Learning @ Friends’ 24 Plus Program

The purpose of the Learning @ Friends’ 24 Plus (L@F24+) Program is to better meet the learning, social, emotional, spiritual needs and development of students both now and into the future. The L@F24+ Program is the reorganisation of secondary year groups across the school; and is establishing an updated optimal learning environment through the redesign and enhancement of the Years 7 to 12 curricular & co-curricular programs.   

The new secondary year group structure – Years 9 through to Year 12 (Senior School) to be based on the Commercial Road Campus and Years 7 & 8 (Middle School Connections Years) on Argyle Street – is set to be introduced at the start of 2024, with program implementation continuing in 2025 & 2026.

This web page has been established to hold information about the L@F24+ Program for all members of the community to view and reference. There is also an enquiry form to send us any questions or feedback. Some specific staff updates and information can be found at the following link:

Areas of Change

The L@F24+ Program will predominantly impact students, staff and parents/guardians working with and/or engaged in the learning and support for Year 7 to 12 cohorts.

The Program aims to support changes that will take place with the following areas: 

    • Curricular and co-curricular programs 
    • Staff leadership 
    • Student leadership 
    • Facilities and physical resources 
    • Timetables 
    • House system

A key Program outcome is that there should be little impact on the amount of staffing needed, but some staff will have a change in roles, e.g. teaching in different campuses or across different year groups.

What is the purpose and aims of the Program?

    • The Program aims to enhance the student experience, with a focus on ‘learning for stage, not age’.  This includes:
      • Enhanced programs in Year 7 and 8 
      • The development of a new Year 9 Curriculum and approach 
      • A closer relationship of classes and academic opportunities for Years 9 – 12
      • Enhanced pathways opportunities for 9-12
    • Maximise the opportunities of having the positive impact of older students with Years 9 and 10 and forge a better relationship of Year 11 and 12 across the whole school
    • Bring the School structure into the ‘best practise model’ of Years 9 to 12, which is also being adopted for better academic, social and emotional opportunities and reasons 
    • We want to develop a better understanding that The Friends’ School is a E to 12 journey and continuum with fewer physical transition points.

Benefits of the L@F24+ Program

  • Enhanced learning opportunities for ‘stage not age’
  • Create a specialised Year 9 Program
  • Extend the Year 7 Connections program into Year 8
  • Better grouping of co-curricular activities for students moving through secondary years
  • Enhanced academic pathway for student in Years 9 & 10, moving into Years 11  & 12
  • Expand opportunities for students to lead their peers and engage in service across the School
  • More informal leadership to be experienced by students in Year 9 & 10 from senior students
  • Redeveloping leadership for targeted year grouping stages
  • Leadership to enable closer staff collaboration, communication and planning across year groups and campuses
  • Additional clarity of leadership responsibility for staff and students
  • Redeveloping and repurposing the use of facilities within each campus for age specific use
  • Providing Connections and Middle Years facilities for some Year 5 & 6 learning opportunities
  • Less year group transitions for students across campuses
  • Enhanced teacher wellbeing with reduced campus movements for teachers and more effective lesson planning and delivery
  • Reimagining and developing a new timetable to suit current and future learning and wellbeing needs
  • Opportunity to create different lesson duration to suit learning needs
  • Better vertical integration of the Houses from K to 12
  • Enhanced participation, leadership and visibility of  the House activities for Years 9 to 12. Leadership opportunities for students in Year 8 in House System
  • Implementing 4 x Houses from K to 12

Approach, Progress and Timeline

Assess: Learning @ Friends’ Working Group is established to review & research future needs (Completed during 2021 School Year)

Recommend: The initial Learning @ Friends’ Working Group recommends a strategy to reorganise the Secondary Year Groups. The Board of Governors supports the recommendation (Completed in April 2022)

Design & Engage:  The Program is designed with consultation via working groups and stakeholders.  Prioritisation of activities agreed upon and shared with all stakeholders (In Progress: Term 2 2022 to Term 1 2023)

Implement, Refine and Complete: Key areas of the Program commence with support provided to students and staff.  The Program is implemented, normalised and refined through consultation and feedback (Upcoming: Term 1 2023 to Term 3 2024).


Progress Diagram

Who is involved?

The L@F24+ Program team leads the planning and implementation of the required changes to facilities, pastoral systems, academic programs, co-curricular activities and staffing as the School prepares for the change in organisational structure to a E-8 and 9 – 12 model. This involves the engagement of all stakeholders in The Friends’ School community throughout the lead-up to and byond 2024 and the eventual initiation of the new structure in the first terms of the change.

The L@F24+ Program team is lead by Deputy Principal Shaun O’Rourke with the assistance of Lyn Tunbridge who will serve as the L@F24+ Program Coordinator during 2023. Lyn, the former Deputy Head of Clemes (Years 11 & 12), will undertake this role full time in 2023.  An external consultant has also been appointed to help as a change facilitator.

A number of working groups are being set-up to help facilitate and engage the community on the program changes. The School has also engaged with a Change Partner Consultant and Project Manager to assist with coordinating the program and formulate the program plans.  Details of who is involved can be viewed in the following image, including the names of convenors for each working group.

Sructure Diagram

  • Timetable: convened by Phil Rogers.  Members: Trish Menadue, Julie Inman, John Hoggart, Lindy Gannon, Peter Smythe, Nicola Collins, Mark Allen

  • Space Utilisation: convened by Lyn Tunbridge.  Members: Richard Apted, Adam Chambers, Kate Baldry, Amy Harris, Lindy Gannon, John Hoggart, Liesa Winkler and Shaun O’Rourke

  • Curriculum (Years 7 & 8) and Timetable: convened by John Hoggart.  Members: Lindy Gannon, Tracie Acreman, Wendy Crow and Lyn Tunbridge

  • Curriculum (Years 9 & 10): convened by Adam Chambers.  Members: Kate Baldry, Learning Leaders Y9 to 12, Lyn Tunbridge

  • Staff leadership: convened by Nelson File.  Members: Shaun O’Rourke, Gwen Pinnington (Change Partner), Shaun Sargent, Lyn Tunbridge and Sue Buckland

  • Student leadership and House System: convened by Amy Harris.  Members: Liesa Winkler, Learning Leaders x 2, House and Student Leadership Y7&8, Debbie Taylor, 2 x students

  • Communication: convened by Bill Avery.  Members: Holly Chilman, Greg Downes, Yvette Blackwood, Henry Webster (Student), Sophie Neal (Student), Lynn Redwig (Parent), Scott Adams (Parent)

Current Priorities and Next Steps

Staff Leadership

  • Finalise the appointment of House Leaders Years 9 to 12 (4 x staff)
  • Finalise the appointment of Learning Leaders Years 7 & 8 (2 x staff)
  • Consult with staff on the Library, Science and School Office structure and roles

The following organisation chart shows the structure for Heads and Deputy Heads of Campus.  The chart indicates a solid reporting line as well as a dashed line where colleagues will work and collaborate regularly on key aspects of their roles to support student learning and development.

 Years 7 & 8 Campus Leadership

We would like to share with you a video from our 2024 Head and Deputy Heads of Year 7 & 8 which introduces Lindy, John and Leisa and their vision and benefits of the change.  Year 7 & 8 Campus Leaders Video

Years 9 to 12 Campus Leadership

Space Utilisation

Since the completion of the science room N205 on the Commercial Road Campus, the previous Facilities Working Group has evolved to a Space Utilisation Working Group.  The purpose of this new group is to undertake planning and design for the reorganisation of learning and staff spaces to suit the 2024 timetable and curriculum needs.  The group consists of the 2024 Heads and Deputy Heads of Campus, along with our Facilities and Grounds Manager, Director of Teaching and Learning and Deputy Principal. 

 The spaces for the Year 7 & 8 Campus have almost been determined and we expect the Year 9 to 12 Campus to be in a similar position in early Term 3.  We have been focussing on priorities for what the School needs at the start of next year.  Any minor works required will be completed over the next 6 to 12 months.  In mid-2024 we plan to undertake an updated Master Planning process which will include fresh learnings from the reorganisation in the first half of 2024.  We look forward to sharing campus plans and layouts in Term 3.

Year 7 to 10 Curriculum and Course Information

The Years 9 & 10 Course evening will be held Tuesday 1 August from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.  Time may vary depending on the year group. There will be changes to subject choice opportunities for both year groups. Early next term we will provide video information prior to the evening. Representatives from each faculty will be available on 1 August to answer questions and there will be an opportunity to hear from Adam Chambers and Kate Baldry.  Details of changes to the curriculum structure will also be communicated in the new Year 9 and 10 Coursebook. 

Although the Year 7 Parent Information is not scheduled until early Term 4, we will provide specific information about the structures, curriculum and timetable over the coming weeks.  Some video presentations are also being prepared to help explain the Year 7 & 8 program.

Parent / Student Tours

During Term 3, we will be hosting a number of Argyle Street campus tours for families with students in Years 7 & 8 in 2024.  This will be an opportunity to also meet some of the leadership team, learn more specifics and ask questions you may have.  There will be links provided to book a spot in the group tours.

House and Student Leadership Working Groups

As mentioned recently, a recommendation was supported to:

  • For the current 4 houses at The Friends’ School to be K-12.  (Not including FEL); and
  • The 3 Primary School Houses: Cooper, Cadbury and Benson to become the Year 8 class names with 3 new names to be chosen (by the current Year 7 students). 

Throughout Terms 3 and 4, these groups, along with the newly appointed Heads and Learning Leaders, will collectively advance planning to implement the above changes for the start of 2024. 

Queries and Updates

Do you have any queries or feedback?

Please submit your query or question via the following online form.

Digital Communication Updates

Year 7 & 8 Language preferences reminder (new families) – 10 August 2023

Year 9 & 10 Coursebook information, Information evening recording, Year 9 Program video & selection guide – 3 August 2023

Year 9 & 10 Suject Selection Additional Information – 1 August 2023

Year 9 & 10 Subject Selection – 28 July 2023

Year 8 Language Selection & Year 7 Language Selection – 27 July 2023

L@F24+ Update – Leadership – Curriculum – FAQ’s – 21 July 2023

Year 11 & 12 Coursebook – 7 June 2023

Year 11 & 12 Course and Pathways Information – 30 May 2023 – and here – 13 June 2023

AGM Annual Principal’s Report – 29 May 2023

Update in Rose & Waratah – 26 April 2023

Completion of Term 4 for Years 7 to 9 to Years 7-9 Students and Parents – 24 March 2023

L@F24+ Program Survey’s to Years 5-12 Students and K-12 Parents – 17 March 2023

Update in What’s On – Learning Team Meetings – 23 February 2023

Deputy Head of Campus appointments and recruitment – 22 February 2023

Heads of Campus announcement to students and parents – 21 December 2022

Update in Rose & Waratah – 21 December 2022

Update on secondary staff leadership to alumni, parents, and community members – 15 November 2022

Update in Rose & Waratah – 26 July 2022

Welcome to Term 3 and update – 25 July 2022

Update 17 May 2022

The Torch magazine – 18 October 2021

Rose & Waratah – 7 October 2021

Parent survey feedback – 27 August 2021

Announcement – 2 August 2021

Parent comments about the 9-12 project