Despite being a young school, Wollemi College has so much to offer its students. And it's only getting better. Recently, our Deputy Principal, Mr David Vassallo, sat down with us for an interview about Wollemi's recent and upcoming infrastructure updates. Wollemi is always looking to provide the best schooling experience possible for its students. Read Mr Vassallo's answers below to see what exciting changes are coming to the College!
1. Tell us a bit about yourself
Hi, my name is David Vassallo, and I’ve been the Deputy Headmaster of Wollemi College since 2020. Prior to this, I was employed at The Kings School for 19 years. I have been married to my beautiful wife, Sarah, for 18 years, and have 3 gorgeous daughters.
2. What are some of the new technologies or facilities Wollemi has introduced in recent years to help students with their academic, sporting and co-curricular activities?
The Shrine to our Lady is near completion thanks to donations of money and time from our Parent Community. A special thank you goes to several Wollemi dads who have volunteered their time and skills to help build the Shrine. We will be launching a special fundraising campaign soon to help raise funds for the completion of the Shrine's construction. We can't wait for the big unveiling!
This year we upgraded the Wollemi Library to make it a more effective space for study and collaborative teaching, including:
A designated Year 12 study/seminar room
'Round Houses' for interactive and rich class discussions
'Learning booths' to promote smaller group discussion and collaboration.
Furthermore, guided by student feedback, two more collaborative booths have been ordered for 2023, increasing the study capacity of our library to more than 50 students. This gives us even more flexibility in terms of layouts for the hosting of community and co-curricular activities. We will also have a more centrally located library service desk and increased storage for our ever-expanding collection of library books.
Extension of the laptop program
The laptop program has been extended in Secondary to include Years 7-9. Each student now has their own Surface Pro or Chromebook device. During these years, the devices remain at school to effectively develop digital responsibility amongst our junior secondary students. There is also more access to laptops in Primary now with increased class sets of Chromebooks.
Learning Management Systems (LMS)
The implementation of Canvas across Years 7-12 is another exciting initiative. Canvas is a learning platform that gives students 24/7 access to teaching resources and interactive modules such as online quizzes, discussion forums etc. We have also introduced Education Perfect, Edrolo and ClickView in Secondary to assist the Teaching and Learning in the classroom
Upgrade infrastructure to help with the delivery of ICT at Wollemi
We have upgraded the WiFi speed around the school. Each classroom is now wireless with state-of-the-art Vivi connections. We have installed CleverTouch Interactive Screen in all Primary classrooms to increase engagement and interactivity. In addition, the new B-Block building contains new classrooms and furniture to encourage collaborative learning.
3. What are some of Wollemi’s ongoing or upcoming construction/development plans?
We are in the process of finalising our Master Plan. Stage 1 of the Master Plan is building the new Primary Learning Precinct. The aim is to begin construction in 2024. This will see our Primary students move from demountable classrooms into new, innovative purpose-built classrooms that foster collaboration and engaging learning. The Master plan also includes a new library, the creation of designated learning precincts, and the removal of demountable buildings to create extra sporting space.
To align with local residential development, we plan to reorient the school entrances to improve school access and parking facilities. We have plans for new Science labs, and a project to upgrade and enclose the COLA which will accommodate a greater array of sporting and community events at the College.