About Us

School number: 0909
School name: Willunga High School

School Profile:

Willunga High School has provided a comprehensive secondary education for the students in the southernmost part of Adelaide’s metropolitan area. Willunga High School’s core business is providing a high quality educational environment in which students enjoy engaging and innovative teaching and learning experiences that are underpinned by high levels of student and staff wellbeing. The aims of all the educational programs provided at Willunga High School are underpinned by our purpose statement and values which focus on the development of highly successful learners who achieve to their highest potential no matter their individual circumstances. 

Purpose Statement

Willunga High School creates an inclusive learning environment that provides high quality, innovative learning opportunities for young people that enable them to become highly successful global citizens.

Willunga High School has high expectations of all its students with regard to performing to their highest potential academically; success in vocational and co-curricular activities; respect for themselves and for others; work output and responsible behaviour. Our students actively engage in a wide variety of learning opportunities that connect Willunga High School with the local, national and international communities.

The behaviours of all members of the Willunga High School community are guided by our values of:
Respect, Responsibility, Resilience and Success

The school’s Strategic Directions inform the priorities for the school and provide a focus for the future. Our Strategic Directions are

  Quality Teaching & STEM
  ICT & eLearning

Willunga High School is situated in a semi-rural environment in the wine producing region of McLaren Vale. This provides the school with unique curriculum opportunities such as agriculture, horticulture (including viticulture), wine making, tourism and hospitality. The school has its own working vineyard and small farm, producing its own grapes and high quality wine along with the raising of sheep, dairy and beef cattle.
Willunga High School also has a proud tradition in the sporting area. The school has a specialist Volleyball program that supports students through subject based and extra curricula opportunities to develop as athletes and perform at the highest levels on the national stage.

There is a commitment to contemporary middle schooling methodologies in Years 8 & 9, with the focus on developing learning skills and strategies that foster growth in the Australian Curriculum capabilities and that promote successful and high quality academic outcomes. The Middle School curricula are built around an emphasis on establishing and developing positive, supportive and respectful relationships that promote high levels of learner wellbeing and resilience. The Middle School Team use a restorative approach to behaviour management and proactively develop strategies and programs that promote learner wellbeing, based around Positive Education principles. The structure of the sub-schools reduce the number of teachers that the students are exposed to, keeps them in the same learning group for much of their time at school and provides opportunities for students to develop supportive and positive relationships with their teachers and their peers that in turn promote higher levels of wellbeing and improved academic outcomes.

Learning Pathways in the Senior School offer a broad range of options which aim to provide flexibility and cater to the special interests and needs of students so they can achieve their South Australian Certificate of Education and transition successfully into their preferred post school pathways. The school offers specialised courses in Agriculture and Horticulture, Japanese, Volleyball and STEM. Flexibility is also provided by promoting the opportunity for students to access VET courses on site and across the region through the Southern Adelaide and Fleurieu Trade School (SAFTS) within which Willunga High School offers vocational courses in Wine Making, Hospitality, Kitchen Operations, Doorways to Construction and Furnishing.

Willunga High School is fostering international partnerships by hosting study tours from Japan and Korea, forging closer ties with our sister school, Okayama Shoka University Senior School, and fostering new relationships with schools in Thailand and Europe.

1. General information

• Principal: Anthony van Ruiten
• Deputy Principal: Haley Przibilla
• Year of opening: 1960
• Postal Address: 239 Main Road, Willunga 5172
• Location Address: 239 Main Road, Willunga 5172
• DECD Partnership: Sea and Vines
• Distance from GPO : 47km
• Telephone number: +6185570100
• Fax Number: +6185562243
• School website address: http://www.whs.sa.edu.au/
• School e-mail address: dl.0909.info@schools.sa.edu.au

• February FTE student enrolment:
 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Total February FTE


Male 961 1036 997 1021 1083
 507 483 480 497 525
 453 552 514 524 555
Families with approved School Card 174 173 170 196 211
Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students 44 43 42 41 39
Non English Speaking Background students 31 26 32 29 20

• Student enrolment trends:
Willunga High School enjoys strong enrolment interest from within and outside of the school’s zone. That coupled with the continued residential developments in the southern suburbs and regions, in particular Aldinga, Aldinga Beach, Sellicks Beach, and Silver Sands, it is expected that the school enrolment will continue to grow over the next 3 – 5 years.

• Staffing numbers:
The school staff consists of 75 Teaching staff and 32 SSO and GSE support staff of which there are 20 Leaders.
The leadership team include
• Principal: A8
• Business Manager: SSO5
• Deputy Principal: B5
• 3 Assistant Principal B3:
o Flexible Learning Options
o Middle School
o Senior School
• Senior Leaders B2: 4
• Coordinators B1: 11

•  Public transport access
Willunga High School has limited access to public transport with the SouthLink bus service operating an hourly service which links Willunga with Aldinga, McLaren Vale and Noarlunga Centre. 90% of all students are bused to the school through use of a Willunga Charter Bus service (16 buses) that is contracted to DECD to provide the transport of in zone students to and from the school and their primary place of residence.

• Special site arrangements:
Willunga HS is a member of the Sea and Vines Partnership, the Southern Area and Fleurieu Trades School and the Southern Area and Fleurieu Secondary Schools Alliance.

2. Students (and their welfare)
• General characteristics:
The Willunga High school student population is socially diverse rather than being ethnically diverse. Our student population has 4% identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (ATSI), 2% that have English as a Second Language or Dialect (EALD), 9% qualifying as having English as a Second Language (ESL), 8% on Negotiated Education Plans (NEP) and 23% on School Card. Interestingly the percentage of all Aboriginal and non-English speaking backgrounds has risen slightly whereas the percentage of students on a negotiated curriculum plan and who are eligible for school card declined slightly. It should be noted that our international fee paying students are not represented in this data, as they are not included in enrolment census data collection.

• Student well-being programs:
The wellbeing of students at Willunga High School is one of the strategic directions of the school and is seen as a critical aspect of the promotion of high academic outcomes for students. Willunga High School has Middle School and Senior School teams who proactively promote high levels of student wellbeing through positive relationships, restorative practices and the development of programs based in the philosophy of Positive Psychology. The student welfare team see to the personal and crisis counselling for the students in a proactive manner. Other services that are available to support student wellbeing are an extensive learning support and intervention strategy and a Doctor on Campus program which provides access for students to a GP on site, Inschool Psychology and an accredited Counsellor to provide support in the treatment of mental and physical wellbeing impediments to student learning.

• Student support offered:
The Willunga High School provides continuity and consistency through the use of a restorative practices approach to Student Behaviour Management across the school. The Student Wellbeing teams are made up of
• Assistant Principal – Student Well-Being (2018)
• Assistant Principal - FLO
• Assistant Principal – Senior School
• Assistant Principal – Middle School
• Senior Leader Middle School (B2)
• 5 Year Level Coordinators
• SACE /VET Coordinator
• Aboriginal Education Teacher
• Aboriginal Community Engagement Officer
• 2 Student Wellbeing Leaders (1 Coordinator and 1 Senior Leader (B2))

The Student wellbeing teams work consistently to embody and promote the school values (RESPECT, RESPONSIBILITY, RESILIENCE AND SUCCESS) into their practice and to make them central to all interactions with students.
Students are supported through the deployment of Year Level Coordinators and the team of home group teachers who continue to work with their class throughout their time at Willunga.

The learning support team cater for the diverse learning needs of the students in the school. Willunga HS has a Special Options Class where student who are allocated by the regional Support Services receive specialist ‘special education learning’. A Supported learning Centre lead by the Senior Leader (B2) Inclusion provides extra learning support for students with an NEP or those with identified learning needs. A Speech Pathologist also supports the diagnosis of students with speech and language difficulties and provides strategies to support them in their learning.

• Student management:
The school’s Responsible Behaviour Policy is based on the school values and enacted using the principles of the Restorative Practices. These principals are well understood by students and teachers. Exits from classroom and other incidents are documented via SEQTA and EDSAS. The Year Level Coordinators oversee behaviour contracts, suspensions and contact with the interagency and behaviour support teams.

• Student government:
Willunga High School is actively seeking opportunities to promote student voice all aspects of school life, including contributing to decision-making processes within the school. The school also aims to provide students with opportunities to build on their leadership and communication skills. There are a number of ways in which students can be involved with leadership programs at Willunga HS.

Students can become active and develop leadership skills by engaging in the Student Representative Council, Leos Club and other representative bodies in the school. Willunga HS is pursuing opportunities for greater involvement on community and local council youth organisations.

The opportunities for student representation on groups such as Governing Council, Uniform Committee and other student forums is actively encouraged across the student body.

• Special programmes:
Flexible Learning Options program is provided through an Off Site program that aims to reengage students in their schooling and to provide an alternative pathway to SACE completion or pathways into the workforce.
Willunga HS provides students with several ‘specialist’ programs which include:
• A volleyball program that promotes the development of interpersonal and athletic skills through taking Volleyball as a subject at years 8-10 and providing extra curricula training and games throughout the year.
• A “Food and Fibre” program provides learning in animal management though a Led Steers Program, Cows Means Careers and Wool Production which is coupled with the development of skills in viticulture (in the schools vineyard), olive production and Wine Making. (Including a Cert II in Wine Making)

3. Key School Policies

The Willunga HS SIP has been recently redeveloped to identify the areas for improvement in the school. This comprehensive document is guiding the further development of improvement priorities across the school.
Willunga HS has also recently engaged in expensive consultation to develop a new Strategic Plan, Purpose Statement, School Values and Graduate Qualities. The Four School Priorities are
1. Inclusion
2. Wellbeing
3. Quality Teaching and STEM
4. ICT and eLearning.

4. Curriculum

• Subject offerings
Willunga High School offers a comprehensive curriculum to students from Years 8-12 that challenges and supports all learners. In the Middle school students study a full range of subjects from the Australian Curriculum in a middle schooling environment where class sizes are limited and students are exposed to as few teachers as possible. Senior School students study a range of subjects accredited by the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) Board.
As a member of the Southern Area and Fleurieu Trade School we are able to offer, in addition to academic subjects, an extensive range of Vocational Education Training (VET) options for students to support their completion of complete the SACE or to progress to the work force in their chosen career pathway.

• Special needs
There is an Assistant Principal, Inclusion, a Special Needs teacher and a team of SSOs who develop Negotiated Education Plans and work to provide in class support and access to the Supported Learning Centre to those students with identified needs.

• Special curriculum features:
Willunga has a SACE/VET Coordinator who manages the Vocational Education and Training programs which our students can access (both in schools and through the SAFTS). The school has developed a partnership through the Southern area and Fleurieu Secondary School Alliance (SAFSSA) to promote STEM as a career and through transition programs working with the local primary schools. It is intended to develop this program to provide innovative teaching programs across the school in a range of interdisciplinary programs.

• Teaching methodology:
The school has an emphasis on modern teaching methodology which is being supported by the inclusion as a STEMworks school. This redevelopment of a section of the school will provide opportunities to explore innovative, interdisciplinary, engaging and effective teaching methodologies and Quality Teaching. Significant ongoing PD continues to support developments in this area with the appointment of a Quality Teaching Senior Leader enabling the leading of greater development on this initiative. Students have 24/7 access to online coursework and teacher support via SEQTA. In addition, PLP, Research Project and overviews of all curricula are stored in this way. Students comment favourably in relation to this initiative. SEQTA is increasingly being used to provide easy access to learning materials and assignments with assessments and attendance also be recorded here.

• Student assessment procedures and reporting:
Staff report student progress to parents 4 times per year. At the end of term 1 & 3 a Student/Parent/Teacher Conference is held to enable families to discuss the achievement and progress of their child (ren). At the end of semester a student Report is issued. These reports are posted home at the completion of the assessment period. The school uses the SEQTA reporting system to produce its reports electronically with a goal to only publish reports through the learner management system from 2018 onwards. At week five of each term a ‘snapshot’ report is sent home providing parents with an overview of each students achievement using a ‘traffic light system”

• Joint programmes:
The school works closely with all state secondary schools in the southern region as the Southern Adelaide and Fleurieu Secondary Schools’ Alliance or SAFSSA. This network focuses on delivering school industry links by increasing vocational offerings throughout the region and shared curriculum delivery. Principals, Deputy Principals, Area of Study Coordinators and Student representatives from each school meet regularly and share their practice and arrange common school closure days to support curriculum knowledge and pedagogy.
The Sea and Vines Partnership also engage in shared training and development and sharing of practice with a goal to provide a seamless (B-12) education for the students in our care.

5. Sporting Activities

Willunga HS has a specialist Volleyball program which provides student the opportunities to participate in the annual State Schools Cup and Australian Schools Volleyball Championships. Willunga has experience a great deal of success through its participation in these competitions.
The school also offer opportunities for students to compete in State knockout tournaments in a variety of sports as well as holding an annual sports day.

6. Other Co-Curricular Activities
The school conducts regular Ski Trips and opportunities to travel interstate and overseas through our program with our sister school and through offering an “Antipodes Abroad” program biannually. SEHS also showcases its students through a range of activities including the Arts Showcase, Music, Dance and Drama evenings Art Exhibitions, the Premier’s Reading Challenge amongst others.

7. Staff (and their welfare)
• Staff profile
The school staff consists of 75 Teaching staff and 32 SSO and GSE support staff of which there are 20 Leaders.

• Leadership structure
The leadership team include
• Principal: A8
• Business Manager: SSO5
• Deputy Principal: B5
• 3 Assistant Principal B3:
 Flexible Learning Options
 Middle School
 Senior School
• Senior Leaders B2: 4
• Coordinators B1: 11

• Staff support systems
The staff have an active PAC and Staff Association. They work in a supportive and cohesive way. The Area of Learning team meetings all include professional development opportunities for staff as documented via Agenda/Minutes. Items included in this forum include the use of rubrics, interactive technologies, sharing of resources and pedagogy.
In addition, we are changing the culture from one that few staff accessed professional development opportunities to all staff participating in ongoing Professional Development through Area of Learning and also accessing greater amounts of external training. Strategies we have been implemented to improve this include:
• Establishing the expectation that all staff continue to develop through professional development that is aligned with their PDP and the school priorities. (E.g. all staff participating in training in the Australian Curriculum and SACE).
• Changing the focus for Area of Learning team meetings from routine information sharing to professional development and sharing of pedagogy.
• The establishment of Think Tanks to explore, trial and promote new strategies. The work of the Thinks Tanks now drives the majority of the Professional learning for staff.
• Regular professional learning opportunities for members of the leadership team to develop skills in identified areas (e.g. professional development and performance and development).
• Professional Development budget providing funds to cover costs (accommodation, travel and conference fees) of national conferences.
• Thursday evenings quarantined for ‘voluntary’ professional development. Staff have taken responsibility for organising and delivering training.
• Quality Professional development is becoming embedded in the Willunga HS culture.

• Performance Management
The Department of Education and Child Development (DECD) is committed to a high performing workforce where excellence is pursued and performance development systems are embedded in the culture.
The Performance Development Process at Willunga HS is an ongoing process of planning, monitoring, reflecting, reviewing and making decisions about performance which results in actions to continuously improve learning and performance. It is a process which can be both informal and formal and involves identifying performance objectives and learning goals, and reviewing performance against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (and Principals). All staff members complete a self-review that is based either on their job and person specification or their established and approved PDP. Staff meet with their designated line manager at least once per semester. Conversations are documented in a PD Plan and submitted to the executive team.

• Staff utilisation policies
This is managed by the PAC in their advisory role to the Principal.

• Access to special staff
Instrumental Music Branch teachers, apprenticeship Brokers, Southern Area DECD Support Services (Psychology, Behaviour, Speech, Special Educators), Doctor on Campus, Psychologist on Campus, Counsellor and Speech Pathologist, Flexible Learning Options (FLO) case workers (Mission Australia), local community groups.

8. Incentives, support and award conditions for Staff
• Medical and dental treatment expenses
DECD cover the cost of the annual Flu vaccination.
• Technology
All teaching staff are provided with a laptop to support their administrative duties and to promote modern teaching methodologies.

9. School Facilities

• Buildings and grounds
There have been considerable upgrades to the buildings and facilities over the past eight years with purpose built Middle School buildings, Learning Centre and Special Options Class. There have also been significant upgrades in the Home Economics domestic kitchens and the construction of a Hospitality Trade Training Centre. The site is about to undergo further significant redevelopment as the beneficiary of a STEMworks grant of $2.5million dollars and a sustainable school grant of $250,000. The STEMworks redevelopment will focus on providing innovative learning spaces that support modern teaching methodologies. This redevelopment will include the creation of flexible collaborative spaces and include the renewal of the Library space into a technology hub and resources centre.

• Heating and cooling
All classrooms and offices are equipped with temperature controlled reverse cycle air conditioning either as standalone split systems of larger integrated units

• Specialist facilities and equipment
• All classrooms are equipped with a data projector and audio system. Most have blinds or curtains.

• Student facilities
• A dedicated area, the new Senior Centre is available for Year 12 students who have study lines. This area is also available for Year 11 VET students. This study space is available for use at recess and lunch times.
• Students from all Year levels enjoy the library during break times and for after school.
• There are shaded areas and seating around the school that popular at lunchtimes along with an outdoor gym on the ‘top oval’
• Although we have a BYOD policy, there are limited opportunities for students to access 24/7 loan laptops.

• Staff facilities
The Staff room and Boardroom and a range of meeting rooms are provided for staff use. All teaching staff have an office space provided as close as possible to their main teaching area. The school is organised into curriculum learning spaces to allow the teachers to team teach and to work with colleagues in the same learning area. The trade Training Centre, Middle School Atriums and Library are available for large staff meetings and training and development.

• Access for students and staff with disabilities
There is good access for staff and students with a physical disability. A lift with key access allows those with temporary or permanent disabilities to access the second floor of the main building. There is a need to improve access points in some areas to provide compliant ramps and disabled car parking.

• Access to bus transport
Willunga High School has limited access to public transport with the SouthLink bus service operating an hourly service which links Willunga with Aldinga, McLaren Vale and Noarlunga Centre. 90% of all students are bused to the school through use of a Willunga Charter Bus service (16 buses) that is contracted to DECD to provide the transport of in zone students to and from the school and their primary place of residence

10. School Operations

• Decision making structures
The Decision Making Policy encourages the use of naturally occurring teams to generate issues for decision-making, according to their role and responsibility. The main teams that staff are involved in are directly linked to their duty of care (Sub School Teams (Senior School & Middle School), curriculum delivery (Area of Learning teams).
The whole school leadership team have responsibility for leadership and decision making with regard to policy and processes that are implemented across the school. The structure is documented with clear procedures.
All minutes of meetings are available to staff to access at their leisure.

• Regular publications
The school newsletter is published twice per term and is available on our website. The newsletter regularly features student achievement and the successes of students and staff. The school website is under review and rebuild and will offer real time calendars, news updates with regular photos of school events. Facebook is also used as an effective publication medium to engage the school community. Course handbooks are no longer printed as Course selection is done online via Web Preferences.

• Other communication
The SEQTA Learner Management System provides an easy method of disseminating and accessing notices. Email, direct messaging and SMS are used on a daily basis by all staff for communication with colleagues, parents, students and others. Parents have access to the Parent Portal of SEQTA called SEQTA Engage. Emergency communication and unexplained absences are communicated via text message to parents/caregivers.

• School financial position
Willunga HS is working toward a more sustainable financial position.

11. Local Community
• General characteristics
Willunga HS is situated on the southernmost boundary of the greater metropolitan area of Adelaide. The community has a diverse mix of socio economic status but has a predominantly Anglo/Celtic cultural background.

• Parent and community involvement
The Governing Council is investigating ways to encourage greater involvement by parents in the life of the school. This is a standing agenda item at Governing Council, who are developing in their strategic thinking with regard to involving parents in decision making and the life of the school. The Governing Council have realised that that the parent body want different levels of involvement with the school ranging from dealing with the issues faced by their sons/daughters, input into decision making to being Governing Council members.
Some recent initiatives:
• The reintroduction of Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences in a community focussed setting in the school gym.
• Year 8 Meet the teacher nights where parents and their children can discuss information about the school and their child on a more informal and personal basis in the year prior to commencing at the school.
• Interpreters are organised as required for families for school events such as Meet the Teacher, Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences and Course Counselling.
• Parents attend Course Confirmation with their students
• Targeted communication with parents of Aboriginal students to ensure accurate information and encourage participation in school events.
• Annual client satisfaction surveys are completed by parents.
• An annual Year 8 Meet the Teacher night conducted at the beginning of the school year.
• Transition Evening for parents
• Open Day events for prospective families
• From time-to-time some volunteers are involved in the Resource Centre and Administrative functions.
• The Governing Council and Executive Team involve parents/caregivers in as many aspects of the school as possible

• Feeder or destination schools
Willunga HS experiences strong enrolment interest from within and outside of our zone. Our zone feeder schools include Aldinga Beach B-7, Myponga, Willunga PS, McLaren Vale PS, McLaren Flat PS and Kangarilla PS.

The Sea and Vines Partnership is made up of 13 Schools and Centres which include the zoned schools above and Clarendon PS, Clarendon Kindergarten, Madge Sexton Kindergarten, Aldinga Beach Children’s Centre, Aldinga Community Kindergarten and Willunga Preschool. The partnership has a focus on improved literacy and numeracy outcomes for our students by ensuring a Continuity of Learning, Creating Collaborative Cultures, Deepening Learning and Securing Accountability.

• Other local facilities
Willunga HS is 47km from the Adelaide GPO this presents challenges for the school in easily accessing programs based in the city. The school is not serviced by a frequent public transport services and relies on the purchasing of bus services for many of its excursions. There is access to Seaford Railway Station some 15km away which provides also access to the city.

The rear boundary of the high school follows the “Shiraz Trail’ bicycle path and the Willunga Golf Course providing opportunities for students to utilise these facilities. There are facilities such as Douglas Scrub, Port Noarlunga Aquatics Centre and other camping grounds that can be accessed by students for outdoor education activities.

• Local Government body
City of Onkaparinga



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Main Road, Willunga SA 5172 p:(08) 8557 0100 e:info@whs.sa.edu.au