Year 7 (Junior High) Virtual Open Morning: Q&A

Questions & Answers

The following list of questions was compiled following our first Year 7 (Junior High) Virtual Open Morning, held on Thursday 21 May, 2020. To find out more about Year 7 at St Peters, please browse this list of Frequently Asked Questions, or contact our Enrolments team for more information. 

What is the criteria for admission?

The criteria for admission to St Peters Lutheran College is as follows:

  • Availability of a place in the required year level
  • Submission of an application and all relevant documentation (as per the requirements listed on our website)
    Note: Overseas Student applications are to be submitted separately, following an initial conversation with our Enrolments team
  • Capacity to support a student (if Learning Support is required)
    This is subject to Specialist reports being provided and reviewed by the Department of Exceptional Learners
  • A successful interview with the Head of Sub-School (i.e. Head of Junior High) or their delegate
    This interview can be conducted either via Zoom or face-to-face
  • Payment of the Enrolment Confirmation Fee and completion of required documentation (including compliance with the College Policies and Procedures)
How do you actually inform families that they have a place in Year 7?

The Enrolments team will advise the family via email with a formal Letter of Offer and the required paperwork to be completed, attached.

When are the interviews held for entry into Year 7 for 2023?

The Enrolments team will start the process towards the end of 2021, with interviews being held up to 18 months prior to commencement.

What scholarships are available and when do applications need to be submitted?

St Peters offers Academic, Excellence (Music, Drama, Visual Arts, Sport) and Boarding Scholarships to Australian and New Zealand citizens or Permanent Residents. 

Academic Scholarships are open to both current students and external students, including those who have already accepted a place or who have not yet applied to St Peters for Year 7 or 10 in 2022. Academic Scholarship applications open in October, 2020, with the testing day held in mid-February, 2021.
Our Excellence Scholarship program is open to Australian and New Zealand Citizens or Permanent Residents and who are either current students (Years 6–10) or Years 7-11 students either due to commence at the College or who have not yet applied. The closing date for 2021 Excellence Scholarships is Sunday 1 June, 2020.
Note: Excellence Scholarship applications open in February of the year prior to entry and close on 1 June. 

Boarding Scholarships are available to students living more than 200km away from a centre with school boarding facilities. Similar to an Excellence Scholarship, applicants must be able to demonstrate excellence in the classroom and in cocurricular activities or the wider community. Boarding Scholarships are open to students applying for Years 7–11 and are exempt of a closing date.

Further information and links to our Scholarship Guidelines and Applications can be found on our Scholarships page.

Are there any Art Scholarships?

Yes. Within the 2021 Excellence Scholarship program we offer scholarships for Visual Arts (Art, Design Studies and Film, Television & New Media). Our Excellence Scholarship program is open to Australian and New Zealand Citizens or Permanent Residents and who are either current students (Years 6–10) or Years 7-11 students either due to commence at the College or who have not yet applied to the College. The closing date for 2021 Excellence Scholarships is Sunday 1 June, 2020. Click here to access our Excellence Scholarship Guidelines.

Is there any change to the scheduling of Academic Scholarship tests for 2022 entry?

Academic Scholarships are open to both current students and external students, including those who have already accepted a place or who have not yet applied to St Peters for Year 7 or 10 in 2022. Academic Scholarship applications open in October, 2020, with the testing day held in mid-February, 2021. Please click here for more information

Is Dance offered as a subject or cocurricular?

Dance is not offered as a subject at St Peters. There are Dance units that form part of the Year 10 HPE curriculum and girls can take part in QGSSSA Rhythmic Gymnastics. Students wishing to undertake Dance lessons have to do so through a private Dance school or academy.

Do students choose elective subjects in Year 7?

In Year 7, students are given the opportunity to try a variety of subjects in the Arts and Technology fields. Over the course of Year 7 and Year 8, students will have the chance to study each of the subjects (Art, Drama, Music and Media; Digital Technology and Design Technology) for a semester before making their subject choices for Year 9. The only elective in Year 7 is for Languages. Students can choose one language from Chinese, Japanese, French or German. 

What is the student to teacher ratio?

At St Peters, we have one subject teacher per subject class. Junior High classes range in size from approximately 22-28 students per class in Years 7-8, and 15-25 students per class in Year 9 (based on Ironbark groups). The ratio is, therefore, between 1:22 to 1:28 in Year 7.

This said, some elective subjects in Year 9 may have lower numbers of students. Similarly, support subjects (Academic Skills Development Program and English as an Additional Language) will have smaller class sizes (usually around 1:8 or, occasionally 1:4).

How many students are in each class?

The are approximately 22-26 students in Years 7-8.
In Year 9, class size depends on Ironbark groups and ranges from 15-25 students. 

How many lessons per week are devoted to Arts and Technology subjects in Year 7?

Arts and Technology subjects run on a ‘half-line’.  A full-line subject is 9 x 50 minute periods per fortnight. Therefore, the Arts and Technology subjects in Year 7 each have 4-5 periods per fortnight cycle, i.e. 2-3 x 50 minute lessons.

How are students identified for Learning Support, Enrichment or Extension programs? Are they classroom-based or at an individual level, and what costs are attached?

For both of these areas, students are initially identified through the enrolment process, based on information disclosed by parents. Teacher observation may also lead to further investigation and testing in order to ensure that student learning needs are understood.

Students with a diagnosed learning need, who require learning support, attend a class called Academic Skills Development Program (ASDP) instead of learning a foreign language. The classes are kept small, so there needs to be a diagnosed learning need in order for students to meet the criteria and attend the class. Students with higher needs will also be supported through adjustments outlined in a Personalised Support Plan, and will have a Case Manager to support them on their learning journey.
The Year 7 Bonhoeffer Program* is designed to best meet the needs of students with high academic potential who are transitioning into secondary school. Entry into the program is deliberately based on academic potential rather than achievement. Students are identified through the EduTest Scholarship Exam. We also cluster students who have shown academic potential in English and/or Maths, but may not have met the criteria for the Bonhoeffer class. 

Enrichment programs in English, Maths, SOSE and Science begin for high performing students in Year 8.  Co-curricular activities that provide extra opportunities for students include the Future Problem Solving program, Middle School Ethics Olympiad, Robotics and the Da Vinci Decathlon. There are costs associated with each. 

*Further information is available in the Bonhoeffer flyer. Please contact Enrolments for this. 

How do you deal with students who are lagging behind in subjects or who aren't coping with academic pressure?

If students are ‘lagging behind’ we would do some further investigation in order to determine if there is a reason for this. Further external testing (through a psychologist) is often recommended. If a student isn’t coping with the academic pressure, we have counsellors who can support them short-term, until they are able to get some external support through a psychologist. 

Teachers are able to provide some differentiated work in class to accommodate students who may need additional assistance. Students with verified learning disabilities are also able to be considered for the Academic Skills Development Program (ASDP) and to attend these support classes in lieu of studying a foreign language.

If a student needs academic support in a specific subject, do you have tutors available (free or for a fee)?

Tutorial support is available at lunchtimes in some subjects and offered by several departments. Our Senior International Baccalaureate students (Years 11-12) also offer tutorials for Junior High students, across all subject areas, three times a week (lunchtimes). 

All school-based tutorials offered by staff or Senior students are free. Private Tutorials, outside of school hours, would be fee-paying and privately negotiated. 

Is there a House system at the College?

At St Peters, students are allocated one of nine Houses. Traditionally these Houses have been for sporting competitions, but we've recently moved towards a regular fortnightly session for House Meetings. The focus here is on building relationships between the 150+ students in each House. For this reason, the House system is vertically organised. There are 10 groups per House and approximately 15 students in each group from Years 7-12. 

Do parents have a say on who is in their child's Form class?

Not usually. New students might ask if they can be in the same Form class as a friend, but there are a number of factors determining class placements. Sometimes being placed with a friend is possible, but it is not guaranteed.

How are twins allocated a Form class?

Whether they are in the same Form class in Year 7 and/or Year 8, or the same Ironbark group in Year 9 is totally dependent on the students’ and family’s preferences. We have experienced both situations (where twins have been together and apart). The College will support family preferences unless there are overriding reasons for not doing so (e.g. behaviour issues). Siblings are always placed in the same House. 

What proportion of Year 7 students have come from other schools compared to those continuing on from Year 6 at St Peters?

Normally Year 7 is comprised of 250 students. Of these 60% of students are new to St Peters with the remaining 40% coming from our Year 6 cohort. At St Peters we have 5 Year 6 classes and it expands to 10 classes in Year 7.

How many different subjects do students have each day (how many changeovers)?

A school day at St Peters consists of 7 x 50 minute periods. Some subjects have a double period during the day (100 minutes). A ‘typical’ day could vary from 4 subjects in the day (if there were several double periods) to as many as 7 subjects (if they were all single periods). The changeovers vary from day to day, depending on the particular day of the timetable cycle for that student.

What whole-College events do you offer that promote school culture?

We have a number of whole of College events. In Term 1, the whole community (Prep-Year 12 and all staff) come together to celebrate Founders Day. This is a celebration of the creation of St Peters. In Term 2, we come together again to commemorate ANZAC Day. In Term 3, students come together to celebrate our rich and diverse culture in a Parade of Nations during our Multicultural Week celebrations. There are also events such as the community Multicultural Gala Evening where different cultural groups showcase a range of aspects of their culture (language, dance, drama). 

In Sport, there are three Years 7-12 inter-House carnivals each year (Swimming, Cross Country and Athletics). Our College culture is also promoted in many other areas. These include House meetings; Year Level and Sub-School Assemblies; Chapel and other Worship services; and the partnership we have with our parents and various community groups.

Are students required to go to school every week? How long do the days last?

Yes. It is compulsory for students to attend St Peters every day of the school week. There are usually 10 weeks each term, other than in Term 4, which is a bit shorter (8 weeks). A full school year is 38-39 weeks. Each school day runs from 8:00am until 3:10pm.

If I have a concern, how do I know who to contact?

Please refer to the below diagram for guidance. 

Can students do both Music and Sport?

Yes, it is encouraged. Our Music and Sport departments work closely together to ensure that cocurricular offerings from both departments are available to students.   Most students find the balance between Music and Sport activities easy to manage, allowing them to gain the benefits of both a healthy body and mind. 

Is Music mandatory (curricular and cocurricular)?

Curriculum Music is compulsory for Years 7-8 as part of the Arts subject rotations. Students study 1 semester each of Music, Art, Drama and Media over a two year period.

Students are strongly encouraged to participate in at least 2 cocurricular activities each year. These can be made up of Music and/or Sport. 

What Music opportunities are there at St Peters?

The Music Department at St Peters is an inclusive department which offers an extensive range of opportunities, from Baroque to Rock, to all students regardless of their previous experience. Private instrumental and vocal lessons, and 42 ensembles such as bands, choirs and string orchestras as well as chamber groups are available. For more information, please refer to the Junior High Music Handbook

What competitive Sport opportunities are available? Can students join teams if they have no previous experience in the sport?

We encourage all students to participate in as many sports as possible. Our attitude is to give them all a go! Most of our sports are tiered so that we can cater for the beginner and the higher level athlete/player. Each sport at St Peters has its own Coordinator and each team has its own Coach.  

Is Sport compulsory as an extra-curricular activity?

It is an expectation for all students to do two cocurricular activities each year and we strongly encourage Sport to be one of the chosen activities.

A what year can girls play 7's Rugby?

The Rugby 7’s competition we compete in is an U15 competition. Girls can participate in games from Year 8 onwards. Year 7 girls are encouraged to join the training development that is offered to prepare them for games in Year 8.  

Is St Peters looking to introduce Cricket for girls?

No, we are not looking to introduce Cricket to St Peters. Cricket is a struggling QGSSSA sport with numbers across the competition dwindling.

What opportunities are there in Robotics? How many students are involved and what year levels?

There are around 50 students involved in the St Peters Robotics program. Students of all abilities can join from Years 5-12 and no prerequisite skills are required.

Robotics provides an opportunity to develop vital engineering-related technical skills. Some of these skills include:

  • Coding
  • Construction and manufacturing skills
  • CAD skills (3D modelling)

Beginner students start by constructing and programming using Lego robotics kits, whilst more experienced students develop custom-built robots to meet various challenges. Students also have the opportunity to enter Robotics competitions such as RoboCup and FIRST competitions at a regional, state, national, and international level. Just last year, a small team from St Peters qualified and competed at the FIRST Global Challenge in Dubai. In addition to core technical skills, competitions instill attributes such as teamwork and project management.