High School in Australia

[Please realise this outline is only a very brief “snap shot”. You can do a Google search or follow the web addresses below, if you want to find out more about Australian high schools.]

About 70% of Australian students attend public high schools, while 30% are enrolled in private high schools. What’s the difference? One difference is that private schools are usually based on religions including Catholic, Anglican and Muslim. Another big difference is funding. Private high schools obtain large amounts of money from student fees, as well as government funds and other donations. Public high schools are funded essentially by the government and receive almost no other funding. In general, most private schools can afford to offer more services and facilities than public  schools. However, there are many very good public schools. One advantage – public high schools wear much more casual uniforms than private schools. Since Australian summer is pretty hot, casual dress is quite a big advantage! High schools these days are sometimes called colleges or secondary  colleges. Australian students usually finish primary school after 7 years and then start high school in year 8. At high school, students usually finish after year 12. What subjects do they study? Well, the Australian high school curriculum is divided into 8 main “Learning Areas”. They are 1. English,  2. Mathematics, 3. Science,   4. Society and Environment,   5. Technology,   6. Health and Physical Education,   7. the Arts,   and 8. Languages. These learning areas must be taught at all high schools.  However, all high schools also include many elective subjects including foreign languages; music and hospitality. At the end of year 12, students take very difficult “final” examinations to complete their high school studies. It is possible to study many subjects at high school, but students usually take only 5 subjects in their final exams. Students must take these exams if they want to go to university. Vocabulary: public; private; funding; donations; secondary; curriculum; elective; hospitality

Atwell College

Atwell College is a new public (government-funded) high school. Japanese language is taught here.  http://www.atwellcollege.wa.edu.au/

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Atwell College is a new public high school. As well as the usual subjects, Japanese language is also taught here. http://www.atwellcollege.wa.edu.au/

Atwell College 2

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Atwell College buildings look a bit different from traditional high schools.

Atwell College 3

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Since Atwell College is very near to my home, I usually walk my dog around it’s playing fields. Sport is a big feature of this high school.


Emmanuel 1

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Emmanuel College

Emmanuel College Is a private high school in the area where I live. The Catholic religion is a strong focus of the College. http://web.emmanuel.wa.edu.au/

Murdoch College

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Murdoch College http://www.murdochcollege.wa.edu.au/

Murdoch Secondary is a non-religious college. It has a large number of overseas students who want to study at university in Australia. The college is located on the campus of Murdoch University. http://www.murdoch.edu.au/   True or False. Please answer these questions 1. Most Australian students attend public high schools. 2. Australian students usually spend 12 years at high school. 3. Private schools are very strict about uniform. 4. Sport is one of the main learning areas of high school. 5. The year 12 finishing exam must be taken if you want to go to university. Here are some questions you may want to ask the teacher 1. schools there in high Are junior Australia? 2. students one are in school many class? How high 3. class? lunch Do you your eat in 4. high Do Australian clubs? schools have 5. students computers use classroom? Do the in 6. girl schools any Are in Australia? there Answers 1. Are there junior high schools in Australia? 2. How many students are in one high school class? 3. Do you eat lunch in your class? 4. Do Australian high schools have clubs? 5. Do students use computers in the classroom? 6. Are there any girl schools in Australia? . Free Talk What do you think about high school in Australia? I’m sure you have other questions you’d like to ask me. Please go ahead and ask! for example, “Do many Australian schools teach Japanese language?”

High school in Japan

Compare high school with junior high school. What is the same? e.g. daily school cleaning (oshoji) What is different? e.g. using computers school rules lunch food Is there anything you miss? Words and expressions you can use In/at  junior high school but in high school bigger/smaller/ much/nicer/ a lot/ easier/ stricter/ more difficult I think ……… high school is much the teachers are much friendlier at …… I miss my …….. e.g. my old music teacher I really like my/the ………..new …… I prefer ……..e.g. the lunch food is tastier


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