Academic Excellence


Students at St Mary's College Ipswich (SMC) continue to excel academically, with the diverse and dynamic curriculum offering pathways for all students, helping them to reach their personal best and achieve outstanding results.

Year 12 student Hannah Nugent has a keen interest in Maths and Physics, and will pursue a career in Engineering when she graduates from SMC.

“I have always loved the art of problem solving and critical thinking, so I think that's what first got me interested in these subjects," Hannah said. “It's the real -life applications of mathematics and science, though, that I am most interested in and excited about."

Hannah's favourite subject in her senior years of study has been Specialist Maths – the equivalent of Maths C in the old system. This is delivered online in partnership with other Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) schools.

“I love the type of maths involved in the course. The cross-overs with other subjects like Physics and Mathematical Methods definitely is an added bonus," Hannah said.

For the school, online delivery allows for a broader selection of subjects to be offered. When only a small number of students indicate their interest in studying a subject, opportunities for online delivery can be explored. Students benefit from flexibility in their learning, with the ability to complete tasks at their own pace.

“Studying a subject online can be difficult at times, but I have a great group of teachers here at St Mary's who support me, and who I can go to if I need any help," Hannah said.

Hannah is also studying a Certificate III in Aviation (Drone Pilot), having completed a Certificate II in Engineering Pathways in Year 11. SMC delivers these certificate courses as part of its status as an Aerospace Gateway to Industry School – the only all girls school in Queensland, and the only school in the Ipswich area that is part of the program.

Combined across Years 11 and 12, Hannah said the Certificate courses involved the construction and flying of drones, with the opportunity to receive a drone licence.

“I have always been inspired by the voices of women in stem and hope that one day, I can inspire other young women, just how I was."

Acting Principal Paula Goodwin said all students at St Mary's are given the opportunity to develop, excel and lead. “Research from the Australian Alliance of Girls Schools indicates that girls in girls' schools are free to pursue academic excellence in any area they choose, including in the 'gender atypical' areas of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). This is true of St Mary's College students," Mrs Goodwin said.

“Our alumnae have succeeded in many different fields ranging from medical research, to aeronautics and robotics. We look forward to seeing what our current students, like Hannah, go on to achieve."

“We know that every student has great capacity to achieve, and we support all of our students to be their best. Every student at SMC is offered opportunities to extend themselves academically, and meet personal challenges."