At Willoughby Girls High School, a wide range of activities is available to cater for individual needs, interests and aptitudes.
The Importance of Extra Curricular Activities
Time Management and Prioritising
Extra-curricular activities teach students how to manage their time and prioritise various tasks and commitments.
Exploring Diverse Interests
While students usually have the opportunity to pursue a wide range of study areas through core subjects and electives, extra-curricular activities allow students to explore an interest in more depth than what is covered in class — or maybe even find a completely new interest that they wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise. They can also provide a great chance for students to broaden their perspective of the world, particularly those involved in volunteering and community service programs.
Making a Contribution
Extra-curricular activities allow students to contribute to their school or community, which is an important step in preparing them for life outside of academics.
Mastering new skills can help build students’ confidence. By participating in extra-curricular activities, students can build their self-esteem in a relaxed setting as the activities provide the opportunity to be successful in something that they are passionate about.
Another benefit of extra-curricular activities is that they look great on university applications. In addition to academic performance, many universities look at what activities students are involved in outside of school as a way to fully understand each student.
Extra-curricular activities present opportunities for students to develop their goal-setting skills. Most extra-curricular activities involve reaching or achieving a goal, whether it is the lead actor in the school play, winning the state championship or coming in first place in the science competition. As a result, these activities help encourage students to work toward achieving those goals, while having fun at the same time.
Sports teams, clubs and activities, like dancing and music, all require students to work together toward a common goal. By participating in these activities, students develop the skills they need in order to successfully work with others. In addition, extra-curricular activities allow students to build relationships and socialise with peers who share their interests.
Recent studies show a correlation between improved grades, behaviour and work habits as a result of students’ involvement in extra-curricular activities.
Being part of a group or team provides a sense of belonging, with extra-curricular activities offering an opportunity for your child to interact with others with similar interests and potentially build friendships outside of their usual circle.
A wide range of extra curricular activities are offered at Willoughby Girls High School including:
This year we have reformed the Junior and Senior school dance ensembles who will be working toward state run dance performances, culminating in the 2023 schools spectacular.
WGHS Company (All years) -- AUDITIONED
The company is the auditioned group at Willoughby Girls High School, students have an experience in Dance technique and preferably attend classes. Students will be required to learn at least two routines performed on various occasions. The first work is contemporary/lyrical based and will be submitted for Sydney North Dance Festival and other performance opportunities. The second routine will be a range of styles, including modern with elements of jazz, musical theatre, and hip-hop. This group requires students to commit to learning choreography, rehearsing, and ensuring that they are comfortable performing in front of an audience. Students will also be submitted to the School Spectacular Performance for Dance.
Junior Ensemble (Years 7-9) -- AUDITIONED
This is a Junior year group-targeted ensemble (Years 7-9) that encourages students to learn choreography and engage in Dance at Willoughby Girls High School. Students will be required to learn two routines with at least one being performed at school events, including the opportunity to be involved in School Spectacular. Students will experience a range of styles, with the first routines mainly jazz, funk hip-hop, and the second contemporary or lyrical. These ensembles are a good introduction to learning different styles and techniques which are covered in more detail in the Elective Dance course and for the Company.
JFH (Jazz-Funk-Hip-hop) - OPEN
This a mixed street-styled group that meets on a Wednesday lunchtime. This student-led group allows students to be involved in a team that learns styles from jazz, funk or hip-hop, break dancing, and other street techniques. This group is not auditioned, however, if the numbers are exceeding expectations it may be required to ensure students are able to learn routines safely. Possible performance opportunities are dependent on the group and consistency in their rehearsals.
Debating and public speaking
Opportunities are offered to students to represent the school in a variety of debating and public speaking competitions. In addition to the Department of Education and Communities competitions for Years 7 to 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.
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 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.
The Environment Club is open to students in Years 7 to 12 interested in the local environment and sustainability. The main focus of the Environment Club is to engage in purposeful and positive projects to improve school and local environments. The Environment Club meets on a regular basis to discuss projects, fundraising ideas/events and other environmental topics.
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 and digital media students, this event comprises of an exhibition and HSC (Higher School Certificate) 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.
The French club is for students in Years 8-12 who are studying French and who are interested in French culture and language. The club meets weekly to practise speaking in French and to share French interests. The club gives students opportunities to keep abreast of French cultural events occurring throughout the year.
The "Grow-Getters" gardening club meets weekly on Thursdays to grow flowers and vegetables and discuss gardening initiatives. The club is open to all students Years 7-12 and meet at lunchtime in the Old House Garden.
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.
Music ensembles - School
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.
Music ensembles - P&C
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.
Performing arts major production (every two years)
The school produces major performing arts productions, every second year. The music and English departments produce and direct the productions. 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.
Willoughby Girls High School is 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.
Two new sporting clubs have been formed due to popularity and interest, these clubs enjoy regular weekly training and coaching sessions. This year the Volleyball Club and the Cricket Club will engage in training sessions before school and during lunchtimes. See the PE staff for more details.