Senior School 2024 FAQs

February 15, 2024  
Mr Nick Hackett - Head of Senior School

Over recent weeks, we have introduced a number of changes in the Senior School and I would like to offer the information below as a way to provide clarity and a point of reference to our families.


When will the updated 2024 School Calendars be available to families?

We expect the updated calendars to arrive in School soon and will send them home with students once they arrive. In the meantime, please note that, contrary to what was published in the previous calendar, Monday 26 February will be a normal school day. Other dates of interest include the Parents’ Evening social event on Friday 1 March and The Great Fete which is scheduled for Saturday 18 May. Please refer to the OLLE calendar.


Are smartwatches allowed to be worn to School?

Smartwatches and mobile phones are largely synonymous in terms of their functionality – and their ability to distract from learning. As smartwatches become more prevalent, we have updated our expectations and policy documents to specifically include smartwatches, and not just mobile phones. If students bring these technologies to School, they should be turned off and stored securely in student lockers.


What is the new policy with respect to earrings?

Much time and energy can be expended by teachers and Deans in determining (for example) what is a sleeper and what is actually a hoop or earring. These conversations distract from learning and are not conducive to the harmonious relationships between staff and students that are enjoyed at The Illawarra Grammar School. Adopting a simpler stance on earrings will ensure we can support staff and students to retain a focus on the important business of learning and teaching. Students may continue to wear a single plain, unadorned silver or gold stud in each earlobe.


Can family holidays be taken during term time?

The School has no remit to prevent students from attending family events, such as holidays, during term time but strongly recommends that students’ ongoing learning is prioritised by only taking holidays during public holidays, staff days and/or in the break between school terms. Should a family holiday (or similar) coincide with the date(s) of any formal assessment task(s), that can not be completed before the period of absence commences, a score of zero will be recorded. Should you wish to gain further insights into the School’s position on this matter, Dr Greenhalgh has provided a context and rationale in her own section of this week’s newsletter and I commend it to you.


How has the Senior School timetable changed in 2024?

As parents can see on their son or daughter’s timetable, there are still 5 full lessons a day, a Recess and Lunch, and a time spent in Mentor Groups. From 2024, Mentor time has been extended from 10 to 30 minutes per day.  The time that the school day commences and ends is unchanged. These specific timings, and outline of the school day, can be found in Student Diaries.

Students in Years 7-10 no longer have a timetabled Sport class but, from 2024, have a new extended offsite PE practical lesson each cycle. The Illawarra Grammar School remains committed to identifying and developing sporting talent, connecting our students to local coaches and clubs to further enhance their skills and ensuring a full program of health and fitness as a key part of our broad, balanced curriculum.


What are the changes to Year 10 events in the latter half of the year?

Work Experience will no longer take place during term time at the expense of timetabled learning but will instead be offered to students as an option during school holidays. The Illawarra Grammar School will continue to support any student who wishes to take up the opportunity to gain an understanding of the workplace in their chosen field of interest. Students wishing to explore Work Experience options should direct their enquiries to Mrs Murphy or have a conversation with her during one of the fortnightly timetabled Year 10 Careers Sessions (Wednesdays, Week A).

From 2024, we will be further enriching our Careers education program for Year 10 students with a new two-day Careers Expo during Term IV. These days will provide students with a range of new skills, and will conclude with a mock-interview with feedback as we seek to prepare students for the crucial university and workplace interviews that await them in their near future.

At the end of Term III (9-13 September), all Year 10 students will attend a final camp together (before their Preliminary HSC year commences), in the Snowy Mountains (back country near Perisher). This will be a great opportunity to apply the skills that students have learned throughout their previous Year Camps.

The Year 10 Formal will now take place at the end of Term III (Friday 27 September). Year 10 will conclude, as it does for all students, at the end of Term IV.


Senior School Swimming Carnival


Principal’s Update: Attendance & Senior School Library