Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is Thornbury High School’s current performance at VCE?
A. The school median study score for 2019 was 31 for the first time in the school’s history. Well over 90% of students received their first, second or third university or TAFE preference.
Q. How do you challenge students of all abilities?
A. In mainstream classes teachers provide work and Compulsory Assessment Tasks (CATs) which cater for different abilities. In addition we also have a separate program (Concept) for high achievers in Years 7 to 9. In Year 10 there are acceleration opportunities across a wide range of VCE subjects.
Q. What is the Concept Program and how can students apply?
A. Concept is the high achievers program for students in Years 7 to 9, extending students in specific areas around a mainstream curriculum. The Concept program is designed to develop understanding and capacity in all core academic areas whilst focusing on relationships, health, community, sustainability and ICT.
Q. What languages does the school offer?
A. The school will offer Italian, Mandarin and Greek in 2021 and we are trialling an Italian immersion program at Year 9. Italian is the school’s major language with the majority of students choosing this subject and a large number of local primary schools teaching this language.
Q. What new facilities is the school planning for the future?
A. In 2020, the school’s population is close to 1100. The school has a Masterplan which includes the newly completed Performing Arts and Sports Centre. The school is now seeking funding for stage 2, an innovative Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) centre and other revitalised learning areas.
Q. What is the gender ratio?
A. The girl/boy ratio in several year levels at Thornbury High is now 50/50 with the trend over the last few years showing an increase in female enrolments. We try to ensure that there is an even number of girls and boys in all classes. We offer a full range of core and elective subjects which both girls and boys can both enjoy and excel in. Thornbury High School also has a staff Respectful Relationships Committee whose aim is to ensure equal opportunities for all genders across the school.
Q. What extracurricular activities are available at Thornbury High School?
A. There are a large range of opportunities for students within a variety of areas. Some examples include:
Music – Year 7 Band, Junior Concert Band, Senior Stage Band, Funk Soul Citizen, String Ensemble,.
Sport – Boys and Girls Soccer Academy, Girls Football Academy.
Performing Arts - School productions, CREATE week.
Student Leadership – School Captains, Student Representative Council, Year 7/8 Class captain,
Chess club, “Green Team” and Debating team.
Our House system allows students to gain points for their houses by participating in these opportunities throughout the school year.
Q. What is different about the Thornbury High School music program?
A. The school has a very strong and successful music program, giving students a unique opportunity. In 2017 for the first time all students in Year 7 had the opportunity to learn a musical instrument at no cost, an initiative of the Music Department supported by the Music Parents Committee. This initiative has since expanded to include all Year 8 students.
Q. What opportunities are available in sport?
A. The school has an extensive sports program and opportunities for students to be physically active. Over the past thirteen years the school has won the zone athletics competition on ten occasions, 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 at Years 7 to 10 which is aligned with Melbourne Victory.
Q. Does Thornbury High School run camps?
A. The school conducts camps at Years 7, 9 and 11 for all students with additional offerings including subject-based camps, national trips to Central Australia and Cairns and international tours to China, Italy, Vietnam and the U.S.A. (NASA).
Q. What is the school’s approach to homework?
A. 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.
Q. How do you cater for students with special learning needs?
A. Students receive additional teacher support through our various literacy, numeracy, wellbeing and integration programs.
Q. How does the school deal with bullying?
A. All cases of bullying are taken very seriously with the bully usually suspended and subsequent counselling and mediation provided. The victim is also supported through this process and the relevant support structures are put in place. In addition, The school also has its annual student bullying survey and anti-bullying program running at Year 7 to develop expectations of all students.
Q. How does the school keep the parents informed about student progress?
A. There is an interim report and parent-teacher interviews half way through each semester and a detailed report at the end of each semester. In addition, ongoing Compulsory Assessment Tasks (CATs) results can be seen via Compass learning tasks. Parents also have access to all teachers throughout the school year via Compass and email.
Q. What is Compass?
A. Compass School Manager is the school's online organisational tool, to help parents interact with the school. Using Compass parents are able to access a student timetable, events, learning tasks and school reports. Also parents can book Parent/Teacher Interviews, approve upcoming absences and pay school and excursions fees.
Q. What approach does the school have to pastoral care?
A. All teachers have a responsibility in caring for and supporting the students in their classes. Thornbury High School has Leading Teachers overseeing each year level with two additional coordinators to support the students. Also, the Student Wellbeing Coordinator, based in the wellbeing centre, leads a team giving specific support, along with a Career counsellor based in the Senior Centre.
Q. What are your ICT facilities and programs at Thornbury High School?
A. Students have access to ICT based learning activities throughout the school day via computer rooms and mobile laptop trolleys. Our 'bring your own device' (BYOD) program runs at Year 9 and 10 and students in Year 11 and 12 can continue bringing a device and connecting to the school network. The use of a tablet continues in 2021 for Concept students in Years 7 & 8.
Q. How much are school fees/voluntary charges?
A. Books and uniform cost approximately $600 plus $325 for essential levies in Year 7. Fees vary across year levels depending on electives students choose to enrol in. Music, camps and excursions are additional costs.