Full steam ahead at Cobram Secondary College

By Spencer Fowler Steen

Cobram Secondary College’s new whizz-bang VCE building will be completed early next school term, following a major shake-up of classrooms and facilities.

Cobram Secondary School principal Kimberley Tempest said the new building would include a VCE area, a careers space, a study area, food technology facilities, private meeting rooms and a canteen.

“We’re totally thrilled that it’s happening,” she said.

But before the building can go ahead, Ms Tempest said existing buildings would need to be demolished.

“The home economics and wellbeing buildings, the office space and canteen will go, paving the way for an outdoor active area with shade sails,” she said.

An old classroom and hallway space is being repurposed for displaced staff, while VCE classes are being temporarily held in an old staff area until the new building is completed.

The $3.3 million funding for the new VCE space came from the Victorian Government last year as part of its asbestos replacement program.

The old school library, which was also the town library, is set to become the new Years 7 and 8 building with six classrooms and a breakout area for students to work separately.

Ms Tempest said the new space was measured up by Year 8s as part of a maths project, and would include a large glass wall.

“It will be a great space for our hugely successful Boost program for Year 8s, lifting their reading skills,” she said.

Ms Tempest said the building would be funded by the school.

And there is more good news for Cobram Secondary College.

Ms Tempest said the average ATAR score had increased from 48.35 in 2013, to 60.43 in 2019, with 79 per cent of students remaining in the top two NAPLAN bands for reading, and 80 per cent for writing — placing them among the top state schools in the region.

“For a small school, we’re punching above our weight,” she said.

The school’s six-year compulsory Illuminate program, which gets students to read their own books during class for 19 minutes a day, had also grown students’ reading abilities, Ms Tempest said.

“You don’t need to take your kid out of town to get results,” she said.

Builders will commence work on the new VCE building on March 3, with cranes lifting pre-made buildings in on the week beginning April 20.

The space is expected to be complete by mid to late June.