A wide range of activities is available to cater for individual needs, interests and aptitudes.
Chess is a time-honoured game that fosters students’ intellectual growth as it teaches them to practise many valuable skills such as problem solving, memory and decision making. The Mathematics faculty encourages the hobby of chess and provides opportunities for students to participate in this engaging pastime every fortnight. All students are welcome to drop in, grab a set and challenge their peers or even teachers. Not only it is free, it is a chance to play or learn chess in a low stress environment. It is fun!
Debating and Public Speaking
Opportunities are offered to students to represent the school in a variety of Debating and Public Speaking Competitions. After school coaching sessions are available for interested students. In addition to the Department of Education and Communities competitions for Years 7-12, there are in school competitions for Years 7 and 8, as well as external competitions, such as the Macquarie Debating Cup, and Speech Competitions organised by Legacy. Opportunities are advertised in English classes, the Daily Messages and Newsletters.
Mock Trial involves a team of students taking part in a pretend trial in front of a magistrate. Students play roles as barristers, solicitors, witnesses and court officials and act out either a civil or criminal case. This is an interschool competition run by the NSW Law Society involving public and private schools. Students spend lunchtimes together developing case materials as a team. Trials are held after school hours once a month at Willoughby Girls High School or at other participating schools. There are opportunities for all who are interested in Year 10 and 11 to take part in team preparation, with six roles allocated in each trial.
The Junior Dance Ensemble is a group of Year 7 and 8 students who have limited or no experience in dance, but are eager to learn new styles and routines. The students audition in the first weeks of Term 1 and are selected based on their potential. They rehearse before school once a week and build dance skills, working towards a full routine throughout the year. This rehearsal is taken by an external dance teacher who has extensive experience in performance dance. The Junior Ensemble showcase their work in Term 4 during the Dance and Drama Showcase Evening. As a result of the cost of choreography and costumes, there is a semester based fee charged to all students.
The Senior Dance Ensemble is selected from all grades based on their superior skill and talent in dance. They audition in Term 1 and are representative of the dance talent at Willoughby Girls High School. They are a performance based group who prepare a rigorous routine throughout the year with the intention to represent the school across various performance platforms. The Senior Dance Ensemble rehearses once a week before school until Term 4. This rehearsal is taken by an external dance teacher who has extensive experience in performance dance. They showcase their work in Term 4 during the Dance and Drama Showcase Evening. As a result of the cost of choreography and costumes, there is a semester based fee charged to all students.
Interested Years 7 and 8 students who are willing to devote time and energy to rehearsal, are eligible for membership of the Junior Drama Ensemble. The ensemble performs in the annual Dance and Drama showcase in December. In the process of devising and rehearsing pieces for performance, students will be developing their performance skills. This will benefit those keen to study Drama in later years and/or audition for the School’s major performing arts production, which is held every two years. The Ensemble is formed in Term 1 in even years and Term 3 in alternate years when the major school production takes place. Notifications for auditions are through the School’s Daily Messages.
Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme
The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme is one of the most popular extracurricular activities offered at Willoughby Girls High School. Students commence their Bronze Awards in Year 9 and have the opportunity to achieve their Silver and Gold levels in the following years. Students must complete four sections in order to gain an award including a Service, a Skill, a Physical Recreation and an Expedition. Expedition camps are organised each year in the nearby National Parks. Any student aged 14 years or over is able to access the program. A meeting of interested students is held at the commencement of each year and advertised in the daily messages.
Future problem Solving
The Future Problem Solving Program is an extension program that looks at issues and topics that impact on our future. Students work in groups of 4/5 to review a futuristic scenario and apply the 6 step problem solving model. They are asked to brainstorm ideas – referring to lateral thinking categories, determine an underlying problem, create solutions using their lateral thinking categories and then evaluate the best solution to carry out their plan of action. Students then dramatise their plan of action using props. This program is offered to all stage 4 students who are interested in issues and events that will influence our world within the future.
Major Performing Arts Production (every two years)
The School produces major performing arts productions, every second year. The Music and English Departments produce and direct the productions. Recent productions have included Into the Woods, Annie, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Auditions are usually held for the principal roles in Term 4 prior to the year of performance. Rehearsals are held after school and during term holidays. All students are invited to audition for the roles. Information is provided in the Daily Messages and Newsletters.
Festival of Creative Arts (annual event held in August)
Held during term three each year to celebrate the work produced by Music, Visual Arts and Photographic & Digital Media students, this event comprises of an exhibition and HSC Music performance evening.
The exhibition showcases HSC Visual Arts students’ bodies of work, artwork produced by Years 7 to 11 Visual Arts students and Years 9 and 10 Photographic and Digital Media students. Parents and friends are invited to the opening night, which is formally opened by an invited guest speaker. In conjunction with the exhibition, Year 10 students participate in a portrait Prize and Year 9 students participate in a Landscape Prize.
The music performance evening showcases the work of HSC Music 1, Music 2 and Music Extension students. It is held on a different night in the Multipurpose Hall. Parents and friends are also invited to this evening.
Students view, plan and create films in order to expand and deepen their understanding of the film medium. Students are encouraged to make independent projects, as well as participating in the creation of club projects for festival entry. Students also organise the annual Film Festival, held in the final week of Term 4.
School Music Ensembles
Three vocal groups are organised and conducted by the Music teachers, with weekly rehearsals at lunchtime or after school. The Choir is open to all singers, while the Junior and Senior Vocal Ensembles require an audition – students should see their Music teacher if they are interested in joining. The school also has a Brass Ensemble, with weekly lunchtime rehearsals – all brass players are welcome.
P&C Music Ensembles Program
Five instrumental ensembles
are organised by the P&C Music Committee and directed by professional conductors. For a flat fee girls may belong to as many ensembles as they wish, providing they meet the entry requirements. These ensembles rehearse once a week before or after school:
Year 7/8 Wind Ensemble Tuesday 7:15am Mr Jason Isaac
Stage Band (jazz/swing) Wednesday 7:30am Mr Gerald Steinmann
Senior Wind Ensemble Friday 7:15am Mr Jason Isaac
Chamber Ensemble (strings) Friday 7:30am Ms Lucy East
Percussion Ensemble Friday 3:30pm Mr Jason Isaac
P&C Sporting Clubs
Willoughby Girls is also proud to offer the largest range of sporting clubs outside school of any high school on the north shore. Girls have the opportunity to play Netball, Touch Football, Basketball or Hockey outside school. All of these clubs are run by parent volunteers. Further details can be found on the P&C section
of this website.
In Technology Club students work on Lego robots. This begins with simple programming and it is hoped that in the future WGHS students will be able to compete against other schools with their robots. The Technology Club looks at all different types of technology – including the latest cool technology. Students also participate in the Hour of Code which is a global event.