Principal Message

Willunga High School is a comprehensive metropolitan secondary school, 47Km from the GPO, in a semirural environment, with an enrolment of over 850 students and continual growth in school numbers. Willunga High School has a long tradition of working with the community, the provision of academic and social programs which meet the varied learning styles of students, excellent teaching and learning based on personally sustaining relationships and a focus on a positive learning culture for all.

The school was opened in 1960 and is situated on 17 hectares of land. The facilities of the school are excellent with a large expanse of formal and informal outside spaces which comprises 2 ovals, tennis courts, and agricultural land (put to vineyards, olive groves and horticultural use).

WHS has recently undergone a major refurbishment and redevelopment, which now allows students and staff to access state of the art, visually stunning learning spaces. The school has strong community support, which is evidenced by an active Governing Council and industry recognition and support, particularly from the wine, grape-growing, hospitality and business sectors. A fleet of 16 buses transports approximately 90% of students from the surrounding towns and rural properties to the school.

The Willunga High Trade Training Centre is committed to the development of an enterprising culture in students working in conjunction with other schools across the district. Students are provided with opportunities to learn and practise the necessary skills in Enterprise Learning programmes. The Trade Training Centre is integral to the delivery of the wide variety of VET Certificate courses offered within the school: i.e. Certificate 1 & 2 in Hospitality (Kitchen Operations), Certificate 1 & 2 in Hospitality (Operations-Front of House), Certificate 1 in Rural Operations and Certificate 1 and 2 in Food Processing (Wine), Doorways to Construction (Certificate 1 & 2 in Building Construction), Sports Coaching, Certificate 1 in Sport and Recreation. The school is a member of the Southern Adelaide and Fleurieu Trade School (SAFTS) – a consortium of DECD schools in the South of Adelaide that provides a further extension of the wide range of Vocational subjects for students in Years 10-12. As a member of SAFTS, Willunga High School students are able to access vocational education programs in any of the member schools.

Willunga High School’s core business is teaching and learning in a collaborative environment. The Middle School Curriculum is framed by SACSA and enterprise learning skills which emphasise Information, Communication & Technology (ICT) and Problem solving skills, with a particular focus on literacy and numeracy development. There is a commitment to Middle Schooling methodologies in Years 8 & 9, with the focus on developing curriculum ownership and a constructivist approach to learning, where students build their future learning on the firm foundations that they already possess. Teaching and Learning communities are created to foster relationships and hands on learning. To support this approach, there are two Assistant Principals (Middle School and Senior School), Deputy Principal (Policy and Procedures) and the Principal. Sub-school leadership is provided by Year Level Managers in all of the year levels.  The structure of the Middle School sub-school allows teachers the time required to encourage inter-personal relationship building and the development of social skills. 

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 utilising the SACE. Flexibility is provided through recognised prior learning and the opportunity for students to access VET courses on site and across the region.

The school offers a broad curriculum, including Science, Agriculture, Japanese, Cultural Studies and a range of Arts – including Dance, Drama, Music, Media, Design and Visual Art.  Vocational courses in Community Services, Construction, Furnishing, Hospitality, Outdoor Recreation,  Viticulture and I.T are offered. The school provides additional support to students with a wide range of learning abilities. Identified students are supported through in class support as well as access to the Learning Support Centre. These students have an individual learning plan with a focus on support, learning goals and outcomes. Students identified as Gifted and Talented are mentored through the Step Ahead program. The Flexible Learning Options (FLO) program offers support for at risk, socially isolated students and each of these students is individually managed on site or through outside support agencies. Personal counselling is provided by two counsellors, whilst the Senior School Year Level Coordinators focus on Careers counselling.

A strong emphasis is placed on Student Voice and Leadership, with active Year Level Forums and Student Representative Council. Student run assemblies and fundraising events are a highlight of each term. Each year the study body elects a Male and Female President who is the leader of the student body. These individuals bring issues to the fore and endeavour to support all student initiatives, so that students feel that they have a voice and can contribute to their learning environment.

The Volleyball Program has over 70 students each year participate in the National Schools’ Volleyball Competition in Melbourne. The energy and enthusiasm shown throughout the year by these students and their coaches is truly amazing. We are currently ranked in the top 10 schools in Australia in this event. Students elect to participate in the program in Year 8. A team of dedicated staff give up their personal time to train students and link with professional coaches. Many students enter this program having never had the opportunity to play Volleyball. A number of students have represented the State in this sport and three students have represented Australia. This program opens up the world to these students and allows them to become elite athletes following their dreams.

School involvement in cutting edge curriculum pilot programs is actively sought, as it allows staff to gain professional knowledge first hand and to be innovative and entrepreneurial in their approach to developing new and exciting learning opportunities for students. It also allows funding to facilitate teacher release time to develop engaging learning programs and to enable the cross fertilisation of ideas and knowledge through working with in-school and other school teams.

Willunga High School is a place where:

  • The core business is teaching and learning
  • Students are engaged in their learning in a safe, orderly and supportive manner
  • Our core values inform our processes and practices.
  • Relationships are fostered and enhanced through a caring teaching and learning environment.
  • Students and staff are given every opportunity to realise their potential and to develop their skills, knowledge and expertise.
  • Links are established with our local community and enterprising behaviour is common
  • Pride in self, school and achievements is fostered

Everyone at Willunga High School; Teachers, School Support Officers, Parent Helpers and Governing Councillors, work together and are committed to ensuring that our environment is the best environment in which learning can occur. We really do care about our young people, their learning, welfare and future. Our motto is “be the best that you can be” basing this on the core values of the school Respect, Responsibility, Resilience and Success, which are the foundations upon which we build all policy, procedures, relationships and learning. We are proud of our school, our students and our learning program and this is reflected in the care, attention and provision of learning in all year levels for all students.

Click here to read through our Teaching and Learning Charter


Anthony van Ruiten

Department for Education T/A South Australian Government Schools CRICOS Provider Number: 00018A p:(08) 8557 0100