Merewether High School
|Merewether High School|
|Broadmeadow, New South Wales, Australia|
|Type||Selective, Public, Co-educational, Day school|
|Enrolment||c. 1,080 (7–12)|
|Colour(s)||Navy BlueSky Blue|
Merewether High School is a co-educational, academically selective high school for students from Years 7-12. Located in the suburb of Broadmeadow in the city of Newcastle, New South Wales, it is the only academically selective school in the Lower Hunter Region.
Since 1989 enrolment is determined by an academic selection process. The school has approximately 1,000 students with a planned capacity of 1,080 students (180 from each year from 7–12). It first reached its enrolment capacity across all years in 2005.
Merewether is named after Edward Christopher Merewether, who began his working life in Australia as aide-de-camp to three Governors of New South Wales between 1842 and 1861. He was appointed Superintendent of the AA Company in Newcastle in 1861 and became a significant landowner and local benefactor. The school's E.C. Merewether Award for Creative Endeavour and the shield, which adorns the school's front foyer, were inaugurated in honour of Merewether.
From 1952 until 1976, the site, enclosed by School Street, Awaba Street, Chatham Street, Pokolbin Street and Melville Road, was occupied by Newcastle Technical High School. The school included an industrial arts block (now the covered outdoor learning area (COLA)), K Block (the library), two bike sheds (since removed) and a canteen (since pulled down and a new canteen built in its place). L block was added in the 1960s.
The school merged with Cooks Hill Girls High School in 1976 to form a comprehensive co-educational high school, which drew students from the suburbs of Carrington, Wickham, Hamilton and Merewether. A building programme commenced just before the merger, with new blocks (A–D) being constructed, and blocks F–G being added later.. The final principals of both schools are memorialised in the naming of the Bensley Hall and the Foley Library on the present campus.
In 1989, the school became a selective high school.
Many buildings sustained severe damage in the 1989 earthquake, but were repaired thereafter. Another more recent event that affected the school was the floods of June 2007, which toppled trees and required the replacement of carpets in some blocks' lower floors (e.g. K block, The Library).
The college follows the mandated statewide curriculum developed by the New South Wales Board of Studies. Students in Years 7 to 10 undertake studies in mathematics, English, science, history, geography, music, film studies, visual arts, dance, Technological & Applied Studies (metalwork, woodwork and Home Economics), languages, and Personal Development, Health and Physical Education.
Year 11 and 12 students work towards the Higher School Certificate, in which they achieve some of the best results in the region. Students may opt for units developed by the Open High School as correspondence courses.
Selective High School
As an academically selective high school, Merewether High School takes enrolments through a statewide process. In the final year of primary school, students are assessed and enrolled by the school on the basis of their achievement across the curriculum and on the Selective Schools Placement Test. After the beginning of Year 7, students are placed into the selective classes by the college on a student-by-student basis.
Merewether offers many extracurricular clubs and activities to its students, many of them musical ensembles, including: string ensemble, orchestra, jazz band, concert band and guitar ensemble facilitated by the honourable Mr Brian Saxby BMus. Other activities include a chess club and the robotics club.
Merewether High School has participated in Odyssey of the Mind since at least 1992 and have had many successes in this pursuit, including a team of year 9 students winning the Ranatra Fusca Creativity Award in 2008., it also had three teams in the recent F1 in Schools initiative who competed at state-level in 2008.
There are also various sporting teams including: cricket, soccer, basketball (The Weathers), rugby union (Merewether Moos), rugby league, Australian rules football, hockey, netball, volleyball, rowing, aerobics team, softball and baseball.
Elected student representatives
The school SRC (Student Representative Council) consists of six students from each year, elected by their peers. In Year 7 one student from each class is elected; in the remaining grades, six students from each year are elected, regardless of class. The SRC nomination process begins in term 2, so members terms are across two years.
The Prefect Body is also elected by the students, of which four are chosen to be the captains of the school.
- Tim Ambrose, wicketkeeper for the England cricket team
- Dr. Chris Brown, veterinarian
- Gordon Hamilton, director of the The Australian Voices
- Jodi McKay, Newcastle Member of Parliament, New South Wales
- Justin Norris, Australian butterfly and individual medley swimmer, bronze medal in the 200m butterfly at the 2000 Sydney Olympics
- Anna Rose, Environmental activist
- "Principal's Report". October 2011 Bulletin. Merewether High School. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
- "Merewether High School". School Locator. NSW Public Schools. Retrieved 21 February 2008.
- Branley, Alison (14 March 2009). "Entry easier at Merewether selective school". Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "Selective High Schools and Opportunity Classes - Some Facts". Retrieved 26 May 2011.
- "Selective High Schools Years 8-12 Placement". Retrieved 26 May 2011.
- "Odyssey Of the mind". Archives of the NSW Legislative Council. 6 May 1992. Retrieved 14 March 2008.
- Swimming at the 2000 Summer Olympics