Programs and extra-curricular activities

Specialised courses and programs

While all government high schools provide the same core curriculum, some schools provide a secondary education which focuses on a specific interest or talent.

Programs offered

The list of special interest schools is a guide to some of the schools offering special programs.

If you are interested in a specialist school or program, please contact the school directly, or access the school's website for their enrolment criteria.


The criteria for enrolment into special interest programs are coordinated by the high school. This may include an examination, performance or audition for special entry to the school in year 7.

Extra-curricular activities

Students can opt to participate in a number of activities in addition to the mandatory curriculum. These are designed to support learning and development and include:

  • ANZAC Spirit school prize
  • DreamBIG Children's Festival
  • Premier's be active Challenge
  • Premier's Reading Challenge

ANZAC Spirit school prize

The ANZAC Spirit school prize is a competition that the opportunity for a small number of year 9-10 students with the chance to participate in a fully funded international study tour to commemorate ANZAC Day. Since 2008 the study tour has visited Belgium, France, Singapore, Korea and Gallipoli.

More information, including previous winners and details on how to enter, are available at the Veterans SA site.

DreamBIG Children's Festival

The South Australian DreamBIG Children's Festival is a festival of arts performances, exhibitions and workshops for children and young people that is held every two years. Children and young people participate in a wide range of quality international, national and state arts experiences.

Premier's be active Challenge

The Premier's be active Challenge encourages reception to year 9 students to do 60 minutes of physical activity, at least five days a week, for at least four weeks. Students who achieve this are rewarded with a medal.

Premier's Reading Challenge

The Premier's Reading Challenge improves literacy skills by encouraging students from reception to year 9 to read more books and enjoy reading.

High school student exchange organisations

The high school student exchange program in South Australia is a reciprocal program where students from South Australia attend high school in another country and students from other countries study in South Australia. Student exchanges can be for one school term (approximately 12 weeks) up to one school year.

Organisations and schools in South Australia seeking to operate student exchange programs must be approved and registered by International Education Services (IES), Department for Education.

IES is responsible for:

  • issuing guidelines to organisations and schools seeking registration
  • registering and approving exchange organisations and schools
  • maintaining contact with representatives of student exchange organisations and schools
  • conducting annual surveys of registered exchange organisations and schools to ascertain details of their program operations and reciprocity balances
  • de-registering organisations and schools that do not comply with relevant standards of operation.

The Education Standards Board website has more information about  student exchanges.

Operation of exchange programs

All registered student exchange organisations and schools need to comply with national guidelines.

National guidelines for the operation of international secondary student exchange programs in Australia

How to register

Your organisation or school can register as a student exchange organisation if:

  • They are registered by an Australian state or territory department of education or statutory authority providing secondary school programs for Australian domestic students.
  • Your not-for-profit corporation, association or other legal entity is established or registered under either Commonwealth, state or territory legislation.

Related information

On this site

Other websites

Find an IB world school


International Education Services
Department for Education
Telephone: 8226 3402
Fax: 8226 3655

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Page last updated 29 May 2023

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