Ku-ring-gai Creative Arts High School

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Ku-ring gai Creative Arts High School
Looking towards the school from the front lawns
Harmony in Diversity
Ku-ring-gai Creative Arts High School
Bobbin Head Rd,

North Turramurra, New South Wales, 2074
Australia Australia
Coordinates 33°41′31″S 151°09′11″E / 33.692°S 151.153°E / -33.692; 151.153Coordinates: 33°41′31″S 151°09′11″E / 33.692°S 151.153°E / -33.692; 151.153
Type Public, Selective Creative Arts, Secondary, Day school
Established 1965 (1965)
Founder Bill Eason
Principal Terri-Anne Kamasz [1]
Assistant principals John Gielis[1]
Grades 7-12
Enrolment ~600
Campus Main
Houses Churchill, Lincoln, Curie, Tagore
Colour(s)      Maroon      Navy      Green
Mascot Polar Bear
Alumni Catherine Jinks[2]

Ku-ring-gai Creative Arts High School (KCAHS) is a co-educational, state government high school, specialising in the creative arts. It is situated in North Turramurra, on the Upper North Shore of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, beside the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

Students are selected for the creative arts stream based on portfolio, interview and academic history. The school accepts those who "demonstrate outstanding ability and commitment in the creative arts in either dance, music, drama and/or visual arts ",[3] as well as those in the direct catchment zone.


Ku-ring-gai Creative Arts High School is registered and accredited with the New South Wales Board of Studies, and therefore follows the mandated curriculum for all years. In addition to the usual academic subjects, the school offers drama, dance, music and visual art classes, and vocational education opportunities in the areas of entertainment, photography, performance, ceramics, and visual design. The school also has electives in other areas such as Spanish, Computing and Wood Work[4]

The school provides extensive opportunities for students to experience the myriad activities that comprise the art world. In addition, programs focus on developing skills in technique/ art making and enhance creative thinking and conceptual development. Ku-ring-gai is the only school in the state to have a NOVA program (NOVA taken from the word Innovate). This course allows students to apply new ideas and concepts in subjects which are not regularly taught in most other schools. It focuses on allowing the students to study practical aspects of an elected course, many of which are based on the Creative Arts.[4]

School catchment area and student selection[edit]

As a New South Wales public high school, KCAHS has to accept all students living in its catchment area. The catchment covers locations in Ku-ring-gai and Hornsby councils, including Dangar Island.[5]
The school also accepts, if there's space, those who "demonstrate outstanding ability and commitment in the creative arts in either dance, music, drama and/or visual arts ",[3] as well as their siblings. Students who apply for enrolment under this criterion are required to provide a portfolio demonstrating this ability.[3]
The school has also begun taking a large number of international and exchange students and is part of the International Students Program of the NSW Department of Education.[6]

Campus and Facilities[edit]

The school features one of the last remaining bini domes (dome shaped hall)[7] called the "Margret Preston Hall" and is one of the few public schools in NSW with a full sized hockey field.

School history[edit]

The school opened its doors in February 1965 with its first group of year 7 students. KHS was the first of a second wave of new co-educational high schools built in the Sydney suburbs.

The school's first headmaster was Bill Eason, who promoted ideas of internationalism and peace, and later went on to found the Australian Independent School at North Ryde. During his time as headmaster, the school featured a large aviary in the front of the grounds. Bill Eason promoted an international outlook at the high school as well his other love: poetry. Students were exposed to many different types of poetry in his poetry classes and in general English classes. The first groups of students learned one of the poems of Rabindranath Tagore, "Mind Without Fear", from Gitanjali. The four houses, which are still part of the school today, and the names of the four original classroom buildings were set in 1965 - Churchill, Curie, Tagore, and Lincoln. Bill Eason selected these notable historical figures for their contributions in world leadership, science, poetry, and humanitarianism. The school colours were originally brown and gold.

Ku-ring-gai was a local high school until 1996 when Mrs B. Peatie became the headmistress and requested permission from the Department of Education to become selective in creative arts. This request was granted, and at that time there were only a few hundred students. Since then, there has been an increase in students at Ku-ring-gai, with numbers at one point rising to 900.


The faculties in the school include:

Creative Arts[edit]

Creative arts groups[edit]

The school has the following official performance groups:

  • The Ku-ring-gai Singers (choir)
  • Senior Vocal Ensemble
  • Wind Ensemble
  • Junior Jazz Band
  • Senior Jazz Ensemble
  • Drama Ensemble
  • Dance Ensemble

In 2009 and 2010, members of the school choir as well as a number of dancers were selected to perform at the Arts Unit's Schools Spectacular[8] and several of the school's singers were back-up vocals in the 2010 performance.[9] The school's singers, instrumentalists, and dancers frequently participate in Arts Unit events, eisteddfods, and external performances.


The school regularly hold musicals, usually biennially:

Annual Creative Arts Tour[edit]

The school's Creative Arts groups go on an annual tour at the end of each year. These usually occur during the last week of term four.

There was no tour in 2011 as the school was saving to send students to the Rhapsody Rotorua music festival in Rotorua, New Zealand in June, 2012.

Student Representative Council[edit]

The school is fortunate to have an outstanding Student Representative Council and a team of teachers supporting it. The Student Representative Council organise charity days, fundraisers and talent nights and are also the voice for the greater student body. The School Captains and Prefects are the leaders of the SRC and are elected by the staff and the senior school. These school leaders have a range of areas of responsibilities including leadership, the environment, school promotion, charity fundraising and promotion of academic studies. The Student Representative Council have completed many projects around the school including:

  • In 2010 the Student Representative Council entered the 'Enviro-Inspiro' government initiative where they received a Highly Commended for their work on a vegetable garden led by Project Manager and 2011 School Captain Jackson Redshaw
  • In 2010 the Student Representative Council entered the 702 Radio Competition and won a private music lesson with 'James Valentine'
  • In 2013 the Student Representative Council revived the school's Shoot It film competition which was judged by a team of industry professionals.[12]

The Student Representative Council follows a stringent constitution outlining the behaviour and attitude expected of all members of the Student Representative Council

Media, News & Events[edit]

  • The school planned to implement a biometric student attendance system in late March, 2008. The system required students to provide fingerprint data (which was checked against a school controlled biometric database) in order to confirm their attendance each morning. However due to concerns raised by members of the school community in regards to privacy issues, the implementation of the system was postponed indefinitely. The system raised concerns that the sensitive data might intrude on student privacy. As a result, the system was discontinued.(As summarised from,[13] and[14])
  • On 8 April 2008, there was a bomb threat phoned in to the school around midday. All students and staff were evacuated to the back oval and remained there until half past one in the afternoon, when it was declared safe to return to class. No explosives were found.
  • In 2013 School Captain Mikaylie, School Vice Captain Sarah and 2014 School Vice-Captain Eloise won NAB[disambiguation needed]'s Schools First Grant competition. They won a $5000 grant for the school to implement a landmark positive psychology program alongside local community organisations. The organisations included Bite Back.[15]

Notable Alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b http://www.kcahs.nsw.edu.au/our-school/our-teachers
  2. ^ a b http://www.kcahs.nsw.edu.au/our-school/our-facilities KCAHS Website, Facilities
  3. ^ a b c http://www.kcahs.nsw.edu.au/our-school/enrolment-and-fees School Website Enrolment Page
  4. ^ a b curriculum section
  5. ^ http://www.kcahs.nsw.edu.au/images/stories/our_school/in_area_street_list.xls List of in Catchment Streets (school website)
  6. ^ http://www.detinternational.nsw.edu.au/schools/locator/sv/?section=school.show&code=8416
  7. ^ http://www.binisystems.com/nswcover.html
  8. ^ http://www.schoolsspectacular.com.au/2009/index.php?page=participating-choir Schools Spectacular Website, Massed Choir schools
  9. ^ http://www.schoolsspectacular.com.au/2009/index.php?page=featured Schools Spectacular Website, Featured Artists Schools
  10. ^ http://www.kcahs.nsw.edu.au/~kcahs/images/stories/PDFs/newsletters/2010news_mar.pdf Ku-ring-gai Creative Arts High School Newsletter March 2010, pg 4
  11. ^ http://www.kcahs.nsw.edu.au/images/stories/PDFs/newsletters/2012news_june.pdf Ku-ring-gai Creative Arts High School Newsletter June 2012
  12. ^ http://www.kcahs.nsw.edu.au/our-news-and-events/114-shoot-it-comp-winners
  13. ^ Sydney Morning Herald, 3 April 2008
  14. ^ The Daily Telegraph, News Limited, 3 April 2008
  15. ^ http://www.biteback.org.au/blogs/bite-back-team-blog/students-passionate-to-make-a-difference-in-their-school/ Students Passionate to Make a Difference in Their School

External links[edit]