Esperance Senior High School was opened in 1966 to provide a rural education for students from the town and surrounding farming areas.
Situated in the beautiful town of Esperance on the southern coast of Western Australia, the school is set within 28 hectares of sprawling and productive land.
As the town of Esperance grew, so did the school. It now comprises an 800 hectare, commercial School Farm, 35kms out of town; an agricultural demonstration block on the town site; a Junior Campus for years 7 and 8 students and a year 9 -12 senior campus; the Esperance Residential College providing an outstanding 114 bed facility; the Esperance Senior High School Education Support Centre, a school within a school; and the South Regional TAFE. These all reflect an educational partnership providing for both secondary and tertiary education.
The school has a strong academic tradition. Many former students are now graduates from the University of WA, or from Curtin, Murdoch or Edith Cowan universities in a wide variety of professions. Ex-students have excelled during their time at the school and subsequently in their tertiary studies, epitomised by Byron Byrne who became a Rhodes Scholar in 1996. Byron, now a lecturer and researcher at Oxford College in England, still keeps a connection to the school through his generous provision of a mathematics/science scholarship for a year 10 student about to embark upon their year 11 and 12 studies in the scientific and mathematics field.
Year 12 WACE exam students consistently excel in their studies. Over recent years, around one third of students studying an ATAR course have achieved an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) in the 90s, an outstanding result.
Similar outstanding achievements are reflected within the Vocational Education and Training (VET) area, which attracts around sixty per cent of upper school students in an extensive range of courses. Students consistently achieve awards at state and national level as a result of their high quality achievement.A variety of curricular and extra-curricular opportunities are available to students during their time at this school. In the arts, students excel at the annual music festival, in visual arts competitions and through whole-school productions. In the sporting arena, students are highly competitive at international competitions, gaining many accolades for outstanding results. The Esperance Farm Training Centre students are similarly successful each year through the many inter-town competitions they undertake, culminating with the Perth Royal Agricultural Show in September.
The pinnacle of students’ outstanding achievements lies in their 20 year record of successful participation in the Tournament of Minds (TOM), a critical and creative thinking competition that tests problem solving, creativity and team skills. Esperance students were the first to win all four divisions of TOM at the national level and they continue to excel at state level at which there has been Esperance Senior High School teams represented each year since the school commenced TOM in 1993. Students and staff combine to create a formidable partnership for success.
The school itself was originally designed for 400 students. Steady growth occurred throughout the 1990s, resulting in a number of building upgrades in the past 15 years that has created a modern and expansive school site.
In 2004, a $3.75 million upgrade of the north wing and the establishment of the Curtin Vocational Training and Education Centre (VTEC), now the South Regional TAFE, enhanced the provision for practical subjects. The Fixing Our Schools program contributed $489,853 to the maintenance of school buildings.
In 2006, the $7.53 million Junior Campus, with 18 classrooms was built.
The Australian Government's Building the Education Revolution program funded the following building projects at the school in more recent times: a $5.1 million Trade Training Centre; a $200,000 National School Pride project extending connectivity between the Junior Campus and the rest of the school and enhancing canteen facilities; and a $1.9 million refurbishment of the science facilities. In addition, the State Government's Royalties for Regions grant funding provided $200,000 for industry-standard equipment for the Trades Training Centre and the Stars Foundation facility.