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We get asked the following questions a lot
Is Outdoor Education compulsory?
Yes. Outdoor Education is part of the core curriculum at Hillbrook. You can read more about our Outdoor Education program here.
Students participate in at least one camp and two activity days per year.
Why don't you have bells at Hillbrook?
At Hillbrook we believe in building our students capacity to grow. Not having a bell encourages independent thinking, the importance of being on time and respectfulness towards others. Teachers end a class and students have 5 minutes to get to their next class without relying on a bell to guide them. Being late has an impact on the wider community and students learn quickly to respect everyone’s time.
Is there an excellence program?
Hillbrook offers numerous extension activities here for students wishing to engage further in their subjects. Each student at Hillbrook is treated as an individual with their own personal learning goals and these extension subjects/activities enable them to reach those goals and beyond.
How long is each lesson?
Each lesson is 40 minutes. The day begins at 8:30am with ‘Daily Starter’, a Home Class catch up, followed by 8 x 40 minute lessons per day. A daily timetable mostly consists of double 40 minute lessons – 80 minutes per subject). Morning tea is at 10:10 to 10:20, followed by a 10 minute brain break at 11:50 and lunch is 1:20 to 2:00. The day concludes at 3:20pm.
What type of learning support is availabe?
Students are supported by our Enrichment Centre teachers in a variety of ways to access the curriculum and fully participate in the age appropriate academic educational offering at Hillbrook.
The LANE (Literacy and Numeracy Enhancement) Program is offered in Years 7, 8 and 9 to assist students who require additional support with English and Mathematics. Classes are provided in a small group format with no more than 12 students.
Students are welcome to access learning support in our Enrichment Centre (such as assistance with organisation and assignment writing) during break times. Our Enrichment team does not provide individual on-going tutoring in specific subject areas.
Subject specific tutoring (e.g. Mathematics) is provided by some subject Departments one afternoon per week after school, but general tutorial sessions are not provided by the school. General tutoring is the responsibility of parents/caregivers.
Our Enrichment Centre staff attend a limited number of classes in Years 7-10 each week to provide support for any students who might require assistance during that class. This is not individual tutoring and only applies to a limited number of classes per week.
What languages do you teach?
We teach Japanese and German at Hillbrook. Both subjects are taught by teachers who are fluent speakers in each language. They are able to provide students with an immersive experience. When COVID permits we conduct a reciprocal German Exchange Program and take students on a trip to Japan, as well as hosting Japanese students here. More information can be found in our Subject Selection Booklets.
Are mobiles allowed during school hours?
Mobile phones are permitted at school, however they are not to be used during the school day. They are to remain in backpacks from 8:30am until 3:20pm and are not allowed during breaks or lessons. The expectation is that our students will spend break times with their fellow students, nurturing friendships and being involved in activities.
Is Hillbrook nut free?
No. We do have a number of students allergic to nuts, however again we are building our student’s capacity to be responsible and respectful toward others. The world is not nut free and we think it is important that high school students learn to cope in an environment that mirrors the real world. This helps all of our students understand and deal responsibly with nut and other allergies.
What sport options are available?
We offer a range of sporting activities through our Project Active program which runs each Semester. This program is compulsory for Years 7-9 and optional after this. We don’t offer weekend sport and believe students obtain greater benefits from joining a club and playing club sports independent of school. We run annual Swimming, Athletics and Cross Country Carnivals where students can gain eligibility for Regional, State and National titles.
How strict is your Uniform Policy?
At Hillbrook we belive our uniform is an expression of our community and our Policy has been designed to ensure appropriate levels of flexibility and safety. It removes the potential for peer pressure regarding dress choice, while maintaining a degree of personal choice. We don’t have a formal, winter or summer uniform, instead we have 3 choices of combinations which students are free to choose from. As an inclusive school community, we have removed the language of male and female to describe our uniform options and also in our expectations for hair and jewellery. We expect all students will make a respectful decision on how to wear their uniform.
Why choose Hillbrook for your child?
Do you want your future adult to be resilient and independent?
At Hillbrook our curriculum has been specificially designed to help young people grow into resilient and independent adults. One of the key aspects of learning at Hillbrook is our Outdoor Education program. It is integral in helping develop these traits in our students. You can read more about our programs here.
Do you want your future adult to develop strong listening and critical thinking skills?
Are you thinking, I could do with more of that too? We know what you mean. Here at Hillbrook we have been running Philosophical Inquiry (PI) as part of our curriculum for the last 6 years. PI is compulsory for all students in Years 7 to 10, and is an ATAR elective in Years 11 and 12. This program has exceeded our hopes when we started, and we are thrilled to see the results we’d hoped for reflected in a study conducted by QUT on our first graduates who began 6 years ago. To sum up, Hillbrook PI students stated that doing PI taught them to be better thinkers who were able to reason and develop argument better.
There is a humility to their intelligence, which I believe all good education should encourage. Hillbrook PI Teacher
You can read the full study here.
Do you want your future adult to to live a happy, fulfilling life and make a positive difference in the lives of others?
We aim to provide a realistic and stimulating environment where students learn to challenge and question, to respect one another’s contributions, to enjoy each other’s company and to work effectively together as they grow. This is why Hillbrook’s motto, ‘In Balance We Grow‘ has special meaning to everyone here. ‘In Balance We Grow’ is much more than four words under our logo. It is Hillbrook.
It’s fundamental to our vision: ‘To open minds, inspire hearts and nurture dreams‘. It is expresssed in the way we balance intellectual, spiritual, personal and physical development. Importantly it’s woven through every aspect of the school.
Still have questions?
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What Arts subjects are taught at Hillbrook?
Are these subjects compulsory?
Yes Music, Drama and Art are compulsory for Year 7 students. From Year 8 students start to select the subjects they are interested in. You can find out exactly what subjects are available for Years 7-10 here and for Years 11-12 here. You can also find out more about the subject selection process here.
What if my child hasn’t shown any interest in art subjects?
In Year 7, our aim is to provide students with the essential skills for success in the core areas of our curriculum, as well as to provide exposure to subjects with which they may have had little contact in their primary school years. Some students go on to find out they do indeed enjoy these subjects, however if this still isn’t their thing there are plenty of other subjects to choose from when they begin subject selection in Year 8.
Do you offer any co-curricular Music programs?
Yes. In addition to our classroom Music elective subject, Hillbrook offers an extensive and high quality co-curricular Music program in which students have the opportunity to undertake individual instrumental or voice lessons with a specialist teacher. Students involved in the co-curricular Music program are encouraged to become involved in one or more of the many performance ensembles.
• Concert Bands
• String Orchestras
• Stage Bands
• Brass Bands
• Percussion Ensembles
• Guitar Ensembles
• Small Chamber Groups.
Student generated ensembles are also encouraged and supported with facilities and performance opportunities. At Hillbrook, there is a strong link between the academic and co-curricular Music programs. This allows students to benefit academically from the effort put into their individual co-curricular activities and, in turn, classroom activities compliment the practical performance skills accordingly. You can read more about the Co-curricular Music Program here.
How does your enrolment process work?
Full details about how the process works can be found here.
Am I guaranteed a place if I pay my Enrolment Application fee?
No, there is no guarantee of a place. Students are offered places by order of application, as well as factoring in our Sibling Policy.
Is the Enrolment Application fee refundable if we don’t get offered a place?
This fee assists us to cover the costs associated with the administration of the enrolment process and is non-refundable
When is the best time to enrol?
As a nonselective high school, the earlier we receive your application the more likely your child will receive an offer following our enrolment interviews in Year 4.
Please note, we do not accept applications for children prior to their birth.
If your child is already in Year 4 or older, we recommend you call our Enrolments Office prior to lodging your Enrolment Application.
Do we need to be Anglican to enrol at Hillbrook?
No, we are a nonselective school and we welcome families from all different backgrounds and faiths.
We do offer one Religion lesson per week, however this is not an assessed subject. During the study of Religion students will have the opportunity to explore world Religions.
Our students also attend one Chapel service per fortnight. If you would like to experience Chapel at Hillbrook, you can watch our Chaplain David Adams in action here during Remote Learning (it’s not Chapel how you know it).
Do I have to pay an Enrolment Application fee for each child?
Yes. Each child needs a separate Enrolment Application and each application has a $220 fee.
Do you reserve places for late enrolments?
No, all places offered are based on the date of the Enrolment Application.
Do you offer scholarships?
No. The founders of Hillbrook decided from the beginning that Hillbrook wouldn’t offer scholarships or preferential entry. We are one of the few independent schools that doesn’t offer scholarships to entice high achievers into the school.
We don’t offer sibling or staff discounts as we believe Hillbrook families are not subsidising the cost of another child’s education. This ensures our tuition fees are fair and equitable for all.
Extra Curricular Activities
Yes we have a number of extra curricular activities, including:
- Project Active – a program which provides opportunities for students to pursue new interests and hobbies and to mix with students across all year levels. Activities include – table tennis, cardio tennis, boxing, judo, cricket, barefoot bowls, hip hop dancing, rock climbing, crafts and sewing.
- We also run a number of clubs across the school, which include:
- Political Club
- Environmental Club
- Book Club
- Students also have the opportunity to participate in debating and mooting.
Laptops / Computers
A comprehensive four-year Philosophical Inquiry curriculum of weekly lessons for all students in Years 7 – 10 which covers all branches of Philosophy and focuses on the development of good argument. This program has been developed slowly, carefully and with much monitoring, reviewing and revising, with regular input from practising teachers (and sometimes students). This curriculum is the source of much pride.
Philosophy and Reason, an elective subject is offered to our Year 11 and 12 students.
Year 7 students will experience all elements of the Hillbrook curriculum across their first year which will provide an opportunity for them to try all the subjects on offer.
During Term 3 of Year 7, discussions begin around the subject selection process for Year 8 subjects – these discussions involve students, their teachers and their parents. The Year 8 curriculum is structured to give students a variety of electives, yet retain the opportunity to experience a broad range of learning experiences.
You can read more about subject selection here.
There are various options for travelling to and from Hillbrook, including a dedicated Hillbrook only afternoon service to Samford. You can read more about these options here.