SCHOOL CONTEXT STATEMENT Updated: May 11 2004
School Name: BLACKWOOD HIGH SCHOOL
School Number: 0905
1. General Information
Schoolname : BLACKWOOD HIGH SCHOOL
School No. : 0905 Courier :
Principal : Mr Tony Green
Postal Address : 4 Seymour Street, Eden Hills 5050
Location Address : 4 Seymour Street, Eden Hills 5050
District : Inner South
Distance from GPO : 9 kms Phone No. : 08 82786777
CPC attached : NO Fax No. : 08 83702058
2001 2002 2003 2004
February FTE Enrolment
Primary Special, N.A.P. Ungraded etc.
Secondary Special, N.A.P. Ungraded etc.
Year 8 195.0 200.0 209.0 221.0
Year 9 220.0 195.0 203.0 220.0
Year 10 234.0 212.0 192.0 216.0
Year 11 240.4 219.9 205.9 198.9
Year 12 188.9 206.5 185.0 187.4
Year 12 plus 8.4 11.2 4.0 13.4
TOTAL 1,086.7 1,044.6 998.9 1,056.7
July total FTE Enrolment 1,037.7 1,002.4 970.7
Male FTE 546.5 518.6 511.1
Female FTE 491.2 483.8 459.6
School Card Approvals (Persons) 185
NESB Total (Persons) 32 41 64
Aboriginal FTE Enrolment 2.8 2.0 2.0
Note: Placement points for Complexity and (Base plus Isolation) can be obtained from the
document 'Placement Points History' in the 'schools/placement' section of the 'Legal and
Policy Framework Library' available on the departmental CD-ROM or web-site.
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Deputy Principal’s name, if applicable
:Christopher Daw (Acting)
School e-mail address
Partnerships 21 status
:stable – and increasing 1059
Year of opening
Public transport access
:A wide network of Serco buses service the school - Route 738 from Marion
via Flinders Medical Centre and Shepherds Hill Road and school buses
from Belair (both Main Road and Kalyra Avenue), Hawthorndene, Flagstaff
Hill, Reynella and Aberfoyle Park (via Black Road and then Murrays Hill
Road or Main Road), and Coromandel Valley (routes 197 and 198). There
is a train service to Coromandel and Eden Hills.
2. Students (and their welfare)
Blackwood High School provides a diverse and inclusive curriculum reflecting the
needs of the local and wider communities and encouraging all students to achieve
their personal best in a safe, caring environment.
:The school has a strong academic, performing arts and sporting focus.
This is generated by the high expectations of students, parents and staff
and by the many opportunities for students to be involved in a wide range of
co-curriculum activities. Many students take a leadership role in the co-
(Pastoral) care programs
:As well as morning care group, a pastoral care program is delivered once
a week to all year levels. The program for year 8, 9 and 10 students
covers topics such as harassment, friendship, study skills, learning how to
learn, assertiveness, peer mediation, etc. At year 11 and 12, study skills,
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time management, course counselling, career education and job pathways
are some of the topics covered.
The school has a chaplain who also helps with the social and pastoral
:Students are supported by care group teachers, student counsellors, year
level managers and members of the administration. The Student Services
Centre supports students with routine matters. Case Management and
Special Needs programs monitor students’ progress and provide support for
:There is an expectation that all students have the right to learn and all
teachers have the right to teach. A withdrawal facility and a detention
scheme support teachers in the management of student behaviour.
:The SRC is very active in the school, with representatives on most school
committees. It is instrumental in raising money for selected charities and
community projects. The SRC has the important role of running
assemblies and organising the end of year ‘Formal’ and ‘Presentation’
:Peer Support is a very successful program undertaken as a SACE Stage 1
subject, designed to support year 8 students and other newly enrolled
Community and Service
:The school recognises and fosters students’ broader community roles and
activities in such things as work, sport, service clubs, church and family
:The wearing of school uniform is strongly supported by our school
community. The uniform was designed by students and parents and
includes a wide range of purpose-designed garments. School Council
actively supports the school in working with families to ensure that students
wear full correct uniform.
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3. Key School Policies
In 2002 the whole school community collaborated to develop a
comprehensive, widely understood and agreed upon statement of purpose,
values, beliefs and priorities. These form the framework for our school’s
policies and directions.
BHS provides a diverse and
inclusive curriculum, which
reflects the needs of the
local and wider communities
and encourages all students
to achieve their personal
best in a safe, caring
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Versatility in approaches to learning
Achievement through sustained effort and
pursuit of excellence
Learning that is relevant, engaging and futures oriented
Understanding self and others through effective
Enterprise in connecting teaching and learning with the
Safety in physical, social and intellectual pursuits
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At Blackwood High School we believe:
Our relationships with the community will be characterised
A Culture of Optimism that promotes our young
people as positive,
resourceful, creative and
valuable persons capable of
working towards common
goals of good citizenship,
friendship and partnerships
within the school and the
A Culture of Mutual that acknowledges the
Respect valuable contributions of all
groups valuing the
professionalism of teachers,
the individualism of students
and the passion parents hold
for the education of their
A Culture of Open that ensures inclusive
Communication practices based on honesty,
trust sincerity, tolerance and
consideration lead to
relationships focussed on
improving the learning
outcomes for our students.
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At Blackwood High School we believe:
Our classrooms and learning programs will be characterised
• a respect for the different learning styles and needs of
individual students especially those with special needs.
• intellectually and emotionally safe learning areas
promoting risk taking, excellence, productivity and
access to ICT; they are places where students own
learning and the responsibility for teaching is owned by
well-prepared and caring teachers.
• clean well presented classrooms proudly displaying
student achievement, promoting a learning culture of
mutual respect, positive and engaging activities in safe
caring environments and a warm homely atmosphere
• respect for property
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IT IS OUR AIM TO DEVELOP AND
OUR SENIOR SCHOOL WILL PROVIDE A
CURRICULUM AND BE DELIVERED IN A WAY THAT
REFLECTS THE DIVERSE, COMPLEX AND CRITICAL
EMOTIONAL, SOCIAL AND INTELLECTUAL NEEDS
OF YOUNG ADULTS COMPLETING THEIR FORMAL
OUR INTERNATIONALLY ACCREDITED MIDDLE
SCHOOL INTERNATIONAL BACCULAUREATE
PROGRAM HAS A KEY FOCUS ON DEVELOPING THE
EMOTIONAL, SOCIAL, PHYSICAL AND
INTELLECTUAL NEEDS OF YOUNG ADOLESCENTS.
OUR PROGRAM ACKNOWLEDGES THE IMPORTANCE
OF DEVELOPING SELF-AWARENESS, SELF ESTEEM
AND THE VALUE OF LIVING AND WORKING FOR
THE COMMON GOOD OF ALL MEMBERS IN OUR
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OUR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SYSTEM, PROGRAMS
AND INFRASTRUCTURE IS FURTHER DEVELOPED TO
MEET THE IT EXPECTATIONS AND CAPACITY
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS. IT IS OUR
INTENTION TO PLACE BHS AT THE LEADING EDGE OF IT
LEARNING FOR SECONDARY STUDENTS.
OUR LINKS WITH THE BHS COMMUNITY ARE TWO-WAY,
OPEN, PRODUCTIVE AND MUTUALLY REWARDING FOR
OUR LOCAL PRIMARY SCHOOL COMMUNITIES, OUR
SERVICE CLUBS AND OTHER COMMUNITY BASED
THE WELL BEING OF OUR STAFF REMAINS A HIGH
PRIORITY. WE BELIEVE THE BEST LEARNING OUTCOMES
FOR STUDENTS OCCUR WHEN STAFF FEEL VALUED,
RESPECTED, TRUSTED AND SUPPORTED IN THEIR
WORK. THEIR HEALTH AND WELL BEING IS CRITICAL TO
THE SUCCESS OF THE LEARNING PROGRAM OF THIS
STUDENTS IDENTIFIED WITH SPECIAL LEARNING
NEEDS (BE THEY STUDENTS WITH LEARNING
DIFFICULTIES OR STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL ‘GIFTS’)
HAVE EXTRA SUPPORT AND INDIVIDUAL CURRICULUM
PLANS DEVELOPED AND NEGOTIATED THAT CATER FOR
THEIR SPECIAL TALENTS AND NEEDS.
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:The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IBMYP)
undertaken by all students in Year 8-10. The Mitcham Hills Education
Cluster (MHEC) comprises of Blackwood High School and Belair, Bellevue
Heights, Blackwood, Coromandel Valley, Eden Hills and Hawthorndene
The IBMYP continues to be a structural and pedagogical focus within the
school. It enables students to participate in a curriculum that supports
cultural and intercultural awareness, communication skills and
understanding. It has facilitated and focussed curriculum development that
has provided opportunities for best practice in Middle Schooling and
There is an active program for short and long-term stays and exchanges
through DECS International Education Services, particularly with Asian
countries. The IBMYP supports the development of holistic thematic
education that is exemplified in links with other sites such as the Australian
Science and Mathematics School and programs to further develop Boys
Education. The school is the only school in the Southern Area to offer the
Special Interest Netball program in partnership with the South Australian
Netball Association (SANA).
Year 8 Core - for all students
Art, Drama, English, Health, Home Economics & Physical Education,
Mathematics, Science, Society and Environment, Technology Studies,
LOTE (full year units of French, German, Japanese), Music,
Choices - two subjects chosen from - OR half year units of Art, Drama,
Physical Education, Performance Project. Netball
Year 9 Core - for all students
Art, Drama, English, Mathematics, Physical Education, Science, Society
and Environment & Technology.
Choices - Art, Drama, French, German, Home Economics, Japanese,
Music, Netball (all for full year), Physical Education, Society and
Environment, Technology Studies & Performance Project (all for half a
Year 10 Core - for all students
Work Education (SACE 1 Unit), English, Health, Mathematics, Science,
Society and Environment.
Choices - Art, Computing, Design, Drama, Extension Mathematics, French,
German, Japanese, Home Economics, Music, Netball, Physical Education,
Society and Environment (History/Geography), Technical Drawing,
Technology Studies, Performance Project. In 2005 Health will also be
All Year 10 students undertake a week of supervised Work Experience.
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SACE Stage 1 Core - for all students
Australian Studies, English, and Mathematics (Pure, General or Practical).
Choices - Accounting, Ancient Studies, Art, Biology, Business Information,
Chemistry, Design, Desktop Publishing, Drama, Economics, French,
Geology, Geography, German, Health, Home Economics, Information
Technology, Science, Japanese, Legal Studies, Modern History, Music,
Netball, Physical Education, Physics, Practical Information Processing,
Publication Studies, Technical Drawing, Technology Studies (Furniture
Construction, Creative Woodwork, Electronics, Photography), Tourism,
Work Education, Performance Project, Women’s Studies
SACE Stage 2
PES - Accounting, Biology, Chemistry, Classical Studies, Drama Studies,
Economics, English Studies, French, Geography Studies, German,
Information Technology, Japanese, Legal Studies, Mathematics I & II,
Music Studies, Nutrition Studies, Physics, Visual Arts Studies (Art & Design)
PAS - English, Home Economics (Child Studies, Food & Hospitality),
Physical Education, Social Studies.
SAS - Art, Business Documents, Business Mathematics, Craft, Design,
Desktop Publishing, Drama, Health, Information Processing, Legal Studies,
Music, Small Business Enterprise, Technology Studies (Furniture
Construction, Metalwork & Photography), Tourism. In 2005 Philosophy,
Psychology and Business Education will be introduced at Stages 1 & 2.
:Whenever there is a need students access curriculum at nearby schools.
Open Access is also used.
:One of the school’s leadership positions is devoted to this area. Students
with identified learning problems and specific learning difficulties are offered
extra class support. Acceleration, enrichment and extension are offered to
those students who are identified, by teachers, parents and/or peers, as
being gifted and talented.
Special curriculum features
:Blackwood High School has a Special Interest Netball Program. Up to
twenty students are accepted each year for the Year 8 part of the program.
The SA Netball Association (SANA) conducts the selection trials. The
program provides an elite development in the sport as part of the school
curriculum in years 8-11.
Futures Connect – (formerly Vocational Education) (VET)
:Students in Stage 1 & 2 can be involved in a broad range of programs that
support the transition from school to the workplace through TAFE and
associated courses. SACE courses in Food Preparation, Hospitality,
Tourism and Woodwork, currently include elements of TAFE entry level
study. These pathways are continually being developed.
Structured Workplace Learning opportunities are provided through regional
organisations, Quality LinCs (Urrbrae Skills Centre) and Manufacturing
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Learning Centres (Mitsubishi Joint Venture Project). A broad range of
courses are offered to students to allow the SACE to be completed, while
employer based training is begun in partnership with TAFE and other
private providers. Students can enhance the school-based programs or
develop skills and knowledge in areas including Engineering, Office
Administration, Marketing, Fashion and Visual Arts. These courses are
usually offered on a semester basis. We are also supported in Career
Education by the Blackwood Rotary Club which annually provides
personnel to assist in training Year 10 students in job interview techniques.
School Based Traineeships currently offered in Retail Operations for BP
and apprenticeships can also be arranged and supported by the school
depending availability and the needs of the community.
:The school is also noted for the breadth and strength of its Music program,
both within the curriculum and in co-curricular activities.
:Teachers are encouraged to use a wide range of teaching methods to suit
all students. In the Middle School, care group teachers teach their class for
two subjects at year 8 and one at year 9. Integration of topics at year 8 is
All students have access to the Internet and the school Intranet. Many
teachers communicate with their students via the Intranet.
A CISCO network manager course is taught offline and has 1 unit SACE
accreditation at Stage 1. It is offered as a 2 unit SACE course at Stage 2.
Places are limited.
Assessment procedures and reporting
:Every subject in all years has an assessment plan which is issued to
parents within the first four weeks of each new semester. A progress (short
report progress grade only) and end of semester report is issued for each
subject - making 4 reports for Years 8 - 11 and 3 for Year 12. Parent
interview nights are held one to two weeks after the shorter progress
reports (end of Terms 1 & 3). Computer generated reports, using
MarkBook, are used.
:Blackwood High School is part of the Mitcham Hills Cluster and will
cooperate with the primary schools to introduce the International
Baccalaureate: Middle Years Program. SHIP programs are also shared
with Blackwood and Eden Hills Primary Schools. As explained above, the
school, along with seven other schools, supports the Manufacturing
Learning Centres, a Mitsubishi Project which implements VET initiatives
and is a member of the Quality LinCS program.
5. Sporting activities
:The school has a very strong sporting focus, having won the Howard
Mutton Trophy for 15 consecutive years. It fields teams in a large variety of
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sports in a diverse number of competitions, including state-wide (athletics,
swimming, distance running, triathlon, surfing…), zone, knock-out and
Saturday morning sport as well as many special events. A high proportion
of students in this school make state teams. Teachers are encouraged to
help coach and supervise sports teams alongside an active parent body.
6. Other Co-Curricular Activities
:Each year the Performing Arts Faculty involves a large number of music,
drama and dance students in a Major School Production, reaching an adult
audience of 2000. The Music Department has 15 ensembles including an
orchestra, and an ambitious and successful program of public performances
involving 200 students, Year 8 to Year 12, in over 40 public performances
Debating, mock trials, literacy competitions, Science and Maths
competitions, Christian Group, Interact and an Ecological group are other
examples of the many activities in which students participate.
Students have extensive involvement in student exchange program both
into and out of the school. Special programs exist in the Japanese, French
and German Faculties.
7. Staff (and their welfare)
:Most staff choose to remain at the school for as long as possible.
However, given the size of the school and the profile of the staff, there is an
ongoing comprehensive Induction program. Blackwood High School has a
staff that is highly experienced in both curriculum and leadership.
:A Deputy Principal, three Assistant Principals, a Business Manager, two
Student Counsellors, eight Curriculum Coordinators, an IBMYP
Coordinator, an Enterprise/VET Coordinator, a Special Needs Coordinator,
and five Year Level managers lead the various functions of the school.
Staff support systems
:All staff are encouraged to participate in professional development
activities during school and after school hours. A program of professional
development has been planned by a small group of staff to deliver at staff
meetings two or three times each term. Developing cutting edge pedagogy
exploring SACSA and the International Baccalaureate Middle Years
Program are some of the topics for discussion.
Inservicing on the use of MarkBook is ongoing for staff new to the school.
Training and development is offered to those who want to further their
knowledge in ICT.
As indicated in our key priorities staff well-being is a key focus for our
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:“Performance Enhancement” is the policy developed by the school to
encourage staff to nominate a mentor of their choice to monitor their
performance and to assist them in the achievement of their goals.
Curriculum coordinators are expected to act as line managers for staff in
Staff utilisation policies
:The school aims to deploy teachers in their field of expertise. 50% of the
FIR is usually converted to SSO hours. The time usually goes towards the
employment of a network manager and student support. The tier 2 staffing
(0.5) is used to support students who have a negotiated curriculum plan.
Access to special staff
:The school has an entitlement of 43 DETE instrumental lessons. These are
supplemented by private instrumental lessons.
8. Incentives, support and award conditions for
The school does not attract any additional support or award conditions for
9. School Facilities
Buildings and grounds
:The majority of teaching areas are of ‘solid’ construction, organised in a
fairly compact arrangement on the school site. Accessibility for students
with a disability is very limited at present. The school has a lift for students
In the year 2001 the Blackwood Community Performance Arts Centre was
completed, as was a busway that runs on the western boundary of the
school. The community support in these two major projects has been
All areas except woodwork/metalwork are air-conditioned. The staffroom is
reserved for social activities - staff have office/work space in other locations
in the school. Staff have either stand alone or networked IT access in most
staff work areas.
Buses for excursions can be booked from a local contractor if Transport SA
and rail services are not convenient.
Specialist facilities include 8 science laboratories, gymnasium, weight
training area, state of the art Performing Arts Centre, new Visual Arts
Centre, a comprehensive computing facility (linking by fibre optic cable most
buildings in the school), and resource centre. The surrounding sports fields
are set against an attractive backdrop of the Adelaide Hills.
The 3 million dollar, 4 room, Visual Arts Centre was opened in April 2004.
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The co-located Blackwood Community Recreation Centre is on the school
site and was opened in February 2004. There are two indoor courts, one
specifically for school use with school male and female change rooms and a
separate office connected to the school network, to accommodate all P.E.
An upgrade of our tennis and netball facilities is also planned for 2004.
Technology – The school has been ‘cutting edge’ in providing technological
support for teaching and learning programs. There is a ratio of 1:5
computers, with all students and staff having access to a well-maintained
intranet and internet service. Blackwood High School has proposed
becoming a trial school for broadband services.
10. School Operations
Decision making structures
:Decision-making is based on consultation, negotiation and participation
with those affected by the decision. The decision making process, therefore,
does not rest in the hands of a few, but is participatory and strives for
consensus. It rests on the premise that effective communication is required
for effective participation. Individuals can influence decision making through
committees and working parties, faculties, year level teams, Management
Committee, staff meetings, School Council and SRC.
Generally the Management Committee, which is made up of the
Administration Team, the Business Manager and Coordinators determines
or approves decision-making processes for broad policy decisions. Once
the consultation process has been exhausted and the views of all parties
have been taken into account, in most cases, the Management Committee
currently makes final decisions. The Principal is involved in all key school
decision making and accepts responsibility for making decisions on behalf
An extensive review of decision-making principles, processes and practices
is underway throughout 2004. In preparation for Local Self Management
and mindful of the need to support and involve all stakeholders, the review
is extensive and inclusive of families, students and staff.
:The school newsletter is currently published every fortnight, promoting
achievements and school/community activities and events. It is also posted
on the website. Curriculum handbooks, staff handbooks and the Student
Information Brochures are published annually. Copies of the Student
Information Brochure are sent to feeder primary schools for distribution.
They are also available from the school. The school’s web site
www.bhs.sa.edu.au is another source of information about the school.
The Voice (school journal) is compiled by Publication Studies staff and
students and published once per term. The Cambium (school magazine) is
published each year with contributions by students and staff.
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11. Local Community
:The local community is both supportive and impactive in all aspects of
running and promoting the school. The Hills community has a mixture of
country and city influences. Preservation of and planning for environmental
awareness and responsibility is a focus. There is strong support for the
school in the local community - Rotary have a high profile in providing
support for a number of programs, including career education, support for
Youth projects (Interact & Vocational mentoring) and an annual Art
Exhibition. The Rotary Club and other Service clubs have contributed
enormously towards the furbishing of the Performing Arts Centre.
The school facilities are regularly hired to local sport, Christian and cultural
Parent and community involvement
:Blackwood High School has benefited from strong, active support from the
parent body. There is high, well informed participation from the High School
Council, Parent & Friends Association, various committees and working
parties. Parents and caregivers voices is seen as critical in determining
curriculum, facilities and leadership in the school.
:The Performing Arts Centre, Recreation Centre and school canteen that
also supports Blackwood Primary School, all provide links and the need for
tolerance, understanding and strong partnerships as the school and
community continue to develop programs and use facilities together.
:Most of the students who enrol at Blackwood come from the local feeder
primary schools: Blackwood, Belair, Bellevue Heights, Coromandel Valley,
Eden Hills and Hawthorndene. These schools are also partner schools in
the IBMYP. Recent trends show a large number of students from outlying
areas applying for Blackwood High School. Due to the shared boundaries
between Blackwood High School and Blackwood Primary School there is a
significant relationship between the two sites.
Other local facilities
:A dental clinic is shared on site between Blackwood High School and
adjacent Blackwood Primary School.
Local Government body
:Blackwood High School is in the Mitcham local government area and
enjoys significant, ongoing support from the Mitcham Council and the local
Member of Parliament.
12. Further Comments
:Blackwood High School has strong traditions of excellence in academic,
sport and performing arts. There are high expectations that teachers will
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provide students with the best opportunities to do well with a low tolerance
of mediocre effort. Students and parents are generally quite articulate and
make their educational needs known. There is strong parent support for
any activity involving their children.
Some changes in the profile of students has meant an increasing need for
staff to be flexible in their teaching approaches and for courses to reflect the
need for vocational options, in addition to the traditional academic
A current priority for the School Council, Principalship and Administrative
teams is supporting and preparing the school in making the transition in
2005 to Local Management.
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