Excitement was pronounced at LaSalle Catholic College Bankstown as the school welcomed girls to Year 7 for the first time.
First day nerves were quickly expelled for the co-educational group of 128 students as they took part in ice-breaker activities, were given diaries and had their timetables explained before embarking on their first high school lessons on January 28.
Principal Michael Egan said classrooms were refurbished and the Year 7 curriculum reviewed to prepare for the new students at the previously all-boys college.
The volume of new enrolments will allow the school to almost double the number of electives offered to students in Years 9 to 12.
Mr Egan said the change to enrolments had allowed parents to access a co-educational Catholic school without losing family time to travelling long distances for the same education opportunity.
“In the community there’s been a real anticipation for today,” he said. “The parents are also grateful to have access to a Catholic school that is local.”
The school’s executive leadership team has also taken on a more balanced gender profile in 2016, with three of the seven roles filled by women.
Mr Egan said this was a positive move.
“Teaching is a female dominated occupation but in a lot of instances men are over represented in leadership roles,” he said. “It’s good for the boys to have strong male role models and good for the girls to have strong female role models as well.”
Year 7 student Sophia Efenda, 11, said she was excited to start high school. She said the size of the school, more books, and walking between classrooms for each subject were the main differences to primary school.
She completed Year 6 at St Felix Catholic Primary Bankstown which is next door to the College.
“I’m also excited because I was supposed to go to another school and now I’m here with all of my friends from St Felix,” Sophia said.
“We got to know each other’s names in our homeroom and we learnt what subjects we will be doing over the whole two week timetable.
“I’m looking forward to music and art because those are my favourite subjects.”