Harristown State High School
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|Harristown State High School|
|341–367 South Street
|Principal||Mr Ken Green|
|Number of students||1500+|
|Color(s)||Brown and blue|
|Affiliation||Council of International Schools|
Harristown State High School is a public high school located in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. It was officially opened in 1955. The school currently has approximately 1500 students and is the largest on the Darling downs.
Harristown is the most successful sporting school on the Darling Downs, having won Darling Downs Sporting School of the Year eight out of the last ten years. It has been Queensland Champion of 9 sports over the past seven years and is traditionally strong in the sports of football, hockey, volleyball and rugby league.
The school has numerous high class sporting facilities including four fully equipped gymnasiums, cricket nets, heated pool, tennis courts and two expansive outdoor ovals, one of which is an A-grade cricket pitch.
Harristown became the first Queensland school to reach the national open Rugby League grand final in 1992, going down by only one point. Steven Price, a former Australian prop forward, was the captain of the 1992 Harristown team.
Harristown's Arts students are also highly recognised within their community. The school's Stage Band has been Toowoomba Eisteddfod Champion seven times in the last eight years whilst also making it to the finals of the Queensland Fanfare competition and achieving second in the Queensland Festival of Music. The school's Symphonic Wind Ensemble also has a good reputation and last year beat the Stage Band to become finalists at Fanfare. Both ensembles are seen regularly throughout Toowoomba performing at events such as the Toowoomba Show and the TYME festival.
Harristown participates in the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge every second year and has won the Queensland Grand Final Open Division every year for the last three years in which it has participated for "Pirates Ahoy", "Laughter is the Best Medicine" and "Wanted: Robin Hood" in 2003, 2005 and 2007 respectively. In 2009 Harristown came Third in the State Finals with "Venetian Vendetta". 2011 saw Harristown return to prominence with Harristown again winning the QLD grand final open division with "The Nutcracker".
Accelerated Academic Academy
2008 saw the beginning of the Accelerated Academic Academy. The process began with a group of year 8 students who were starting their second semester at Harristown. There were around 50 hopeful students vying for the opportunity to advance to the highest class in Yr 8 and out of these 50 only 28 were chosen. The intention of the Accelerated Academic Academy is to help students complete some university studies whilst in years 11 and 12. 2009 saw the second year of the Accelerated Academic Academy where 28 students were initially chosen for the journey to finish university early, and 2 joined at a later point. This program means that the students have to put in extra time before and after school to complete a modified course of study.
Industrial Skills Academy
This academy has recently been created by the school to provide opportunities for some students to gain an apprenticeship or certificate qualification before they leave school.
Indigenous Teacher Aides and the CEC
Harristown State High School has a significant community of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. A CEC (Community Education Counsellor) is employed to liaise with students, family and community elders. Indigenous Teacher Aides are also a great support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, assisting them in the class room as well as during breaks. NAIDOC week and various other special recognition days are held within the School. The CEC and Teacher Aides work together in organising and managing these events.
The SRC (Student Representative Council) at Harristown State High School includes students who are elected by their peers to provide leadership to the student body. Every year, they organise a number of school projects. This has included beautification of the school grounds by planting trees and painting buildings. In 2009, the year 11 SRC representatives set up a lunchtime radio station and the SRC entered the school in the Carnival of Flowers parade. In 2010 the Gold leaders and the S.R.C members put on a fundraiser for the A.E.I.O.U. foundation by having a dance marathon as the initiative for that year, this was the first year this marathon was conducted, it is expected to be run in the future.
The need for another high school in the Toowoomba area first became apparent when the other public high school, Toowoomba State High School was full. In 1953 land was acquired for another High School in the Harristown area with building projects beginning in 1954 with completion in 1955. Harristown State High School has a long history of academic and sporting excellence. The last missing-in-action Australian serviceman from the Vietnam War, Pilot Officer Robert Carver attended Harristown State High School in 1961, 1962 and 1963. In 2001, Harristown became the only school in the Darling Downs area to gain accreditation with the Council of International Schools.