01 October 2010

Clara's High School - Kincumber High School, NSW

Clara wearing her Kincumber High School Uniform

Clara is in year 7, which is the first year of high school in Australia. She attends school at Kincumber High School in Kincumber. Every morning, she walks the steep hill, (for those in Madison area, Topping Road has a similar slope), to The Scenic Road where she waits for the bus. Two other girls from our block meet her at the stop - one in year 7, the other in year 8.

Kincumber High School is a large, multi-building facility with a mixture of covered walk ways, open commons areas, and enclosed hallways connecting the buildings. The buildings are set out in "blocks" where an field of study is housed in each block. The area of the school takes up more then an entire city block - with sport fields surrounding the buildings. There are even farm animals on campus.

School terms are divided into fornights - with the first week labeled Week A and the 2nd Week B. Clara's schedule is never the same day twice in the 2 week rotation. Classes like English and Maths receive 9 hours of instruction per 10 day fortnight. Elective type classes will have 3 hours of instruction in the fortnight. Clara takes woodworking and she also has sewing. Other classes include: PE, Health, Literacy, Science, and Geography.

All the girls wear blue plaid skirts and light blue shirts with the school crest as part of the uniform. There is a red jumper with blue piping on the sleeves for cooler days. Leather shoes and white socks round out the uniform.

Australian schools meet 40 weeks in the year (compared to 180 days in Madison). There are 4, 8-10 week terms with 2-3 week breaks between terms. The school year begins in late January and runs until mid-December. Children can begin Kindy at age 4.5.

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