St Marys Senior High School

Mente Manuque

Telephone02 9623 8333

What to expect in high school

Starting a new high school is an exciting time, for students and their parents.

Going to our school will be a new experience for your child. The school is likely to be very different to their previous school and your child may feel a little insecure at first. However, it is also an exciting time with many opportunities and a broader curriculum.

New experiences

From Day 1, there will be many changes to get used to including having a number of different teachers and different classrooms, often spread across a larger campus. Set class periods on particular subjects may also be of a longer duration than in other schools.

New teachers

In our school, students usually have at least seven teachers and each year group has three Student Advisers to coordinate their activities (students are allocated to Student Advisers based on the first initial of their surname). There are also head teachers for different key learning areas and classmates can vary from class to class.

New subjects

New students may be introduced to subjects they haven't experienced before. They will also be expected to be more independent, self-reliant and self-motivated than in their previous school. Lessons will often be more student-centred and teachers will become resources and guides, rather than instructors.


Students are given timetables with subjects, times and room locations listed. They need to check their timetables each night to make sure they have the correct equipment and homework completed for the next day's classes. Reading and understanding our school timetables can take some time to get used to but there is a great deal of support on offer to help students with this.

New friends

Making new friends can be a daunting task for our Year 11 students. Students often come from a variety of schools and they may find themselves in classes filled with young people they don't know. Finding people they like and who share their interests helps motivate students and increases their self-esteem. Discuss their new school experiences each day, the people they've met or observations they've made – that way there is an awareness of difficulties when they arise rather than when it's too late.

Homework and study

Homework set will vary in amount and type because of the number of teachers and subjects each day – most students will need to do some homework every night – whether it be a review of the day's lesson, completion of exercises or starting an assignment that is due down the track.

Study time is different to homework. During study time, students should go over the day's work, read their textbooks or notes, create summaries and try to increase their understanding of concepts covered in class.