Middle School Information 2016 intake

Introducing Urrbrae
Urrbrae Agricultural High School is the only comprehensive special interest agricultural school in South Australia. It
has developed well beyond the original vision of Peter Waite, who bequeathed the land (46 hectares) to the State in
1918 (although the school did not open until 1932). Waite's vision was to provide city dwelling students with the
opportunity to learn about and engage in the primary industry of agriculture. While Waite's view of agriculture focused
on traditional elements of cropping and livestock, Urrbrae today promotes an understanding of a wide and diverse
range of agriculture, horticulture, landcare and environmental issues for its students as well as the wider community.
Urrbrae, through its innovative and creative planning, has a national and international reputation as an exemplary
model of educating for a sustainable future.
Urrbrae has developed strong alliances with government, educational, scientific and industry organizations. Many of
our programs have support from companies who provide opportunities for work experience, traineeships and
apprenticeships for our students as well as through donations of equipment, industry experience for teachers and
input for the development of highly practical and up to date educational programs. The Urrbrae Skill Centre, used for
Vocational and Educational Training (VET) programs was developed with funding from the Australian National
Training Authority. Each of the twenty farm enterprises has strategic industry and/or professional partnerships.
The TAFE schools of Horticulture and Environmental Management share the same campus presenting further options
for collaborative projects. As well, partnerships with the tertiary sector, the South Australian Research and
Development Institute (SARDI), and the CSIRO provide additional valuable learning opportunities for our students and
It is the physical resources that enhance the learning environment for students and Urrbrae is fortunate to have some
of the best teaching facilities of any school in Australia. The redeveloped school was opened in 2001 and includes
modern teaching classrooms, a joint school/TAFE Learning Resource Centre, new science and agricultural
laboratories, well-equipped technology workshops and farm buildings. Central to the agriculture curriculum is the 25
hectare farm which comprises animal and plant enterprises including a suffolk sheep stud, a poll hereford stud, an
eight sow piggery, poultry, boer goats, horses, alpacas, aquaculture, bee hives, reptiles, native animals and food, a
vineyard and winery, olive processing, an orchard, vegetables, a plant nursery incorporating glasshouses,
shadehouses and laboratories, and waste management systems. The wetland (initially developed in 1996 and
extended in 2004) is used extensively across the Urrbrae curriculum, as well as hosting more than 5000 student
visitors from other schools each year.
Urrbrae is recognised as a centre of excellence in student learning with a focus on agriculture, technology and the
environment. Our motto is "Science with Practice" and this principle is integrated in all activities across the school.
The school community has clearly identified the values of respect, honesty and trust as guiding principles. Quality
relationships between students, their families, staff and the community provide a solid foundation from which to work.
We recognize that a sense of belonging promotes positive outcomes, and we encourage student involvement in a
diverse range of activities to promote feelings of pride and success. Students are encouraged to make a positive
difference to the lives of others, the environment and society as a whole.
Feeling at Home at Urrbrae
Urrbrae prides itself on providing a positive and supportive learning environment for all. Staff and students together
develop, promote and implement the school values of respect, trust and honesty. The school promotes and supports
positive outcomes for students in academic, service and co-curricular fields.
High school represents an exciting and important change in a student's life. Urrbrae offers a number of initiatives to
support these changes.
An Orientation Day is held in December, at which new Urrbrae students visit the school for half a day. New Year 8
students meet their Home Group teachers, peer leaders and other students in their class.
Pastoral Care
The emotional and social needs of each student are given a high priority to enable a smooth transition to secondary
school. An initial orientation period encourages students to meet new friends, as well as introducing them to the
routines and expectations of high school. During this period, the support mechanisms available through Student
Services are discussed and explained. A regular pastoral care lesson in the weekly timetable includes a
comprehensive transition program covering a range of topics and activities.
Year 8 Home Group Teachers are committed to supporting students in their early induction into high school life.
Each Year 8 group has two Home Group Teachers, with each of them teaching the class for at least one subject
where possible. The Home Group Teachers also lead the Pastoral Care program. Home Group Teachers are the
main point of contact between home and the school.
An overnight Year 8 Camp is held during week 2 of term 1, and is a significant part of the initial orientation period. It
enables the students, peer leaders, and Home Group teachers to get to know one another better, away from the
demands of the routine school day.
Peer Leaders are Year 11 students who undertake training during Year 10 in areas such as supportive listening,
mediation and leadership skills. Each Home Group usually has four Peer Leaders. In the first few days of the new
school year, Peer Leaders spend a great deal of time with "their" class and remain with the Year 8s during the breaks,
showing students around, answering questions, reassuring the anxious, and generally assisting students to quickly
feel at home. They continue to regularly attend Home Group periods and provide leadership and support for Year 8s
on special occasions such as assemblies and the camp. This program is not only valuable for the Year 11 students
who participate, but provides continuing peer support for Year 8s to complement the support provided by staff.
Student Services provides support for all students at Urrbrae. Student Counsellors, the Pastoral Care Worker
(formerly the Chaplain), Year Level Coordinators, a Middle and Senior School Senior Learder and the Assistant
Principal Student Wellbeing are all available to assist students with personal or school related issues.
Our expectations with regard to student behaviour follow DECD guidelines. We therefore provide for and support
opportunities for student success, safeguard the rights of students to learn and teachers to teach, and recognise
behaviour as a choice with attendant responsibilities and consequences. We have a clearly stated Anti-Bullying
Policy which protects and supports students. We want Urrbrae to be a happy and safe place for all those who attend.
There is a clearly stated Uniform Policy and students who attend Urrbrae Agricultural High School are expected to
understand and follow this Policy.
Opportunities for student leadership exist at all year level at Urrbrae , with a range of diverse programs such as Peer
Leadership, a Student Representative Council, Urrbrae Trails and various clubs and student-based initiatives.
The Student Representative Council provides a voice and services for students. Year 8 students can participate in
this through Home Group representation. The SRC is very effective in providing all students with the opportunity to
participate in school decision making.
Beyond the Classroom
Urrbrae Agricultural High School provides students with the opportunity to engage in a variety of programs that enable
them to explore their true potential, extend and expand on their knowledge base and further develop their analytical
and problem solving skills.
Examples of these programs include:
Numerous showing, judging and leadership programs at livestock and agricultural shows
Curriculum based activities such as the Oliphant Science Awards, and many Mathematics, English and Art
Urrbrae Trails, which gives Urrbrae students the chance to lead visiting primary school students and
members of the public around the farm and help them to learn about the environment and sustainability
World Challenge, which provides students with the chance to volunteer in teams in disadvantaged
communities overseas
Integrated learning which links the Wetlands with enrichment in Agriculture, Science and Humanities
World Vision Fundraising
There are also numerous opportunities for students to participate in co-curricular activities. There is an extensive list
of agricultural-based lunchtime clubs, general interest clubs and a wide variety of sporting activities.
Examples of lunchtime clubs include the sheep, horse, pig, poultry, steer, heifer, bee, alpaca, goat, plant, marsupial,
Wetlands and photography clubs. Other activities are offered from time to time depending on student interest and
staff specialisation, and currently include the opportunity for students to be Digital Leaders (students who provide
input into, and train staff in the development of E-learning at Urrbrae) and the Environmental Focus Group (students
who research environmental issues specific to Urrbrae and lead learning for other students, including students from
outside of Urrbrae).
Students are provided with opportunities to represent Urrbrae Agricultural High School in a variety of sporting
zone sport competitions where Urrbrae competes against other schools in our zone, are played on various
days after school. A range of sports are offered based on availability and student interest.
knockout sport involving competitions Statewide run by the South Australian Secondary Schools Sports
Association. The range of offerings is broad, and depends on student interest.
championships and carnivals organised by various sporting bodies. Activities offered in the past include
cross country, athletics, cycling, triathlon, surfing, golf and orienteering.
Parent Participation and Involvement
A very strong support network has been established by the parents of the school over many years. This support
contributes significantly to the ethos and tradition of the school. Parents can become involved through the canteen,
library, sport and the School Council and its sub-committees.
What do you study at Urrbrae?
The special focus of the Urrbrae curriculum is the study of Agriculture, including Horticulture, with secondary foci on
studies of the environment and technology.
In the Middle School (Years 8-9), students at Urrbrae Agricultural High School undertake study in eight areas of the
curriculum. These are Agriculture, The Arts, Design and Technology, English, Health and Physical Education,
Mathematics, Science, and Studies of Society and the Environment. As students move from Year 8 to 9 and Year 9
to 10, they have opportunities to choose to study particular aspects of some of the learning areas.
Within the Senior School (Years 10-12), students may choose courses across a broad range of offerings or may
choose to specialise in a particular Urrbrae Pathway. University and TAFE entrance and Vocational Education and
Training are well catered for within the school program.
Senior school students choose whether they wish to continue their studies in the special focus areas of Agriculture,
the Environment and Technology, or whether they wish continue their studies within the broad range offered by the
Detailed information about subjects offered in the senior school, and the pathways that can be followed is available
from the Course Information section on the school website: www.urrbraehs.sa.edu.au. A hard copy of this information
is distributed to students prior to the career and course counselling processes which occur during Terms 2 and 3 each
Year 8
All students study a full year of:
Science, and
All students study either:
a full year of Health and Physical Education, or
a full year of Music (The Arts learning area)
Students who choose a full year of HPE also study:
a semester (half year) of The Arts (Drama and Art)
a semester of Technologies
Students who choose a full year of Music also study:
a semester of Health and Physical Education
a semester of Technologies
Year 9
Students make subject choices for Year 9 during Term 3 of Year 8
All students study a full year of:
Science, and
All students study a semester of Health and Physical Education.
In addition, all students study 3 semester courses chosen from subjects in:
The Arts
Health and Physical Education
Graduate Qualities
The Urrbrae curriculum offers students the opportunity to develop lifelong learning skills and strategies both in the
classroom and in the wider school context. Employers and enterprises are increasingly seeking a more highly skilled
workforce possessing generic and transferable skills and qualities as well as the capacity to learn and apply
At Urrbrae we believe that, as well as achieving a pass in all subject areas, there are five specific qualities that
students should be aiming to attain before they graduate; to be an independent learner, a contributing citizen, a goal
setter, a problem solver and an effective communicator. We have called these the Graduate Qualities.
These Gradate Qualities enhance the social capital of our community. Students at Urrbrae have unique opportunities
to develop these qualities through the variety of clubs and curricula and co-curricula activities which are on offer.
All middle school students spend time documenting evidence of attainment of these Graduate Qualities during the
Pastoral Care program. The Graduate Qualities can be attained through involvement in academic studies, sporting
activities, cultural activities and enterprise activities at school, at home and in the community. Students are expected
to provide two examples of their attainment of each Graduate Quality by the end of their middle schooling.
Further information about the Graduate Qualities is provided in the following table:
Graduate Quality
Independent Learner
Contributing Citizen
What this means
Examples - this might be shown by:
You take responsibility for what 
you learn, for what you do and for 
the decisions you make
You contribute responsibly to the 
local and/or global community
Goal Setter
Problem Solver
taking responsibility in a special project
being committed to a particular task and following
it through
being trusted to work on your own.
being an active participant in a school event like
Sports Day, being in a school club or on the SRC
raising sponsorship funds for a charity or an
animal at the zoo or a disadvantaged group in the
taking an active interest in your local community by
participating in a clean-up, tree planting, frog
census, or by writing a letter to the newspaper.
You look positively toward the 
future and take action to set and
achieve realistic goals
learning from your experiences, revising your
goals and making realistic changes if necessary
actively exploring future career possibilities and
making progress in a skill such as music, sport or
a subject at school through extra effort above and
beyond normal expectations.
You work both independently (on 
your own) and collaboratively
(with others) to achieve creative 
solutions to problems
planning and organising an activity eg fund-raising
or a community service activity
working out how to use new technology
helping to solve a conflict between people.
You express your ideas and point 
of view well using a variety of
technologies in order to make a 
positive impact
speaking at an assembly or to a community group
or meeting
taking minutes at a meeting
teaching someone else to do something eg to play
an instrument or use a computer program.
Middle School Subject Summaries
Topic Summary
Year 8
Plant Studies
 Vegetable Garden
 Introduction to Horticulture and Cereal Crops
Year 9
Plant Studies
 Winemaking/Fruit Trees
Animal Studies
 Layer poultry
 Farm animals - animal breeds and uses
Animal Studies
 Sheep or Cattle
Farm Environment
Scientific Investigation
 Wetlands/Landcare
Home Project
Agricultural Pathways/Careers
Agricultural Clubs
The clubs as listed earlier in this booklet are run by Agricultural and other interested teachers. They are associated
with the different enterprises we run on our school farm, and are a great opportunity for students to gain knowledge
and practical experience in a range of areas. Students receive recognition for their regular attendance and
participation. Relevant industry leaders visit club meetings to discuss issues relating to their industry.
Home Project
As an extension to Year 8 Agricultural Studies at school, students complete a practical activity at home, of at least 14
weeks duration. Selection of an activity will be greatly influenced by seasonal considerations, but all projects are
completed by the end of Week 9, Term 3.
The Home Project allows students 
To gain experience in an area of agriculture
To develop organization and management skills
To observe and record the progress of the project
To communicate information about the project in both written and oral form.
Shows and Excursions
Students have an opportunity to attend several Shows as part of their Club involvement. These include: Mt Pleasant,
Mt Barker, Gawler and Royal Adelaide. All Year 8 students participate in an excursion to the Royal Adelaide Show
with their Agriculture teacher and peer leaders.
The Arts
Middle School students have the opportunity to study Music, Drama, Art, Design and Media. Students who wish to
continue with The Arts can follow SACE pathways in all these subjects at Stage 1 and Stage 2.
At Year 8 students study both Art and Drama for a term each, or Music for a full year. Art and Drama are short
introductory courses for students to experience these subjects at secondary level so that they can make informed
decisions for the selection of semester or full year courses later. Students who have chosen a full year of Music at
Year 8 can still choose to study Art, Design, Media and/or Drama in other year levels.
At Year 9 students can again choose a full year or semester of Music or semesters from Art, Design, Drama and/or
Students cover essential art and Design skills involving colour theory, perspective, observation, drawing and drawing
from imagination. Students use a variety of traditional art media and contemporary electronic media. They
experience working with paint, printmaking and sculpture. They look at the work of artists and designers and discuss
the influence of artists in what we see around us every day.
Students cover essential Drama skills of using their voice, improvising, developing characters and mime. The focus is
on building confidence and creativity, working in small and large groups and developing performance, staging and
audience skills.
All students enrolled in Music play their chosen instrument in class ensembles/bands, study music theory and music
appreciation and have the opportunity to join extra-curricular lunchtime ensembles and to perform at concerts
organised throughout the year.
Students who choose to study music will need to learn, or already be learning, an instrument in addition to the Music
class. Tuition (at cost) is available through the school with visiting instrumental teachers (one lesson per week), or
students may learn from a private music tutor outside the school.
This subject commences in Year 9. Students develop and understanding of communication media. The course is
mainly practical with a focus on the production of media such as video, radio, print, advertising and web pages.
The classes take place in a well-equipped Media block using industry standard editing software.
The curriculum is built around the strands of Language, Literature and Literacy, to develop students’ knowledge,
understanding and skills in listening, reading, viewing, speaking, writing and creating. Teachers revisit and strengthen
concepts, skills and processes developed in earlier years as needed. Students interpret, create, evaluate, discuss
and perform a wide range of texts, including texts designed to inform and persuade.
Students work and learn in well-equipped classrooms. Students are encouraged to take part in activities such as the
Premier's Reading Challenge, the MS Readathon, the Meet the Writers Festival, and writing and debating
Students will be expected to:
Study Print, Visual and Multimodal Texts
Produce Texts and engage in a Language Study
Analyse Texts
Perform Written Tasks under timed conditions
Students attend one or more performances, which bear a cost extra to school fees of about $20 in total. Students
complete ACER PAT-Reading assessments twice a year to inform teaching and learning.
At Year 9, classes are levelled as Advanced, Standard and Modified, with placement based upon Year 8 results in
combination with teacher recommendation.
Health and Physical Education
At Year 8 students complete two semesters of Health and Physical Education (unless they are Music students, in
which case they complete only one). A range of sports is included. The focus is on Being Healthy, Safe and Active,
Communicating and Interacting for Health and Wellbeing, Contributing to Healthy and Active Communities, Moving
our Body, and Understanding and Learning through Movement.
In the full year H&PE course, students complete a 10 week Home Economics unit. The focus of this unit is on
vegetables and strong links are made with the vegetables grown in Agriculture to encourage the consumption of
vegetables and a healthy diet.
An extensive unit of Health Education is also included. The focus is on developing decision-making skills.
Students at every year level are expected to change into the Physical Education Uniform. Modifications are made to
the program for students with long-term medical problems.
At Year 9 students must study one compulsory semester of H&PE. The course gives equal time to Health and
Physical Education. In Health the students study fitness of individuals and the community, recreational drugs, alcohol
and the young person and sexuality. In Physical Education, students work on a variety of highly energetic team
sports such as Touch, European Handball, Ultimate Frisbee etc, to promote participation in and enjoyment of physical
activity as a lifestyle choice.
Students have the opportunity to select a second semester of study from the following:
Physical Education, which develops further some of the practical skills covered in Year 8 as well as
introducing new ones. The focus is on Fitness, Community Recreation, Sport, Sports Injuries Theory and
Home Economics, which has an emphasis on Food as a Socialiser, Cottage Industry Foods, Foods of
other Cultures and Menu Planning and Entertaining.
Health Education, which focuses on Identity, Relationships, the Reproductive System, Sexually Transmitted
Infections and Decision Making.
This subject is taught over two semesters and combines topics in Geography, History, Civics and Citizenship, and
Economics and Business. Topics covered are:
Year 8
 Landforms and Landscapes
 Changing Nations
Year 9
 Geographies of Interconnections
 Japan under the Shoguns
 The Black Death
 Medieval History
 The Industrial Revolution
 Forming a Nation
 World War 1 and the ANZAC spirit
Civics and Citizenship
 The Law and You
Civics and Citizenship
 Value of International Tourism to Australia
 Government, Democracy and Law
Economics and Business
 Biomes and Food Security
Economics and Business
 Domestic Tourism Business Case Study
Students explore mathematical content and develop mathematical skills described by the four proficiencies:
Understanding, Fluency, Problem Solving and Reasoning. Modified, Standard and Advanced courses are offered to
support different learners, with smaller groups in Modified to allow for time to support student improvement, and
appropriate adjustments made to assessment at all levels. Students can move from Modified courses during the year
if appropriate.
Below is a chart indicating what is taught at each Year Level:
Year 8
Number and Percentages
Algebra, Laws and Equations
Geometry of Polygons
Coordinate Geometry
Statistics and Probability
Measurement – length, area, volume
Rate, Proportion, Ratios
Year 9
 Algebra, Indices and Formulae
 Measurement, Surds and Pythagoras
 Factorisation, Linear and Simultaneous
 Coordinate Geometry
 Trigonometry
 Probability
Additional information
Students undertake the ACER PAT-Mathematics assessments twice a year to inform teaching and learning.
Calculators and appropriate Information and Communication Technologies are used throughout each year.
The Year 8 and 9 Science courses at Urrbrae integrate study in the four branches of science (Biology, Chemistry,
Geology, Physics) in easily accessible units that are designed to make science relevant to students’ experiences and
appropriate to the Urrbrae setting.
Topics covered are:
Year 8
Working Scientifically and States of Matter
Rocks and Minerals
Using Energy
Cells and Digestion
Elements and Materials
Living Systems
Heat Energy
Year 9
Plate Tectonics
Light, So8und and EMR
Coordination, Control and Disease
Living Together
Types of Reactions
Electrical Energy
Urrbrae is renowned for its outstanding Design and Technology facilities and its innovative "state of the art" courses.
Technology is a focus area of Urrbrae and we offer the largest range of courses in the State.
Urrbrae aims to reflect modern industrial practices with an emphasis on Computer Aided Design (CAD), Computer
Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) and computer controlled (CNC) machines. We have extensive industry sponsorship
and Urrbrae has pioneered the use of high-level industry standard CAD software "Unigraphics NX" and CAD/CAM
software "Surfcam". Courses focus on designing solutions to practical problems with an emphasis on CAD/CAM,
modern industry practice and the environment.
At Year 8 all students complete one semester which covers many aspects of the learning area. Students design and
make products from a variety of materials, solve practical problems and learn to work safely in a workshop
environment. Students move with the one teacher through different areas and complete work in electronics,
Computer Aided Design (CAD), Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM), digital technology, wood, sheet metal
and plastics.
At Year 9 students choose semester length courses from the list below. All courses involve solving problems and
working safely in a practical environment with a focus on design, technical communication, modern industrial
practices and the environment.
Electronics: Students learn and practice basic electronic principles through circuit analysis, design and construction.
Computer Aided Design: Students are introduced to CAD using "Siemens NX" software.
Environmental Studies: Students investigate issues surrounding sustainable energy technology and use various
materials to model these systems and principles.
Metal Technology: Students design and make metal products, solve practical problems and learn to work safely in
the workshop and with machines.
Wood Technology: Students design and make wood products, solve practical problems and learn to work safely in
the workshop and with machines.
Information and Communications Technologies
Urrbrae values the use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) as tools that facilitate Creativity,
Structured thinking, Organisation, Communication, Collaboration and Presentation.
Most teaching areas are equipped as Digital Classrooms with projectors, interactive whiteboards and high quality
sound systems. In conjunction with school facilities, Urrbrae has a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program for
general classroom use. The BYOD program allows students to A) buy a recommended laptop bundle; B) bring a
laptop that they already own and use it at school, or C) use the school laptops on a lesson by lesson basis, by
application to the Principal.
Students can access online content on the Internet and through the school's Intranet. The school resources,
including assessment plans and tasks are online and can also be accessed securely from home.
Some learning areas have specialised hardware and software that have particular application within their associated
industries. Design and Technology use CAD/CAM packages. Final Cut Pro and Sonar are used in media for industry
standard movie and audio editing. The Arts use music writing and editing programs as well as industry standard
graphic manipulation packages such as the Adobe Design Suite. Maths and Science use software for graphing,
geographical mapping (GIS), and investigative science software for topics such as the solar system and the human
body. Software packages for farm management help with record keeping, paddock management and livestock
Financial Information
School charges
The School Council sets a material and services fee for students each year. This includes levies for Information
Technology, Agriculture, Sport and Pastoral Care worker support, plus an initial student computer printing fee.
Year 8 students are required to attend the orientation Camp in Week 2 of Term 1 and this bears a separate cost.
If students elect to buy a laptop within the school's Bring Your own Device scheme, there are separate costs involved
in this purchase.
The school year book "Harvest" is extra, and can be ordered and paid for early in the year for issue in December.
Families are encouraged to make a tax deductable contribution to the School Building Fund.
Not included in the charges above are the costs of co-curricula activities, such as excursions, camps or theatre visits,
music tuition and musical instrument hire. Students may also be charged for materials for take home projects in Art,
Design and Technology or Home Economics.
Application for School Card is renewable each year. An amount is granted to the school for each approved School
Card holder. We ask that parents pay the balance.
Text books and stationery
Text books are distributed by the school to students as they are required. The provision of stationery packs including
some specific subject workbooks has been out-sourced and requires payment directly to the company concerned.
Details are provided to all families during Term 4.
School uniform
Our Uniform Shop, located in the Canteen Building, is managed by Totally Schoolwear, and is usually open on two
mornings each week during school time. New students have the opportunity to order their uniform needs during Term
4 of the year before they commence at Urrbrae. The main branch of Totally Schoolwear is located at 378 Goodwood
Road, Cumberland Park.
Mortlock Scholarships
Mortlock Scholarships are from a bequest to Urrbrae Agricultural High School by the Mortlock family and are awarded
each year to Urrbrae students based on their academic results. These scholarships are available to students from
Year 9 onwards.
Applying for entry to Urrbrae
Entry to Urrbrae Agricultural High School is not restricted by zoning rights and each year students come from across
the metropolitan area and country districts. The school is accessible by public transport from all metropolitan
suburbs. Sibling rights do not apply and there is a ceiling on the number of students who can be enrolled. Urrbrae
does not have boarding facilities, but can assist families to find home stay accommodation.
An application for Urrbrae must:
Include a completed Application for Enrolment in Year 8 at Urrbrae cover sheet.
Address the selection criteria. The selection criteria may be addressed in writing, for example in the form of
a letter, or in any other way which provides evidence which meets the selection criteria.
Include a copy of the student's two most recent school reports.
Include a $20 non-refundable Administration fee.
In addition, applicants will need to give a Student Information form to their current school for completion. This will be
returned direct to Urrbrae by the current school.
Selection criteria
Students are selected based on the degree to which they have provided evidence of:
A demonstrated interest in, and commitment to, any or all of the school’s focus areas of Agriculture,
Horticulture, the Environment and Technology
A demonstrated positive attitude towards learning, school and study.
Participation in a range of co-curricular activities.
A willingness to join with and build an Urrbrae school and community spirit.
Closing Date for Applications
Completed applications should reach the school by 5pm on Wednesday 29th April, 2015. Please address completed
applications to:
Student Services
Urrbrae Agricultural High School
505 Fullarton Road
For further enquiries, contact Student Services on 8372 6955 or by email at [email protected]
Application Process - Frequently Asked Questions
What is the process that the school uses to assess applications?
A panel of senior staff considers each application in terms of the degree to which they provide evidence of the
selection criteria. Each application is awarded points against each criterion (see below)
Selection Criteria
A demonstrated interest in and commitment to
 Agriculture, and/or
 Horticulture, and/or
 The environment, and/or
 Technology
A demonstrated positive attitude towards learning, school and study,
including academic merit
Participation in a range of co-curricular activities both in and out of
A willingness to join with and build an Urrbrae school and community
Maximum points
Each application is given a final point score, and the applications are then ranked in order of score from highest to
How are offers of enrolment made?
There is an enrolment ceiling (208 students) which determines the number of offers of enrolment which can be made.
The first round of offers of enrolment is made to the group of highest ranked applications up to this ceiling, in early
What does it mean if I am on the Waiting List?
Students who meet the Selection Criteria, but whose place in the rank of applications exceeds the ceiling, are put on
the ranked Waiting List.
Some students decline their first round offer of enrolment, creating vacancies. A second round of offers of enrolment
is made from the ranked Waiting List to fill these vacancies up to the ceiling. Any subsequent vacancies are filled
promptly from the ranked Waiting List, a process which sometimes continues until the beginning of the following
school year.
Does being on the Waiting List mean that eventually I will be offered a place?
Unfortunately, it is possible that students on the Waiting List are not offered a place if no vacancy becomes available.
What does “Meeting the Selection Criteria” mean?
In order to meet the Selection Criteria, students must
 Provide evidence towards each of the 4 Selection Criteria, and
 Achieve a score of at least 25 points.
Students who do not satisfy both of the above dot points do not meet the Selection Criteria and are not offered a
place, nor are they placed on the Waiting List.
Can I find out how long the Waiting List is and where my child is on the Waiting List?
DECD policy prohibits the school from providing students or parents with information about the size of the Waiting
List, or about an individual’s place on the Waiting List.
Appeals Process
Families who wish to appeal the outcome of the Application Process can do so in the first instance by contacting
Cassie Dickeson at the school by telephone (8372 6955) or email [email protected] The
process for considering appeals is as follows:
Families are given feedback about their child’s application, including the score it received for each of the
Selection Criteria
Families who still wish to appeal the process need to lodge their appeal on the Application Appeal Form
provided to them on request after receiving feedback
Applications will be reconsidered on receipt of the Application Appeal Form, by a panel of senior staff
A successful appeal will result in
an applicant being moved to the Waiting List in rank order with other applicants (if the appeal
results in a decision that the applicant has met the Selection Criteria)
an applicant being moved up the Waiting List in rank order with other applicants (if the appeal
results in a decision that more points should have been awarded to the application)
Families will be advised in writing of the outcome of their Appeal.
Families should note that the Appeal Process will not consider any new information about an applicant. All details
which an applicant wants considered by the panel at any stage of the process must be included in the
original application.
Frequently asked questions about Urrbrae
What is the total enrolment of the school?
Approximately 1000 students
What is the average size of Year 8 home groups?
We have eight Year 8 homegroups, with an average of 26 students in each.
What are class sizes in practical and non-practical subjects?
Class sizes vary depending on the type of activity being undertaken. Practical classes are smaller
because of Work Health and Safety requirements.
How is a typical day organised?
Each day, apart from Wednesday, has 6 lessons. School starts at 8:45am and finishes at 3:25pm.
Single lessons are 50 or 55 minutes long. Double lessons are 105 minutes long. Each subject has
two single lessons, and one double lesson per week. On Wednesdays, there are only 5 lessons,
with dismissal early at 2:35pm. Recess is 20 minutes and lunch is 45 minutes long.
I've seen lots of opportunities for students to learn in very practical ways at Open Day. Is more
academic study important at Urrbrae?
Even though Urrbrae has an Agriculture/Horticulture/Technology/Environment focus, we are also a
highly successful comprehensive school which offers the full range of subjects in every learning
area at all year levels (excluding Languages).
Our NAPLAN results in year 9 in 2014 were as follows:
 Participation rate:
 % of students above the National Minimum Standard:
 Reading
 Writing
 Spelling
 Grammar and Punctuation 89
 Numeracy
Last year our South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) completion rate was 97% - that
means that 97% of the students who left us at the end of Year 12 achieved the SACE
Our highest Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) score in 2014 was 99.05 of a possible 100.
This ATAR score opens up University courses like Medicine and Dentistry (with the UMAT) and
Veterinary Science.
7 students achieved a Merit Certificate (score of 20/20) in a Year 12 subject
5 Students achieved an ATAR above 95, making University courses like Occupational Therapy,
Computer Science with Honours and Physiotherapy a possibility.
13 students achieved an ATAR above 90, making University courses like Speech Pathology,
Psychology with Honours, Nanotechnology and Midwifery a possibility.
34 students achieved an ATAR above 80, making University courses like Human Movement,
Engineering, Pharmacy, Law and Biodiversity and Conservation a possibility.
The average ATAR was 71.4
73% of students applied for Tertiary Study after finishing Year 12.
Apart from University, what other kinds of pathways do Urrbrae students follow?
School based Apprenticeships within the Mechanical and Engineering trades that are related to
Agriculture are very popular
The most highly sought after Vocational and Educational Training (VET) courses at present are in
 Hair and Beauty
 Media
 Electrotechnology
 Information Technology
 Sport and Recreation
 Fitness
 Early Childhood Education and Care
 Construction
What role does TAFE on site play in the life of the school?
TAFE classes use separate classrooms to school classrooms – these classrooms are located away
from school students
Having TAFE on site enhances our leadership of Horticulture education
Our students have ready access to TAFE resources and courses
How do you report on student progress to parents?
Reports go home at the end of each term. There are two long reports (including grades and written
comments) and two short reports (grades and ratings of learning behaviours). We have a parentteacher interview night at the beginning of term 2. Daymap is the Learner Management System
that the school uses to communicate information to parents and students about individual tasks and
learning programs in different subjects.