Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

//Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Provided below is a list of most frequently asked questions for New Families. 
If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact us.

No. However, our International Co-ordinator has a list of suitable homestay families for international students wishing to study at the College.

ESL tuition can be arranged by the College at an additional cost. Flinders has no separate English Language College. All overseas students join in our mainstream classes. Students whose English does not meet the standards required to enter the College may first undertake a High School Preparation Course. Enquiries may be directed to international@mfac.edu.au for information on courses available.

Yes, all students at Matthew Flinders Anglican College wear school uniform. A Uniform Code is included in the prospectus. All uniform items (except shoes) are purchased from the Flinders Shop on campus.

Contact your nearest Australian consulate or embassy. Student visa information is also available on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

No, unless you are living with a relative who is an Australian resident, all students are required to live in approved homestay situations.

We recommend at least one year, but if preparing for University then at least two years. Because our classes are conducted in English, longer immersion in the language is recommended. Some of our overseas students join us at Year 10. Shorter stays (one semester) may be arranged depending upon space available.

The College is approximately one hour by car from the International Airport at Brisbane. Commuting to Brisbane via train or bus takes approximately one and a half hours. The Sunshine Coast Airport is approximately 15 minutes by car from the College and has direct daily flights to Sydney and Melbourne.

Yes, we invite you to book an individual, personalised tour of the College.

We can also coordinate a visit to the Flinders Early Learning Centre for families with young children. The College also holds Principal’s Tour during the year. Check the website for dates or contact enrolments@mfac.edu.au for further information. When booking your tour, we will ask you questions about your child/children so we can tailor the tour to suit your family’s needs and interests. We look forward to welcoming your family to Matthew Flinders Anglican College.

Students attend our College from all areas of the Sunshine Coast (from Caloundra in the South, Maleny in the West, to Noosa in the North). School bus companies offer services to the College from most parts of the Sunshine Coast. For details of bus travel services please visit the Buslink website

From 2016, all Primary students will study LOTE. French, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese are included in the program. Secondary students study French and Japanese.

All new students have a buddy and are invited in for an Orientation Morning/Day to allow them to become familiar with their new school surroundings, and to meet their teachers and fellow classmates. New students commencing at the start of a new school year also attend another orientation session the day before school starts in January. Parents are urged to contact their child’s classroom teacher or Head of Sub-School in the Primary School, or in the Secondary School, their child’s Home Room Mentor, Year Level Coordinator, Head of House or Head of Sub-School, should they have any concerns about their child adjusting to their new school.

An Application for Registration should be completed and submitted with the non-refundable Registration Fee and, for all levels except the Preparatory Year, please provide a copy of the student’s most recent school report and NAPLAN results (if applicable).  Several factors are considered prior to offers being made, including school reports (attitude and behaviour comments), interview outcome, the gender balance in a year level, date of registration, and sibling connection. For major intake years, parents will be invited to attend an Information Evening to commence the process. The College has waiting lists and parents are advised to register early for places. Please don’t hesitate to contact the Registrar, Mrs Debbie Southern, on (07) 5477 3260, to discuss your child’s preferred entry date.

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Current entry points into the Primary School are in the Preparatory Year, Year 3 and Year 5. Year 7 is the major intake year for the start of Middle School with entry into Years 10 and 11 for Senior School. Students are admitted into other year levels in the Primary and Secondary Schools as places become available.

Matthew Flinders Anglican College offers an all-round education to its students with wonderful opportunities in academic fields, sport and the arts’.. The College is very proud of its strong academic record, including consistently outstanding NAPLAN and OP results. Flinders creates an environment that promotes academic excellence, inspires intellectual curiosity, expects personal accountability and forever instils a genuine passion for learning. The Flinders community is a wonderfully supportive community. Whether striving for academic achievement, raising funds for local or global concerns, pursuing a chosen sport, performing on stage, delving into the fine arts, or taking up the challenge of the many other co-curricular activities on offer, Flinders students encourage and support one another and celebrate each other’s efforts and successes.

Recent events highlighted in the media illustrate that there are serious issues surrounding the use of the internet. While appropriate filtering is in place, the College believes that students must be educated about appropriate use of the internet. Such education is embedded throughout the curriculum. In addition to this, students must adhere to the Appropriate Use of Technology Policy. A cybersafety education program has been implemented across all year levels. The program will be supplemented from time to time, with presentations by experts for students, teachers and the wider community.

Students will not be using laptops/iPads all day at school.

In the classroom, the laptop is used in specific activities for a limited amount of time.  In some lessons it is not required at all.

Moving between lessons and the normal lunchtime activities will ensure that students will not be in front of a computer for the entire time that they are at school.

 

The College has entered into an agreement with an Apple approved supplier to provide the necessary maintenance to laptops when necessary. The device will be repaired under warranty. While this occurs, the students will be provided with a “hot swap” laptop for use until their laptop is repaired and returned.

Unfortunately, they won’t be able to use it at school. There are several reasons for this. We need to ensure that all laptops and iPads can be maintained and that all necessary software is installed. Having a range of different computers in use within the program increases software and maintenance issues, which in turn potentially impacts on the learning environment and overall costs. In addition to this, software licensing restrictions prevent us from installing the required software onto computers that are not owned by the College.

Current costs for the laptop is $715 per year. In addition, the College passes on funding from the Federal Government’s laptop program, directly to families in Years 9–12. This will mean that the cost for these families will be $465 per year. The current cost for an iPad in Years 5 and 6 is $365 per year.

Insurance is included in the laptop fee and covers the laptop for accidental damage ($250 excess).

Insurance is included in the laptop fee and covers the laptop for loss or theft ($250 excess).

Yes. However, the student will be responsible for this. The College utilises a “cloud” based service for laptop back-ups. This service runs in the background of the student’s laptop and once set up, continues to back up the laptop. Students using laptops and iPads are required to save their files to their College Google Drive account. It is important that students learn appropriate protocols for backing up their work.

Device chargers (College provided or personally purchased) must be left at home and not brought to school. All students are to bring their device to school each day fully charged. With appropriate use, battery life is more than enough for a normal school day’s use. In the event that a device requires charging, a charger is to be borrowed from the library.
If a device requires charging during the day on a regular basis, it should be taken to IT Services for testing. If the reason for diminished battery life is determined to be related to student behaviour, then the appropriate education will be provided. Failure to respond to this education will be treated in accordance with the Behaviour Management policy.

It is expected that students bring their laptop to school each day fully charged. Battery life should be more than enough for a normal school day’s use. However, if charging is necessary, classroom power points can be used. There will also be a maintenance centre established that students will be able to access during breaks.

 

Forgetting to bring their laptop/iPad will be viewed in the same way as forgetting to bring any other required materials to school, in accordance with the College’s Behaviour Management Policy.

The College maintains a number of “hot swap” devices for use when a student’s laptop/iPad is being repaired.

Laptops will be transported within a hard laptop bag when travelling between home and school. Certainly within the foreseeable future, there will always be textbooks; however, the number of textbooks could progressively decrease.

Use of the laptop/iPad during a lesson will always be at the discretion of the class teacher.

Technology is integrated across the whole curriculum. This means that personal devices will be used in all subjects but does not mean they will be used all the time. The success of the program will be measured by how, not how often, devices are used.

Based on our experience and that of other schools, Year 5 students are developmentally ready for a laptop program. This age group has the skills and ability to use technology to enhance their learning experiences.

Computers have been in common use in industry for 30 years. They are no longer considered special and are usually seamlessly integrated into the normal operations of the business. This is our vision for laptops (and whatever they are replaced with in the future). In a few years, they need to be seamlessly integrated into the teaching and learning environment. So much so, that if you walk into a classroom, it’s not the technology you notice, but the teaching and learning that they are enabling.

The current retail price for a 13-inch MacbookPro is $1399 (September 2015). Apple does not discount in the retail market. However, within the lease arrangements, students will also be provided with:

  • access to back-up facilities
  • a hard shell protective cover
  • a carry case
  • insurance against theft and accidental damage
  • extended warranty
  • all required software.

The retail value of all of this is more than $2000. In addition, the College requires students to have access to specialist software in some classes. The College is licensed to supply this software. If provided by parents, this software would be a significant additional cost. Current costs are $715 (Years 5 to 8) or $465 (Years 9 to 12) per year. This compares very favourably with the cost of outright purchase including software. The difference in price is due to government assistance that is available for Year 9 to 12 students.

 

There is now overwhelming evidence supported by research and experience that well integrated technology and 1:1 access to computers increases student engagement in their learning and as a result of this, increases student outcomes.

This improved learning is brought about by:

  • the learning environment between school and the home being standardised
  • students having access to technology tools that were previously confined to computer labs
  • learning experiences being expanded beyond the boundaries of the school yard
  • greater use of multi-media and interactive learning materials
  • the ability for students to publish their work to widespread audiences
  • collaboration opportunities unlike anything previously available.

A full new school uniform (including winter and summer formal uniforms, sports uniform, schoolbag, hats, etc) costs approximately $700. The cost will, of course, depend on how many of each item is purchased. A range of second-hand uniform items may be available. Specific queries may be directed to the Flinders Shop. Prep to Year 2 students only require sports uniform, swimming items, and a tracksuit.