What is EBS?
Welcome to my brief overview of the science program/highschool known as the Elizabeth Blackburn School of Sciences or Elizabeth Blackburn Sciences.
I'll be breaking this overview into 3 parts.
- What the school/program is about
- How the program works
- My personal thoughts
So first of all what is EBS/EBSS?
Well EBS is a year 11 and 12 VCE Science Program within University Highschool. Disclaimer: It is not its own school and is a program within a public school. But, requires students to sit through an entrance test and interview (this is covered in my other video). EBS has a heavy focus on science related subjects. Hence, the name.
The program offers a limited range of subjects from Specialist Mathematics, Mathematical Methods, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Extended Investigation. These topics are taught and held in lecture halls - except for Extended Investigation. Other subjects are available and are held within University Highschool in a normal high school setting.
The students are granted access to a 2 story building which was built in collaboration with Melbourne University and Bio21. It has 2 floors for the two year levels within it and also a kitchen for students who require access to microwaves and a sink with hot water. geothermal heating and cooling pilot system that will also be a living experiment for students as they monitor data generated.
The uniqueness that EBSS has to offer over JMSS and the other selective schools/programs is the learning environment. The students are taught in lecture halls for their subjects and have a dedicated science lab with a lot of equipment.
There are 2 lecture halls which can accommodate 100 and 200 people respectively. Thus, allowing for cohort sizes of up to 100 people. Although no cohort has surpassed 80~ students. The lecture halls provide a lot freedom to students which allow them to either talk and get distracted, do other subjects or pay attention. The choice is theirs.
How the program works.
Well the program runs like this.
It is a VCE Selective Science program meaning that only year 11 and year 12 students are present.
There are a total of 6 periods within a day and a full 6 are required in year 11.
In year 11 there is also a compulsory requirement of completing Extended Investigation a subject in which students undertake a research investigation for the 11 months and report back to examiners with an oral presentation and written report. This is a Unit 3 & 4 Subject and counts towards ATAR. However, a lot of students choose to use it as a free subject to do other work and take up another subject in year 12 to make it a 7th subject.
All other subjects are held within university highschool and normal classes. I would recommend looking into University subjects when in EBSS as they are located nearby so you can potentially save time and money if you choose to take it up as a subject. I myself, do Algorithmics which is considered a Higher Education Study as it is made by Monash and Melbourne University. It counts towards my ATAR and will provide credit for a computer science degree if i wish to pursue it in University - thus saving time and money. A lot of other students undertake mathematics as a university subject at either RMIT or UOM.
My personal thoughts
Hmm, in my opinion I like the program. I get a lot of freedom to do the things I want. In year 11, I pretty much did whatever I felt like. Teachers don't really follow up or spoon feed you at this program so don't expect that. It's also very much advertised as a selective school. But, in reality is a program/subschool within Uni high. A couple others and myself were caught off guard by this when we started to attend. We don't really associate that much with University Highschool students since we pretty much just stay in our building. We also have small cohorts which means everyone is quite familiar with each other. The only real privileges that we get are no uniforms, free periods that do not require students to attend school or sign in, year 12's are allowed to leave school during lunch and potentially go to the city.
Since EBSS is affiliated with Melbourne University is it easier to get into?
No, although we are affiliated we don't have any special privileges.
What are the ATAR ranges for EBSS?
Is the program hard?
Depends on the students, each student finds it differently.
Is there a lot of support from teachers?
Yes, if you approach them about it. In the mathematics subjects we have these extra classes that students can attend to get support from the teachers regarding the coursework.
Is entrance hard?
Nah, not really if you learn all the content within either my video or written guides you should be fine. Roughly 130-160 students have applied each year. And About 80 enter, with around 10-20 spots reserved for University Higschool students. Although, with each year the popularity of the program increases.
What are the fees like?
So there is a $200~ camp at the end of year 10 for new year 11's. Then a $900 fee for the whole year.