The Symbolism of the Nautilus Shell
The spiral shape of the Nautilus shell suggests that it can keep growing forever. There is no design for a "final" chamber. The creature must keep building new chambers as long as it lives. It cannot go back to the previous ones; they no longer fit. It cannot stay in its present space or it will die. It has no choice but to move on. And on.
The Nautilus has become a metaphor for growth, evolution, expansion and renewal - the stages each individual passes through life.
Our students are not just learning, but they are growing and changing and becoming valuable members of our community.
Nautilus College uses the ALESCO model of alternative schooling pioneered by WEA Hunter in 2002 (the former Workers Education Association in Newcastle) and since then has proven to be a successful model for many young people across NSW who are ready and willing to take control of their own learning and their future. Alesco now works with and supports nine ‘sister schools’ in NSW auspiced through local Community Colleges. It is not politically or religiously affiliated.
Many students find today's traditional school setting of highly structured timetable and academic pressure too much, while not feeling they can explore areas of life that they would like to pursue. They are challenged by sitting in ordered classrooms all day and having to move from one academic subject to another.
Nautilus turns that upside down and allows learners to find their passions and explore options. The whole program is much less formal, but still very serious about supporting students to find their individual learning pathway. Parents who have been frustrated with mainstream schooling's inflexibility will find this alternative approach creates a whole new atmosphere of hope and personal development for their children.
Activities such as film making and outdoor recreation, tourism and hospitality, music and information technology and innovation will all form the basis of strong learning programs enhanced with many outdoor experiences and field trips to different learning sites. This will give students the opportunity to explore different areas of life while also meeting the requirements of the NSW Education Standards Authority (previously BOSTES).
Additionally, students receive support for their literacy and numeracy issues if these have been a previous challenge. Addressing these challenges is embedded in the program that engages and stimulates hands on learning.
Pastoral care is a centre piece of our College; a continuous process of support by getting to know each student, their needs and their family circumstances.
Nautilus College offers our students exactly the same school curriculum as found in any other traditional school, it is not an equivalent – it is identical. The difference is about how we deliver education to our students.
Nautilus is not always the easy option that students think it will be; they can’t disrupt other learners; we will not tolerate violence, drugs or bullying of any kind; participating in class is essential.
In total Nautilus caters for approximately 55 students. With smaller classes, our students become part of our college and part a part of our community.
Nautilus works for students who want to be treated as young adults.