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James Ruse Agricultural High School

James Ruse Agricultural High School

Gesta Non Verba

Telephone02 9871-7126


Principal's message

I acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and that James Ruse Agricultural High School is built on the land of the Darug people who are the Traditional Custodians of this land.

On behalf of the students, staff, parents and ex-students it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the website of James Ruse Agricultural High School.

Our school is well known for the high academic achievements of our students and we are very proud of their outstanding Higher School Certificate results. We are also proud of student success in a multitude of competitions such as Maths and Science Olympiads in which students are regularly selected to be part of teams that represent Australia at an International level. Furthermore our students enter and many win competitions in, writing, poetry, economics, business studies, geography, languages, technology, engineering and computer programming.

The staff at our school continually attend professional development in the area of  gifted education and encourage each student to achieve their personal best. All students accelerate in Agriculture by undertaking the Preliminary Course in Year 10 and we offer the opportunity to accelerate in a number of other subjects such as PDHPE, Information Processes and Technology, Software Design and Development and Music.

We are very proud of our core school values which are known as ASPIRE: acceptance, service, participation, integrity, respect and endeavour. We promote and instil these into our students throughout their six years with us and hope that they continue to live by them into their adult lives.

In addition to their academic accolades, our students excel in a range of extra and co-curricular activities. Before school, during recess and lunch and after school, Ruse is alive with clubs, committees and societies. Students can choose from Amnesty, UNICEF, Interact, Ruse MUN, Go Green, Film Club, Programming Club,ISCF, Food and Cultural Team, Cooking Club, Cloud 9, Interact, Zero robotics, Ruse Dance Club, Anime Club Book Club, Knitwits and Informatics.  We have very high numbers of students in our Cadet and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme program. Students can participate in debating, public speaking, mock trials, and slam poetry.  There are student led publications including the Ruse Star and the Year Book and a student run light and sound and stage crew.  In addition, we offer a broad excursion program both in Australia and overseas.

Our music program is exceptional. Students can join one of our wind bands including the Year 7 Concert Band, Wind Orchestra, Symphonic Band and Jazz Orchestra. There is also the opportunity to join the String Orchestra and Advanced Strings. Auxiliary Ensembles include the Woodwind Ensemble and Percussion Ensemble and there is also a school Choir. Students have access to instrumental tutors who offer lessons during the school day. Each of the performing groups also take part in various events and performances during the year including band camp, band festival and the annual end of year concert held at the prestigious  Concourse Concert Hall in Chatswood. The annual musical is an additional highlight of the year. Many ex –ruse students return annually to see a new production.

We have a rich history of sport at Ruse and the students are divided and compete in four houses:  Jones, Mullavey, Rassack and Toft. We try out best to ensure that sport is an essential element of the life of every James Ruse Agricultural student. This level of co-operation and enthusiasm is evident throughout the three annual school carnivals – Swimming, Cross Country and Athletics.  The Year 7 and Year 8 Integrated Sports Programme is an extension of the classroom where every student can develop not only their own personal fitness and skills.  Students in Years 9 to 12 have the opportunity to compete in a Grade team on Wednesdays in the Hills Zone competition. This competition has numerous sporting options and extends throughout the winter and summer school terms. We aim to teach all students about the benefits of competition, including integrity and fair play.  The school has many students who compete at Zone, Region, State and National level in their chosen sport.

James Ruse has a strong focus on student leadership, promoting positive values and developing a sense of local and global citizenship in all year groups. The Student Representative Council and the Prefect body work hard to maintain a passionate, supportive school spirit. Both groups run numerous activities throughout the year including sporting events and musical events such as concerts and MAD nights. Thousands of dollars are raised each year in support of charities.

The Wellbeing team, comprising the Head Teacher Wellbeing, 6 Year Advisers, 6 Assistant Year Advisers, the School Counsellor and the Student Mentor Coordinator work hard to deliver a proactive rather than reactive Wellbeing curriculum. This requires a strong understanding of the current educational and personal needs of our students and we use the latest research of wellbeing initiatives and strategies to support them whilst they are at school. The Wellbeing Curriculum focuses on strengths, resilience, emotional intelligence and positive psychology to ensure students are prepared for the world post Ruse. We have created and implemented a school wide culture where students’ diligence and good behaviour are recognised in addition to academic excellence.

Our parents are a core part of this vibrant community at our school. Our P&C (formally known as the Community of James Ruse) participates in school governance as well as running community forums in the evenings and raising money for the school. 

We are a government co-educational academically selective school with an enrolment of 840 students from Years 7 to 12. Located in Carlingford Sydney, our school is accessed by train to Carlingford station or buses to Epping or Parramatta.

Our school was established in 1959 on the grounds of Barrengarry House, built in 1885 for the Felton family.  Today this fine example of Victorian architecture, designed by Charles H Slatyer, is our administration block.  Our school facilities are a mixture of historic and modern buildings and we are constantly considering ways by which we can upgrade our facilities to ensure that Ruse is providing a future focussed learning environment.

The school farm is itself a working farm and has a range of intensive and extensive farming enterprises which support the curriculum delivered at Ruse. We use a range of environmentally sustainable practices.  We have been a member of Angus Australia for over 25 years; we run a Prime Lamb enterprise; our poultry area supports a Free Range Egg production system and meat chicken production. We have two orchards growing Washington navel oranges and peaches. Furthermore the Parramatta Beekeepers house their hives on our grounds. The remaining hectare of the farm is utilised by all students for vegetable production.

At Ruse we aim to ensure that our gifted students reach their potential academically. Moreover, we seek to cultivate the whole person and encourage our students to be responsible young people who can make a positive impact on their local, national and international community. In doing so we embody the school motto, Gesta non verba - Deeds not words.


Rachel Powell