Queensland Academies | The High School of Choice for Gifted Students
Queensland Academies is a set of three independent state high schools for talented, high-achieving students in their high school years. The Academies were formed in response to Premier Peter Beattie’s announcement of Queensland’s Smart State Strategy – a policy designed to foster knowledge, creativity and innovation within Queensland. Each campus follows the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program to give students a highly regarded, globally recognised qualification and each campus is aligned with a neighbouring university to form a learning environment that blurs the lines between high school and university study.
About the Academies
The three campuses of Queensland Academies are all world class educational environments committed to providing bright students with an innovative and empowering learning experience. The facilities are university standard and all campuses are modern, technology-rich, and air-conditioned. Queensland Academies produces graduates who are perfectly equipped with the necessary skills of analytical and critical thinking, leadership, and measured risk-taking to prepare them for lifelong success in their chosen fields.
The teachers and staff are enthusiastic and dedicated, working both collaboratively and individually with students to offer support and ensure success. Students are encouraged to lead their own research by sourcing information from internal and external resources, enabling them to become independent and organised learners.
Queensland Academies’ Schools
There are three Queensland Academy campuses in SE Queensland:
- Queensland Academy Science Mathematics and Technology (QASMT), Toowong – students in years 7-12
- Queensland Academy Creative Industries (QACI), Kelvin Grove – students in years 10-12
- Queensland Academy Health Sciences (QAHS), Southport – students in years 10-12
Each Academy is
- An International Baccalaureate world school
- A coeducational independent state school
- A stimulating and challenging learning environment for high-achieving high school students
- Aligned with a leading university
- Technology rich with world-class facilities
- Fully wireless
- Modern and fully air-conditioned
The Creative Industries Campus and Health Sciences Campus each have a capacity of up to 711. However enrolment to the Academies is not quota based, but rather merit based, and each student must complete a selective entry process.
Queensland Academies Curriculum
Students at Queensland Academies are enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, which is an internationally recognised curriculum designed to prepare students for the demands of university study. Its philosophy is student centred and fosters critical thinking, social responsibility, and international awareness through a holistic and enquiring educational approach.
Students at each campus choose subjects from six categories, which include studies in language and literature, a second language, sciences, arts, mathematics, and society based studies. Students must choose three or four of these subjects to study at a higher than standard level too.
The International Baccalaureate Programme also has three mandatory core subjects that are not offered in regular high schools. These subjects are designed to broaden and enhance the student’s learning capacity and thought processes, and are as follows:
Extended Essay (EE)
The Extended Essay (of not more than 4000 words) is an independent research project conducted both inside and outside the classroom, relating to the student’s choice of an International Baccalaureate subject they are studying. It requires careful planning and time-management, a strong attention to detail, and thorough research. The “World Studies Extended Essay” option allows students to focus on a topic of global significance, which they examine through the lens of at least two IB Diploma subjects. The challenging Extended Essay task allows students to gain valuable experience in academic writing.
Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
Theory of Knowledge focuses on the process of knowing. Throughout the course students are challenged to think about how they know things and how they learn so that they can confidently continue to absorb knowledge through a variety of processes. Theory of Knowledge develops a coherent approach to learning that unifies the academic disciplines. In this course on critical thinking, students inquire into the nature of knowing and deepen their understanding of knowledge as a human construction. Assessment on the subject takes the form of an oral presentation and essay.
Creativity Activity Service (CAS)
Another core requirement of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is the undertaking of Creativity Activity Service (CAS) activities to highlight the importance of finding a balance between the rigours of study and life in the outside world. CAS activities include, but are not limited to:
- Team sports
- International projects
- Health and fitness
- Community activities
- Working with refugees
- Assisting the homeless
Queensland Academies Enrolment Process
Enrolment in Queensland Academies is via a selective entry process. Applicants must sit a four-part entrance exam covering reading comprehension, a written essay, mathematics/science test, and an abstract reasoning test. All students who sit the test are then required to attend an interview before a panel of industry professionals. The interview allows students to showcase their talents, prior achievements, and learning aptitude. The application is a challenging process but its purpose is clear: for students to thrive and succeed they need to be surrounded by like-minded individuals who share their learning goals, demonstrate leadership, and offer support, guidance and encouragement. Queensland Academies also accepts applications from remote and rural students and offer a homestay scheme for students with too great a distance to travel.
Applications for entry into Year 10 should be made during Year 9.
Queensland Academies Programs for Younger Students
Enrolment into Queensland Academies is for students in Years 10 to 12, but the Academies also offer introductory programs for younger students.
Bright Minds is a program for highly capable students in Years 3 and 4. Students are invited to participate in a range of preparatory workshops mentored by Academy students and designed to challenge and develop enhanced thinking processes.
Brilliant Futures is designed to support students through years 6 to 9 to ensure a smooth transition into Queensland Academies’ International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in Year 10. The high-level program is open to students in Years 5 and 6 via a very selective entry process, which guarantees the student a place in the Academy of their choice.
Young Scholars is for gifted students in Years 5 to 9 and aims to prepare students for entry into the academy in Year 10. The program can be undertaken in workshops or online.
Queensland Academies Partnership with Universities
The three campuses of Queensland Academies are each situated close to a leading Queensland university allowing students access to a superior range of resources and facilities. Students have the advantage of gaining an early insight into the demands of university study and become accustomed to the university environment before making the transition into tertiary education. Students also have the opportunity to earn credits into second-year university courses whilst completing their high school education at Queensland Academies.
The three campuses are aligned with the following universities:
- The Health Sciences Campus is partnered with Griffith University (GU) on the Gold Coast – Years 10-12
- The Science, Mathematics & Technology Campus is partnered with the University of Queensland (UQ) at Toowong – Years 7-12
- The Creative Industries Campus is partnered with Queensland University of Technology (QUT) at Kelvin Grove – Years 10-12
Where to find the Queensland Academies Campuses
The Creative Industries Campus is located on the outskirts of the Brisbane inner city within the Queensland University of Technology’s Kelvin Grove Campus; 61 Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove.
The Health Sciences Campus is on the Gold Coast, adjacent to Griffith University at 102 Edmund Rice Drive, Southport.
The Science, Mathematics & Technology Campus is located close to the University of Queensland at 78 Bywong Street, Toowong.
Is Queensland Academies right for your child?
If you have a child in primary or middle school who shows exceptional ability, focus, and drive, Queensland Academies could be the perfect place for them to complete their high school years.
The campuses of Queensland Academies provide a rich learning environment for talented, high-achieving students in their high school years. Students at Queensland Academies enjoy premium world-class facilities and a support network that helps them to become independent critical thinkers, goal-oriented, and culturally aware, recognising their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet. Graduates of Queensland Academies can anticipate access to many of the world’s most prestigious universities and take with them a lifelong love of learning and sense of purpose.