Urrbrae was established following the bequest of land to the Education Department by Peter Waite in 1913. Peter Waite was a pastoralist in early South Australian history and the purpose of the bequest was to build and develop an Agricultural High School to train and educate boys in modern farming techniques. The school was built and opened in 1932 with an enrolment of 60 boys. In 1974, the first Urrbrae girls were enrolled and today, Urrbrae has an enrolment of 1000 students consisting of approximately 50% boys and girls.
The school consists of educational facilities and buildings along with a 40 ha (114 acres) farm. Originally, only part of the farm was used for teaching programs. The Waite Agricultural Research Institute conducted agricultural trials in paddocks until the mid 1960’s, when the whole farm returned to the school use. At this time, the Certificate of Agriculture, a two year specialist course, was introduced in Years 11 and 12. With industry support, a Suffolk sheep stud and Poll Hereford cattle stud were introduced and added to the other sheep, cattle, poultry, bees, pigs, horticulture and vegetable enterprises on the farm. Later, Boer goats, horses, aquaculture, aviary birds and alpacas were added to the livestock projects currently run at the school.
Today, Urrbrae’s education programs reflect the school’s motto of “Science with Practice”. There is a heavy emphasis of linking theory to applied practices, especially in Agriculture, Science, Mathematics and Technology.
To download a copy of our complete school context statement, please click the following link: 2017 School Context Statement (1 MB)
Further information about the Urrbrae Estate is available here: The Urrbrae Estate