At Oxley, our commitment to learning in breadth recognises that activities beyond the classroom are very much a part of our conscious programme of learning. Abundant opportunities exist for students to explore their gifts in cultural, sporting, community service and outdoor activities. As well as acquiring particular skills, students test and develop their sense of self, their commitment to a group exercise and teamwork in all its complexity.
Some of these activities are compulsory others are a matter of choice. All students are encouraged to explore these offerings and to find something that suits their abilities and interests.
The College environment currently supports various opportunities in Music, Inter-House Competitions including Poetry, Swimming, Cross Country and Athletics, as well as Debating, Public Speaking, Outdoor Education, Sport and Drama. Some of these activities occur during the school day and others after school. At lunchtimes, we also run informal dance sessions which are supported by our Year 11 leaders. Many Oxley students participate externally in both sporting and non-sporting competitions in addition to the opportunities available at Oxley College.
Students at Oxley enjoy the Creative and Performing Arts which are wide in choice and high in standard. In Visual Arts and Design & Technology, students exhibit their course work and often submit works for external exhibitions and competition. Similarly, Music and Drama students perform as an integral part of their learning.
Wider opportunities for performance are not limited to students of Drama or Music. There are regular dramatic productions exploring a wide range of style, idiom and performance dynamic. The College has maintained its interest in Short & Sharp, a state-wide competition for short plays.
In Music, a variety of ensembles perform across the musical spectrum. The Oxley Chorale, Concert Band, String Ensemble and the Stage Band often combine to perform larger works for formal occasions as well as presenting their extensive repertoire at more intimate musical evenings. Music ensembles and drama groups have travelled interstate and overseas to perform in a variety of festivals and educational settings.
Teams compete regularly in the Mock Trial competition, in Debating competitions and in Public Speaking events such as the Youth of the Year competition and the Model United Nations Assembly.
The Outdoor Education Programme is designed to foster an awareness in students of the beauty of the natural world. It also exposes them to personal challenge and intersects with the academic curriculum. With the assistance of highly trained professionals, this programme offers a wide variety of activities including bush walking, abseiling, navigation and remote survival skills.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, offered at three levels — Bronze, Silver and Gold — includes a major outdoor component, community service and personal growth. Students are assisted in their progress through the provision of regular hikes and individual tracking.
Each year during Term 4, all students in Years 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 are involved in Oxley’s unique OLE! programme. OLE! stands for Other Learning Experiences and it is the intention that the experiences offered will extend and enrich activities beyond the classroom. Year 3 and 4 students participate in a two day/one night programme on the coast staying in dorm style accommodation – for some of these students this may be one of their first experiences away from home – learning about our coastlines and waterways. Year 5 and 6 students travel further afield to take part in a four day/three night activity in beautiful bushland (also cabin style accommodation) where they engage in fun resilience and confidence building activities. Year 7 and Year 8 students complete a week long core skills outdoor education programme, while students in Year 9 and 10 are able to choose activities from three strands: Active, Cultural and Community. In the past these have included: A Taste of Sydney, Scuba Diving, Surf Safaris, Building, Mural Painting and Cross Country Skiing. The culmination of the programme is the annual Outback trip, undertaken by Year 11 students during the Term 3 holiday break.
Over the years, a number of overseas tours have been offered as part of the Co-Curricular Programme. In past years there was a Sports Tour to New Zealand and a tour to Vietnam and Laos. In 2015, World Challenge took Oxley students to Thailand. We are delighted that overseas social service opportunities have become part of our OLE! experience for students, trips of which tie in closely with their academic Global Perspectives programme. These opportunities range from long and short trips to Fiji, Botswana and Nepal where students become immersed in their community, interacting closely with locals and contributing to their new surroundings whether by cross-teaching in the classroom or having a positive impact out in the environment.
A comprehensive range of team and individual sports reflects Oxley’s commitment to developing the physical growth of students and those personal and affective aspects of human development.
In the junior school (Years 7 to 10), skills and fitness are taught within the Physical Education and Health programmes and all students participate in sports lessons every week.
From their team sports, students learn loyalty, co-operation and responsibility. As a founding member of the Independent Sporting Association (ISA) competition, the College has sought to uphold the principle of healthy competition where games are played in the spirit which reflects a positive approach to sport among schools of similar culture.
The College organises transport for away games and hospitality complements the sporting competition at home.
Boys can join teams to play Cricket, Basketball, Football (Soccer), Rugby Union and Tennis. Girls compete in Hockey, Softball, Netball, Basketball and Tennis. Annual competitions in Athletics, Swimming and Cross-Country are part of the ISA programme.
There are College teams in Equestrian competitions, Snow Sports and Water Polo.