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Schools

SCHOOLS

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.

Kindergarten

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.

Primary School

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.

High School

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

 

 

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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.

Catholic School

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Curriculum -South Australia Education Department Schools -Primary

Grade 1 Age 5+ to 6+ years
                  (I) Children admitted in February: six weeks readiness
                  work (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.

                  (2) 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
                  Complete 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.
                  This provides them 18 months to "settle in" before going into grade 2.


Grade 2 Age: 6+ to 7+ years
                  Reading 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
                  Spelling; learn cursive writing; math (more concepts); social studies (people of other lands); nature (weather
                  studies and observations); reading; physical education (swimming taught); art/craft; poetry; singing; oral language.


Grade 4 Age: 8+ to 9+ years
                  Spelling, dictation; English formalities (word usage, letter forms);
                  math (consolidation and extension, statistics and graphs, numeration, tables, money problems,
                  aids not used extensively, geometry -topology); reading; social studies (home and district);
                  speech and drama/music appreciation; art/craft; poetry.


Grade 5 Age: 9+ to 10+ years
                  Spelling; dictation; reading; writing; math (abstractions); social studies (Australia and Australian explorers);
                  poetry; music; art/craft; nature studies; speech and drama; English.


Grade 6 Age: 10+ to 11+ years
                  Work extended in areas above; social studies (India, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand;
                  New Guinea, South Africa); nature (elementary science); math (sets and logic, statistics, graphs,
                  numeration, estimation, approximation, computations, fractions, decimals, geometry).

 

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Grade 7 Age: II+ to 12+ years
                  Further 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 material).

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.
                  Students taking a foreign language spend fewer periods per week in art and shop courses. Normal load is 81/2 units.

                  English, French, South Australian history, wood shop, metal shop, art, geography, math, science, home economics,
                  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.

                  English, French, Australian history, geography, math, science, wood shop, metal shop, home economics, needlework,
                  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.
                  English, 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 unit).

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.

                  English, French, Asian history, geography, math I, math II (include algebra, geometry, and trigonometry and must be taken
                  as one unit), math (general), chemistry, physics, biology, earth science, commerce, typewriting, shorthand, senior shop,
                  home economics, art, recreation activities (I/2 unit).

Grade 12   Recreational activities (I/2 unit) is required. Normal load is 51/2 units.
                           .
                  English, French, modern European history, ancient history (Greek and Roman), geography, math I & II (same as above),
                  math, physics, chemistry, biology, recreational activities (I/2 unit).

 

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