Education Today Logo


Education Today Cover Browse Issue

Program to keep young stars in school

News Image

Izellah Connelly, Year 6, is a busy young lady, she’s been the lead role in Tim Minchin’s musical Matilda, performed in three other stage productions and is touted as the country’s next pop princess. And she’s still a good student thanks to an innovative new program.

She attends St Hilda’s School on the Gold Coast who have firmed up their new Athena Program which lets students with exceptional extra-curricular lives keep up with their schoolwork.

Izellah’s father, Rahman Connelly says “St Hilda’s support of Izellah has been wonderful. It’s great to see a school having such a forward-thinking approach in valuing more than just academic performance.”

“There is the challenge of how to keep up-to-date with the academic curriculum when Izellah has commitments that take her away from school, but the Athena Program gives us the unique opportunity to work Izellah’s schedule and passions in with her education.

“Izellah has really benefited from being able to stay in school and maintain her friendships and it has helped her to feel grounded in an industry which is often not.”

St Hilda’s Director of Pre-Preparatory and Head of Athena, Lisa Cleverly, is proud the school offers a program that helps students balance their schooling with other commitments.

“We are passionate about supporting our girls and believe there should be no barriers to achieving both academic and extra-curricular success,” Cleverly said.

“Eligible students, particularly those competing in elite sports or performing arts programs, benefit from the program’s personalised flexible learning plans, extra pastoral care and support for parents.

“Being able to support Izellah in her academics, and pastorally, to manage her commitments to her performance opportunities and schooling has been very rewarding. Izellah has such an amazing talent – proving to all that age is no limit.”

Izellah Connelly’s new single, If Every Day Was Christmas, will be released on the 29 November and proceeds of the pre-sale are being donated to the Starlight Children’s Foundation which assists in brightening the lives of seriously ill and hospitalised children.

Pre-sales for Izellah’s new holiday single If Every Day Was Christmas is available now at or go to iTunes and search “Izellah”.

26 Mar 2019 | National
Time out is acceptable News Image

There’s been some controversy about time out as a punishment but new research says that it does more good than harm.
Read More

26 Mar 2019
Horses the right course for at-risk students News Image

Equine Insight in Romsey Victoria has been running equine therapy courses to great effect and their activity has caught the attention of Central Ranges Local Learning and Employment Network for incorporation into secondary schools. Read More

25 Mar 2019 | Melbourne
Northern Melbourne schools smooth the transition to high school News Image

The first years of high school are tough and if a student fails to integrate it spells trouble for their school career and may even lead to complete disengagement. Read More

25 Mar 2019 | Qld
Gifted and talented primary kids at Uni Qld Explorama News Image

More than 200 gifted and talented primary school students will visit The University of Queensland for Explorama which aims to expose high achievers to potential academic aspirations and other likeminded kids. Read More

25 Mar 2019 | National
Bostik competition offers $5,000 grants News Image

You can’t do craft without a bit of Bostik and the makers of the sticky essential are launching their latest competition awarding the creativity of primary school children. Read More