Schools that Excel: ‘Our kids have shown us how persistent they can be,’ says Lyndhurst principal

Students have more choices now than ever, says Lyndhurst Secondary College principal Eloise Haynes.

“Success is going to look different to each student,” she said.

Eloise Haynes is principal of Lyndhurst Secondary College, which has been named a Schools that Excel winner.Credit:Simon Schluter

What Haynes’ team ensures is that every one of the 747 students at the Cranbourne government school takes the pathway they want and that’s right for them.

And they have a whole team to support them, with not only a strong commitment from school staff, but students, parents, carers and their communities all helping to establish high expectations of successful learning.

It’s one of the reasons The Age has selected Lyndhurst Secondary College as a Schools that Excel award winner for government schools in Melbourne’s south.

You can view the full list of winning schools, and explore the data for your secondary school using this year’s Schools that Excel dashboard:

The college’s median VCE study score has gradually increased from 23 in 2012 to 28 in 2021.

The percentage of students who received study scores of 40 or above has also increased from 0.7 per cent to 4 per cent in that time.

During Melbourne’s lockdowns, the school “reimagined” what education looked like.

Haynes said for their students and staff to adapt and pivot was a “testament to the kind of educators we have not just at Lyndhurst, but across the state”.

“I think as adults we tend to underestimate the drive and resilience young people have. Over the last few years, our kids have shown us exactly how resilient and persistent they can be,” she said.

Haynes says teachers fundamentally believe the students can achieve and succeed, which helps to create the conditions for them to do that.

Students are celebrated for reaching their goals, whether that’s getting into the TAFE course they wanted or landing an apprenticeship they aimed for.

Haynes said the school is an “absolute melting pot” and their three multicultural education aides speak multiple languages and provide support for EAL learners and communities. About 40 per cent of its students have a language background other than English.

“I think a lot of the success that kids experience is when they have that solid team around them supporting their learning,” Haynes said.

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