Student Life

Beyond the Classroom

'It is a core educational belief at BDC that highly engaged and motivated students are happier students.'

Our students are encouraged to embrace co-curricular activities as an opportunity to expand their personal growth beyond the classroom. They develop diverse skills, find new passions, expand friendship groups and build upon their sense of belonging. It is also a core educational belief at BDC that highly engaged and motivated students are happier students.

Sport

Sport plays a central role within the BDC Way. The focus on wellbeing, participation and good sportsmanship is at its foundation. Sport at Bishop Druitt College encourages participation, respect, inclusivity and enjoyment. Sport promotes positive health choices, self and social awareness, teamwork and leadership. At the core of our sport program is participation, with every student involved in sport at Bishop Druitt College.  

​PDHPE and School Sport

In our primary school all students participate in a compulsory PDHPE program.  Students are involved in a weekly sports program that focuses on sequential skill development and encourages a positive attitude to physical activity.  Primary students also engage in regular PE sessions throughout the week. Bishop Druitt College has the only primary sporting program in the region with specialist PDHPE teachers.

In our secondary school all students in Years 7-10 complete a compulsory PDHPE program in accordance with the NESA guidelines.  Additionally, all students in Years 7-10 participate in the Monday sport program. Monday sport is a dynamic program that allows students to select recreational activities that focus on fitness and wellbeing.

Representative Sports

Bishop Druitt College is a member of the North Coast Independent Schools (NCIS) association for inter-school sporting competitions. There are 13 schools in the association and for many of the sports, including swimming, athletics and cross country, students are selected after a successful performance in their relevant school carnival.  

Opportunities to enjoy sport and to develop skills, sportsmanship and team spirit are enhanced by the involvement of qualified development officers and coaching staff for a variety of sports.  College teams participate in inter-house, local, regional, state-wide and national competitions, and talented students have access to representative pathways within the Combined Independent Schools (CIS) framework.  

Signature Sports

Bishop Druitt College is developing six key team sporting areas:

  • Basketball and netball
  • Touch football and rugby union
  • Football (soccer) and futsal

The college will also support individual/team sporting pursuits including: AFL, rugby league, athletics, cricket, cross country, equestrian, golf, hockey, squash, surf sports, swimming, tennis and triathlon. Students at the college currently participate in 19 different sports.

High Performance Program

Bishop Druitt College endeavours to transform student lives and to develop students who are world prepared. We envision that the High Performance Program will support students to meet their true potential and enable them to follow their dreams.

The program is designed to be supportive, flexible and responsive to individual student needs, and will help provide our students who are at elite levels in performance, composing, dance and sports to continue to strive at the highest level.

Students will benefit from a series of master classes and will be connected with our new coordinator and mentor, Nat Titcume, the three-time Olympic medallist from the Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Program participants will also have contact with ambassadors experienced in high-level achievement and be presented with opportunities to further enhance their knowledge and skills in their chosen area of expertise. A flexible framework will focus on assisting our high performing students to meet the demands of their busy lives and schooling requirements, as well as providing access to mentors.

Inductees to the BDC High Performance Program have displayed an outstanding level of achievement in their chosen fields. Areas of expertise have included music, dance, modern pentathlon, football, swimming and rugby. Continued success requires dedication and commitment. The HPP is designed to work with these talented performers as we support them on their journey.

Athlete Development Program

Students who join our development program experience what is required for them to become an elite performer.

The ADP is specifically designed for currently emerging athletes, sports people and performers who need support and guidance through the next few crucial years of their development. In the program they will learn to navigate all the tools and resources available to make a life-long habit of ensuring the best possible outcomes in their chosen field, whether that be on the sporting pitch, ground or court, as an actor / artist, or in the music industry.

The ADP involves curriculum-based learning of the fundamental movement patterns required for strength and conditioning training, based on long-term athletic development models. The aim is that after their ADP education all students are capable of operating in a high performance training environment.

Students will also be given interactive lessons and education sessions with dietitians, sports and performance psychologists, and current and former elite athletes from all fields. The program is completed during the school day and is coordinated by three-time Olympic medallist Nat Titcume.

The infographic above shows the life cycle of the ADP. Students from Year 5 are developmentally ready to immerse themselves into elite sport experiences and can apply to be in the ADP and High Performance Program. 

We want to find the diamonds in the rough and the hidden talent in order to support these students to develop their skills and further their athletic opportunities and potential so they can be the best athlete they can be. 

Performing Arts

Music

Music is an integral part of life at Bishop Druitt College. With a strong curriculum program delivered by specialist teachers for students from Kindergarten to Year 12 and an amazing instrumental program, the music staff aim to foster a love of music in all students. 

A range of bands, ensembles and choirs is also available for students of all ages to be involved in, and there are numerous performance opportunities given to students both in the school and in the wider community.

There are currently 16 music tutors and 23 bands and ensembles.


Primary Music Programs

All students from Kindergarten to Year 6 are involved in primary music classes as well as choirs. In Year 3 all students participate in a string program where they will learn either violin or cello for one semester free of charge. 

We also offer an upper primary training band program (Years 4 - 6) where students can learn a band instrument of their choice at a reduced tuition fee.

Secondary Music Programs

All students in Years 7 & 8 are taught music as part of the school curriculum. Students from Year 9 onwards can elect to do music as a subject, focusing on developing their technical skills on their instrument. 

Bishop Druitt College also offers Higher School Certificate music courses.

Friends of Music

Friends of Music is a group of friendly parents who act as a support body for the Bishop Druitt College music programs. They raise funds for additional musical equipment and provide support for music tours. All new parents and carers are welcome to attend. 

Please contact the Head of Performing Arts if you have any questions.

Instrument Tuition and Ensembles

At Bishop Druitt College we offer private instrumental music lessons for both primary and secondary students on a range of instruments. Lessons are conducted by qualified music tutors during school hours. Lesson times are negotiated with students, parents and teachers. A number of instruments are also available for hire. A range of musical ensembles are on offer for students in both primary and secondary to join. 

Ensembles range from those available to primary students like the Superstrings, Primary Guitar Ensemble and Primary Performance Band to secondary ensembles such as the Concert Band, BDC Orchestra and the Jazz and Rock Ensembles - plus many more.

Drama

Drama is an art form which is directly concerned with our understanding and experience of the world. Through drama, students explore the way people think, feel and communicate, learning to understand others and themselves more fully. 

There are a number of regular school productions including:
  • Annual Year 6 production
  • Year 10 Drama Showcase
  • HSC Drama Showcase
  • School musical (recent production - Grease)

Rites of Passage

Experiencing rites of passage through outdoor education is an integral part of college life at BDC. This is delivered via annual experiential learning opportunities, camps and journey-based expeditions that begin in Year 1 and progress through to Year 12.

The BDC outdoor education program varies significantly from the standard recreational camps as it provides students with new skills at a level suitable to their abilities. The skills, experiences and relationships developed during these opportunities provide students with the confidence to face future challenges both during and beyond school. 

Outdoor education is led by our college staff and assisted by qualified specialist instructors from some of Australia’s premier outdoor education providers.  Annual camps are compulsory components of the Bishop Druitt College experience.

'I regard it as the foremost task of education to insure the survival of these qualities: an enterprising curiosity, an undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, readiness for sensible self-denial and, above all, compassion.'
— Kurt Hahn​​
Our outdoor education experiences aim to support student growth through:
  1. Helping our students to learn more about themselves
  2. Supporting and role modelling positive ways to interact with others
  3. Providing an opportunity to explore nature
  4. Building leadership and mentoring opportunities and skills
  5. Building an adventurous spirit
Outdoor Education Experiences

Year 1 Independence at school - Day camp experience

Year 2 Being part of a group - Big School Camp Out

Year 3 Growing up - Yarrahapinni Camp

Year 4 Belonging - Farnworth Camp Glenreagh

Year 5 Discovery - Tyalgum Ridge Retreat Camp 

Year 6 The gathering - Farnworth Camp Glenreagh

Year 7 Challenge and change - Great Aussie Bush Camp Myall Lakes

Year 9 Body esteem and life skills - Barrington Outdoor Education Centre

Year 10 Leadership and legacy - Farnworth Year 10 Mentors Camp  

Year 11 Social conscience - Outward Bound Myall Lakes

Year 12 I am world prepared - Leadership camp

Service

The duty of any Christian is to be socially conscious of the wider community in which they live and of the world. In doing this, we grow and become better people by contributing at any age to the well-being of our fellow brothers and sisters in our community and beyond.

The five marks of mission:
  1. Witness to Christ's saving, forgiving and reconciling love for all people
  2. Build welcoming, transforming, communities of faith
  3. Stand in solidarity with the poor and the needy
  4. Challenge injustice and oppression
  5. Protect, care for and renew life on our planet

In an education setting, social justice principles teach us to realise that we are indeed blessed and can indeed share our resources with those less fortunate than ourselves. Scripture teaches us to do so, and so we here at Bishop Druitt College engage our students, their families and teachers to provide for others.

Anglican Board of Mission

The college community is involved in raising funds to support ABM through emergency relief and by assisting community development projects throughout the world. Empathy for others is one of the great Christian virtues. 

In our actions of kindness and consoling those around us we live the message of Christ. In helping others who are experiencing difficulties we become more Christlike.

Sunrise Children's Village Cambodia

This has been a significant recipient of Year 12 fundraising activities since 2004. There are currently two orphanages in Cambodia - one in Phnom Penh and the second in Siem Reap - and they have been given land by the government to set up a third at Sihanoukville.

As well as donating money we have welcomed Sunrise President, Geraldine Cox, to the college on two occasions to speak to students and the wider community. Links have also been made through visits to the orphanage on the annual Year 11 Vietnam/Cambodia cultural trip.

Tabitha Foundation

Since 2007, Year 12 and the staff of the college have donated money to Tabitha Foundation. This organisation has a number of programs in Cambodia, but the one that we have donated to is house building. This ties in with our Year 11 cultural trip, as we spend time building houses for some of the most impoverished families in Cambodia. 

The college has successfully raised in excess of $20,000 each year over the past few years, which has allowed our students and staff to build about 20 houses each trip.

St John's Anglicare Op Shop

The college provides 50 students (and a dozen parents and staff) who volunteer their time each Saturday morning to work at the St John's Anglicare Op Shop. Not only does their time and effort add to the mission of fundraising at St John's, but it also opens to these students whole new worlds as they engage in the business of the shop and meet people from varied backgrounds in the local community.

Toys & Tucker Christmas Appeal

Each year, in partnership with Anglicare, the college community participates in the collection of gifts, food and other items for the Anglicare Christmas Appeal. Every year level in Bishop Druitt College participates in meeting the needs of this event.

Local Fundraising Recipients

A commitment has been made by Year 12 to give part of their fundraising money to a local charity. In recent years funds have been given to Telstra Childflight and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

Round Square

Bishop Druitt College is one of the newest members of Round Square. Round Square is a global association of over 200 schools from 50 countries that share a commitment, beyond academic excellence, to personal development and responsibility, service, challenge, adventure, and international understanding.

More a philosophy than an organisation, Round Square’s overriding goal is to ensure the full and individual development of every student as a whole person through the realisation of academic, physical and cultural aspirations. 

'Students are the crew and not the passengers of a school, and should therefore be given genuine responsibilities over the running of the school community.'
— Kurt Hahn
Round Square has six specific areas of focus (summed up neatly by the acronym IDEALS):
  1. Internationalism
  2. Democracy
  3. Environmentalism
  4. Adventure
  5. Leadership
  6. Service

Round Square is a best practice example of how young people can be educated on the basis of tolerance, respect and mutual understanding. While most member schools are highly individualistic, common ground is easily found, particularly in concepts like service to the community, adventurous activities and the furthering of international co-operation.

Round Square provides opportunities for Bishop Druitt College students to travel as exchange students to other schools in Australia and overseas. Students are also able to participate in regional and international service projects initiated between member schools, and selected students may attend annual Australasian junior and senior student conferences as well as the annual international conference.

Careers

Graduating students need transferable employment skills and will be engaged in lifelong learning over their careers.

The Bishop Druitt College career pathways program is aligned with the college's vision to assist students to become world prepared citizens and echoes the college's teaching strategies of: 

  • Enhancing beyond the classroom
  • Inspiring professionals

The career pathways program aims to equip students with knowledge about the future world of work, the skills and tools to explore their interests and abilities, and awareness of future career options.  We aim to set students on the path to becoming their own career managers.

Students undertake a variety of activities including: career development workshops; industry presentations from TAFE, universities and apprenticeship centres; work experience; career personality profiling; resume writing; career exploration; tertiary course search and applications; industry visits, excursions to career expos and events; field visits to universities and more.

Interests, Groups & Clubs

'Our students are encouraged to embrace co-curricular activities as an opportunity to expand their personal growth beyond the classroom.'
Debating

The ability to speak confidently and to debate important issues passionately and persuasively is vitally important. Debating is a rigorous and challenging activity that requires considerable dedication, enthusiasm and teamwork. Students learn to think quickly, make interesting links and formulate cohesive arguments under pressure. A team sport, the most successful teams are those made up of individuals willing to work cooperatively and collaboratively. Debating is a fun and challenging way to increase general knowledge and to build up skills necessary for success in the HSC and beyond.

Bishop Druitt College participates in the NSW HICES (Heads of Independent Co-Educational Schools Association) Debating Competition each year. Debaters from Year 6 through to Year 11 travel to schools around the region in the preliminary rounds, venturing further afield for the finals. The college is building a very strong reputation in the field of public speaking and debating, with great results across the various divisions as well as some standout individual performances.

Northern NSW da Vinci Decathlon

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was one of the world’s greatest thinkers and scholars. The original Renaissance man demonstrated an ability to perceive the interconnected nature of knowledge and embraced learning with a lifelong passion and determination to uncover the unknown. The Decathlon competition places a particular emphasis on higher-order thinking skills, problem solving and creativity. 

Each year Bishop Druitt College students from Years 7 - 10 participate in this academic competition designed to challenge and stimulate the minds of school students. Students compete in teams of eight across 10 disciplines: engineering, mathematics and chess, code-breaking, art and poetry, science, English, ideation, creative production, cartography and general knowledge.

Northern NSW Philosothon

At the heart of the Philosothon is the community of inquiry, a student-run group discussion and cooperative investigation of philosophical issues. Topics fall into a range of categories including ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, social and political philosophy, and aesthetics.  

BDC hosts the Northern Region Philosothon in Term 4 each year. This two-day event is designed to help students develop skills in inquiry-based learning, ethical reasoning and higher-order reflective thinking, as they search for meaning through dialogue about open questions and contestable concepts. 

Environment Group

Environment Group is open to Year 10 students at Bishop Druitt College. Environment Group students participate in a diverse range of environmental activities including bush regeneration, beach clean ups, recycling, habitat protection and environmental awareness raising. 

Students actively participate in the Tree Parents Program in partnership with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, which is designed to increase the koala population in Bongil Bongil National Park. 

Environment Group students culminate their year with the annual Environment Group Camp in Term 4 visiting the Mt Jerusalem National Park in Northern NSW.

Human Rights Group

The Human Rights Group is a student run group that meets at lunchtime to address issues of social justice with the aim of contributing positively to the school and wider community. Students from Year 7 - 12 meet weekly to discuss pertinent issues of the day including racism, sexism, poverty, asylum seekers and refugees. 

The Human Rights Group run the Harmony Day, Refugee Week and White Ribbon assemblies, as well as volunteering and fundraising to support community organisations such as Zonta, Warina Women's Refuge and Startts. At all times the expression of student voice is paramount, allowing the students to help shape and transform their learning community.