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Maitland High School

Maitland High School

Successful Teachers, Successful Students, Successful School

Telephone02 4933 7933

About our school

Principal Paula Graham

Principal’s Address

Paula Graham

Principal, 2017-present


Maitland High School is the second oldest state high school in Australia. It has a very rich history and a strong position in the community which provides a stable platform for the school to look to the future. Our school motto, “En Avant” (Go Forward) encapsulates the school’s aim to develop a sense of future: of capacity, achievement and success in all students. Our 2024 School Plan captures the focus of the school: 'Successful Teachers, Successful Students, Successful School.

Can a public high school, which is open to all students, really have settled classrooms, high expectations of student behaviour and quality learning?

-Proudly, Yes!

Maitland High School is a very special place where real vibrancy and a sense of community exist and are promoted through inclusive curricular and co-curricular activities. We are very proud of our continuing improvement and the recognition of our school as a place of settled classrooms, engaged learners and positive student relationships. Our students are highly relational and it is a wonderful common practice across the school to have students warmly greeting teachers each day as students and staff pass in the corridors or see each other in the playground!

Our school is a site of high-care, high-quality learning, where community building, the development of healthy self-concepts and rewarding friendships go hand in hand in the holistic development of young people in our care.  We are an inclusive high school serving a diverse community. 

I have three critical expectations that are reinforced in this school:

1.     Classrooms are positive, settled places focused on learning. I don’t tolerate disruption to the learning environment. All my teachers have my mobile number and I have requested that they call for me to remove disruptive students from classrooms. On the odd occasion that this occurs (as the widely known expectation and consequence tends to ensure settled classrooms) the student with additional learning or behavioural needs receives the appropriate support and remediation required through a learning and support team meeting with their parent/carers and other relevant support staff.

2.    Students have a right to be free from anti-social, aggressive or threatening behaviour in the playground.   Anti-social, bullying behaviour has no place in this school. Every reported incident is investigated and strong action is taken – Formal Caution or Suspension.

3.    Learning achievement and individual success require recognition of individual student learning needs and a high expectations, high support environment. To achieve academic excellence, we use explicit teaching strategies to build higher order learning skills across all Key Learning Areas, forged on a foundation of strong literacy and numeracy skills development to prepare students to achieve their personal best at the HSC and post-school employment, further study pathways.

Strong academic achievement

Maitland High School was one of two only Hunter schools to have a student on the prestigious NSW HSC 2023 All-Rounder List, where students are recognised for achieving Band 6 results in five or more ATAR courses. Five of our Year 12 students were   recognised on the school's Honours List, achieving ATARs between 80 and 97.5.

The 2023 HSC saw the school achieve its best overall results in nine years, reflected in the average HSC course mark climbing to 2.3 marks above our Statistically Similar School Groups (SSSG) mark. The school has a continued strong improvement trend, where the school continues to achieve significant increases in the average HSC course mark achieved by our students.

Our HSC results improvement has steadily tracked upwards from an average of HSC mark of 59.7 in 2015 to an average course mark of 68.8 in 2023 - again, 2.3 marks above the average course mark of similar schools last year. This means student results have grown by an average increase of 9.1 marks over this period. Our average HSC scores have been above similar schools (SSSG) for three out of the last four years. Aboriginal students at MHS achieved exceptionally strong results, with an average HSC course mark of 72.3%, compared with the State average of 64.6%!  A sustained improvement trajectory is something that we are all proud of!

How have we achieved sustained academic achievement?

What does teaching practice look like at MHS?

  1. High quality, explicit teaching i.e. where the steps to successful learning are modelled for the learner.
  2. Learning activities focused on higher order and conceptual thinking skills development in every Year, 7-12 and in every classroom across the schoolThese critical conceptual thinking skills are necessary for high Band 5 & 6 performance in the HSC and they need to be taught from the very first years of high school. 
  3. A strong focus on literacy skills development in every classroom. The ability to read well; understand complex or abstract ideas; express understandings and ideas fluently in oral and written language, with a good command of vocabulary and grammar, are the basics for success in all subjects - and, most importantly, essential for success in 21st Century careers.

High expectations for student learning and positive behaviour at all times: no tolerance of disruptive or poor behaviour.

The school's high expectations for learning embraces all students. This involves our students: coming to school on time; being prepared for learning with all equipment; in correct school uniform and; demonstrating considerate and positive behaviour at all times. It is well known in our community that Maitland High School does not tolerate disruptive or poor behaviour from its students. The school has highly effective student wellbeing and discipline systems in place to ensure that the learning needs of all students are met with care and fairness. Support and extension are provided based on each student's unique learning needs. 

Our Student Discipline Code is simple and transparent: 

  1. All students have the right to learn in settled and productive classrooms. 
  2. All students are valued, equal and unique and are supported to set high personal learning goals for a positive future.  
  3. All students have a right to be free from anti-social, aggressive or threatening behaviour in the playground.   

 All students at MHS are aware that transgressing these basic rights of fellow students is not tolerated.

Is MHS a school which also has a strong student wellbeing focus? Yes!

Our school has a highly effective Wellbeing network of year advisers, head teachers, school counsellor, student support officer and learning and support teachers. All students with additional learning needs have Individual Learning Plans and everyone of our students has access to our Wellbeing supports and they are encouraged to seek our assistance whenever an issue arises which impacts on them. In particular, our school does not tolerate any kind of bullying behaviour or harassment. At our school, the culture is that students feel able to seek help from their year adviser, deputy or principal and any incidences of anti-social behaviour are acted on swiftly so that the negative behaviour is stopped.

What sort of additional or special programs does the school run?

We have:

  • HGPE Classes for talented students
  • An outstanding Information Technology program where our students are coding and learning Industry Standard applications and software use.
  • A Talented Sports Program which provides individual training and mentoring to gifted young sportspeople across a wide range of sports. Our basketball, netball, and rugby league teams are frequently in the Top 8 in the state and we have a State Development Squad level Cricket coach on staff!
  • An exceptional Creative and Performing Arts program, where Drama, Dance, Music and Visual Arts are nurtured by enthusiastic and talented teachers! 
  • Our Drama Production this year, is ‘Swifty’ – another A. Ross original script and stage play!

Public education and our school in particular, aims to build a healthy and harmonious community of learners. Issues of class, race, gender and all other forms of exclusion, are eliminated through diversity, understanding and inclusion, whilst actively teaching that belonging, community, learning and achievement are for all.

Come and find out first-hand about our school!

Make an appointment with the principal for a guided tour of the school while it is in operation.


Welcome to Maitland High School!

En Avant!


Paula Graham