Blackburn High School has a tradition of excellence and success in academic studies and is nationally renowned for its outstanding instrumental and ensemble music program. It is a traditional school that provides excellence in all areas of student learning and has an award-winning sports program. The school works to develop in its students a positive attitude towards learning, independence, high-level motivation, tolerance and self-discipline. Students are taught how to learn, analyse, solve problems, make decisions and keep informed about important issues. They are provided with skills, knowledge, attitudes and values that will enable them to contribute to society beyond school.
Facilities: Include large, light-filled classrooms, an assembly hall, library/science block, computer and technology rooms, a dedicated Year 12 study centre and VCE chemistry and biology laboratories built in 2006 and a purpose-built music block with recording studios and music computer laboratory. Sporting facilities, set in 10 hectares of landscaped grounds, include tennis, basketball and netball courts, hockey, soccer and football fields, gymnastics equipment and a weights room.
Curriculum: Blackburn High School provides a traditional curriculum with sequential courses of study for Years 7 to 12 in the Arts, English, ESL, LOTE (French or German), Mathematics, Science, SOSE (History, Geography and Economics), Health and Physical Education and Technology. There is an early start VCE option for students in Year 10 with the opportunity for students to undertake Units 3 and 4 in Year 11 to assist them to maximise their entrance scores for tertiary entry. Junior students are involved in “brain studies”, where they learn how to map their own learning. The school is nationally and internationally renowned for its Instrumental Music Program, which focuses on orchestral and concert and jazz styles. Specialist tuition is provided in all string, brass, woodwind and percussion instruments, as well as piano, guitar and voice. All music students are expected to participate in one of the ensembles and a variety of soirees, concerts and performances are scheduled during the year. A CD of each year’s Senior Music Ensemble Concert is available from the school.
Sport: In both 2001 and 2002, the school won the National Active Australia Award for its participatory sport program. More than 50 different sports are offered and there are also many lunchtime competitions. The school has conducted its renowned and innovative sports leadership program (in which Year 10 students train to become coaches and work with students in local primary schools) for a number of years.
Extra-curricular activities: All students are encouraged and invited to participate in a large number of programs that, in addition to cultural, artistic, sport and leisure activities, include inter-school debating, talent quests and competitions in mathematics, science, English, computing and technology, leadership training, camps, excursions, Tournament of Minds, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, Teen Innovation (quality management work experience), Student Parliament, school magazine editing and regular study tours to Germany, Japan and New Caledonia.
Student welfare programs: Student wellbeing is managed by form teachers, year-level co-ordinators and sub-school co-ordinators, the student welfare co-ordinator and the chaplain. The environment is friendly, orderly, secure and supportive and excellent cross-age peer support programs operate. High standards of student behaviour are expected, including adherence to uniform requirements.