blocks of reading, writing and arithmetic, Miss Chapman says her students enjoy broadening their learning to Science and HASS (Humanities and Social Sciences).

“Science can be a lot of fun, with experiments and hands-on experiences, that keep them really engaged. In HASS we are focussing on history and the use of stories to communicate in lots of different ways.”

When not at school, Rachel loves horse riding, music, the ocean, and long distance running to clear her mind after a busy day at school.

New teacher helps students love Maths

“I don’t like Maths. It’s too hard and I’ll never need it anyway,” is a common complaint among school students. 

However, those students will be challenged this year by Geraldton Christian College’s new Maths teacher, Mr James Heseltine, who says that Maths is deeply linked to our daily lives. 

“Kids need to understand the world around them and the world around them has Mathematics embedded in it. They cannot escape that fact, even though they like to think they won’t need Maths,” he said.

Maths is relevant for simple tasks like shopping, banking and playing sport, right up to the complex economic and industrial development which underpins our nation. 

Mr Heseltine, an experienced and respected leader in Maths teaching, has spent 17 years at Geraldton Senior High School as Head of Mathematics. 

He is delighted to have the opportunity to pass on his love of Maths to young people at the College by persuading them of its many practical applications.  

“Maths has a bad rap but it’s not deserved,” he said. 

“Students think it’s hard because they have been told it’s going to be hard and so it becomes hard in their minds. 

“I get a kick out of seeing kids make progress and I enjoy the challenge of finding a way for them to understand the concepts. 

“I think I’m good at reading kids’ faces to recognise when they are not understanding.  

“So, I have to be quick on my feet and find alternative explanations and look for activities to help them master new concepts.” 

Mr Heseltine is married to Primary Teacher Mrs Kelly Heseltine and they have two children.  

Tenacious ‘Sea Lions’ launch into action

The College is pleased to announce a very successful start to the extra-curricular swim program with more than 70 students registering to improve their skills at the Aquarena on Thursday mornings.

This is a performance-based training program (not a learn to swim program), aimed at improving technique, lap times and fitnesss.

Our dedicated team of coaches, Mrs Beaver (coordinator); Mrs Travasso; Mrs Lynas and Mrs Facchini  would like to encourage students who signed up for the program to commit and persevere with the program in order to reach their full potential and benefit from a healthy and active lifestyle.  

We would also like to thank Mrs Hardy and the College Student Support team for giving up their time to cook breakfast for the swimmers after training sessions.

It is an important ingredient to establish unity in the community through fellowship.

Information regarding the ‘short course program’ that will run during the winter months will be communicated at the start of Term 2.

Wind sports program sails into action

The Year 11 and 12 General Outdoor Education students have officially launched the College wind sports program at Coronation Beach.

Wind winging is certainly the flavour of the month when it comes to harnessing the wind and the College has invested to ensure our students have the opportunity to learn a new fun and exciting sport in a world-renowned sailing environment.

We are excited to see how our students progress in this space.

Character – not talent – the greatest legacy

By Andre Steenekamp
Director of Sport and Outdoor Education

Well done to everyone who participated in the Secondary Interhouse Swimming Carnival. Against all odds, the Aquarena was re-opened after an unforeseen closure (power outage). It turned out to be an enjoyable and successful carnival. The power of prayer…

This carnival was a timely reminder that God allows for challenges in our life.

Life is not meant to be just easy.  Why?  To build character, integrity and to get rid of selfish behaviour by replacing it with works of service. Character before skill.  You can be the most skilled athlete in the world, but people will remember you first as a ‘person’ and not just for your achievements.

Hats off to every student who swam and contributed points to their House. A special mention to the House Captains who were exceptional on the day, rolling up their sleeves from 7am to get the job done.

A special thank you to all the teachers and parent volunteers who were on their feet all day, taking responsibility for their role to make the carnival a success.

The selfless effort of our amazing Canteen staff, to feed the crowds on their ‘day off’, was an example of the Geraldton Christian College community spirit.

It was a close competition again, with a difference of 101 points, which equates to 3 third places, or 10 more students just entering a race to swing the result the other way.

Points are scored based on all 5 events in the program – from the 100m freestyle to backstroke.

So, entering all 5 events will accumulate to a higher individual total compared to entering 4 events or less.

Congratulations to the following new record holders.

  • U/14 Boys: breaststroke – Tom B (Alpha)
  • U/16 Boys: 100m freestyle, breaststroke and backstroke – Alex T (Omega)
  • U/18 Boys: 100m freestyle, breaststroke, butterfly and  backstroke – Mathijs T (Omega)

Congratulations to the medal recipients. Championship points are awarded in age (u/13) and not year groups (e.g. Year 7). The ACC team is also selected based on age.

U/13 Girls: Bronze Addison P. Silver Abbie P. Gold Sapherra C.
U/13 Boys: Bronze Lincoln E. Silver Brax R. Gold Cooper M.
U/14 Girls: Bronze Lily T. Silver Leah-May L. Gold Emmy A.
U/14 Boys: Bronze Hamish E. Silver Tom B. Gold Levi B.
U/15 Girls: Bronze Taylor A. Silver Cassie R. Gold Emmy C.
U/15 Boys: Bronze Kian S. Silver Reuben B. Gold Dustyn H.
U/16 Girls: Bronze Isabelle B. Silver Phoebe B. Gold Delilah S.
U/16 Boys: Bronze Lucas H. Silver Diara I. Gold Alex T.
U/18 Girls: Bronze Anna F. Silver Izabelle W. Gold Kaley L.
U/18 Boys: Bronze Levi L. Silver Jack C. Gold Mathijs T.

Congratulations to all medal recipients and to Alpha as 2024 Secondary Swimming Carnival winners.

Teamwork overcomes setbacks and drives success

By Johan Boonzaier
Primary Sports Coordinator

The Primary Swimming Carnival began with some technical difficulties, but staff and volunteers came together and supported each other to resolve them, adjusting the program as needed.

The day’s events flowed smoothly, with an energetic atmosphere filled with student enthusiasm and cheering from parents/guardians.

Secondary students played an essential role in aiding younger swimmers in the pool.

While participation was high, we would like to encourage families to enrol children in swimming lessons for improved swimming ability.

Primary House Captains provided wonderful support, ensuring staff were refreshed and students were encouraged.

Congratulations to all medal recipients and Alpha House for winning the Primary Swimming Carnival Shield for 2024.

Finally, our greatest praise goes to our God who sustains us in all we do.

Year 3 Girls: Gold Isabelle B. Silver Liv L. Bronze Michaela L.

Year 3 Boys: Gold Hunter P. Silver Daniel L. Bronze Kyle S.

Year 4 Girls: Gold Ahrora R. Silver Sienna O. Bronze Addison H.

Year 4 Boys: Gold Jacob M. Silver Isaiah W. Bronze Mason W.

Year 5 Girls: Gold Abigail R. Silver Olivia T. Bronze Jasmine P.

Year 5 Boys: Gold Logan E. Silver Dusty G. Bronze Dominic W.

Year 6 Girls: Gold Hannah G. Silver Sarah C. Bronze Layla E.

Year 6 Boys: Gold Oliver J. Silver Bradley dB. Bronze Jarrah P.

Changes to Uniform Guide

The Uniform Guide has been adjusted recently, and parents/guardians are requested to note these changes:

Secondary Bathers:

  • Girls wear navy one-piece bathers for swimming lessons at the Aquarena (College sports shorts may be worn over bathers)**
  • Boys wear navy skins, speedos or College sports shorts for swimming lessons at the Aquarena**
  • Students may wear board shorts (any colour) for swimming activities at the beach (they are provided with rash shirts by their teacher)

 ** College bathers with logo are compulsory for secondary students representing the College in interschool swimming events ** – these bathers are sold at the Uniform Shop


Following feedback from parents/guardians, the College has purchased new stock of socks.  These have a thicker sole and are a lower cut than previous socks, and have green and white stripes around the top (no logo).

The new socks will be available in the Uniform Shop from next week.

Old stock socks (longer length) will be reduced in price to $5 a pair.

New stock socks (shorter length) will be $7 a pair.

Please note that from the beginning of Term 2 – all students will be required to wear GCC socks.  Plain navy/black socks will no longer be permitted and uniform infringements will be issued.

House Shirts:

Pre-Primary students may wear House shirts on Fridays to school, which is optional.

Parents are reminded that if a child receives 3 or more uniform infringements in a term, they may be kept in the Front Office until they are supplied with the correct uniform items (this could be by parents bringing the items to school, or by staff obtaining correct items from the Uniform Shop, which parents will be Invoiced for).

If you have any questions about Uniform changes, please contact Jackie Graham in the Uniform Shop, uniform@gcc.wa.edu.au.