Ararat College is located in the Central Highlands Region of Victoria approximately 100 kilometres west of Ballarat and is a 7-12 co-ed College of 300 students servicing a large rural community. The College was established in 1913 as one of the state’s earliest secondary schools on the current site. In 1969 it divided into High and Technical Schools. In 1991 the two schools were consolidated on one campus in Barkly Street. The concept for Ararat Community College began in 1994 when the TAFE campus was incorporated on the site to create an education precinct. In 2008 the school name was simplified to Ararat College.
Students are transported to the College on six country buses from areas such as Elmhurst, Armstrong, Willaura, Maroona, Moyston and Buangor. These distances vary from a few kilometres up to about 40 kilometres. A variety of primary schools feed into the College, and the integration of students from small primary schools into a relatively large secondary college is a challenge, which the College believes it handles well. There are three state primary schools in Ararat itself, as well as a Catholic Primary School and a Catholic Secondary College.
College buildings are situated in attractive, spacious and well-kept grounds with areas of landscaping. The buildings include a Middle Years open-learning Centre with adjacent outdoor classroom, Gymnasium, Library, Technology Wing, Technology Skills Centre, Arts Centre, VCE Centre, Science and Language Centre, a newly refurbished Administration area and recently completed VET Hospitality / Commercial Cooking Trade Training Centre.
The staff profile has changed markedly over the last three years, with the employment of a number of graduate teachers and the retirement of experienced staff. Succession planning in staff roles and responsibilities has been established to cover this loss of expertise. The College has a diverse and multi-skilled staff that work hard to provide an engaging and challenging program for all students.
The College makes a feature of encouraging, recognising and celebrating the outstanding performance of students for academic excellence and in the areas of leadership and co-curriculum participation. In fact the College’s comprehensive range of co-curricular activities, including an instrumental music program, camps program, theatrical/musical production, Advance sports program, VCAL program, after school homework program, involvement in the Alpine School and involvement in the G’day USA trip, support the growth of students into confident, successful and contributing citizens.
Ararat College aims to develop individuals who are confident in the process of learning and who are open to change. The college strives to promote a climate conducive to personal growth and self-directed learning. The College provides a wide range of subject offerings to support students’ individual learning pathways. Students are provided with 1:1 access to computers 24/7, and the opportunity to participate in the Grampians Virtual School. Our college aims to prepare our students for teenage living, employment, tertiary studies and family and community life.
The friendly and supportive learning environment is a valued feature of the college. The teachers endeavour to make learning purposeful, challenging and relevant through individual and group work. There is a quiet working atmosphere in the college where teachers seek to promote respect, openness and sensitivity of others in a caring positive environment that nurtures its students in forming appropriate values.