Smith's Hill High School is a co-educational selective high school situated in central Wollongong. The school seeks to promote excellence in a spirit of trust and co-operation through providing a challenging broadly-based curriculum in a positive, safe and rewarding environment. Our close proximity to the beach, Wollongong CBD, the University of Wollongong, the Illawarra Institute of Technology, Wollongong Entertainment Centre, Illawarra Performing Arts Centre and Beaton Park sporting complex allows us to provide a balanced curriculum in terms of academic pursuits, cultural and sporting experiences. The curriculum is supplemented by relevant excursions and extra-curricular activities which include camps and national competitions of an academic nature. Students are expected to participate in sport and are encouraged to pursue their strengths in all fields of endeavour. Students who choose to attend the school do so from an area which stretches from the southern suburbs of Sydney to Bateman's Bay in the south. All students are encouraged to: become independent learners; make choices concerning their own learning paths; and to extend themselves through involvement in extra-curricular activities.
Entry in Year 7 is by a state administered examination. The school has high expectations of our students and provides a positive, safe and rewarding learning environment.
The core values of the school are expressed by the student representative council in the word EnRICH, representing Endeavour, Respect, Integrity, Compassion and Harmony, the essence of the school.
To cater for the varying needs of our students the school runs a vertically unitised curriculum which facilitates acceleration across year groups and enables students to pursue their own learning pathways. Our proximity to central Wollongong allows us to provide a balance curriculum in terms of academic pursuits and cultural and sporting experiences.
All students are encouraged to become independent learners and to make choices concerning their own learning paths. They are encouraged to extend themselves and develop their talents through participation in extra-curricular activities which include sport, camps, Rock Eisteddfod, debating, public speaking and drama and music performances where they have experienced great success.
Smith's Hill High School has had something of a chequered past with its origins dating back to 1905, when it was first opened. In this year a post primary vocational educational course of two years duration for non academic students was established and Wollongong Public School offered it in the Domestic Sciences. The course offered tuition and training in Household Accounts, History and Geography, Cooking, Laundry, Dressmaking, Home Management, Hygiene, Infant Care, Botany, Morals, Music and PDHPE.
In 1911, the Secondary courses were reconstructed with students sitting for the Intermediate Certificate after two years, and then the Leaving Certificate after another two years study. Students of Domestic Sciences were not eligible to sit for these examinations. Five years later in 1916, the present A block was constructed and named Wollongong High School. It was not until 1957 that the Wollongong Home Science School, as it was known, was relocated from the Smith Street School. At this time Wollongong High School moved to its present site and in 1957 Smith's Hill Girls High School came into existence. It was decided that girls studying Domestic Science could sit for the Intermediate and Leaving Certificates.
During the 1970's plans were underway to change SHGHS into a comprehensive, co-educational High School and in 1979 the school was renamed Smith's Hill High School. In 1985, boys were enrolled in years 7, 8, 9 and 11, drawing from feeder schools at Wollongong, Coniston and Mt St Thomas. By 1986, SHHS was co-educational from years 7-12.
The most recent and dramatic change was in 1988 when the NSW Department of School Education decided that SHHS would become a Selective High School as from the Year 7 intake in 1989. In more recent years entry to SHHS has become considerably more competitive and students travel from as far afield as Nowra, Helensburgh and the Highlands to attend the school.