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This article contains information that is for general information only and should not be used for the basis of making any decisions regarding education or anything else. It is solely the writer’s opinion of the writer’s experience of one open day at the school and the writer’s interactions with the people present on that day. The writer’s article is purely subjective. Facts and information may or may not be complete, accurate, reliable or valid reflection of the school in question.

I encourage you to personally tour the school and meet the educators and students, form your own opinion and leave a comment here.

Best of luck with your search for the perfect school!

Name: Highvale Secondary College

Sector: Public

Gender: Co-educational

Religion: N/A

Year 12 Fees: N/A

Location: Capital Ave, Glen Waverley VIC 3150

Phone number(03) 9803 5144

Website: https://www.highvalesc.vic.edu.au/

Tour Details

The tour took place on a Wednesday morning during school hours.

Vice Principal Robyn Patti.

There was no opportunity to actually interact with any of the students of Highvale High School while we were on this tour.  Principal was also not available during the tour. 

Highvale Secondary College overall vibe

During the tour, the students seemed commendably engaged with their teachers.  Classes were being carried out and all students were calm and quiet throughout.

The buildings are reasonably clean but somewhat bare and basic.  Grounds are pleasant enough with some large gum trees and green mounds as well as a large oval. 

The tour focussed on the practical aspects of the education and a tour of the facilities, rather than speaking about the guiding philosophies of the school and its leaders.  The focus seems to be the school has a large number of electives and is able to cater to whatever the students want to study – whether it be STEM, humanities, music or anything else.

View full gallery here.

Highvale ranks well among public high schools and is now zoned.  Robyn credited the students’ academic achievement to the culture of the students and the parents and families in the area.  Students are naturally academic and want to go to university.  She mentioned that the introduction of VCAL type subjects ( more hands on learning ) wasn’t popular with their students.  

The general feeling is that the school performs well academically and musically.  There isn’t a big focus on wellbeing or other extracurricular activities such as interschool sports.   

Although there are values such as “resilience”, “excellence”, “responsibility” written on pillars on the school grounds, there was no mention of how these are actually incorporated into the school culture.  

Curriculum and academics at Highvale Secondary College  


Year 7 students are required to do a core set of subjects.  In higher years students can choose electives.  

Classes are combined between years 8, 9 and 10 depending on skill level of students.  This unique structuring of classes allows students to mix with students from levels outside of their own.  

Highvale seems to offer a very broad mainstream curriculum allowing students to choose from a wide variety of electives.  

Students seem to focus on academic subjects as well as music.  There are many opportunities to learn music and to participate in bands.  Private and group music lessons are offered at the school for many instruments ( except piano, because many students already play ) at a very affordable cost.  

Highvale does not offer IB.

Highvale is possibly the only school to have a textbook hire program.  Students hire textbooks every year for an annual fee.  This excellent program saves families from having unused textbooks at home and allows the next batch of students to reuse the books.  The books seemed to be in great condition.  

Highvale is a “Bring Your Own Device” school.  All platforms are supported, however the school encourages laptops rather than tablets.  

For students that are struggling academically, they are supported by tutoring programs such as MYLNS and homework club.  The library facilities are also open before and after school for student to come and study.  

Teachers regularly attend professional development courses and meetings.  This could take place at staff meetings or external courses. 

Wellbeing at Highvale Secondary College

Wellbeing was not a major focus on the tour.  

However, Highvale has a wellbeing coordinator, practitioner and a student counsellor who helps kids out with any mental health issues.  Parents are informed if students are identified as being at risk.  


Focus group sessions are run every week for students covering wellbeing as well as study skills in higher grades.  

Programs mentioned were

Each year level has a coordinator responsible for the year group.  A student’s first port of call would be their year coordinator.  

Robyn mentioned the school is a positive behaviour school which focussed on catching the students doing the right thing and rewarding them, rather than punishing them for bad behaviour.  

Even though wellbeing is incorporated into a weekly schedule, it doesn’t seem to be embedded in to the philosophy of the school as it seems to be in some other schools. 

Clubs mentioned

  • Interschool sports 
  • Debating team 
  • Chess
  • Robotics 

Diversity at Highvale Secondary College

When questioned about neurodiversity, Robyn said they do have a number of students that are neurodiverse.  How they help them depends on the plan given by their psychologist.  There is disability coordinator who helps them with integration aids.  


There is a designated portable for neurodiverse kids’ lockers, the reasoning is neurodiverse kids may find it overwhelming to be among hundreds of loud kids.  She said they seem to stay together as they require differences in their environment.  She said they are well accepted and integrated into the school by the other students.   

Even though the school caters to neurodiverse kids as best as they can, there doesn’t seem to be an overarching philosophy of inclusivity and diversity. 

As students come from the Glen Waverley community that has a high percentage of Asian and South Asian students, the students at Highvale are reflective of this diversity.  

Last words

Highvale is clearly a highly academic school as proven by its high ranking and ATAR scores.  Highvale provides many elective choices and a high level of teaching for high achieving students.  Students come from a strong migrant community of Glen Waverley that is very focussed on doing well at school and education.  As such, students are calm, well behaved and engaged and were seen listening and watching their teachers in a tradition classroom setting.  

Highvale seems to be a great school if you’re naturally academic and focussed on education.  They provide well for engaged students with tutoring support.  

However, I’m uncertain if it’s inclusive enough to support students who are a little different or if there is focus on wellbeing, community and a greater world view outside of academic studies.  

Do you have any experience, questions or comments about this school? Let our community know and add a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

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