Why Choose Stella?
“I love being a Stella Girl because of the school’s beautiful spirit. Once I stepped in the gates for the first time, I knew this school was the one that would shape what kind of a person I grow up to be. Every girl should choose Stella because even if things aren’t going well outside, she will always have this safe haven to come to. She will have opportunities that no other school offers, friends for life and passionate teachers.” – Charlotte, Year 8.
Because girls thrive at Stella!
- Academic excellence and a broad curriculum
- Diverse extra-curricular choices provide balance and opportunity
- A clear focus on girls’ pastoral care and personal development needs
- Values-based education for a changing and challenging world
- A supportive community with a common goal
- The benefits of single-sex education
- A quality independent school experience
“I absolutely love going to Stella as there is such a welcoming and nurturing community vibe everywhere you go and I especially love that every girl has the opportunity to pursue whatever subjects she wants from the very wide range on offer so that she can explore her full potential to be the best she can be”. – Ruby, Year 12.
Academic Excellence and a Broad Curriculum
Your daughter will be expected to have a positive attitude to learning and be an active agent of her academic growth.
“I love the environment that Stella provides for all us girls to enjoy and fully receive the benefits of a single sex school. We are in a caring school that provides many resources for us and teachers who are committed to helping us learn. I am proud to call myself a Stella Girl and be a part of such a great community!” – Grace, Year 9.
A differentiated curriculum means that each girl can work towards academic goals that see her achieve her personal best. We offer STEM, Humanities, VET and Arts subjects that are of high interest to all our girls. Core subjects, offered at various levels, are complemented by subjects as diverse as Photography, Video Production, Food Technology, Textiles, Drama, Dance, Music, Visual Arts, Philosophy, Critical Thinking, Physical Activity and Sport Science, Digital Technology, Entertainment, Hospitality, Tourism, Design and Technology and Independent Research. There is a choice of five languages to study – Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.
Through creative timetabling, our girls in Years 9 and 10 undertake three electives instead of the usual two and we more than easily rival other local schools in the range of subjects offered in Years 11 and 12. All these subjects create pathways into diverse careers. Our HSC results are always exciting and highly gratifying. Our girls often achieve beyond their expectations and we enjoy their success as much as they do!
At Stella, we are committed to offering best practice teaching and learning grounded in the latest evidence-based research. Our Master Plan incorporates innovative learning spaces that are creating more room for even greater innovation in teaching and learning. Furthermore, the IT infrastructure at Stella Maris is second-to-none, empowering learning that is highly collaborative and extends beyond the classroom.
Diverse Extra-Curricular Choices Provide Balance and Opportunity
“Every time I make a sport team or get an award I feel part of the Stella community because they taught me everything I need to know to achieve that.” – Hayley, Year 9.
Our extra-curricular program is an integral part of providing a well-rounded education that nurtures and challenges the growth of the whole person! There is an activity beyond the classroom to suit every girl’s individual interests and skills – and if by some slim chance there is not one to suit your daughter then we are always open to adding something new! Through participation in these activities your daughter will learn important life lessons in resilience, self-discipline, sportsmanship, team work, confidence, respect and courage.
There is a very high participation rate in activities beyond the classroom and our girls are regularly successful at local, state, national and international levels of competition.
“Stella Maris is an amazing experience for young girls who want to express who they are and their hidden talents. As a result of going to Stella, I have found who I am and what I actually like. Most girls will find their strengths with our amazing extra-curricular activities available at Stella Maris College.” – Laura, Year 8.
A Clear Focus on Girls’ Pastoral Care and Personal Development Needs
One of the primary considerations of parents choosing a school for their child is that their child be treated as an individual. At Stella, interactions between teachers and students that are personal, mutually respectful and of the highest quality are paramount. Good pastoral care is a cornerstone of future academic, vocational and personal success and it is the responsibility of every staff member at Stella to look out for the best interests of your daughter. We stand with our students in difficult times and celebrate them for their courage, strength, effort and resilience in overcoming adversity.
“I like my Head of Year because she is trustworthy and cares deeply for each individual student.” – Maddie, Year 9.
The Stella Maris community promotes a keen sense of belonging and identity in a supportive, safe and stable environment. Our girls are respectful, kind, protective of one another and have healthy relationships with their teachers and other staff. Learning happens much more easily in a happy environment!
Values-based Education for a Changing and Challenging World
“I went to Stella and there are quite a number of former students on staff who understand the legacy left to them by the Good Sams. The nuns taught me how to be a thoughtful and caring person, how to do calculus and how to change a car tyre! I want the same values and traditions for my daughter that were so much a part of my education.” – Julie, former student and parent of a Stella Girl.
At Stella Maris we understand the inherent value and potential of our girls. Through strong female role models and single-sex education we seek to inspire a sense of purpose and unlimited potential. Your daughter will be challenged to be independent, ethical, resourceful, multi-talented, flexible and a creative leader who acts in today’s complex world with integrity, grace and an adventurous spirit.
Our Benedictine values of justice and peace, community, hospitality and stewardship challenge our girls to critically evaluate twenty-first-century values and be agents of change for a better world. Addressing local and global issues of distributive and restorative justice, gender, social inclusion and fairness is at the forefront of our mission and identity in both awareness and action.
“I love being involved in community and social justice work. It means a lot to know we are actually helping and making a change.” – Brianna, Year 9.
A Supportive Community with a Common Goal
“The girls in my Year all genuinely care for one another and treat each other respectfully. We support each other like family and are all friends.” – Laura, Year 8.
You want the best education for your daughter – and so do we. At Stella your daughter can find a place where she belongs and the space to find her individual voice. Our Stella families rapidly become valued members of our Stella Maris family. Some of our current students are second or third generation Stella Girls – as are some of our teachers.
Parents are an important part of the College community and integral partners with us in their daughter’s education. We are committed to working closely with you to achieve the best outcomes for your daughter.
The development of the whole person is a priority at Stella Maris. Your daughter will flourish in a community whose primary concern is her spiritual, physical, emotional, psychological, social and intellectual growth and wellbeing.
“I enjoy the community and how you know people from other Years and other people in the school will help you, or even just say good morning or smile at you.” – Molly, Year 8.
The Benefits of Single Sex Education
“Girls’ schools are aware of the need to recognise the particular learning styles of girls and respond through the provision of exceptional learning environments catering for girls, with acknowledgement of their diverse backgrounds and responsive to their individual needs.” – Elizabeth Carnegie, Principal.
“As a teacher it is rewarding to see students with a range of abilities strive to do the best they can. The girls are friendly and mature and it is a delight to connect with the same smiling faces every morning in PC time. I am a strong believer in girls’ education and it is deeply gratifying for me to work with these bright young women who are our future leaders.” – Alison Tedman, Head of English.
Parents are often torn between the pros and cons of single sex education; however, research in recent years has come down heavily in its favour. The video above, from the Alliance of Girls Schools Australasia, gets it straight from the source and you can read more of the research here. Generally, some of the findings include:
- Gender stereotypes are challenged at every level. Subject selection, leadership, extra-curricular activities, behavioural and social expectations, all co-exist without the pressure of traditional gender roles. This has been linked to a greater likelihood that girls will pursue gender-atypical careers and have higher expectations of career success.
- Girls who attend gender-specific schools perform significantly higher on standardised tests and make academic gains above those of similar peers in co-ed schools.
- Girls in single-sex classes are more willing to take risks, raise their hands and express uncertainty because they do not fear embarrassing themselves in front of the boys. As a result, the classroom is often a far more dynamic, engaging environment.
- All the leadership roles in girls’ schools are filled by girls. Girls are expected to step up and be self-determining young women. Learned helplessness is actively discouraged in an all-girl environment. Younger students are constantly in the presence of older student and staff female role models so the message about girls’ potential comes through loud and clear.
- The curriculum in a girls’ school is tailored to meet girls’ particular needs and interests. Whether it be a feminist critique of Shakespeare, the identification of gender bias in cultural studies or an exploration of unrealistic body images perpetuated in the media, the classroom is a place where girls are free to question, explore, hypothesise and draw their own conclusions.
- In an all-girls’ school there is the freedom and support to work through the challenges of adolescence free of embarrassment or unwanted attention from boys. Girls are free to focus on academic concerns and personal growth without the pressures that having boys in close proximity all day every day can bring to the classroom.
- Girls’ schools are ideally positioned to educate, inspire and nurture the girls of today, who are the leaders of tomorrow. In single-sex schools every girl has a voice.
At Stella Maris there are opportunities to mix socially and academically with boys from a number of local schools through drama, music, curriculum days, sport and debating, amongst others. At any time we may have a small number of senior boys enrolled at Stella for individual Preliminary and HSC subjects not offered at their schools, such as Extension History, Drama and Entertainment.
“The annual school leaver results demonstrate, year after year, that girls from single-sex schools are over-represented in university enrolments, particularly in high-status university courses such as medicine and law.” – The Alliance of Girls’ Schools