McKenzie Creek

What is the Advance Program?

The Advance Program is based at the McKenzie Creek Campus, 10 kilometres from Horsham on the Henty Highway. The program was developed in 1996 to assist students who were disengaged, or at risk of disengaging, from main stream schooling. The focus of the program is to provide intensive support to help students reengage in mainstream education. The McKenzie Creek site is a nature reserve and covers 11 hectares of natural bushland with the McKenzie Creek forming one boundary of the property. The site has excellent facilities and offers students a relaxed, peaceful environment in which to learn and develop.

Who is the program for?

The program is for students in Years 7 – 8 ideally, however Grade 6 and Year 9 students will be considered on a case by case basis. Up to 20 students attend the Campus full time. Usually, the program starts on Day 1 of Term 1 and towards the end of Term 3, students begin a process of being gradually integrated back into Horsham College.
Students who benefit from the Advance Program are those disengaged, or at risk of disengaging, from education due to a combination of social, emotional, academic and attendance issues.


The main aim of the Advance Program is to provide students with the necessary skills and support to successfully return to mainstream education. To achieve this objective the program attempts to meet the individual academic, social, emotional and behavioural needs of each student.

More specifically the program aims to help students:

  • develop their self-esteem and a positive self-image
  • rediscover their ability to learn
  • renew their motivation to learn
  • develop social and communication skills to enable them to confidently handle social situations with peers and adults
  • develop skills in conflict resolution, negotiation and decision making
  • increase their ability to concentrate and attend school more frequently

Curriculum and Program

The bus leaves for McKenzie Creek at 9am from Horsham College Alternate Programs site – the double storey building in Dimboola Rd. After arriving at McKenzie Creek, students begin the day with 30 minutes of physical activity. They then have an hour of Maths and English aligned to the Year 7 Australian Curriculum and modified for individual needs. There are always at least two staff available to work with the students. There is an activity program in the afternoons focused on life/social/emotional skills to develop other aspects of the student. Students are then dropped back to the bus shed to Alternate Programs at 3.20pm.

A crucial part of the curriculum is the camp that occurs at the beginning of the year to start forming relationships with the group and setting them up to work together for the remainder of the year.

How are Students Selected?

A selection process is used to identify the students who would most benefit from a placement in the Advance Program. If coming from a school other than Horsham College, a request can be made by the parent, the school and/or staff working with the child (counsellor, DHS, etc.). If enrolled at Horsham College, Year Level Coordinators, site Leading Teacher, Assistant Principal and/or Wellbeing Officer need to refer to the Program Leader. The final determination as to whether a student will be able to be placed in the Advance Program will be made by the Program Leader and Assistant Principal for Alternate Programs.

Confidential Enquiries

All enquiries are confidential. If you require more information, or you feel that your child would benefit from participating in the Advance Program please contact Horsham College on 03 5381 7100 or the Assistant Principal Alternate Programs on 0437 758 448.