The University High School is constantly evolving, valuing rich traditions of the past whist embracing the challenges of the future. A dynamic school community, active partnerships between staff, students, parents and the broader community enhance student learning and opportunities. The school focuses on developing individual worth and achievement, the comprehensive wellbeing of the whole person and the pursuit of excellence.
The University High School first opened in 1910 as a select entry school for Years 9-12. Today the school caters for 1,450 students from Years 7-12, most of who reside in the local area. A proportion of students come from further afield to participate in specialised programs including music, the sciences and gifted education. The school population is broad and students come from a range of socio-economic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. In recognition of this, the University High School has genuine commitment to nurturing this diversity whilst creating equity of opportunity.
The school’s values have been developed over many years and they are the foundation for the decision-making within the school:
Individuality: A focus on individuality, self-worth, achievement and the comprehensive wellbeing of the whole person.
Diversity: Valuing a range of people in the community and building a wide range of partnerships that broaden and enrich the skills and knowledge of all students.
Excellence: The pursuit of excellence in both teaching and learning, fostered through supportive programs and well-defined practices to enhance student learning.
Students are expected to engage with all aspects of the formal curriculum and recognition is given to both outstanding achievement and to positive participation. The co-curricular program caters for a wide range of student interests and abilities and student participation at all levels is fostered. Student voice is embraced within the school and leadership at all levels is fostered through both formal and informal positions of responsibility.
The school’s curriculum encompasses the breadth of Domain learning areas with students undertaking a wide choice of subjects. A focus on breadth of experience permeates Years 7-9 whist individualism and choice are the core at the senior level. Year 9 students participate in The Galileo Program, an enquiry-based program that encourages the development of life-long learning skills through a rich inquiry and community-based curriculum for one term of the year. Year 8 students participate in a Renaissance Program with the principles of ethical, creative and critical thinking at its core. Strong community links are an essential part of all of the programs that exist within the school.
The school provides opportunities for all students to achieve success in a variety of ways:
Gifted students: The Select Entry Accelerated Learning program operates across the full breadth of the curriculum in years 7-9. Elizabeth Blackburn Sciences is a specialist program within the school, which offers opportunities to gifted Science and Mathematics students at VCE level. This program operates in partnership with The University of Melbourne, Bio 21 and other medical/science/research facilities within the local area.
Music: The Music program has a long history at the school and all students are encouraged to participate in the instrumental music program. Some 450 students currently receive instrumental tuition and perform in one or more of the schools 22 orchestras, bands, ensembles and choirs.
At the University High School student management and pastoral care is structured within a vertical sub-school framework. Students belong to one of four sub-schools. The four sub-schools are named after prominent alumni: Coleman, Gulam, Johnston and Triggs. A Leading Teacher is Head of each Middle Sub-School, with a team of coordinators allocated in each Sub-School. At the end of Year 10, students continue into the Senior School supported by Sub-School Coordinators with their development. The wellbeing and student management work undertaken by the sub-school teams is complemented by the efforts of a large network of other staff members including the school’s two Student Counsellors, Coordinator of Student Pathways, Literacy and Numeracy team, and Education Support staff members.