Taming the Learning Curve

How One Student Went From Dreading High School To Excelling At It

Caitlin Lennon never thought she’d finish high school. The mainstream system wasn’t set up to support her needs. She’d struggled through the first few years at high school, but there were issues arising in her life that were making it increasingly hard to cope.

Finally, it got to a point where she felt her only course of action was to drop out. So how did she go from high-school dropout to successfully securing a coveted place in QUT Bachelor of Law studies?


“I actually got really sick at the beginning of year 11 in 2015,” she laments, “I had to drop out. I couldn’t handle it and needed treatment, so I moved in with my grandparents and just spent a year recovering.”

During that year, Caitlin maintained contact with her high school friends. As she watched them complete their year 11 studies and move to year 12, she was increasingly feeling herself slip further behind her peers.

She confesses, “I was comparing myself a lot with people my age who had finished year 11 and were going into grade 12. It made me not want to do it (return to study) even more. I felt I was missing out, but I didn’t have the motivation to go back."

“It wasn’t until about mid 2016 when my grandmother said, ‘Hey have you heard about Hubbard’s?’ – she had done some maths tutoring with Hubbard’s years ago.”

Like many young people, Caitlin hadn’t heard of Hubbard’s School, admitting, “It’s a bit of a hidden gem.”

While she was nervous at the prospect of returning to study after so much time in recovery, Caitlin decided to give flexible schooling a try for her years 11 and 12. She started the year wanting to fast-track her senior studies. Hubbard’s School allows pupils to complete years 11 and 12 in just one year if they wish.

“I took five subjects,” Caitlin says, “Cathy (school principal) had advised me if people find it hard to complete both 11 and 12 in one year, they can drop some subjects. So later when I was finding it hard and I didn’t see how I could do it, I scheduled an appointment with Cathy and discussed my thoughts and fears with her."

“We decided I would drop two subjects and only come into Hubbard’s on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The breaks on Tuesdays and Thursdays helped me recover and regroup. The teachers were always there for me and Cathy having an ‘open door policy’ really helped me too.”

Caitlin continued her study without expectations. She focussed on putting in hard work and getting the best result she could.

“Obviously I wanted to do well,” she reveals, “especially in that first year back I wanted to prove I could do something. I turned up, did my classes, did the work and took advice from my teachers… I definitely surprised myself that year!”

Caitlin completed year 11 with outstanding results. Her success gave her the motivation and drive to pursue her year 12 studies with increased vigour. Even better, she’d finally discovered her passion in legal studies classes. This gave her a clear direction for where she wanted to head after graduation.

“Hubbard’s is probably the perfect pathway to university,” Caitlin effuses, “We’ve had ‘O Week’ this week at uni’ and the most important message we are hearing from our lecturers has been time-management and self-responsibility.”

Thanks to Hubbard’s style of schooling, she feels very well prepared to manage her own time and take responsibility for her studies.

“The beauty of Hubbard’s is that while your teachers are there for you and they give you handouts and help and they can steer you in the right direction, the onus is on you to do the work. At the end of the day, you sit your exams yourself.  It’s up to you really to do what is in your capacity to get the mark you desire, whether it’s a pass or a HA.”

Flexible education is just one of the ways in which Hubbard’s School offers a different kind of learning. Unlike mainstream schools, Hubbard’s also has ongoing enrolment intakes. If you’re a parent of a student who isn’t benefiting from the traditional system, get in touch with us to find out more or to enrol.