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Alesco offers an adult approach

Friday, 24th January, 2014

Head teacher at Alesco Learning Centre Anthony Tidball is looking forward to starting the new school year. Head teacher at Alesco Learning Centre Anthony Tidball is looking forward to starting the new school year.

By Nick Gibbs

The Robinson College Alesco Learning Centre will continue to offer local students an alternative to mainstream schooling in 2014, reported new head teacher Anthony Tidball. 

The centre opened its doors for the first time last year, offering a practical approach to students who don’t fit the mould of traditional education.

“Our aim is to take kids that aren’t learning in mainstream schools and put them into a different environment to help them achieve their goals,” Mr Tidball explained.

Class sizes at the centre are capped at a maximum of 15 students with the focus firmly on individual attention.

The core subjects of English, Maths, Science and History create the building blocks of a curriculum which expands to include practical, certified courses that aim to create employment ready graduates.

“Students are able to achieve certificates in food handling, RSA (responsible service of alcohol) and white cards,” Mr Tidball said, naming a selection of the courses offered.

Classes are broken down into four 50 minute blocks per day and there is no school on Friday which gives students greater flexibility to peruse part-time work.

Currently the local centre caters for year 9 and 10 students.

The first Alesco Learning Centre was established in Newcastle 12 years ago and has grown to support learning across years 9, 10, 11 and 12.

The long term success has been considerable with one recent student going on to study engineering at tertiary level.

There are 22 students enrolled in the Broken Hill centre which has a current capacity for eight more interested young adults.

For those looking to explore their options, a meeting can be arranged to see if the program will be a good fit.

Mr Tidball is adjusting well to life in Broken Hill after arriving from a previous appointment at Cloncurry State School in rural Queensland where he worked closely with indigenous students.

This was his first appointment after completing a Bachelor of Education and Science at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

The move to Broken Hill has been made easier as Mr Tidball’s partner has a strong local connection.

“We moved to Broken Hill to be closer to family and for the opportunity with Alesco,” he said.

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