Suzanne Cory High School (abbreviated as SCHS) is a Year 9 to 12 selective entry, co-educational, public school in the western region of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The school caters for academically gifted students and provides an educationally enriched environment. Enrolment is offered to those having reached a high aptitude in the annual selective entry high schools entrance examination run by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DET).
The school was established in 2011 with 200 inaugural Year 9 students. 200 positions for Year 9 students are offered each year. In 2014, the school, for the first time, accommodated a full cohort of 800 students, ranging from Year 9 to 12. It is one of three additional selective high schools in Victoria alongside John Monash Science School and Nossal High School. The addition of these three schools are the result of a policy of expansion, increasing the number of fully selective government schools in Victoria. Prior to these schools, Mac.Robertson Girls' High School and Melbourne High School were the sole academic selective entry schools in Victoria.
Located in Hoppers Lane, Werribee, the school is in close proximity to Werribee Mercy Hospital and Hoppers Crossing railway station. Suzanne Cory High School is situated adjacent to Victoria University, giving students the opportunity to access university facilities, programs and academic staff.
The school is named in honour of the renowned Australian biologist, Professor Suzanne Cory. The school logo depicts a significant gene strand, the aurantiacus, discovered by Cory.
Entry into selective schools is highly competitive. In 2011, exclusively 955 places were available for over 5000 applicants. Students in their second year of secondary schooling are applicable to sit a 3-hour examination which tests their abilities in 6 component tests: numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, reading comprehension, mathematics, creative writing and analytical writing. The DET allows a maximum of 5 percent of Year 8 students from any given Australian school to be admitted into four selective schools: Mac.Robertson Girls' High School, Melbourne High School, Nossal High School and Suzanne Cory High School. However, 5 percent of enrolments are filled through the Principal's Discretion Category. Students who were not able to achieve the cut-off mark within five marks or passed the cut-off mark for the exam but were denied first round offers due to the 5 percent rule, are given a chance to be seated in an interview. Over 100 applicants are placed in this interview, for less than 20 positions. In addition, the 'Equity Considerations policy', adapted by the DET allows 10 percent of year 9 enrolments to be filled through this manner. Students with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander backgrounds or students whose parents have a Commonwealth Health Care Card are eligible for this policy.
The educational focus of Suzanne Cory High School is to provide an encouraging yet challenging academic curriculum incorporating eLearning for students who are academically gifted and talented, in conjunction with a rich co-curricular program consisting of student leadership, sport and community involvement. The core values which underpin all school programs, policies and practices are: respect, aspiration and contribution. The intention for Suzanne Cory High School is to become a nationally and internationally recognised exemplar in the provision of highly successful educational programs for academically talented students and lead in the contribution to state and national educational, economic, social, cultural and environmental goals through the delivery of high quality learning for students and teachers. The school is built to an emblematic design brief featuring a learning environment conducive to supporting a young adult learning community in a modern building featuring environmentally sustainable elements. The design incorporates ICT arrangements for eLearning.
Year 9 and 10 courses are similar, with concentration on two core subjects, English and Mathematics. The subject of science is also emphasised. Electives are available to students throughout these years, in which students may select from a variety subjects they wish to undertake. Choices of electives include, but are not limited to: food technology, psychology, philosophy, music, drama, media studies, and visual art subjects. During these two years, studying a language is compulsory. The school offers two languages: French and Mandarin Chinese. Students have the opportunity of selecting either language to study and have the option to continue study in VCE. In addition, Classroom music is also compulsory in Year 9 which allows students to develop a culturally informed understanding of Western Musical practices. Instrumental music is optional for students, but highly recommended.
To allow students to gain better relationships with peers, Suzanne Cory High School offers a broad range of co-curricular activities. These encourage students to adopt leadership skills, teamwork skills and community participation. As a part of the Co-Curricular program, the school offers access to Duke of Edinburgh Award, Debating, and the School Musical.
The majority of students undertake VCE starting in Year 11. However, Suzanne Cory High School allows Year 11 students to voluntarily undertake a Unit 3&4 VCE subject. This strategy is similar to the Select Entry Accelerated Learning one year early VCE plan, which enables students to become more prepared for VCE, hence gaining higher outcomes. In 2013, 178 of the school's 200 Year 11 students completed one or more unit 3/4 subjects.
Many of the inaugural group of year twelve students completed unit 3/4 VCE studies in 2013. The median study score was 36 and the percentage of students attaining a study score of 40 or above was 24 percent. These first VCE results placed Suzanne Cory High School within the 25 highest performing schools in the state in 2013.
All students at Suzanne Cory High School are allocated to one of four houses upon entry to the school. These houses are an important part of the school network and a way for students to become involved in school life. Each of the four houses is named after a mountain in the western region of Victoria and all the houses are associated with a colour, mascot and badge. There would be two leaders of a respective house of the four year levels. House chorals were added in order to create a sense of unification within the school cohort.Blackwood - Horse and knight motifs
Cottrell - Phoenix motif
Kororoit - Dragon motif
Rothwell - Griffin motif
The house program involves a number of whole school competitions in several different domains including sports, debating and music. This includes whole school events such as the athletics carnival and house chorals, as well as student participation in events such as the Relay for Life and World’s Greatest Shave. Students can also earn house points through the school values card system by demonstrating the school values of respect, aspiration and contribution. These can be earned in class, through co-curricular involvement or outside of class.
In a bid to encourage participation in extra-curricular activities while simultaneously allowing students to be given a voice in school issues, Suzanne Cory High School has established a strong leadership program which is constantly expanding, creating new roles for aspiring leaders. At the end of each year, students are encouraged to apply for leadership roles. The most important of these roles are those of School Captains. Each year there are two School Captains, a male and a female, from the year 12 cohort. The School Captains are elected both by the principal team as well as the students. In 2016, the school decided to offer the roles of two School Vice-Captains. In addition to school captaincy, students have the opportunity to apply for many other roles such as Student Representative Councilor (SRC) or House Leader.
Within the school there are many sporting opportunities that the students are encouraged to be involved in. Sport is a compulsory subject for Year 9 and 10 students in addition to practical physical education requirements. During sport sessions, students make a choice from four options each term to ensure they are experiencing a diverse range of activities.
In addition to the Sport program, whole school opportunities such as the school swimming and athletics carnivals are held in the first term. These events set a platform for the school’s culture and application of the core values. The school’s house program is also used as a vehicle through lunch time sporting competitions where the students participate for their house in various team sports.
At the inter-school sport level, students participate in a wide range of sports against other schools in the Wyndham region. If successful, winning teams represent Wyndham against other schools in the Western Metropolitan Region.
Suzanne Cory High School maintains its affiliations with the other selective schools in Victoria. Notably, the school has strong ties with Nossal High School. The relationship is unique in that the two schools are the only wholly selective co-educational high schools in Victoria. The schools engage annually in the Terry Bennett Cup, a friendly inter-school competition between year 9 students. The schools interchange each year to host the competition.Principal, Colin Axup
Vice Principals, Frances Muollo and William Donaldson
57 teaching staff
17 Non-teaching staff