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High school? No worries

high; school; changing; schools; secondary; college; focus; motivation;


Lots of kids ask questions about going to high school, so we asked some high school kids for a bit of advice on making a good start.

These are some of the things that they said.

Choose the right high school

netballEveryone has a place at a public high school near to home, but there are some high schools that are a bit special and may suit you better.

Some high schools offer special interest programs for people who have reached a high level in individual subjects like sport, dance, athletics, music, languages, science and many others.

You have to "try out" for these special programs but it may be just what you would enjoy, so have a look around.

Choosing a high school just because your friend is going there should not be the only reason. You need to see what the school can offer you. There are lots of kids all starting at the same time as you who are looking for new friends.

Your parents may want to send you to a private high school or college or boarding school.

Give yourself a good start

This is what some high school kids advise you to do.

  • Be organised.
  • Have everything named and look after it.
  • Use your diary to keep you up to date with work and what’s going on in school.
  • Ask for help if you don’t understand. You can ask the teacher by yourself. You don’t have to ask in front of the class if you feel embarrassed.
  • Join a club, team or after school activity. Then you get to know more people and settle in more quickly.
  • Get to know the people who work in the School Office and always be polite to them. They can be very helpful to you.
  • high schoolKeep up with your work, then you feel good about going to school.
  • Stay away from gangs.
  • Don’t try to impress people -  just be yourself.
  • Be happy!

Advice from Jessica and friends

high school"Hang around with more than one person, make sure your friends are trustworthy"

"Don’t bring valuables to school."

"Keep out of trouble."

"Don’t get a bad reputation for yourself. "

"High school is really fun so make the most of it."

"Don’t try to show off."

"If you want to make friends just talk to people. Find out their names and their interests, then tell them yours."

"Don’t be shy and hide away in the corner because nothing will happen if you do that." Renee

"Always be well mannered and friendly."

Answering your questions

What about the scary rumours we have heard?

"The scary rumours that you hear before going to high school are not true - like big kids flushing your head down the toilet or emptying garbage on you. High schools are pretty hot on any kind of bullying".
- Ilias

high school bullying

I’ve heard that your stuff gets stolen.

"Always look after your equipment and keep it in your sight or in your locker if you have one. There are lots more kids in high school and its everybody’s responsibility to look after their own stuff."
- Daniel
high school

Do you have to carry all your equipment with you?

"As soon as you know your timetable you can pack your bag the night before and only take what you need that day. If you have a locker you can keep your P.E. gear in it and any books that you don’t need until later in the day."
- Jason

Do you get heaps of homework?

Well, you do get more than at primary school but you can manage it if you keep up to date.

Do you have lots of different teachers?

In our school year 8's have one teacher for most of the time and specialist teachers for things like Home Economics, Sport, Technical subjects and the Arts.

Do you have a classroom or do you move all the time?

We have a home group room where we have most of our lessons but we move to special rooms for the other subjects where you need to use special equipment.

I’ve heard that it’s easy to get lost at first.

You do get shown around the school before you go there and then again on the first day. Don’t worry about getting lost, just follow all the other kids in your class and you’ll find your way. You can always ask a teacher.
high school

Your poems

Going to high School
Friendly people everywhere
Lots of fun, various stairs,
Some to climb
Some are challenges.
That’s all the fun of it.
The rumours that you might have heard
Are going round just for fun.
To scare the little ones, ready for the run
Don’t believe these silly lies
Floating round from others minds.
Bad friends come and then they leave
Good ones stay and never tease.
Friends are there to share your fears
To wipe away unwanted tears
To, laugh and giggle and have fun
To work and share with everyone.
High School is the real deal
But don’t be a bully’s meal.
Be yourself and wear a smile
Then you’ll be ahead a mile.


When I was at primary school I couldn’t wait to come to high school. The only worries I had were getting into trouble because of others in the school, but it’s never happened because I’m in charge of myself.

Dr Kate says:

Dr KateStarting anything new is a bit scary at first. If you have questions that you would like to ask, talk to your teacher, or ask at your local high school. Maybe they have Open Days or Orientation Days when kids can go and look at the school. Remember that some high school kids may like to tease and play tricks on younger children, so if you have heard something that worries you talk to mum or dad, your primary school teacher or a high school kid who you can trust to get the real story.

The website Reachout has lots of info for young people who are having tough times. 

The Kids helpline is for children and young people 1800 55 1800.


DECD Special Interest Secondary Schools

Here is a list of DECD (Department for Education and Child Development) public secondary schools which have special interest programmes.

Students can apply through a selection process to attend the following special interest program schools.

  • Brighton Secondary School (music)
  • Fremont Elizabeth City High School (music)
  • Marryatville High School (music)
  • Woodville High School (music)
  • Adelaide High School (languages)
  • Urrbrae Agriculture High School (agriculture)
  • Charles Campbell Secondary School (performing arts)
  • Golden Grove High School (performing arts)
  • Brighton Secondary School (volleyball)
  • Heathfield High School (volleyball)
  • Blackwood High School (netball)
  • Seaton High School (baseball)
  • Seaview High School (tennis)
  • Marryatville High School (tennis)
  • Mount Gambier High School (cricket, netball, football)
  • Pasadena High School (basketball)
  • Underdale High School (soccer)
  • Henley High School (general sport)
  • Wirreanda High School (general sport)

Many other schools have special programmes including languages, special education, English as a second language, overseas and aboriginal students.

Your Primary school can give you more information about other special programmes for gifted and talented students or visit and type in 'special interest high schools' to find out what is available.

Some schools may not be in your area but you may be able to take a test to see if you can go there anyway.

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We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.


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