The Classroom and Beyond

A TSS Education embraces the whole of life, recognising that obtaining knowledge is one thing while the “getting of wisdom” is another. As a consequence, we offer a learning experience that is balanced and holistic, one that moves outside the classroom to complement academic achievement with the development of a range of life-skill designed to progressively reveal the full individual potential of each boys as he matures towards manhood.

In the co-curricular sphere an integrated arts and cultural program open avenues for self-expression and personal development through music, art, drama, and multimedia. Further opportunities for expanding horizons are provided through a wide variety of activities and students clubs such as Chess, Public Speaking, Karate, Young Engineers Robotics, Gifted and Talented workshops and Days of Excellence.

TSS certainly produces graduates of high scholastic calibre, but more importantly, we produce outstanding young men who exhibit confidence, responsibility, leadership, commendable ethics and emotional intelligence.

Curriculum at The Preparatory School – Preschool to Year 6

At TSS Preparatory School we believe the Primary years (Preschool – Year 6) are distinctive. Where secondary and tertiary education is increasingly organised around subjects and disciplines, we believe primary schooling should be organised around children. To this end, our Preparatory School classrooms are characterised by enjoyment, engagement, discovery, and curiosity. We want our students to experience wonder and excitement and we encourage them to take risks (sometimes they succeed and sometimes they fail) as well as to take increasing responsibility and to become more independent learners. This, we believe, is the basis for life-long learning.

Academics, Pastoral Care, Co-Curricular, Sport

TSS Preparatory School teachers form close and sustained relationships with their students as they support them in becoming more independent and open to new experiences. Our teachers have a deep understanding of how boys learn, how they learn about learning and what they need to learn (core curriculum areas). They combine careful attention to the stage of development of each individual with high expectations and a concern to set high standards for all children. They balance the need for the explicit teaching of core concepts, knowledge and skills, with innovative ways of encouraging cooperative work, research, problem solving and student management of elements of their learning.

In developing our students to be self-responsible so that they become motivated to learn for life, we believe it is essential to provide a curriculum designed for the ‘whole boy’.


Key educational features of the Preparatory School include:

  • English, Mathematics, Science, and HASS (Humanities and Social Sciences)
  • Lego Robotics Program
  • ICT – Information Communication Technology
  • Literacy Quest – Boys’ Reading Program (Individualised Differentiation)
  • Honours Program
  • Learning supported by integrated computer technology
  • Specialist library dedicated to the needs of our younger students
  • Arrowsmith Program
  • LOTE (Language Other Than English) – Chinese
  • Music Program
  • Gifted and Talented Program
  • Differentiated classes in Mathematics and English for all students

Senior School – Years 7 to 12

Our Senior School Subjects


University Studies – Whilst in Year 12

For students who are excelling at their studies, the opportunity to begin tertiary studies exists with Bond University’s ‘Student for a Semester’ and Griffith University’s GUEST Program.

Senior School Recognition of Effort/Excellence

At times a teacher may award a boy for his effort or excellence within a subject.  Teachers can do this by applying for academic certificates.  There are currently three certificates available: Academic Recognition, Academic Excellence and Creative Studies.  Students who receive an Academic Recognition Certificate will be awarded this through his House or subject teacher.  Students who receive an Academic Excellence or Creative Studies certificate will be presented with it on Assembly.

Primus Octoginta

The School displays the top 80 Academics in each year level. Year level lists are updated each term (or each Semester for Year 12) and are on display in the Arch of the Good Shepherd display cabinets.

The Dean’s List

At the end of each Semester, boys’ results are examined and they may be presented with The Dean’s List Award if they achieve a minimum set of results.  Any boy not achieving a passing grade in one more of his subjects is not eligible for membership of the Dean’s List.* The minimum requirement for each year level is stated below.
  • Years 7, 8  & 9           6 As &/or Top 20 Primus Octoginta (ranking as at end of Sem. 1 & 2) (N.B.Year 8 Core Physical Education is not an eligible subject*)
  • Year 10                       5 As &/or Top 20 Primus Octoginta (ranking as at end of Sem. 1 & 2) (N.B.Year 10 Core Physical Education is not an eligible subject*)
  • Years 11 & 12            4 As &/or Top 20 Primus Octoginta (ranking as at end of  Sem. 1 & 2)
Boys are presented with the Dean’s List Certificate in an Assembly at the beginning of Semester 2 for their grades at the end of Semester 1. A photo is taken of each year level of the recipients to the Dean’s List and published in the Southportonian Year book. Boys being awarded the Dean’s List Certificate at the end of Semester 2 will be presented with their certificate at a special Scholar’s Assembly with photo afterwards early in Term 1 of the next year.

Silver Palm Award

This award is accompanied by a Silver Leaf Pin, which is awarded on Graduation or Speech Day and is given to those boys who have achieved the Dean’s List Award for Semester 1 and 2.

Gold Palm Award

This award is accompanied by a Gold Leaf Pin, which is awarded to boys at Scholars’ Assembly.  The Award is for boys who achieve all A’s for each of their two Semester Reports.
# NB In this instance accelerated subjects “B” grade will not be considered an “A” and students must also achieve an “A” in Core PE.

Scholars’ Tie

A Scholars’ Tie will be presented to any boy who has maintained a place on the Dean’s List for at least six semesters. The boy may wear his Scholar’s Tie at anytime when Chapel Dress is required and will be acknowledged each year at Scholars’ Assembly.

Academic 1sts

​At the end of Semester 1 the top Year 12 students are acknowledged and presented with an Academic 1st badge and pen for their achievements.

Dux & Dux Proxime Accessit

During Graduation and Speech Day the boy who has attained the highest ranking overall in his year level will be awarded Dux.  The boy who ranks second will be awarded Dux Proxime Accessit.  The Dux will have his name engraved on the Dux year level trophy.  Both the Dux and Dux Proxime Accessit will receive his own engraved trophy.

Subject Prizes

The student who is ranked the highest in each subject will be awarded the Subject Prize. Note this student must have achieved an A in this subject.​
  • Years 8 and 10 Core PE does not satisfy the subject criteria, having no theory content and only two lessons per week.
  • The only exception to this is where a student is studying an accelerated course and doing a subject at a higher year level than his enrolment year.  In these cases any “B” grade will be considered to be equivalent to an “A” grade for the determination of the Dean’s List.
  • Boys doing an accelerated course in English or Mathematics in Year 11 will have the option of doing English & Literature Extension; Music extension or French Extension in Year 12.

Academic Assessment Policies

Diligence – Diligence Scale

Library – Open After School Hours

The Harley Stumm Senior Library is open extended hours to facilitate a quiet place to study, access references or work on assessment. The Libaray opening hours for Term Three 2020 are listed below – these are also advertised within the School’s Student Portal.

  • Monday            7am – 5pm
  • Tuesday            7am – 8pm
  • Wednesday      7am – 8pm
  • Thursday           7am – 8pm
  • Friday                7am – 4pm


Sunday Opening Dates

  • 12 November         1pm – 4.30pm
  • 19 November        1pm – 4.30pm


Academic Assistance

The Southport School has many after school resources available to students who might need extra assistance at different times throughout their academic journey. These are all provided at no added cost.

Study Gym

Study Gym provides students from Years 7 to 12 with access to TSS Teachers, specialists in English, Mathematics and Science as well as other subject areas in the library from 3:30pm-4:30pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.


The TSS Parents & Friends Association funds Tutors, many of whom are TSS Alumni tertiary students – assist students across a range of subject areas and are accessible from 6:30pm-8:30pm, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in N Block classrooms.

TSS Upskill Program

TSS Upskill Program takes place after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays assisting identified Year 7-9 students in the Additional Learning Needs program to successfully access the curriculum. By invitation only.

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