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St John Fisher College Bracken Ridge: Parent Fact Sheet

St John Fisher College (SJFC), Bracken Ridge, really is the hidden gem of schools in Brisbane’s northern suburbs. While their fee is certainly competitive, their focus is truly on delivering a curriculum designed to prepare girls for a changing world.

A Catholic secondary girl’s college founded on Mercy traditions in 1981, the college is inspired by St John Fisher’s academic passion and social justice work.  

Why choose St John Fisher College?

Some girls at St John Fisher College

Integral to the college is a layered and culturally diverse community of people who are committed to providing a holistic education that promotes the growth and development of every student. This approach means each student’s spiritual, social, emotional and physical growth are promoted, as well as their academic learning. 

Along with recently upgraded facilities, including a Design and Hospitality hub, which is part of a decade long Masterplan, the college is set amongst 15 hectares of lush greenspace, which offers an ideal learning environment, free of clutter, for students’ minds to flourish. Underpinning their forward-thinking curriculum, you will find a supportive community of parents, teachers and support staff who are passionate about preparing young girls to become courageous women of the future. 

Saint John Fisher principal

Their students consistently achieve well above the state average in NAPLAN and Year 12 results. Senior subjects through two modes of learning, onsite (at the Bracken Ridge Campus) and online (through FisherONE their digital learning environment). For the past five years, 100 per cent of students from SJFC have received a Queensland Certificate of Education.

This tells you that students have been placed on a learning pathway suitable to both who they are currently, and who they want to become in life beyond school, whether their interests are academically or vocationally geared.

The college’s 2021 ATAR eligible cohort received an ATAR above 60, with 30 per cent achieving an ATAR above 90, and 13 per cent above 95. The cohort’s top ATAR score was an outstanding 99.55, while the median ATAR of 84.6 shows a marked growth in ATAR attainment.

Innovation at St John Fisher College

Some girls at St John Fisher College in the catering kitchen

Many of their teachers have been honoured with Excellence in Teaching Awards as well as Student Choice Awards. Their ‘out of the box’ approach to curriculum caters to students’ interests and real-world demands. Teachers constantly look for new ways to encourage alternative ways of problem-solving by developing practical and innovative approaches to learning.

The Fisher Innovate Research Enterprise is a semester long program providing Year 9 students with the skills and capabilities required to successfully navigate their futures in an increasingly complex world.

What co-curricular opportunities are there at St John Fisher College?

Some girls playing sport at St John Fisher College

The college also offers an  extensive sporting and cocurricular program as well as many cultural clubs, where students of all abilities are encouraged to participate. With an ethos of holistic education, they promote academic excellence both in the classroom and via their many curriculum-focused clubs, such as the Science Club, Studio 27 (art club) Greedy Readers, Scribblers (writing club), Homework Club, ‘Dance Squad’ and theatre sports.

Public Speaking and Debating are strongly supported through coaching, and they frequently secure competition victories in Queensland Debating Union (Q.D.U.), PLAIN English Speaking, Rostrum and Lions Youth of the Year events. They also compete in the annual Shake N Stir’s Shakespeare Festival (with categories of dance, acting, photography, costume design, film, music.)

Keeping active is an important part of education and SJF endeavor to give every student an opportunity to be a team member in their chosen sport. The grounds include an athletics oval, cricket pitch and AFL field, providing the perfect setting for students to play sport.

SJFC participates in all major Catholic Secondary Schoolgirls’ Sports Association (CaSSSA) carnivals which include swimming, cross country, athletics as well as ‘one off’ opportunities such as Rugby 7’s. To prepare the students for these events, the college holds training camps and before school sessions.  

SJFC students are regularly selected to represent Metroplitan North at State Championships in their respective sports. SJF sporting success is just another example of how they encourage students to gain a holistic education, to thrive in their interests, and in doing so, achieve excellence.

The Arts at St John Fisher College

Some girls at St John Fisher College doing art

At SJFC, Queensland Curriculum and Assessment (QCAA) courses are conducted in Drama, Visual Art, Visual Arts in Practice and Music. 

Students in Year 7 to 12 can participate in the College Instrumental Music program. Tuition is offered in Woodwind, Brass, Percussion, Strings, Piano and Guitar. Students can also be a member of our Concert Band, String Ensemble, and the Drum Corps, performing at a variety of events and competitions, including Anzac Day, the EKKA and the QLD Catholic Schools Music Festival.

The college celebrates diversity and has African, Umbarra, Polynesian and Punjabi dance groups who entertain at various school and community events, with student-led choreography and costume design. The Sister Act Competition is the annual Talent Quest showcasing individual and group performances, with the winning act performing at Illuminaré.

Illuminaré is the cultural highlight of the SJFC cultural calendar and is held in October. The event is a celebration of Arts and provides the opportunity for students to perform in front of parents and the wider community.

Girls are encouraged to join the School Choir, which significantly contributes to the spiritual life of the College at Masses, Liturgies and Celebrations. For students participating in the Language Immersion Program, there is also the opportunity to perform in our French Choir.

For students who want to be involved without performing, the SJFC offers a ‘Tech Crew’, providing the opportunity to learn skills in technical theatre, sound, lighting and media. The Tech Crew is an integral part of the cultural team, running college assemblies, functions, and events as well as performances, concerts and special presentations.

Student advocacy at St John Fisher

St John Fisher College

The spirit of SJFC asks students to have the courage to seek justice, the gift of peace and the grace to forgive. Students and staff are encouraged to stand up, make their mark and let their light shine on issues that are important to them and the wider community.

Students learn through acts of service, such as through fundraising for local and international causes, supporting the disadvantaged through collections for St Vincent De Paul Appeal, as well as those who have encountered family and domestic violence through community initiatives including the Darkness to  Daylight Challenge and Sandbag Candlelight Walk. All proceeds collected through the onsite café, ‘Maggie’s’ are routinely donated to a relevant charity of choice. 

How will my daughter get to school?

Saint John Fisher girls

There are a range of public transport options to the campus, via public bus or the various Thompsons school buses that provide services to the surrounding areas.

What are the school fees at St John Fisher College?

For the most up to date information regarding fees and levies, follow this link.

The best way to get a real feel the college is to attend the Open Day in May each year or book a Principals tour online here.

For Brisbane School Open Days – click here

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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