MITCHELL HIGH SCHOOL logo

MITCHELL HIGH SCHOOL

MITCHELL HIGH SCHOOL

'We aim to provide excellence in educational opportunities to meet the needs of our students'.

Telephone02 9622 9944

Emailmitchell-h.school@det.nsw.edu.au

History of our school

The early years of Mitchell High School

In 1962, there were 3 schools in the Blacktown Area – Blacktown Boys, Blacktown Girls and Seven Hills High School. As the population grew a new school was needed. On 3 June 1962, it was announced that a new high school was to be built in South Blacktown.

The school was to be built on 6.3 hectares of land at a cost of £332,850 ($665,700) for stage 1 and 2 which included A, B, C and D blocks. Stages 1 and 2 were finished on 10 June 1964. The students and staff, who had started the year in temporary classes at a school on Hereward Highway and at Blacktown Boys and Girls High Schools, finally moved to Mitchell with Mr Frank Doyle as the first principal.

E Block was completed in 1966 at a cost of £90,738 ($181,476). The school hall was opened on 23 December 1975. The specifically dedicated administration block was opened on 5 August 1993.

This meant that the bottom of the original D Block was completely changed. The original foyer to the school became a performance space for dance and drama and consequently the inlaid brass and marble school crest, which had been donated to the school by Mr Joseph Zarb, the original builder, was covered over by the new dance flooring. A photograph of the marble crest currently hangs in the administration block. The library was extended and new classrooms were created.

Environmental changes

Mitchell High school has changed significantly over the last 50 years. Some of the key changes have been to the physical environment. There are no longer two rows of demountables at the back of the school, instead the demountables are integrated  within the school grounds with one demountable being dedicated as a learning centre where students can be given additional support or complete extension work. 

Other areas of the school have been upgraded to meet the needs of the students and staff. Industrial kitchens have been installed for the vocational education and training (VET) courses and the science labs have been redesigned and modernised. All classrooms are carpeted and air-conditioned to improve the physical learning space and both the boys and girls toilets have been completely renovated. Fences have been put around the school to add safety and additional shelter has been provided through the COLA and the shade sails. There are also designated areas for individual year groups in the playground if students do not want to be on the ovals or the quadrangle. There are no longer any lockers in the school, but one thing that has not changed is the rose garden which was planted by our school's first deputy principal, Mr Mowbray in 1964. These original roses are still a feature and admired by both staff and students.

MHS Celebrates 50 Years of Education

1964-2014

In 2014, we gathered our students together in the shape of a '50' on our oval for an aeral photograph. Here we celebrated our 50th year in education!

Changes to education

Education has changed dramatically in the last 50 years. When Mitchell first opened much of the technology used in the classrooms today was not even invented. In the early 80s there was only one video player and television in the school. Now almost every classroom has a television and a disc player, a projector or a smart board. Several faculties use flip cameras or iPads for students' use making lessons more creative and making practical use of modern technology.

With the introduction of technology many aspects of education have changed. Many staff and students use the internet to communicate through email and programs like Edmodo. This means that staff and students can communicate more easily out of school hours. This is especially valuable for senior students. Some subjects that don't have enough students for a class can now apply to have their subject taught online, while other traditional subjects like mathematics can use online programs for homework or extension tasks.

Technology has meant changes to the way schools are administrated, for example, student rolls are marked online and parents receive text messages for important school events or if their child is absent. Changes to education have also come about because of a change in emphasis in school syllabuses. There is more importance placed on developing all aspects of a students' education so there is much greater scope for creativity, for example, every student is able to choose subjects such as dance, drama, visual arts and multi-media. Students can choose from a range of technology courses and can even work towards vocational education certificates which are recognised by employers. Students may also be offered the opportunity to accelerate in subjects to complete the higher school certificate earlier than they would otherwise.

Population changes

Over the past 15 years the number of students has remained consistent. Mitchell has become a very popular school during this time with many applications for placement at the school from students who do not live within the drawing area. Consequently, the school has waiting lists for students who would like to enrol here.

One of the most significant population changes has been the increased numbers of senior students. Until the late 80s, most students left school after the School Certificate. From the late 80s that changed as more students wanted a HSC. It is now compulsory for students to stay in education until they are 17 unless they are in employment or have an apprenticeship.

The other significant change to Mitchell is its increasing multiculturalism. We now have students from very diverse backgrounds and approximately 50 nationalities are represented and celebrated at our school.

Initiatives

Mitchell High School prides itself on introducing, or being part of, innovative programs which benefit the students. In celebration of the diverse backgrounds of our student population, we celebrate Heritage Day every two years where students and staff showcase their cultural backgrounds.

Another very popular initiative is our Self-Select Program where students who are highly motivated and want to extend themselves beyond the outcomes for their stage of learning, can apply to be in classes specifically designed to accommodate their needs.

Things you may not know

The school no longer holds Year 10 Formals as students are now required to stay at school beyond Year 10. The Year 12 Formal is no longer held on school grounds.

We have had so many students who have become leaders in their fields that it is impossible to name them. We have ex-students who are members of parliament, chief executive officers of major multi-national corporations, doctors, lawyers, researchers, farmers, sporting stars, entertainers, scientists, engineers, computer specialists and even an academy award winner.