What is it that makes Blackheath & Thornburgh College the ideal place to set your child up for success?
Small, friendly, and inclusive
As a growing rural independent school our strengths lie in our traditional community ties, outstanding student support, small class sizes, authentic experiences, and opportunities for students to succeed in a diverse learning environment. With just over 300 students including 130+ boarders the College team places a high value on knowing their students and how they learn. With a diverse student population coming from across Australia and the Pacific, students are encouraged to understand the beauty this diversity brings to their lives as young people preparing for an ever-changing world.
Comprehensive learning opportunities with the BTC touch
Students have big school learning opportunities in a small and supportive environment. We have a dedicated team of staff who work collectively to enhance the learning environment for students at the College. From PP-12 your children will explore all elements of core and elective curriculum through traditional classroom learning programs, specialist learning opportunities, engagement with community, house-based activities, an extensive co-curricular program, and a wide range of school developed opportunities. From our youngest students starting their schooling journey through to our Year 12 cohort ready to launch into their lives after school our team of educators and boarding staff are focused on providing opportunities for individual growth as part of the BTC community.
Meeting learners where they are to expand their skills
Our commitment to smaller class sizes, an extensive learning support team and programs that support learners at all ages and stages offers every student at BTC opportunities to succeed. With a targeted phonics approach across the primary setting, an introduction to practical courses through the middle years, streamed small group mathematics and English in years 7-10, an extensive Year 9 & 10 elective program and a broad scope of QCE offerings including QCAA courses, TAFE and Certificate based training.
In the Junior School, teachers work in close partnership with highly skilled teacher aides, extending learners with rich tasks and supporting students who have additional needs with individualised, targeted interventions. All students are carefully supported to learn to read through our small group, levels-based Read Write Inc. program for students in Prep – Year 4.
A home away from home
Our staff understand the huge sacrifices made by families in sending their children away to boarding school. The transition is not always smooth and can have some ups and downs as students and their families adjust to a new environment. Our boarding team has worked to develop communication pathways and opportunities to connect with parents alongside initiatives to promote a healthy and positive environment for their boarding communities. Students have access to high quality nutrition, comfortable living conditions and a range of active opportunities to keep the blood pumping and minds moving. Whether it is volunteering with the local cricket club to prepare fields and facilities, supporting our P&F ladies in the canteen at the sale yards, assisting behind the scenes at the local eisteddfod or lending a hand for the annual show our boarders have regular opportunities to actively engage with the community.
Strong pastoral care and social emotional development
Supporting the development of the whole child is increasingly important in a constantly evolving modern world. To promote individual growth and the development of essential life skills our students are supported by an experienced and dedicated pastoral team assisting them to navigate the challenges from early childhood through adolescence. In a time of rapid social change our educators and boarding staff are supported by specialised pastoral roles including Year coordinators, Student Support Officer, College Psychologist, Health Centre Team, and our Community Education Officer.
This diverse education team provides an authentic and inclusive setting for a wide range of learners from across Australia and the Pacific. Blackheath & Thornburgh students are encouraged to understand and embrace the beauty this diversity brings to their lives as young people preparing for an ever-changing world.
Blackheath & Thornburgh College is located on an attractive site of approximately 10 hectares in the centre of Charters Towers.
The College provides a broad curriculum and great facilities in a safe, rural location away from the pressures and risks of a larger city, yet it is just 135km from the city of Townsville.
Blackheath & Thornburgh College is an independent, co-educational, non-denominational College catering for day and boarding students from Kindy to Year 12. Founded in 1919, generations of students, parents and staff have enjoyed the advantages of a quality academic and co-curricular programme in our structured and supportive environment. Our parents appreciate the friendly, family atmosphere that is experienced throughout our co-educational campus and can be confident that their children, whether day or boarding students, have access to high quality educational and co-curricular opportunities.
The College currently caters for approximately 325 students, including 150 boarding students mainly from across Queensland, Northern Territory and PNG.
BTC is as much a second home as an educational place of learning and we see ourselves as all part of one extended family. We are a strongly-connected community of passionate staff and enthusiastic, sociable students all within an atmosphere that promotes a community, supportive spirit.
We understand country life and our structure is geared to supply it – our beginnings are firmly entrenched in rural North Queensland, offering country children educational opportunities, and we retain this focus today, with country-based programs and a boarding life which is very much home away from home.
BTC is organised into three sub-schools to focus on the unique developmental needs of students at each stage of the learning journey:
- Junior School (Prep – Year 6)
- Secondary School (Years 7 – 12)
Our Early Learning centre is structured around the Early Years Learning Framework, focusing on children being actively engaged in their learning to enable them to develop greater self-awareness and understanding of the world in which they live. Many natural and beautiful materials are available to the children in Kindy, all aimed at provoking thought and helping the children to communicate their thoughts and knowledge with others.
The dynamic Kindy programs aim to create confident, independent learners who can also work well in a group. Children are encouraged to think independently, to embrace new challenges, to work collaboratively, to build new friendships and to celebrate their successes.
Being on the College campus means our youngest students can be a part of wider College life, further sparking their desire to learn.
Located on the same campus as the Senior School, Junior School students enjoy a true sense of community and belonging. Small class sizes allow for personalised attention to all students and a great start to their schooling.
Students are given a solid grounding in literacy and numeracy together with a diverse range of experiences and challenges.
There is a strong emphasis on integrating technology into classroom learning and there is much interaction with the Senior school students.
The Senior School provides a range of flexible pathways to cater for a student’s individual needs and interests. The College offers an outstanding programme of academic, vocational, sporting, cultural and social experiences for our students.
Our Vocational Education department offers one of the most extensive programs of any school in Queensland. Offerings include an extensive range of University entrance course study, Certificate courses, School-based Traineeships and Rural Industry Training.
Our College has long been one of the pre-eminent boarding Colleges in Northern Australia with excellent academic, cultural, sporting and community service opportunities available to boarders.
Boarding is an integral part of College life and offers a range of experienced teachers and other personnel who are always available to support and assist our boarding students. Our boarding staff oversee all aspects of the boarding programme and provide a firm but caring environment for each student.
There is no doubt that as your child moves through their adolescent years as a boarding student there will be challenging times. At BTC we provide clear expectations that are firmly and impartially monitored by caring and supportive staff to provide the emotional security and warm support that is so important through this period of a young person’s life.
The atmosphere in every classroom at BTC is positive, supportive and challenges each student to achieve their best. Our aim is to foster an enthusiasm for learning so that students become independent learners who are confident, creative problem solvers and decision-makers.
We use a mix of the latest technology, interactive tools and passionate teaching to inspire and develop learning. Classrooms are light, airy and easily accessible from all part so the campus, encouraging focused learning and involvement for all students.
Teachers and students organise their class layout to suit the lesson, facilitating a collaborative approach and ensuring student can fully engage with the teacher and each other for group discussion.
Sport at Blackheath & Thornburgh College is a central feature of student life. Many life skills including teamwork, co-operation, sportsmanship and the striving for success are gained from an involvement in sport.
Sports played throughout the year include Athletics, Cricket, Rugby League, Softball, Soccer, Tennis, Netball, Swimming and Cross Country. Students also have the opportunity to participate in local club sports including: Rugby Union/League, Netball, Touch Football, Golf and Basketball. Opportunities also exist for students to gain selection in district, regional and state teams.
BTC is a member of the Charters Towers Secondary and Primary Sports Associations and participates in a year-round Interschool sports programme of competition. An Interhouse competition is also held throughout the year.