The school years starts in February and ends in December. Each year is divided into three
terms. There is a two week break between each term.
The summer vacation starts about the middle of December and runs until the first or second
week in February.
School uniforms are not compulsory in the public schools, but are available for the
convenience of parents. Uniform items can be purchased locally.
The primary school, high school and Catholic school have lunches available.
Two kindergartens in Woomera hold morning and afternoon half-day classes.
The morning class is for the older or more advanced children while the afternoon class is
for the younger children and is more of a play school. A child in morning kindergarten
learns how to write his name, his ABC's, and some of the other fundamentals in preparing
him for his first year in primary school. The afternoon class teaches children how to play
together and introduces them to supervised instruction. Depending on the number of
children enrolled, a child may be enrolled as early as three years of age, however the
average enrollment age is four years. There is generally a waiting list for admission. The
priority of selection is based on the child's age and the duration of the application. It
is important to get children registered as early as possible.
Children normally start school in the first grade at age 5. Pupils coming in from the U.S.
are generally placed in school by their age category which means that they are usually
placed in one grade higher than they were in America. Most of the students in the lower
grades have experienced no great difficulties.
The main method of presenting the parents with the progress of their children is by
parent-teacher interviews rather than report cards. There
are normally two interviews each year per child, arranged at a mutually convenient time,
however an interview may be requested any time by either
the parent or the teacher. All text books are supplied by the South Australia State
Government. The cost of writing papers, workbooks and various other fees is normally paid
by the parents; however Air Force pays these fees for Air Force dependent children.
Woomera High School averages about 400 students with approximately one-fourth being
American dependents. All the courses taught have been
accepted by authorities in the U.S. for credit (with the exception of South
Australian and Australian History), which insures that each student graduates with his
normal class. Students who take their final year of schooling at Woomera are offered two
choices. They may make arrangements
to be issued a diploma from their last school in the United States, or
they may be issued a diploma under the authority of the Commander on the recommendation of
the school principal. In the first case, credits are transferred to the students previous
school in the U.S. In the second case, students must qualify for the diploma with a
minimum of 17 credits gained in the l0th, 11th, and 12th grades. These credits must
include two units of math, two units of science, three units of English, one unit of
American History, and one unit of physical education. Courses required for graduation but
not available at the Woomera High School such as American History, civics, health, and
sometimes a foreign language may be taken through the Extension Division of the University
of Nebraska as supervised correspondence courses. Arrangements for these courses are made
through Woomera High School and the USAF School Liaison Officer upon arrival in Woomera.
There is a democratically elected Student Representative Council which has an important
advisory role in running the school. Student Societies are currently active in music and
drama, photography, community service, craft, and travel.
Because of the isolated position of Woomera, there is little chance to compete regularly
against other schools in sports. The school is divided into four teams or
"Houses" for sports competition in softball, basketball, netball, field hockey,
soccer, Australian Rules football, tennis, cricket, swimming, etc. Exchange visits are
sometimes arranged with other schools for competition.
Educational excursions and camps are an integral part of the school curriculum and all
students have an opportunity to participate. In addition the school Travel Club organizes
an annual two week excursion to another state. Normally students can participate in this
tour for approximately $Al00.00.
St Joseph's is the only parochial primary school (Grades 1 thru 7) in Woomera. The
curriculum is the same as for the South Australian Education Department Schools. The Air
Force does not pay any fees for dependents attending St Joseph's School. However, the
costs are quite reasonable.
The school year is the same as the primary with three terms per year. As of 3 February 75
the tuition per term was $A20.00 for one child, $A36.00 for two children, and $A48.00 for
three or more children in the family. Book fees ranged from $A11.00 per year for the lower
grades to $A17.00 per year for the higher grades. Uniforms are required and can be
purchased locally at reasonable cost. The school can accommodate up to 130 students and
the average class has about 30 students per teacher.
Curriculum -South Australia Education Department Schools -Primary
Grade 1 Age 5+ to 6+ years
Children admitted in February: six weeks readiness
(hand control, eye movements); begin reading and writing;
learn sounds; social studies (home and family); math (terms, numbers,
geometrical shapes); oral language (simple nature studies, health); art/craft;
poetry; singing; and physical education. Pass into grade 2 at end of 12 months.
Children admitted at the end of June: program similar to above.
Pass into upper grade 1 at end of six months.
Grade Upper 1 Age: 6 to 7 years
work for grade 1 (consolidate and progress a little further);
begin some of grade 2 work. Pass into grade 2 at end of 12 months.
provides them 18 months to "settle in" before going into grade 2.
Grade 2 Age: 6+ to 7+ years
and writing; phonics; math (sets and logic, simple geometry,
numeration, handling money, work on length, weight, capacity tables);
social studies (people who help us, butcher, baker, etc.);
art/craft; poetry; singing; oral language; nature studies; physical education and health.
Grade 3 Age: 7+ to 8+ years
learn cursive writing; math (more concepts); social studies (people of other lands);
and observations); reading; physical education (swimming taught); art/craft; poetry;
singing; oral language.
Grade 4 Age: 8+ to 9+ years
dictation; English formalities (word usage, letter forms);
math (consolidation and extension, statistics and graphs, numeration, tables, money
aids not used extensively, geometry -topology); reading; social studies (home and
speech and drama/music appreciation; art/craft; poetry.
Grade 5 Age: 9+ to 10+ years
dictation; reading; writing; math (abstractions); social studies (Australia and Australian
poetry; music; art/craft; nature studies; speech and drama; English.
Grade 6 Age: 10+ to 11+ years
extended in areas above; social studies (India, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand;
New Guinea, South Africa); nature (elementary science); math (sets and logic, statistics,
numeration, estimation, approximation, computations, fractions, decimals, geometry).
Grade 7 Age: II+ to 12+ years
extensions from above; English grammar; social studies (Australia's resources, primary and
secondary eastern countries - southeast Asia, United States, Russia, famous people);
emphasis placed on study skills (use of atlas, index, reading and extraction of relevant
Curriculum- High School
Grade 8 All students take a common course.
The only choice involved is whether a student takes a foreign language, if available.
taking a foreign language spend fewer periods per week in art and shop courses. Normal
load is 81/2 units.
French, South Australian history, wood shop, metal shop, art, geography, math, science,
needlework (dressmaking), physical education (I/2 unit).
Grade 9 English, math, science and physical education (I/2 unit)
are required. Normal load is 71/2 units.
French, Australian history, geography, math, science, wood shop, metal shop, home
art, typewriting, commerce (business education), shorthand, physical education (I/2 unit).
Grade 10 English, math, science and physical education (I/2 unit) are
required. Normal load is 71/2 units.
French, world history, geography, math, science (general - 1 unit, physical/living -1
unit), wood shop, metal shop,
home economics, needlework, art, typewriting, commerce, shorthand, physical education (I/2
Grade II English and recreational activities (I/2 unit) are
required. The aim of recreational activities is to teach the wise use of leisure time.
Normal load is 61/2 units.
French, Asian history, geography, math I, math II (include algebra, geometry, and
trigonometry and must be taken
one unit), math (general), chemistry, physics, biology, earth science, commerce,
typewriting, shorthand, senior shop,
economics, art, recreation activities (I/2 unit).
Grade 12 Recreational activities (I/2 unit) is required.
Normal load is 51/2 units.
French, modern European history, ancient history (Greek and Roman), geography, math I
& II (same as above),
physics, chemistry, biology, recreational activities (I/2 unit).