In 2008 we established 8 communities within Berwick College in an endeavour to improve student-teacher-parent relations and student connectedness to the school. Each community is called a learning team. The eight learning teams within the within the school will contain approximately 180 students from years 7-11.

The primary reason behind this change is to help us build stronger relationships between all members of our school community and to strengthen the home-school partnership.

Each of the learning teams contains 8 home groups. Each home group will contain approximately 24 students each from years 7–11 and is led by a home group teacher.

Home group teachers are responsible for the wellbeing of the students in their home group as well as being the link between the home and the school. They are also an advocate and a support for their students.

Year 12 will remain a separate year level. This recognises the special nature of this year. Year 12 students are however aligned to a learning team

Home group meetings are held as follows:

  • Monday – 10 minutes
  • Tuesday – 20 minutes
  • Thursday – 30 minutes
  • Friday – 10 minutes

Subject class groups will operate in year levels. Only in home group meetings do students work with peers from years 7 to 11.

Why move to a vertical home group structure?

Schools using a vertical home group structure have found:

  • students develop more friends in other year levels
  • there has been a reduction in bullying at the school
  • there has been greater sense of belonging or connectedness to the school
  • younger students have benefited from the help of older students

Each learning team has a leader (similar in some respects to a year level coordinator). The leader has responsibility for ensuring the home group teachers within the learning team carry out their roles in both a consistent and effective manner. The leaders will have a strong leadership, student management and support role within their learning team. The learning teams form the basis for intra-school sporting, artistic, musical and other types of competition.

Learning team names and colours

Learning teams have been named after Australians who have served and made a significant contribution to the Australian community. Colours have been named after Australian gem stones.

Chisholm after Caroline ChisholmTopaz (light blue)

Dunlop after Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop – Citrine (yellow)

Flynn after John Flynn – Ameythyst (purple)

Frost after Dame Phyllis Frost – Sapphire (royal blue)

Hollows after Fred Hollows – Peridot (lime green)

Kenny after Elizabeth Kenny – Ruby (red)

Monash after Sir John Monash – Emerald (dark green)

O’Donoghue after Lowitja O’Donoghue – Cornelian (orange)

Learning Team Champions

2009 – O’Donoghue
2010 – Hollows
2011 – 2016 Chisholm