Damascus College is a Catholic co-educational secondary college offering innovative and progressive education in a contemporary bush setting, just 7km from the Ballarat CBD.

The Damascus Difference

Damascus College offers a contemporary Catholic co-educational setting that prepares students for life beyond school. Contemporary Catholic education founds its existence in the life and works of Jesus Christ. At Damascus this is seen in the activities of social justice, restorative relationships, environmental action and spiritual development.

The contexts of co-education provides families with one destination, one set of teachers to know, and one community to become involved in.

A co-educational setting reflects real-world communities and workplaces, setting our students up to thrive and succeed after their Damascus education.

Catholic co-education cultivates mutual respect, inclusiveness, understanding and support for one another, and it grows an understanding of the human dignity of every individual. At Damascus our programs are designed to assist the way students think, learn and collaborate. Students have the ability to realise and appreciate their own individual style and values, as well as other's.

By learning together, students collaborate in ways that enable them to embrace and celebrate their differences as well as their similarities. Students develop confidence, empathy, understanding and leadership, as they navigate the challenges of social and emotional growth, while encouraging success in one another.

The pastoral care and student well-being program at Damascus College is integral in supporting students to become their best.

Damascus College has created a pastoral care and well-being program which allows each student and their parents or guardians to feel well-supported throughout their time at the College. The House structure, Teacher Advisors and a team of counsellors and psychologists all support the Damascus staff in providing the best care and support for each young person and their family.

All members of the Damascus College community are encouraged to work together to build an effective climate for pastoral care which pervades every area of school life.

More information on the pastoral care system can be found here

The Teacher Advisor (TA) Program is the cornerstone of the College's pastoral care and well-being structures. It creates the opportunity for strong relationships between students, their peers in other year levels, and their Teacher Advisor. It also reinforces the critical educational partnership between the school and the home throughout secondary schooling.

This program is informed by a Canadian model but adapted for regional Australia. The TA program strives to build rapport between the school, the student and the family when secondary education is often a time when this partnership can diminish. Our intent is to provide the needed support to enable young people to be their best and to grow into early adulthood in a safe and supportive environment, so no students 'falls through the cracks'.

More information on the TA Program can be found here

Damascus College inspires and challenges students to become their best and to contribute to the global community.

Our diverse curriculum caters for various post-secondary pathways, providing young people with a solid foundation on which to build their lives, by providing an education that focuses on the development of the whole person.

We understand that each student has individual learning needs and we aim to provide classroom activities which differentiate the abilities and learning styles of our students. We encourage young people to think, to analyse and to assess. Rather than teaching them what to think, we teach them how to become flexible, creative, analytical thinkers. Our goal is for students to reach their full academic, emotional, spiritual and social potential and we do this by providing them with the tools and support they need to achieve this outcome.

Students are encouraged to participate in all activities available at the College, regardless of their skill level, as we firmly believe that a well-rounded education provides young people with the skills to be their best.

Our Diverse Learning Team supports students with a range of needs including those with a diagnosed disability, a learning difficulty or social and emotional needs, plus those highlighted as gifted and talented.

Students graduate from Damascus College with a strong sense of their own identity and worth, and an appreciation of Christianity in the Catholic tradition.

We are fortunate at Damascus College to be able to offer our students a contemporary learning environment in an inspiring 20 hectare bush setting only 7km from the Ballarat CBD.

Students and staff enjoy access to innovative technology, flexible and modern classrooms and lots of open spaces and bushland, for our young people to enjoy and to develop a strong appreciation and commitment to the natural environment in which we live.

View our Campus Photo Gallery here

Snapshot of our Learning & Teaching Programs

Our Careers program offers a professional service for Damascus students that meets the challenges of the changing world of work in which we live.

It focuses on:

  • It focuses on incorporating careers education in to the curriculum
  • Enrichment activities and opportunities to learn from employers, including visiting speakers, career counselling and mentoring.
  • Supporting appropriate student pathway selection into senior certificates such as the VCE, VCAL and Vocational Education and Training (VET).
  • Every student to learn through first-hand experience at work experience, work visits and work shadowing
  • Ensuring every student understands the full range of opportunities available to them, both academic, vocational and in the workplace

More information on the Careers Program at Damascus can be found here

This team of staff support the academic and social needs of students by working on strategies that enable the student to meet the goals they set for themselves in conjunction with their families and educators.

The team works with:

  • Students with disability, special and additional needs
  • Literacy and numeracy interventions
  • Gifted and talented students
  • Strategic interventions

And will work on:

  • Monitoring progress of students with additional needs, and identifying and coordinating support mechanisms required to meet the educational, pastoral, safety and health needs of each student
  • Partnering with parents/guardians in developing the program to suit each student's needs
  • Involving student and parents/guardians in the Personalised Learning Plan in Program Support Group and Review meetings

The College offers a range of programs to support each young person to achieve success and ensure engagement with their learning in line with the National Disability and Discrimination Act.

More information on our Diverse Learning Program can be found here

Year 8 students are immersed in STEM through Damascus’s ESTEEM program. ESTEEM is a hands on, project-based learning environment which encompasses the science, mathematics and digital technologies components of the curriculum. In each of the projects, students are challenged to transfer their learnings to create a designed solution to solve problems or challenges that have real world context. Through employing the design process, students work collaboratively to research, plan, create, test and evaluate their solution. This program runs over 15 periods in a 10 day cycle in Semester 1 and 18 periods in a 10 day cycle in Semester 2.

Units can include:

  • Perfect Temperature
  • Thunderstorm Asthma
  • Robotics
  • Net Zero
  • Keeping Chemical Time
  • Escher Tessellations

Check out previous ESTEEMERS in action on the below video.

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) is an internationally recognised approach to teaching both a language and subject content at the same time, for example teaching Humanities content using French as the medium of instruction.

Students electing CLIL will study a language (French or Indonesian) and in addition they will apply that learning to their elected Humanities class in the foreign language.

This Hands on Learning Program (HoLP) focuses on learning by doing that caters to the different ways young people learn, helping to build confidence and capacity, leading to greater engagement and achievement in schools. It develops students social and emotional learning skills to succeed in life, these are:

  • Collaboration
  • Problem-solving
  • Communication
  • Resilience
  • Empathy

Students are selected to be part of HoLP which prepares them for their senior years of schooling where students and teachers work collaboratively to negotiate, create and implement meaningful and practical projects that benefit the school and the community. Students build self-esteem, friendships and a sense of belonging and become more content at school.

A targeted approach to acquiring the key social and emotional learning skills to be a success in Senior School.

Consisting of:

    • Academic Mentoring- 1:1 and Group mentoring with all students
    • Study skills workshops lead by Elevate Education – maximising study period and work life balance and tailored study programs focusing on soft skills and growth mindset
    • Career counselling workshops and follow ups throughout the year
    • Wellbeing workshops (prevention and intervention) and presentations lead by key external facilitators in the areas of mental health, social responsibilities and nutrition.
    • Tailored academic workshops in key subjects, to assist students in the lead up to exams
    • VCE Support Group counselling, programs and interventions

The Damascus College Attributes

Students have a developing sense of joy and wonder in their life and the world as a gift. They make informed choices showing commitment to human dignity, the common good, sustainability, justice and peace, creative and constructive acceptance of hardship in the spirit of Christian freedom and hope.

Students are self-aware, reflective and respectful of the uniqueness of each individual and of human diversity; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity, foster inclusiveness, demonstrate empathy and take responsibility for their actions.

Students have the knowledge and skills to apply their learning reflectively, creatively, critically and practically in various contexts. Students are well prepared for ethical living, working autonomously and in collaborative teams responding to future challenges.

Students understand, respect and embrace the cultures and traditions of First Nations people and multicultural Australia.

Students recognise their place and responsibility in the wider world and take an active role in their community, working with others to make our planet more peaceful, sustainable and just.

Be. My. Best.

(Watch the 30 sec video)

Click here to play