Frequently Asked Questions by parents visiting Thornbury High School.
Q: What are your VCE results like?
The school median study score over the past three years has averaged 29, which is above like schools. In 2016, study scores above 40 were at their highest ever, at 4.7%. All students doing VCE satisfactorily completed their course, and all Year 12 students received an offer to University, TAFE, or the pathway of their choice.
Q: How do you challenge students of all abilities?
In mainstream classes, teachers provide work/assignments which cater for different abilities, but we also have a separate program (the Concept Program) for high achievers in Years 7 and 8. There is also a high achievers Maths and Science class at Year 9, and acceleration opportunities across a range of VCE subjects in Year 10.
Q: How do you cater for students with special learning needs?
Students receive additional teacher support through our various literacy, numeracy, wellbeing, and integration programs.
Q: What languages does the school offer?
The school offers Italian, Greek and Mandarin.
Q: What's the school's approach to homework?
Years 7 to 9 currently have a homework timetable which indicates the subjects students have for homework each night of the week. The school’s approach is to make it regular and relevant, increasing as students approach VCE. There is also a Homework Club after school.
Q: How does the school deal with bullying?
All cases of bullying are taken seriously, with the bully usually suspended and counselled. The victim is also given support, and there is an annual bullying survey. At recess and lunchtime, teachers carefully supervise student behaviour. Most importantly, students support and have direct input into strategies and policy changes.
Q: How does the school deal with drugs?
Our policy is to expel any student caught selling, and to suspend and counsel students who use drugs. Drug education is taught in Years 7-10 Health classes.
Q: What approach does the school have to pastoral care?
All teachers have a role to play, but at Year 7 there is a teacher who plays a welfare/pastoral role with each child. The school has a Student Wellbeing Coordinator, Social and Youth Workers and Career counsellors.
Q: What extra curricular activities are available?
Music, sport, debating, leadership roles, drama (including school productions), dance, aerobics, chess and coaching.
Q: What about girls?
Over the last two years, the girl/boy ratio in Year 7 has been 50/50. We try to ensure that there is an even number of girls and boys in all classes. We offer a range of subjects which girls enjoy, such as science, music, drama, dance, art, sport and multimedia, as well as the traditional subjects. The school has a safe and secure learning environment where students from a range of backgrounds excel in their learning.
Q: Do you have a Music Program?
Q: What opportunities are available in sport?
The school has an extensive sports program and facilities (gym, tennis, basketball courts, soccer and football fields). Over the past eleven years, the school, on eight occasions, has won the zone athletics competition, and students are also successful in a range of interschool sports. There are also many opportunities for students to be involved in coaching. The school conducts a football (soccer) academy for Years 7 to 10.
Q: What are you ICT facilities like?
Students have access to computer rooms throughout the school, and additional desktop computers are available for use in the school library. All key areas in the school have a mobile laptop trolley. The Language faculty have their own set of iPads utilising apps to further develop skills and knowledge. The Chromebook program commences at Year 9. Each year 9 student has their own Chromebook to use in all classes. Years 11 and 12 students can bring their own devices and connect to the school network. The iPad trial continues into 2017 for the Concept students in Years 7 and 8.
Q: How big are you class sizes?
The average class size at Years 7 and 8 ranges from 22 to 25 students. At Years 9-12, class sizes vary from 10 to 25 students.
Q: How much are school fees/voluntary charges?
Books and uniform cost approximately $600, plus $210 for essential charges covering school planner, newsletters and other school notices, reports, awards, locker service, and computer services (including, but not limited to, Compass and Pat testing, Languages Online and Manga High). Music, camps and excursions are additional costs.
Q: What new facilities is the school planning for the future?
In 2017, the school’s population will be close to 1100. The school is developing a new Masterplan to include a double Gym, a Performing Arts Centre, an innovative Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Centre, and other revitalised learning areas.
Q: What is Compass?
We have Compass School Manager as our Parent Portal to help parent interaction with the school. Using the Compass Parent Portal, you will be able to access all reports, book your Parent/Teacher Interviews, view up-to-date class and school attendance information, view your child’s timetable, approve or enter upcoming or past absences for your child, and pay for school fees and excursions. To learn more about using Compass, click here.
Q: How does the school keep parents updated about student progress?
There is an interim report and parent-teacher interviews half way through each semester, and a detailed semester report. All reports are made available online through Compass. Parents also have access to all teachers via email or Compass.
Q: How does the school deal with student discipline?
The main focus is on rewarding and acknowledging students for cooperative behaviour. The school has a set of five classroom rules and a set of consequences which are outlined in the student planner. The school’s mantra is all students have the right to learn and all teachers have the right to teach.
Q: What about school camps?
The school conducts camps at Years 7, 9 and 11 for all students, with additional offerings including subject-based camps, a biannual Performing Arts Cultural Tour, and overseas trips to China, America, NASA, and Europe.
To browse the school’s curriculum programs, policies, and priorities, click here.