With the start of a new school year, it's time to think about which public high school is best for your child. And while you may not have many choices in your area, there are certainly some considerations that will help make the decision easier. One consideration is whether or not you want to send them to their local public school or an out-of-town option.
If you're looking for something closer by, then take into account factors like class size (smaller classes generally equate to better outcomes), student diversity (students who attend diverse schools tend to be more well rounded), and parental involvement levels (parents who are involved with their children's education have higher graduation rates).
To help you get started on your public high school hunt, we’ve rounded up our best public high schools from right across Melbourne, Victoria.
Ultimate List of Public High Schools in Melbourne, Victoria
McKinnon Secondary College - Public High School Melbourne, Victoria
(03) 8520 9001
|Early Learning Centre||No|
|Course Range||Years 7 to 12|
|Estimated No. of Students||2200|
Link To School Fees Page:
McKinnon Secondary College is a Year 7 to 12 co-educational school with a student population of over 2000. The College was founded in 1954 in the southeastern Melbourne suburb of McKinnon. It has developed a proud reputation for academic excellence and instrumental music performance. The college is consistently one of the best performing non-selective government schools in Victoria.
There are steadily more applications for entry to Year 7 than places available. In recent years there have been 100 more applications for Year 7 than places available. Most students who attend McKinnon aspire to university. Over 50% of our students participate in the instrumental music program.
A McKinnon education aims to enhance the intellectual, physical, social and emotional development of all students and to develop students’ abilities. We strive to maintain a positive, caring and safe learning environment in which all students are provided with the opportunity to achieve success. These prospects for success are provided within a challenging, comprehensive curriculum and an extensive co-curricular program.
The College actively promotes a culture that encourages and celebrates the pursuit of excellence, values and respects individual diversity and encourages participation by all members of the community. Students are encouraged to take pride in themselves, their community, their uniform and the College. Student achievements are regularly and formally recognised and celebrated in college publications, at formal assemblies, on this website and at the annual Presentation Night.
Students study a comprehensive core curriculum in Years 7 to 10. The Enhanced Learning in Mathematics and Science (ELMs) Program is an enrichment option for selected students in Years 7 to 10. In Years 9 and 10, the core curriculum is complemented by a range of elective units.
Rich tasks such as Tournament of Minds and Year 8 Survivor promote student engagement and the development of resilience, problem-solving and collaboration skills; Year 9 is enriched by the Brief Yet Thorough Empirical Studies (BYTES) program.
Successful Year 10 students are encouraged to select VCE subjects. Students in the Senior School can choose from an extensive range of VCE studies and can participate in the VCE Enhancement Program or undertake selected university enhancement subjects.
The college offers an extensive co-curricular program that promotes leadership, cooperation and teamwork. This program includes academic challenges, performing arts and sport.
A broad and inclusive program includes activities and events such as:
- Asia Week Activities
- Drama Production
- Great Victorian Bike Ride
- House Music Festival
- House Sporting Carnivals – Swimming, Athletics, Cross Country
- Interschool Sport
- Music Ensembles
- Music Winter Concert
- Peer Support Program
- Science Week Activities
- Subject Competitions & Activities
- Tournament of Minds
- Year Level/Subject Camps/Tours and Excursions
Parent Involvement and Communication
McKinnon Secondary College invites you to familiarise yourself with the educational opportunities we provide for your child by contacting the College.
The College encourages parents to participate in both formal and informal information evenings, parent/teacher interviews, music performances and drama productions.
Parents have the opportunity to contribute to the school council and council sub-committees.
We regard communication as a two-way process between the family and the college. Avenues for communication exist in the student diary, fortnightly digital newsletter, Compass, the college website and email.
Box Hill High School - Public High School Melbourne, Victoria
|Early Learning Centre||No|
|Course Range||Years 7 to 12|
|Estimated no. of Students||1317|
Link To School Fees Page:
Welcome to the Box Hill High School website.
Established in 1930, Box Hill High School has a rich tradition of academic excellence and a strong commitment to the emotional and social development of each student. We place students at the centre of our vibrant and nurturing learning community and achieve excellent results because of the positive attitudes of our students, support from our parents and community partnerships and our commitment to high-quality teaching and learning. Box Hill High School staff are passionate, creative and dedicated experts in their field who inspire, engage and motivate students in and out of the classroom.
As you explore our website, you will see students at all year levels experiencing the joy of learning and achieving, working collaboratively in the classroom, on the sports field, at camps, debating, school productions and our international exchanges in Germany and China. This work epitomises the respect and friendliness that is such an important part of the supportive environment in which we build our culture of high expectations and excellence.
Student leadership is championed at Box Hill High School and has shaped many of our programs. We challenge our students to be critical and creative thinkers, effective and confident communicators and to also develop the positive mindset necessary to succeed in the 21st century. Our graduates are lifelong learners, ambitious, ethical and responsible global citizens who face the future with resilience and optimism.
The school’s motto of Ad Altiora Certamus, or “we strive for higher things”, suggests that the future of Box Hill High School is exciting. Our school is constantly evolving, valuing the rich traditions of the past and embracing the challenges of the future.
I warmly welcome you to our school and encourage you to discover the many benefits of a Box Hill High School education.
Box Hill High School is a learning community that fosters resilience, a passion for lifelong development and a commitment to impacting the world in positive ways.
Our purpose is :
- to ensure an inclusive, safe community where students and staff are respectful to each other
- to collaborate to set and achieve challenging learning goals to create an environment where everyone can flourish
- to equip students with the skills to be resilient and passionate life-long learners
- to respect and consider student voice in the classroom and wider school community
- to demonstrate school pride in the way we present and conduct ourselves
- to develop and nurture students who are ethical, think critically and can contribute as global citizens
Respect: We show respect for other members of our school community in the way we treat others and consider the perspectives of others. Fostering a sense of belonging, we value and support diversity and build a positive and safe environment.
Creativity: We celebrate creativity in all its forms, providing opportunities for students to explore what is possible for them and the world. We nurture innovation and curiosity by encouraging students to develop original ideas and processes.
Resilience: We strive to develop resilient individuals who are able to achieve in different situations and cope with challenges. We build the confidence to solve problems and connect failure to learning. We promote positive education to build skills for a strong mind and healthy body.
Growth: We believe all students can learn and grow. We approach the world with a growth mindset in order to become adaptive and autonomous learners. Through active participation and developing skills of self-regulation, growth can be achieved. We strive to be our best.
Melbourne Girls' College - Public High School Melbourne, Victoria
(03) 9428 8956
|Early Learning Centre||No|
|Course Range||Years 7 to 12|
|Main Gender||All Girls|
|Estimated no. of Students||1278|
Link To School Fees Page:
Welcome to the Melbourne Girls’ College website!
Melbourne Girls’ College (MGC) was established in 1994 and is a leader in innovative education. We provide enrolment opportunities for local, wider-Melbourne and international students to study inquiry and trans-disciplinary units in Years 7-9, followed by a large number of Year 10, VCE and VET subjects in the senior years.
Our College is constantly evolving programs and learning schedules to ensure students are future-ready with an emphasis on persistence, teamwork, respect for diversity and personal best. Our 1400 students are taught and nurtured by excellent staff, parents, peers and mentors.
The achievements of MGC are certainly in academic results, but a broader definition of success ensures social, emotional, sporting and artistic success is central to being a student of the College. The English, Humanities, Languages, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics), International and Wellbeing Programs are designed to build in each student the skills to collaborate and inquire at ever more sophisticated levels.
In recent years MGC has developed a range of new facilities, including The Gillard Centre, which houses flexible learning, hospitality and meeting space and provides river access for our exemplary rowing program. The College currently has plans for a STEAM and new 400 seat Performing Arts Centre to serve both the school and the wider Richmond community.
The students of Melbourne Girls’ College are global citizens conscious of the unique lessons attending a school educating young people from diverse backgrounds, and over sixty nationalities can bring.
We are a place of welcome on the banks of the ancient Yarra River, and we welcome you.
An innovative curriculum for all
The curriculum at Melbourne Girls’ College is designed to equip all girls with the skills and capabilities they need for economic, social and cultural success in the 21st century.
All our students are encouraged to strive for personal excellence in their classroom studies and activities. Goal-setting and organisational skills are an important part of daily life.
The College curriculum covers all Victorian Curriculum Standards as recommended by the Victorian government: discipline-based learning; the Arts, English, Health and Physical Education, Humanities, Languages, Mathematics, Science and technologies, as well as Ethical capabilities, Intercultural Capabilities, Personal and Social Capabilities and Critical and Creative thinking.
Recognising that information literacy – the ability to source and evaluate and use information – is an essential part of all areas of the curriculum. Learning methods and technologies are incorporated into every learning area. The curriculum promotes a problem-solving approach, with girls encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning.
The college offers a broad range of VCE subject choices as well as an exemplary program that allows girls to join vocational courses – from hospitality to multimedia studies – through a cluster of local schools.
MGC has developed a coherent curriculum program with a different focus at each year level based on the following premises. They are that:
- the Years 7 to 10 program includes a number of integrated subjects which make learning more meaningful and authentic
- in-depth learning over long periods of time produces better outcomes for learners rather than short bursts of individual subjects
- the integration of Information and Communication Technology curriculum delivery enriches and authenticates students’ learning experiences
- the emphasis may change according to the different developmental needs of learners • not all subject areas need to be covered to the same degree every year (something determined during the college’s rigorous annual curriculum reviews)
As well as producing strong academic outcomes, all college programs are structured to develop students’ personal attributes and understanding of the current global context as well as developing their capabilities for future autonomous learning.
Parents and students can access a summary of each unit in Years 7-10, a unit calendar and individual unit descriptions. In order to meet the constantly changing needs of our students, the mapping of the curriculum is far from complete and is being worked on constantly.
Co-Curricular Learning Activities
Enriching and extending life beyond the classroom and opening new horizons for all girls is at the core of the Melbourne Girls’ College co-curricular program.
The college’s wide-ranging program of co-curricular programs, activities and camps focus the school’s attention on meeting the needs of individuals and challenging each student in positive ways. MGC is a place where young women learn to question, challenge, probe and gain the knowledge and confidence to allow them to think clearly for themselves as they negotiate the wider world.
The co-curricular program encompasses sport, the arts and cultural exchanges. Some of the many highlights have included:
- A rowing program, with girls competing in many competitions, including the Head of Schoolgirls Regatta.
- An aerobics program, competing at a national level.
- Inter-school and competitive sporting programs.
- Taking part in the Great Victorian Bike Ride.
- Whole school drama productions.
- Instrumental music program.
- String ensemble, concert bands and choirs.
- Dance Program.
- Inter-house choral and drama events.
- An Australian Air Force Cadet program, including opportunities for powered flying and gliding.
- Competition debating.
- Language-related overseas tours to China and France.
- International student exchanges.
- Access to external public speaking opportunities.
- Girls at every year level have opportunities to participate in school camps, including residential, rural camps and curriculum-based excursions such as the week-long Year 9 study of the city of Melbourne and VCE Study Camp.
- Our Sustainability Collective and Environment Team.
Suzanne Cory High School - Public High School Melbourne, Victoria
(03) 8734 2801
|Early Learning Centre||No|
|Course Range||Years 9 to 12|
|Estimated no. of Students||885|
Link To School Fees Page:
Suzanne Cory High School is a co-educational, selective entry government school for Years 9-12 and the only one of its kind in Melbourne's western suburbs.
Established in 2011, Suzanne Cory provides highly able students with an individually tailored and challenging educational experience, leading to outstanding outcomes and pathways into tertiary education. The school has a total enrolment of 900 students from Years 9 to 12 coming from 84 different schools of origin, with government and non-government schools equally represented.
The educational focus of the school is to provide a challenging and rigorous academic curriculum for students who are intellectually and creatively gifted, in conjunction with a rich co-curricular program designed to extend their learning.
The comprehensive curriculum and teaching and learning model practised within the school is based on internationally recognised best practice research on students with high levels of achievement.
Suzanne Cory High School is a new way to learn.
Suzanne Cory provides highly able students Years 9 to 12 with an individually tailored and challenging educational experience, leading to outstanding outcomes and pathways into tertiary education.
As a government Selective Entry School, the educational focus of the school is to provide a challenging and rigorous curriculum for students who are intellectually and creatively gifted, delivered in conjunction with a rich co-curricular program designed to extend their learning.
The comprehensive curriculum and teaching and learning model practised within the school is based on internationally recognised best practice research on high levels of student learning achievement. Unlike a SEAL Academy accredited or independently “streamed” accelerated learning program, Suzanne Cory’s curriculum is delivered to all students and is endorsed by the Victorian Department of Education and Training.
Suzanne Cory High School is committed to sustainable practices, with extensive recycling and environmentally-friendly programs, including the Sustainable School Shop, which allows students to reuse textbooks, uniforms, and school equipment.
What is a Selective Entry School?
Victoria’s four Selective Entry High Schools are the only Victorian public schools exclusively designed for academically talented students. As proud government schools, each Selective Entry High School has a unique profile with the core purpose of nurturing academic excellence in young adults in Years 9 to 12. Unlike SEAL schools, or schools offering “selective” acceleration programs, Suzanne Cory’s cohort is entirely based on the selective entry, and does not engage in streaming. Rather, all students at Suzanne Cory High School are considered academically and intellectually gifted and undertake an accelerated curriculum designed to challenge and stimulate students of high academic ability.
Suzanne Cory is a government public high school and does not charge any tuition fees. To learn more about what fees may be charged by government public schools, please click here.
Who can enrol?
Suzanne Cory High School accepts approx. 200 students at Year 9 level, and approx. 30 students at Years 10 and 11 each year. Suzanne Cory is not zoned; our student body is drawn from suburbs all across Melbourne. Entry to the school is contingent on sitting and successfully passing an entrance exam, which is conducted by the Victorian Department of Education. Students who have not sat an exam will not be considered for admission.
Suzanne Cory does not take international students. To be eligible to sit the entrance exam, students must be:
- in Year 8 (to qualify for intake at Year 9);
- an Australian citizen, or hold permanent residency status.
Entrance examinations occur mid-year for enrolment in the following year. For example, if your child wishes to enrol in 2023, they will need to sit the entrance exam in mid-2022. The school does not handle enrolment directly, and all enquiries for enrolments at Year 9 should be directed to the Selective Entry Unit. Applications to sit this years’ examination for Year 9 are now closed. Please visit the Department of Education and Training website for further information.
Suzanne Cory also accepts student intake at Year 10 and Year 11. The number of places available varies from year to year (between 10 and 20, on average) and is dependant on existing student numbers. Entry at Year 10 and Year 11 is also contingent on sitting and completing an entrance examination. As with Year 9 intake, entrance exams occur mid-year for enrolment in the following year. Applications to sit this years’ examination are now open.
Balwyn High School - Public High School Melbourne, Victoria
|Early Learning Centre||No|
|Course Range||Years 7 to 12|
|Estimated no. of Students||2200|
Link to School Fees Page:
“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” (Pele)
Every day Balwyn High School strives to provide each child with a truly holistic education, one that fosters personal growth, self-reliance, community responsibility as well as academic achievement.
We are committed to excellence and community by actively challenging and supporting every student, every staff member, to be their best. We hold all community members to the highest standards, and we proudly acknowledge and celebrate success – in all its forms.
Our renowned cultural diversity makes and keeps, us strong and provides the most authentic of learning environments for all of the members of our school community.
We honour the trust invested in us to develop students who grow to love and keep learning and who will successfully make their way and their impact once they leave the classrooms of our school.
I look forward to discussing our work with you and your family.
Deborah Harman – Principal
The school aims to promote leadership in many areas, such as community service, peer mentoring, sport, music and drama. Participation in student leadership is highly encouraged in order to promote student’s voice and enable participation in decision-making processes. It is the responsibility of all members of the school community to promote, foster and encourage students to take on roles of leadership, responsibility and commitment to their school. One in five students hold a leadership position. A wide variety of leadership portfolios exist across all year levels. Student leaders are inducted, trained and continuously supported by a Director of Student Leadership and Voice and various liaison teachers.
Balwyn High School encourages maximum student participation in its decision-making processes by establishing structures that enable student opinion to be voiced, thereby developing a sense of civic responsibility and pride in their school. Student leaders are encouraged to seek out student voices as part of their responsibility. By allowing avenues for the voice of all students to be heard, we can maintain a positive learning environment where students feel positive, connected and safe at school.
A wide variety of leadership portfolios exist, including:
- Year 12 Leaders
- Year Level Captains
- Principal’s Advisory Group
- Student Representative Council
- House Captains
- Tutorial Captains
- Theatre Arts
- Senior School Council
- Student Transition Enhancement Program (STEP)
- Student Ambassadors
- Interact Club
- Public Speaking
- Science and Technology
- International Students
- Art Society
- Social Justice Committee
- Environment Committee
- Sound and Light Crew
Apollo Bay P-12 College - Public High School Melbourne, Victoria
(03) 5237 6484
|Early Learning Centre||Yes|
|Course Range||Prep to Year 12|
|Estimated no. of Students||260|
Link to School Fees Page:
Apollo Bay is a beautiful coastal town located on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria and surrounded by the Otway Ranges. The rich environment has attracted a community with a strong commitment to a healthy and active lifestyle, the environment and a great interest in the arts. This is reflected in our College educational programs and is reflected in our College Motto developed in 2014, "Unique Environment, Extraordinary Opportunities". Our College is highly supported by students, parents and the wider community, and all played an extensive role in the establishment of our College Vision, Mission and Purpose statements, and our school Values of 'Excellence', 'Respect', 'Integrity' and 'Balance'. Apollo Bay P-12 College is a relatively small school with a total population of around 260 students from Prep to Year 12. The College is isolated, being the sole provider of education within the Apollo Bay community, with its nearest neighbouring schools 45 minutes’ drive in opposite directions.
Our College is committed to helping develop in all students the capacity, desire and tools to achieve their best in all endeavours. We foster a sense of awareness, responsibility and respect, from a global perspective, through to family and community with an emphasis on individual personal growth. We support, encourage and promote across our whole school community the pursuit of personal excellence, and we are committed to a culture that is dynamic and ready to embrace new ideas, opportunities and challenges to improve student learning and to equip students to meet the demands of the 21st century. We participate fully in the community by developing strong, supportive and respectful relationships.
Apollo Bay P-12 College is committed to providing high quality education in an engaging, challenging and flexible learning environment underpinned by our core values of;
- Excellence: We are determined to achieve our best.
- Respect: We take pride in and care for ourselves, each other, and our environment.
- Integrity: We are honest, courteous, and we take responsibility for all our behaviours and actions.
- Balance: We make choices that ensure we are happy, healthy and fulfilled. We are flexible and resilient.
Our vision is to enhance our provision of unique and extraordinary education in order to maximise potential and ensure vibrant futures for all.
Nossal High School - Public High School Melbourne, Victoria
+61 3 8762 4601
|Early Learning Centre||No|
|Course Range||Years 9 to 12|
|Estimated no. of Students||832|
Link to School Fees Page:
Welcome to Nossal High School
Victoria’s first fully academically selective coeducational Government High School and one of only four academically selective high schools in the state. Nossal High School has been purpose-designed to suit an adult, academically focused and highly aspirational cohort of students.
The buildings are high tech. And ICT rich, mirroring features and approaches usually found in universities. Our location and partnership with Monash University, Federation University and Chisholm Institute offer our community access to programs and facilities at both secondary and tertiary levels and enables the development of rich links and challenging opportunities.
We offer a broad range of curricula and co-curricular experiences and programs, strongly influenced by the students themselves who have an active and authentic voice in the running of the school. We offer significant Sporting, Creative, Performing, Musical, Community, Cultural, Social, and Leadership opportunities to our students alongside a comprehensive academic study program.
Teaching staff at Nossal are selected as they are outstanding educators, and they too undertake ongoing and rigorous professional development to ensure they provide the best possible learning environment and outcomes for our students. For our students, they model and exemplify the Monash motto – “I am still learning.”
It is my great privilege to be the foundation Principal of this unique new school, and I invite you to further explore and experience the innovative, student-centred, and high performing 21st-century adult learning environment that is Nossal High School.
Visitors are welcome, and school tours and information evenings are available throughout the year – particularly in the lead up to the entrance exams in June. Our best ambassadors are our students who share their experiences and perceptions of our school with their guests.
Roger Page – Principal
Mac.Robertson Girls' High School - Public High School Melbourne, Victoria
+61 3 9864 7701
|Early Learning Centre||No|
|Course Range||Years 9 to 12|
|Main Gender||All Girls|
|Estimated no. of Students||989|
Link to School Fees Page:
Welcome to Mac.Rob! Over the next Term, I am excited about finalising the plans for the 2022 launch of the International Baccalaureate, admiring the outstanding performances and achievement of students across all aspects of school life, and moving the school another big step closer to realising a new school building.
We invite you to explore our school website and discover how Mac. Rob can help achieve excellent social, well-being, and academic outcomes for your child.
Ms Sue Harrap, Principal (Term 3, 2021)
The Mac. Robertson Girls' High School traces its origin to the first Victorian State Secondary School, the Melbourne Continuation School, which opened in Spring Street in 1905. Originally co-educational in nature, a new school for male students, Melbourne High School, was opened at Forrest Hill in 1927, leaving the girls in the original Spring Street building, which was renamed as Melbourne Girls' High School. When this building was condemned in 1930, the students were moved to Government House, which had recently been vacated, before moving again, in 1933, to State School No.1689 in King Street.
In 1934, Sir MacPherson Robertson, a philanthropist, entrepreneur, and inventor of the Freddo Frog made a gift of £100,000 pounds in honour of Victoria’s centenary, £40,000 pounds of which was to be spent providing a new girls' high school. The present building, designed by architect Norman Seabrook, was officially opened as The Mac. Robertson Girls' High School on November 7th, 1934.
More recent funding has enabled Mac. Rob to expand, adding two further buildings which accommodate the Learning Resource Centre; dedicated Music, Visual Arts and Theatre learning areas; Information Technology and a well equipped Gymnasium.
In 1987, the school’s striking main building was deemed worthy of conserving and protecting for future generations and given a National Trust Classification.
Mac. Rob is proud to be one of only four selective entry high schools in Victoria and the only selective entry school for female students. We accept academically gifted and high-achieving students from Years 9 - 12. As a selective entry government school, the Mac. Robertson Girls' High School is not zoned; we accept students from all across Victoria, provided they have successfully applied for and completed the Selective Entry Examination. As a government public school, we do not charge annual tuition fees.
All students who wish to enrol at Mac. Robertson Girls' High School must undertake an entrance examination in June of the year preceding enrolment. For example, students wishing to enrol in 2022 must apply for and sit the entrance exam in 2021.
Applicants must be Australian or New Zealand citizens or hold a visa or ImmiCard, which exempts them from paying International Student Fees to attend a Victorian government school. Applicants can living in Victoria or living and studying interstate or overseas.
There are limited vacancies at Years 10 and 11 each year. Enrolment in these Year levels is by entrance examination, application, shortlist, and interview. The number of vacancies for enrolment for Year 10 and 11 is conditional on any vacancies that occur within the cohort of the previous year.
Melbourne High School - Public High School Melbourne, Victoria
+61 3 9826 0712
|Early Learning Centre||No|
|Course Range||Yeas 9 to 12|
|Main Gender||All Boys|
|Estimated no. of Students||1365|
Link to School Fees Page:
About Melbourne High School
Melbourne High School is the only selective State School in Victoria for boys only in Years 9–12. The School continues to maintain its standing as one of the finest schools in Australia and develops the finest thinkers and leaders in Australia.
Melbourne High School (MHS) traces its history back to 1854 and the establishment of the National Model School. In 1905, the School became the Continuation School and therefore proclaimed itself as the first state secondary school in Victoria. It is a statewide provider of broad academic education for boys in Years 9 to 12. The School has 1365 students, with approximately 340 students in each of the four-year levels – year 9, year 10, year 11 and year 12. Admission to the School is by competitive examination with a small discretionary factor. A supplementary intake also takes place in Years 10, 11 and 12. Students are drawn from a very wide cultural and socio-economic background and come largely from the greater metropolitan area of Melbourne and inner country locations. It is this ongoing dynamic cultural mix that has remained a cornerstone of the School's success.
The School is in central Melbourne, in the City of Stonnington, and within the Southern Metropolitan Region of the Department of Education and Training (DET).
The School is located close to the Melbourne Central Business District and is impressively situated on a hill overlooking the leafy and attractive district of South Yarra. The School is adjacent to the Yarra River and on the corner of Chapel Street and Alexandra Avenue. It is well serviced by rail, tram and bus transport as well as bicycle paths and major roadways. Its location and the appearance of the spectacular "Castle On The Hill" have given the School a mystique that has added significantly to its ethos and its standing within the community.
Melbourne High School is committed to providing a safe, secure and stimulating learning environment in which students can reach their full educational potential in a positive school culture that engages and supports them in their learning. Student well-being and student learning outcomes are inextricably linked, and MHS aims to promote an understanding of this link in both the School environment and in the classroom. It is recognised that all teachers are vital sources of support and are determinants in the success of their students.
The School Motto — “Honour the Work”
The School motto was derived spontaneously from an eloquent address given to the assembled school by the late Mr Frank Tate ISO MA, a former Director of Education. In the course of his speech, he quoted the words of Edward Thring: “Honour the work, and the work will honour you,” and it is recorded that these inspiring words were at once recognised as most appropriate for the School Motto.
The School Emblem
The School Emblem (since 1927) is the Unicorn head on a jewelled crown with the motto on a scroll below. This emblem represents an all-boys school — the first State-controlled high school in Victoria.
Melbourne High School is committed to developing intellectual, artistic and sporting excellence.
Melbourne High School favours breadth and depth of learning rather than acceleration programs. The curriculum is based on the expectation that students will have the ability and desire to meet the challenges of a broad education in a stimulating, supportive and competitive environment that caters for students intending to progress to tertiary education. The School is committed to developing intellectual, artistic and sporting excellence so that every student has the opportunity to reach his full potential and is provided with inspirational and challenging teaching that is caring for the individual.
A strong curriculum continues to be a key feature of Melbourne High School. The Victorian Curriculum and the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) broadly determine our courses, but the School is responsible for interpreting course outlines and implementing guidelines that ensure challenging and worthwhile learning situations for all our students. VET (Vocational Education and Training) continues to be a viable choice for a growing number of students. This opportunity for breadth of choice in VCE studies, together with our strong VCE programmes in English, Languages, Music, Humanities, the Arts, Commerce, Mathematics, Physical Education, Information Technology and Science, are important in giving our students every opportunity to develop their talents and achieve life and career goals.
At Years 9 and 10, Melbourne High School is guided by the Victorian Curriculum, which sets standards in Victorian schools and provides a framework and standards from which individual schools can develop and deliver programmes of study. The Victorian Curriculum describes what students should know and be able to do at regular intervals from the Foundation (first year of school) to Year 10. Subject areas consist of the Arts, Music, Philosophy, English, Physical Education, Health & Personal Development, Geography, History, Languages, Mathematics, Science and Technologies. In addition, four key capabilities were added to the curriculum in 2017: Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical, Intercultural and Personal & Social capabilities. These are taught through existing Year 9 and 10 subjects, including Philosophy, History, Languages and Health & Personal Development.
Melbourne High School also gives students at Years 9 and 10 the opportunity to select semester-length electives. Year 9 students choose electives among the Technologies block, while at Year 10, students choose electives from the Visual & Performing Arts, as well as the Commerce learning area. The elective programme is designed to enhance and broaden students’ knowledge and skills before specialisation occurs at Years 11 and 12. Core subjects in Years 9 and 10 provide a solid foundation for students to pursue any VCE units in Year 11. Students are encouraged to select electives not associated with career intentions; rather, choices are to be made on the basis of enrichment and breadth.
The School continues to review the subjects it offers each year and examine ways to further engage the students with new subject offerings.
Melbourne High School’s curriculum is based on the expectation that its students will have the ability and desire to meet the challenges of broad education and a stimulating, supportive and competitive environment. The curriculum is designed to cater for students intending to progress to tertiary education and to develop leadership in whatever area of endeavour they choose. Melbourne High School provides a balanced, rigorous, stimulating and challenging program directed to the development of students’ knowledge and skills for further study, the professions and life, by:
- maintaining a strong academic core
- promoting the attainment and appreciation of excellence in all areas of learning
- teaching directly, and implicitly, independent learning skills and strategies
- stressing sequential development of skills and subject matter
- developing enrichment teaching that encourages the full use of the intellect of students
- providing a curriculum relevant to life
The strong academic core and elective programs are balanced by the requirement that all students involve themselves in a wide range of demanding co-curricular programs. The curriculum and co-curricular programs incorporate a huge variety of support and enrichment pursuits. These include musical, artistic, dramatic, literary, sporting, recreational, education extension, leadership and personal development programs. Music is integral to the life of the students and staff. All students at MHS are actively involved in the music program through classroom music, massed singing, House Music competitions, assemblies and in the culmination of the School year, Speech Night.
Public High Schools FAQs
Academic Programs Offered
Many times, experts say, deciding on a type of school comes down, at least in part, to the academic programs offered, from dual enrollment to Advanced Placement courses or International Baccalaureate programs.
If the student is interested in pursuing a particular subject area, such as theatre, parents might also consider whether the school provides related opportunities.
Determining how much money to spend – if any – on a child's high school education can be a challenging but important decision for parents.
Private high schools generally charge tuition, for example – though parents considering public schools, which are usually free, should also be aware of costs that aren't stated outright.
Consider the diversity of a high school, experts say, to ensure that teachers and officials are sensitive to cultural issues and that the child becomes aware and respectful of different values.
Parents might want to examine how schools teach diversity, including when it comes to historical issues.
Whether it's a small school with more personal attention or a larger high school with more opportunities to build relationships, parents should pick the environment that's best suited for their child.
Keep the child's personality in mind, experts say. For an introverted student, for instance, a smaller school might be best.
When touring a school, looking to see how students and teachers interact with each other can give parents an idea of the school's overall atmosphere, says one expert.
Take note if any students or teachers greet parents personally and observe students' moods and how they treat each other.
Graduation and College Attendance Rates
While parents shouldn't base their decision on numbers alone, certain statistics can suggest how successful a school has been at bringing students to the next stage of their lives.
Two stats to consider, experts say, are graduation rates and college attendance rates.
The best way to get a feel for a school's culture is to walk through the halls, Mark Reford, then CEO of BASIS Independent Schools told U.S. News.
Parents might consider what they expect the school to teach their child about life beyond academics and determine whether the school seems like a joyful place overall.
Technology and Resources
It's important to understand what schools are doing with emerging technology to benefit
students and how they are integrating it into the classroom setting, experts say.
Some high schools use interactive whiteboards, provide students with laptops or tablets and assign online coursework.
Students need to get involved outside the classroom through extracurricular activities, and experts say to look for a school that offers a variety.
Extracurriculars are also an important part of the college application and can speak volumes about students' interests and values.
One expert says that determining whether there's a parent group or parent-teacher association can help parents learn more about the high school their child is attending.
They should ask how involved parents can be in activities and other meetings or events. Parent involvement can show students that they should take their education seriously.
Average Class Size
When it comes to choosing a school to attend, two numbers are very important. One is the average class size or the number of students typically found in an individual class; the second is the student-to-teacher ratio, which measures the number of students in a school compared to the number of instructors. Generally speaking, the lower these numbers, the better your experience is likely to be at a school.
Why? Smaller class sizes bring several benefits to students, including more individualized attention from instructors, a stronger sense of community, and more opportunities to contribute to discussions, all of which can positively impact your overall academic experience.
While many factors should be considered when choosing a school to attend, the average class size can be a rule of thumb to help you quickly rule a school in or out of your list.
College Support & Student Outcomes
Class size and student-to-teacher ratios aren't the only important numbers you should consider when deciding which school to attend. You should also seek information about what happens to students after they graduate by asking questions like:
- What are college matriculation rates?
- What percentage of graduating do seniors get into one of their top-choice schools?
- Which colleges and universities often accept graduates from the school that you are considering?
These questions are important because individual student outcomes can offer insights into the kinds of support and success you can expect as a student, should you attend a particular school.
Just as it is important to understand the average class size and educational outcomes of the schools you are considering, you should also be sure to understand the unique educational philosophy that guides each of your possible schools.
Different types of schools operate with different educational philosophies in mind. Public Schools, for example, are typically very driven by performance and a mandate to "teach to the test." On the other hand, Independent schools often have much more creativity and flexibility to develop their curriculum in a way that goes deeper and allows the student to learn more holistically.
Exactly what kind of high school will be the right fit for you will depend on your interests, the way you like to learn, and the specific skills (critical thinking, creativity, interdisciplinary thought, etc.) that you would like to develop.
The Academic Program
In addition to understanding the educational philosophies of the schools you are considering, you should also understand what the academic program looks like. You will be spending the next four years at this school; you should make sure that they offer classes that interest and challenge you!
Make sure you ask questions like:
- What are the required courses to graduate?
- What electives are available?
- Are there any unique classes that you can't find at another school?
- Are there opportunities to do independent research or writing?
- Are our advanced classes available? Does the school offer AP classes?
Mentorship Programs & Resources
Not every school offers mentorship programs for their students, but those who do often report amazing benefits (Link to another article once published).
If a school on your shortlist offers a mentorship program, you can be sure that that school understands the importance of supporting students through vulnerable years. In addition, the presence (or lack thereof) of a mentorship program can indicate the other kinds of support you can expect as a student if you were to enrol there.
Extracurricular Activities & Clubs
Though academics are, of course, important, they aren't the only consideration worth noting when you are considering high schools. You should also be sure to evaluate the different extracurricular activities that the school offers. For example, what kinds of clubs, communities, and sports teams do you have to look forward to enrolling in the school?
Most colleges take extracurricular activities into account when they evaluate applicants. But these activities bring so much more value than simply increasing your chances of being admitted to your dream school.
In addition to allowing you to explore interests and passions that you might not be able to explore in the classroom, extracurricular activities give students something fun to look forward to and help them meet new people and develop as well-rounded, multidimensional people. Therefore, any school you consider should have at least one (and hopefully multiple) extracurriculars that get you excited.
Schools often divide kids into tracks: college-bound, honours, Advanced Placement. But all students need to learn the advanced skills that are the key to success in college and the 21st-century workplace. Thus, every student should take demanding classes in the core subjects of English, history, science, and math, and no student should ever get a watered-down course of study.
Further, students should also be allowed to earn industry certification or some college credit while in high school through programs such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or those offered through a local college or university.
Personal Attention for All Students
Every high school should be small enough – or divided into small enough units – to allow teachers and staff to get to know all students as individuals and to respond to their specific learning needs. By the 9th grade, students should have a detailed plan for graduation. In addition, students should receive frequent and ongoing support from at least one academic advisor throughout their high school years.
Extra Help for Those Who Need It
Every high school should have a system in place to identify kids as soon as they start to struggle in reading, math, or any core subject, and every school should reserve time and resources for the immediate help those kids need to stay on course.
Bringing the Real World to the Classroom
High schools should help students connect book learning and the skills needed to be successful in life. Students must develop the work habits, character, and sense of personal responsibility needed to succeed in school, work, and society. As part of their classwork, students should have opportunities to design independent projects, conduct experiments, solve open-ended problems, and be involved in activities that connect school to the rest of the world.
Family and Community Involvement
Students thrive when their high schools encourage positive learning relationships among families, educators, businesses, and other community members. Parents should have many chances to visit the school building, talk with teachers and staff, voice concerns, share ideas, serve as volunteers, and suggest ways to improve the school.
And school leaders should reach out to their neighbours by attending community events and forming partnerships with local organizations to increase effectiveness and tap additional resources.
A Safe Learning Environment
Every high school must guarantee the safety of its students, teachers, staff, and visitors, and every school should be kept free of drugs, weapons, and gangs. School leaders need to build a climate of trust and respect. They should encourage peaceful solutions to conflict wherever possible and respond directly to bullying, verbal abuse, or other threats.
Every high school teacher should know well the subjects they teach and know how to teach all kinds of students, from all kinds of backgrounds. New teachers should get the guidance and mentoring they need to be successful in the classroom. And all teachers should have enough time to plan lessons, carefully review student performance, and continuously improve their teaching.
Every high school needs a skilful principal who supervises personnel effectively, manages finances capably, and keeps the organization running smoothly. Every school also needs a strong educational leader (this could be the principal, a senior teacher, or another staff member) to define a vision of academic excellence, work with teachers to develop an engaging and coherent curriculum, and serve as a mentor and role model for teachers and students alike.
Every high school should provide all students and teachers with the books, computers, laboratory equipment, technology, and other resources they need. And every school should maintain safe, clean facilities that are fit for teaching and learning.
All community members should have easy access to information that gives a clear, straightforward picture of how well the school serves all of its students, including those from every income level, ethnic group, and racial background. Some of the key pieces of information include a school's graduation requirements, graduation and dropout rates, and student performance on state tests.
The cost of public education can't be beaten. Although some parents might complain about the recently added expenses of supplies and participation in sports teams, these schools are still much more budget-friendly than their private counterparts.
According to GreatSchools.org, the average tuition for private schools in the United States during the 2016-2017 school years was $19,310. The average cost for a boarding school during that same year was $35,118. Schools affiliated with the National Association of Independent Schools charged even more.
In addition, private schools get additional funding through private donations. In many cases, this could mean parents of students at the schools may have to invest time and money in fundraising events throughout the year. While public schools also participate in fundraisers, the bulk of their funding still comes from federal, state and local government sources.
Public schools provide access to an education for every child in a community. The Huffington Post notes that public schools cannot turn students away based on academic performance, income level, or disability by law. This ensures that every student in a neighbourhood has the same educational opportunities as the neighbours down the street, regardless of their personal or financial situation. Since education is frequently seen as the great equalizer for society, the availability of education for all is a key benefit these institutions offer.
Because public schools admit all children in the community, those that attend the schools are more likely to be in classrooms with other children that don't think, act or look exactly like them. Students are more apt to be exposed to students from different cultures or income levels. They may learn to work with other students with mental and physical disabilities. The diversity of the student body can be an important learning experience in itself for all of the children that attend a particular school.
According to the website for New York Schools, funding for schools is often dependent on the number of students in a school, with consideration for smaller, more manageable classroom sizes. Typically, class sizes in public schools tend to remain smaller in the early years, from kindergarten through about third grade. At that point, classes may gradually grow according to the student's age and ability to work independently.
According to Education Bug, public schools often have the resources to offer more academic opportunities like advanced classes and courses in specialized subjects like technology and the arts. Options might include gifted and talented programs, International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement classes. Students that want to excel will find various chances to do so, while those not inclined to academic acceleration find choices at their ability level as well.
In addition to the choices in the classroom, students in public school often have more options in activities after the last bell rings for the day. From athletics to music and theatre, most schools offer various extracurricular activities to keep students learning and excelling in the areas they are most interested in.
By law, public schools are also required to provide certain services to students. Some, such as transportation to and from school, are offered to all the students. Others, such as reduced-price lunches and academic assistance, are provided to students who qualify. Because the services are required, public schools have special education teachers and learning specialists at the parents' and students' disposal. Private schools may not offer such services because they are not required to admit students that meet these needs.
According to PublicSchools.org, teachers in public schools are required to be certified by the state. Certification also requires ongoing education and periodic renewal of credentials. However, charter schools and private schools do not have this requirement, which means parents don't always know the level of training attained by the teacher in their child's classroom. In some cases, these schools might not even require teachers to have a four-year degree to work in the classroom.
Public schools are held accountable by the state for their academic performance. While some have complained this has led to an overabundance of standardized testing, the schools do at least have a higher authority they must answer to. Again, this prevents abuse and leads to the management of failing schools much more quickly than if the school did not have such accountability.
According to the Huffington Post report, students in public schools score comparably on standardized tests to students in private schools. In some cases, they outscore students in charter schools. While some public schools turn up relatively poor results, those results are often found in areas with high poverty rates. When comparing apples to apples in terms of student demographics, public schools are right up there with other types of schools.
While many are complaining about the state of public schools today – and some with good reason – these schools are still working effectively for most students in the system. With many benefits from public schools, it is no wonder that most students and their parents are still choosing the public school in their neighbourhood as their first choice for education.
The Supposed Benefits of Private vs. Public School
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, roughly 10% of U.S. students (about 5 million) attend private schools compared to 50 million public elementary and secondary school students. Parents choose a private school for several reasons, including religion, a desire for same-sex education, a flexible curriculum, and smaller class sizes.
Each private school is different, but here are some of the supposed benefits of private versus public school education:
- More academic opportunities. Private schools provide a varied and challenging educational experience for students through extracurricular activities, International Baccalaureate programs, Advanced Placement courses, and gifted programs, among other opportunities. Studies show as well that private school students consistently score higher on standardized tests and college entrance exams.
- Smaller class size. Research shows that smaller class sizes improve student performance on academic achievement tests. Private schools tend to offer smaller class sizes with lower teacher-to-student ratios for more individualized attention.
- Dedicated teachers and staff. For many private school parents, the dedication of teachers is a primary reason for choosing a private school. Many private school teachers hold advanced degrees in their field and, with smaller class sizes, students can form closer relationships with their teachers in a role model capacity.
- Parental involvement. Many private schools prioritise keeping parents involved in the community through parent-teacher meetings, social events, and parent committees. Increased parental involvement in education can also strengthen parent-child relationships.
- Improved safety. Private schools often have a reputation for keeping strict standards for discipline and respect. This, combined with a stronger sense of community and lower staff-to-student ratios, makes for a safer school environment.
- Better access to resources. Because private schools are not limited by public funding, they often have access to better resources. This includes equipment for extracurricular activities as well as technology and other resources for the classroom.
- More extracurricular activities. Academics are the priority for most private schools, but there is also a strong focus on a well-rounded education, including extracurricular activities. Private schools often offer various programs, including sports, art, music, and various clubs.
Though there are many potential benefits associated with private school education, there are certainly some drawbacks. For example, public schools are paid for by local taxes, while private schools cost an average of over $10,000 a year. Private schools also tend to exhibit less diversity, and teachers have fewer requirements in terms of education and experience.