Girraween High School

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Girraween High School
Girraween, New South Wales
Australia Australia
Coordinates 33°47′59″S 150°56′41″E / 33.79972°S 150.94472°E / -33.79972; 150.94472Coordinates: 33°47′59″S 150°56′41″E / 33.79972°S 150.94472°E / -33.79972; 150.94472
Type Selective, Public, Co-educational, Day school
Motto Latin: Mens Conscia Recti
(Mind aware of right)
Established 1976
Principal Leigh Crangle
Enrolment ~800 (7-12)[1]
Campus Suburban
Colour(s) Black, Gold & White

Girraween High School (colloquially known as Girra) is an academically selective, Public, co-educational high school, located in Girraween, in the Greater Western Suburbs of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Established in 1976 and operated by the New South Wales Department of Education, the school currently caters for approximately 780 students from Years 7 to 12.[1]


Girraween High School was first opened in 1976, with an enrolment of 300 students and 20 staff. Its first Principal was Colin Bowser and the Deputy Principal Harry Earp.

Shortly after the school's opening, an agricultural plot was established, staffed by a part-time farm hand. That same year, with the assistance of Science Teacher John Flygan, a camera club was formed. Given that the medium was not at that time part of the art curriculum, the darkrooms were installed within the Science Department. In 1980, the Camera Club's collaboration with students interested in journalism led to the publishing of the school's first yearbook.

In 1978, the school applied for a grant to build a number of buildings to represent a pioneer Australian town. Despite not receiving the funding, under the guidance of Industrial Arts teacher John Lawson, the school erected a colonial cottage that was relocated from Blacktown. The building was the first of several, including a railway station, and constituted what was to become "Davey Village". The structures were burnt down a decade later with the school maintaining the remains in what is now part of the expanded agriculture plot.

Through the years of 1977 to 1983, Gus the Goat served as the school's official mascot. On his passing in 1983, the school newspaper was dedicated to him, although now the newsletter is called Etcetera.

In 1989, Girraween High became a Selective school. Under principal Robert Cruikshank, specialist computer rooms and music studios were constructed, and a Sister school relationship with Hisai High school in Mie, Japan was forged.

At Presentation Day on 15 December 2008, former Premier Nathan Rees promised that a school hall would be added to the state's Capital Works program. In September 2009 a $400,000 grant was announced to extend the school gym and construct a stage.

In 2014, Girraween High School achieved exceptional results in the HSC Examinations and was subsequently placed 15th statewide amongst all public schools. In 2015, Girraween High School ranked 8th statewide.


Students take the Higher School Certificate (HSC). Since 2012, students do not take the School Certificate.


The subjects offered at Girraween High School depends on the student's year level.

Years 7 and 8[edit]

All subjects in Year 7 and 8 are mandatory, however, in Year 8 students are given the option of whether to study Italian or Japanese for the Languages Other than English (LOTE) course. As of 2018, Year 7 students no longer study LOTE, but still, pick a language in Year 8:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • History and Geography (one each semester)
  • Technology and Applied Studies (TAS) (students alternate between Woodwork, Metalwork, Textiles and Food Technology each term in Year 7, and between Engineering, Coding, Textiles and Food Technology in Year 8)
  • Music
  • Visual Arts
  • PDHPE (theoretical (Health) and practical (PE))
  • LOTE (choice of either French or Japanese for Year 8)

Years 9 and 10[edit]

Before beginning Year 9, students are given the opportunity to choose two elective courses which they will study over Year 9 and 10.

Mandatory courses[edit]

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • History
  • Geography

Elective courses[edit]

Students choose any two of the following courses:


  • Information and Software Technology (high performance allows you to do the STEM course as an elective)
  • Engineering (high performance can allow you to do the STEM course as an elective)
  • Food Technology


  • French
  • Japanese


  • Drama
  • Music
  • Visual Arts


  • Physical Activity and Sport Studies


  • Elective History
  • Commerce

Years 11 and 12[edit]

Course selection for the senior years is much more complex than in Years 9 and 10. The only mandatory course to be studied in the senior years is English Advanced.

Students in Year 11 are required to study at least 12 units while Year 12 are required to study at least ten units. Since English Advanced comprises two units and is mandatory for all students, senior students are required to study at least eight units worth of the following courses:

Course Unit value
Ancient History 2
Aboriginal Studies 2
Biology 2
Business Studies 2
Community and Family Studies 2
Chemistry 2
Design and Technology^ 2
Drama^ 2
Economics 2
English Extension 1 1
English Extension 2^ 1
Engineering Studies 2
Food Technology 2
General Mathematics 2
Geography 2
History Extension^ 1
Information Processes and Technology 2
Industrial Technologies - Multimedia^ 2
French Beginners 2
French Continuers 2
French Extension 1
Japanese Beginners 2
Japanese Continuers 2
Japanese Extension 1
Legal Studies 2
Mathematics 2
Mathematics Extension 1 1
Mathematics Extension 2 2
Modern History 2
Music 1^ 2
Music 2^ 2
Personal Development, Health and Physical Education 2
Physics 2
Society and Culture^ 2
Software Design and Development 2
Studies of Religion I 1
Visual Arts^ 2

^ denotes a subject where a major work must be completed


Students participate in a variety of extracurricular activities including the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, agriculture club, school newspaper, music and drama, chess, mock trial, Tournament of Minds, Inter-school Christian Fellowship, Students' Representative Council, semi-formal committee, jersey committee, various debating competitions, the Streamwatch water monitoring initiative, state drama, Youth Parliament, F1 in Schools, Volunteering and an advanced driving course. The school has also hosted an annual concert, MADD (Music, Art, Drama/Dance) at the Riverside Theatre in Parramatta until 2006. MADD is now staged in the newly redeveloped MPC.

Performing and creative arts[edit]

The school has produced The Boyfriend, followed in 1983 with Annie Get Your Gun, Cabaret, Little Shop of Horrors and Bye Bye Birdie in 2007, as well as a variety of smaller-scale performances by various drama classes throughout the years.

In 2005 the Ensembles Program was established by Mr Dane Ropa. This program included a concert band for more experienced players, run by Ms. Lyndall Hord; a training band for people who would like to learn to play an instrument, run by Daniel Capizzi and Morgan Biddle; an Intermediate band for those students in the middle, run by Belinda Smith; a stage/jazz band, a percussion ensemble and a number of rock bands.

MADD (Music, Arts, Dance and Drama) is an annual production of Girraween High School's Music Department. The concert followed the school's annual production which was originally known as the "Riverside Musicale" and was founded by Clive Lane (retired Deputy Principal of the Conservatorium High School) in 1995 as a showcase of musical talent at the school, and a performance opportunity for HSC performance students. MADD was a completely new take on this idea and included performances by all of the ensembles, auditioned soloists with the highlight being a number of combined concert band and massed choir items that involved more than 300 students. An art exhibition was also incorporated to showcase Yr 12 Body of Works.

Admissions and enrollment[edit]

Total enrolment - per year group - in junior years (7-10) is approximately 120 students, and around 140 in senior years (11-12). As a selective school, entry into the school in Year 7 is based upon results in a statewide examination known as the Selective High Schools Test. As of 2015, students must achieve a score of at least 235 in this examination to be accepted at the school. Entry into vacant places in later stages is based on a reserve list, an exam and at times other criteria - mainly reports and academic achievements from previous years.


School Sport Facilities[edit]

The school has a large gymnasium which contains one small basketball court or one volleyball court. The school also has two full-sized sporting fields, as well as two outdoor basketball courts with a shelter. There is also a room with a few gym equipment, such as plyo boxes and a rowing machine.

Quad School Tournament[edit]

Starting 2013, Penrith High School joined the sporting tournament previously known as the Tri-School Tournament between Baulkham Hills High School, James Ruse Agricultural High School and Girraween High School. In addition to basketball, soccer and touch football, Penrith hosted table tennis in 2013. Again, Baulkham Hills High School won the tournament. The competition returned in 2014, with Baulkham Hills hosting basketball, Girraween hosting touch football, James Ruse hosting soccer and Penrith hosting volleyball. Again, Baulkham Hills High School won the tournament. In 2015, 2016, and 2017, the Quad School Tournament champions were Baulkham Hills High School.

Sport Houses[edit]

Girraween High School has four houses named after famous sporting personalities:

  • Blue- Fraser(Dawn Fraser- Swimmer)
  • Green- Chappell(Greg Chappell- Cricketer)
  • Yellow- McKay(Matt McKay- Footballer)
  • Red- Newcombe(John Newcombe- Tennis Player)

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Girraween High School". School Locator. NSW Public Schools. Retrieved 2008-02-21.
  2. ^ Sydney Morning Herald of 31 October 2013

External links[edit]