ACT public schools provide teaching opportunities in a range of stimulating settings. School structures meet the needs of approximately 35 000 students. There are over 3000 teachers currently employed by the Department. Opportunities exist for movement between sectors if prerequisite skills are met. ACT Schools Directory.
Preschools: All preschools are amalgamated with a primary school. The new curriculum framework has a strong focus on quality teaching and learning in the early years and these amalgamations will improve the continuity of learning and provide strong pathways for children.
Years P-2 (early childhood schools): Four new early childhood schools catering for students from preschool to year 2 were established in 2009. These schools focus on quality early childhood education and early intervention, providing a solid foundation for learning for the future. A number of early childhood services for children from birth to eight and their families are co-located at these P-2 schools.
Years P-6 (primary schools): These schools provide strong educational programs for students during the early and later childhood years. Within a stable home-room environment, one teacher generally takes responsibility for all key learning areas and the educational outcomes of one class of children.
P-10 (primary/middle/high schools): These schools provide students with a continuous progression through school from preschool to year 10 with enhanced pastoral care. The P-10 model results in consistency in values and expectations from the start of preschool through to the completion of the high school years. Student benefits include greater access to specialist teaching spaces such as technology areas, science facilities and creative arts areas and enhanced opportunities for schools to develop formal middle years programs.
Years 7-10 (high schools): These schools provide continuity across four years of secondary schooling. Specialist teachers support student learning and the development of their individual abilities and interests. Pastoral care is aimed at recognising the developmental needs of adolescent students.
The Melba Copland Secondary School caters for students from year 7 through to year 12.
Years 11-12 senior secondary colleges: These schools support student learning within a more adult environment and build responsibility, independence and skills in decision making. The discrete and highly regarded year 11-12 college model has been a predominant feature of ACT education for the past 30 years.
Special schools: Four special schools (Cranleigh, Malkara, Black Mountain and The Woden School) provide more intensive educational learning environments for students with a significant level of disability and high support needs.
Birrigai at Tidbinbilla: Birrigai provides outdoor educational programs for students from preschool to year 12. Programs are run at a variety of sites including Birrigai at Paddy's River and Birrigai at Jerrabomberra Wetlands. Programs are offered at The Australian National Botanic Gardens, Environment ACT sites, and elsewhere within the ACT.