Smith's Hill High School

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Smith's Hill High School
Smith's Hill High School Emblem
Promoting Excellence in a spirit of Trust and Co-operation
Location
Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
Coordinates 34°25′07″S 150°53′45″E / 34.41861°S 150.89583°E / -34.41861; 150.89583Coordinates: 34°25′07″S 150°53′45″E / 34.41861°S 150.89583°E / -34.41861; 150.89583
Information
Type Selective, Public, Co-educational, Day school
Established 1916
Principal David Deitz
Enrolment ≅760 (7-12)[1]
Colour(s) Navy Blue & White          
Website

Smith's Hill High School is the only academically selective school in Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. To gain entry into the school, student's must obtain marks which place them in the top 120 Year 6 students applicants; in a state-set examination for entry into all Academically Selective High Schools in NSW. The successful students will then be offered a place to commence their time at the school in the following academic year. Those who are unsuccessful in the examination have the opportunity to re-sit a similar test each year (7-10) which ranks them on a waiting list, to enrol when a position becomes available. For Year 11, the school admits an additional 20 students, to complete Years 11 & 12 at the school, joining the 120 existing students in each cohort.

History[edit]

In 1906, Wollongong Primary School began to offer primary vocational education courses for non-academic students. This included courses such as Household Accounts, Cookery, Laundry and Dressmaking. Five years later, in 1911, secondary courses were offered to academic students which allowed students to achieve the Intermediate Certificate and with further study, the Leaving Certificate.[2]

A separate school for these courses was then established in 1916 under the name Wollongong Home Science School. This school was a single-sex education school for girls only and was based on a site in Smith Street, Wollongong. In 1957, the school relocated to its current location on the former site of Wollongong High School in Keira Street and then in 1958, was renamed to Smith's Hill Girls High School. The school then allowed non-academic students to achieve the Intermediate and Leaving Certificates.[2]

During the 1970s, plans were underway to change the school into a comprehensive, co-educational High School and in 1979 the school was renamed Smith's Hill High School. In 1985, boys were enrolled in Years 7, 8, 9 and 11 drawing from feeder schools at Wollongong, Coniston and Mount St Thomas. By 1986, SHHS was completely co-educational from Years 7 through 12.[2]

Then in 1988, the Department of Education decided to make the school a selective high school and from 1989 the annual Year Seven intake of students was to be filled through exam selections. The school has remained completely selective ever since.[2]

Higher School Certificate[edit]

Students of Smith's Hill High School have consistently performed well in the Higher School Certificate examinations, with the school placing 38th in the state in 2010[3] and having fifteen students make the All-round Achievers List.[4] As a result of strong HSC performances, a high percentage of students from Smith's Hill High gain University entrance each year. This tradition of success has been in the school for many years.[citation needed]

Smith's Hill offers a diverse range of subjects for both seniors and juniors in a number of key learning areas. For senior subjects which are unable to be offered due to lack of numbers, students are assisted to complete these subjects through distance education, in association with an appropriate distance education school.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Rock Eisteddfod Challenge[edit]

Each year, Smith's Hill High School participates in the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge. The school has been in the Grand Final every year since 2004 and was a regular Grand Final contender in years previous. Due to the preparation time required, and the high level of physical activity involved, the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge performance is worked on during weekly sport activities. Smith's Hill High School participates in two divisions of Rock Eisteddfod Challenge, the RAW Division for Years 8 through 10, and the Premier Division for Years 11 and 12. Unlike other schools, students are not required to audition and positions are filled with preference given to students based on their grade. Also, Smith's Hill is one of the few schools that offer Year 7 students an opportunity to compete. There are a number of teachers involved in Smith's Hill who are also part of the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge.

In 2006, the Premier Division team performed "Tibet: Roof of the World". The storyline included "Tibetan monks paying their last respects to the previous Dalai Lama, as well as the 1949 Chinese invasion and the exile of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.".[5] After this performance, the team were granted a private audience with the Dalai Lama who asked the students to "continue to spread his message of peace, spirituality and protection of the environment to others throughout the state."[6]

Tournament of Minds[edit]

Smith's Hill regularly submits a team to participate in the Tournament of Minds competition. The school has had several successes in the competition with the 1998 team being state finalists, the 2002 and 2003 teams being national finalists and the 2005 team winning the national final[citation needed]. In 2008, for the first time two teams were entered in the competition which resulted in the Social Sciences team placing second in New South Wales and the Language Literature team gaining second place at the Australasian Finals in Melbourne. In 2010, the Applied Technology team succeeded in becoming national finalists and in 2012 the Maths and Engineering team scored tournament honours in the Australasian Finals in Perth.[citation needed]. In 2013, the Language Literature team again placed second at the Australasian Finals in Canberra[citation needed].

School Productions[edit]

Smith's Hill High School has a history in performing school productions such as musicals and plays. In 2001, Smith's Hill High School produced its first musical in recent history, performing Little Shop of Horrors. Since then, school productions have been staged regularly including performances of Oklahoma! and compilations of various other musicals.

In 2006, the production team of Ribbit Up Productions was formed by drama teacher Bryan Cutler and has since performed at least one original show per year including "The Little Country That Could", "How to Host a Murder", "The Big Box" and "Overbelly". A junior offshoot of the company was formed soon after known as Tadpole Productions which has performed shows such as "Earth Watch", "Noughts and Crosses","When Books Go Bump In The Night" and, most recently "Personal Space". In 2011, the company differed from its annual performance of an original play and instead performed an adaptation of Hamlet. In 2012 they performed "The Magic Mountain", and in 2013 "Macguffin". Returning again to Shakespeare in 2014, "Whatever you Will", a pastiche of Shakespeare's comedies, was performed.

Due to the cancellation of Rock Eisteddfod Challenge in 2010, the Smith's Hill music department offered the opportunity to students to participate in a production of the musical The Pajama Game. Performed in July 2010, the production placed second in the Arcadian Theatre Group's School Musical Theatre competition which involved judging of school musicals in the Illawarra. In 2013, the music department produced another musical, this time performing "Anything Goes".

Mooting[edit]

Since 2008 Smith's Hill High School has entered into the High School Mooting Competition of Bond University to promote and encourage Legal Studies students within the school. The school has achieved much success in the competition achieving second at the National Finals in 2009[citation needed] and reaching the National Finals in 2011.[7]

Debating[edit]

Smiths Hill High Schol has reached the NSW semi-finals for the Premier's Debating Challenge since 2007, winning the competition on four of those five occasions, most recently in 2011.[8]

The representative NSW Combined High Schools debating team has also included Smith's Hill students over the last several years.

Ensembles[edit]

Smith’s Hill also has a variety of music groups and ensembles. Each practice regularly and perform at special events, such as formal assemblies and open days including the School Expo, Presentation Nights and the 50th Birthday Open Day. At the end of the year, participating students get the opportunity to spend two days busking in Sydney. The music ensembles include:

The String Ensemble[edit]

This ensemble is for students who play violin, viola, double bass and cello, accompanied by a piano player. The ensemble usually plays arrangements of the classical genre, and is instructed by a professional tutor.

Recently many folk, recent and more up-beat popular tunes have been played, such as compositions by Coldplay and Lady Gaga. It is available for anyone in the school who plays one of the instruments at a solid level.

The String Ensemble has played at eisteddfods, weddings and a number of other functions across the Illawarra.

The Vocal Ensemble[edit]

The Vocal Ensemble is for any student who has an interest in singing. Open to all students of sc is willing to participate in practices after school. This ensemble is great fun and all students learn about harmony and create beautiful harmony with each other.

The Chorale Group[edit]

The Chorale Group is a cappella group and entrance is by invitation only.

The Junior Jazz Ensemble[edit]

This ensemble is for students in Years 7 to 10 who have an interest in Jazz and can play an instrument suitable to the Jazz genre.

Stage Band[edit]

The Stage Band is a small performance group made up of experienced student musicians, and is designed to play at school events where it would be less practical for the Concert Band to perform.

Concert Band[edit]

This band is for students who can play brass or woodwind instruments, as well as percussion and instruments in the rhythm section.[clarification needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Smiths Hill High School". School Locator. NSW Public Schools. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  2. ^ a b c d "About Page". Smith's Hill High School. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  3. ^ "HSC Top 200 School Rankings". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  4. ^ "All-round Achievers List". NSW Board of Studies. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "Tibet Features in 2006 Rock Eisteddfod Challenge". Australian Tibet Council. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "2007 Annual Report". Smith's Hill High School. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  7. ^ "Seymour College triumphs again over High School Mooting elite". Bond University. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  8. ^ "Years 11&12 Debating Challenge". 

External links[edit]