New dance studio and native plants garden on show at OLMC Parramatta Open Day
|Photography: Tanya Zaccak|
Our Lady of Mercy College (OLMC) Parramatta’s Open Day on Friday 8 March is the chance for prospective families to tour the College facilities, including a brand new dance studio and native plants garden, and discover what life is like as a Mercy Girl.
Principal Kitty Guerin says these two new learning areas demonstrate OLMC’s approach to learning; "We have a strong emphasis on hands on, innovative and contemporary learning. By providing state of the art facilities, excellence is enabled." Drama and Dance Coordinator Sean Travers agrees; "If you give artists the correct tools, they won’t need to be distracted by the limitations of their environments and can simply focus on reaching new heights."
The new dance studio, which features a sprung floor, mirrors, bars and adjoining change rooms, opened this year when OLMC began offering Dance as an elective subject in Years 9 to 12.
Deputy Principal of Teaching and Learning, Tanya Appleby says the studio is part of OLMC’s approach to empowering the kinaesthetic and aesthetic experiences of learners.
The subject is proving popular for many dance enthusiasts at the College. Year 11 dancer Bianca Calarco says the subject will help her pursue her dance career; "I love creative subjects and this elective is a chance to showcase my talents. The new studio will allow me to practice and work on my technique in a familiar environment."
Mercy value of stewardship
The native garden was planted in late February after the College was awarded a council grant for the project. The garden will provide science students with living examples of some of the plants studied in Biology, many of which demonstrate adaptations for drought tolerance. Science Coordinator Pascale Warnant says students will collect samples of plants from the garden to observe under the microscope. "We are hoping to be able to carry out experiments in the actual garden itself once it is more established such as collecting water lost by transpiration and measuring the growth rate of plants."
Ms Warnant says both this new garden and the existing botany room demonstrate not only how OLMC engages students through hands on activities but also provides values based learning: "By caring for this garden and choosing native plants that require little watering we are demonstrating the important Mercy value of stewardship."
Open Day visitors are invited to tour the College and see specialist facilities for dance, TAS, music, library, science and student services. Tours will also visit classes in action with the chance to join in activities, see subject displays, meet the Principal and other staff members, hear from Mercy girls about their experiences of the College, be entertained by musicians and performers and see Mercy Values in action. Established in 1889, OLMC Parramatta is a leading independent Catholic girls school which provides contemporary learning and academic excellence in the rich Mercy tradition.
OLMC’s Open Day on Friday 8 March is a great opportunity to get a taste of life at the College. Visit www.olmc.nsw.edu.au for more information and to book into a tour.
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