Al Siraat College (ASC) is a Foundation to Grade 12 school in the Islamic Tradition set in Melbourne, Australia—often voted as one of the most livable cities in the world. The school has grown from an initial enrollment of nearly 80 students in 2009, to an expected enrollment of 1,150 students for 2022. What makes ASC special is its identity as a learning community with a strong sense of belonging and connection.
ASC is located in Epping, in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. Though often considered “off the grid” for many international educators, Australia is a wonderful place to live and work, with contrasting landscapes and environments. Beautiful Australian birds and kangaroos visit ASC’s green campus, which features contemporary and functional learning spaces.
The land on which the school rests has deep indigenous roots. Following European settlement, the development of the area led to loss of traditional land and resources resulting in the displacement of the indigenous community. When a school teacher took over the property, the site was developed as a farm and leased to a farmer. While red gum firewood was cut and sold to pay for the farm, dairying and cropping hay commenced and maize and mangles planted. Cows were hand-milked in the bluestone shed, and sheep were sheared in another barn.
These days, the ASC community strives to maintain the original fabric and feeling of the site, challenging the notion that the classroom is constrained by four walls inside a building. The school says,
“We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we learn—the Woi wurrung people of Wurundjeri willam). We pay respects to them for their care of the land over countless generations. We hope that they will walk with us on our journey.
ASC delivers the Australian Curriculum along with the Victorian Certificate of Education. While 80 teachers at ASC are Australian by nationality, the total staff of 150 represents over 30 ethnicities. Strong values drive the school: living Islam; respectful relationships; real life learning; responsible citizenship “to guide the way we walk the earth;” and the individuals as the agent of change, “It starts with me.” ASC’s holistic approach includes physical education and exciting hands-on STEM programs. In February 2021, the school opened it Years 3 to 6 Learning Neighbourhood with classrooms, open areas, collaboration spaces, and creative investigation spaces. An addition to this building has been completed just now, providing more learning spaces and a beautiful assembly hall. The school adds,
We believe that learning should result in transformation—such transformation that changes the way we think and act so that we can inspire others. Like a bird with two wings, our two key foundations are learning and character. We are more than a school. We are a learning community that is always looking to learn and improve.
ASC is committed to helping its students identify, develop, and excel in their own individual talents by engaging them in meaningful learning. ASC works hard to provide students with experiences such as an equestrian program, camps, interfaith programs, community service and representation opportunities as well as interschool sports. Encouraged to engage with and showcase their learning to an authentic audience, students have been using the school’s digital recording studio to send important messages to the community. In different languages, they have broadcasted about the Black Lives Matter campaign, COVID-19 safety in addition to their regular student-led news bulletins. Students also participate in outreach and community programs.
ASC can hire certified single teachers and would also consider teaching couples, with or without a non-teaching partner, as well as newly-certified candidates, provided they have at least two years teaching experiences after certification, as per the visa requirement. Teachers need to hold an academic degree teaching degree that has student teaching as part of the qualification, as per the requirements of the Victorian Institute of Teaching. There is no age limit to obtain a work visa. The school adds,
At Al Siraat, we provide license to our educators to be innovate and implement new ideas. We have a flat governance structure that allows staff to connect with senior leaders easily. We value our family environment, enjoy lots of food related events and have a strong sense of belonging and connection.
Benefits include a competitive salary and allowances for moving, settling in, and airfare. Families receive a 50% discount on tuition, or higher, based on personal financial circumstances. Local health insurance is fully covered. ASC provides a structured professional learning program involving weekly sessions with mentoring and coaching as well as opportunities to showcase achievements. The school also offers opportunities for leadership and growth. This package allows for some nice savings or the chance for an experienced teacher on a higher salary to support a family of four. ASC adds, “We also help out where we can on a case-by-case basis.” Since the ASC teacher’s visa provides full working rights to a spouse or partner, local employment opportunities for non-teaching partners are attainable.
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Please note: The information presented about this school was valid on the date published. This information may change, and the most up-to-date information can be found on the school profile.