Choosing a School for Your Child VIC 2017

When it comes to education, we all want what’s best for our kids. Decisions about where your child goes to school are very personal and can be daunting. In Choosing a School for Your Child we aim to make this process as simple as possible. These days, choosing the right school is more than simply choosing between co-educational or single-sex, government or independent. Other factors to consider include educational options, the school’s philosophies, religious affiliation, the co-curricular programs and much more. Some schools are noted for their sporting and musical programs, while others have a strong vocational emphasis. Some make involvement in community service compulsory, while others offer an extensive range of languages and international exchange programs. Our regular features detail everything that a parent needs to know about the NSW education system and the HSC, RoSA and the IB. In order to keep you informed and up-to-date, we have compiled a series of articles that address important issues. Our comprehensive listings highlight information about government and independent schools in Victoria, divided by location for easy reference.

Universal Wellbeing PTY Limited


from the editor

Now that I have two children (just 17 weeks old and almost three years old), the choice of high school for each of them has become an issue of importance in our household. It’s one of the most crucial decisions we will make about their future, and I can only hope that they enjoy school as much I did. One theme which runs through many of our features this issue is how schools are embracing technology in this fast-changing world. “On one hand we’re trying to prepare our students for jobs that don’t exist yet,” Camberwell Girls Grammar School principal Debbie Dunwoody says. “On the other, we’re trying our very best to equip them with the right skill set to enable them to create their own future or to have the…

which school is right for your child?

Schools vary greatly in their philosophies, subject range, staff and, of course, cost. Choosing a school is no longer dependent on a preference for private versus public education. These days, many other factors must be considered, such as a school’s specialisations, location and extracurricular opportunities. Here in Australia, we are fortunate that our education offerings are of a high quality and we have a large range of options from which to choose. There are, however, so many variables, made even more complex by “league” tables, which are sometimes published in the media and list the topperforming schools. Some parents may find themselves being influenced by a table that ranks the state’s best schools according to VCE results, or by the rankings on the government’s My School website, which allows parents to…

from primary to secondary

The transition from primary to secondary school is never easy. Everyone has endured it, or will eventually, at some point. This is why it is vital to prepare your child for the inevitable but in doing so, it is important to encourage eagerness and a willingness to learn so that your child will not only have a successful transition, but also a successful time in secondary school. When you compare the excitementfilled last days of Grade 6 to the nervous first days of Year 7, it can be terrifying for any 12 or 13 year old, especially when they go from pure comfort within their friendship groups to anxiously trying to find new ones. Added to this is the pressure of new modes of transport, figuring out their new timetable, knowing…

community links

Across Yarra Valley Grammar, from Junior to Senior levels, students are encouraged to give something back to the less fortunate in the wider community. Fundraising events and volunteering are encouraged and promoted through a program called Community Links, which is coordinated by the school’s chaplain, Reverend Paul Joy. In the Senior School, two major fundraising events are the Great Yarra Shave, which raises money for the Leukaemia Foundation, and The Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal. This year, the Yarra Shave raised a record $20,000 and the efforts of more than 360 students, teachers, parents and past students raised an extraordinary $41,000 for The Royal Children’s Hospital in one day. The Junior School undertakes a Christmas charity effort for Operation Christmas Child that involves collecting a selection of special gifts in…

international programs

Yarra Valley Grammar is a proud member of the Melbourne Schools’ Partnership International (MPSI) with The University of Melbourne. However, the international programs may become a lost opportunity for school communities, students and their families if we are not careful. International students ought not be here merely to bolster enrolment numbers or the school’s academic achievement. They should be an opportunity for young people from overseas to truly experience Australian lifestyle and culture. At Yarra Valley Grammar, our international students, like their local counterparts, are keen to do well in their studies but it is the involvement in the broader life of the school which brings the most benefit. Our students enjoy academic pursuits in many different fields such as mathematics, science, Chinese language and humanities as well as the performing…

a challenging competition

In 2016, two St Leonard’s College teams — one from Year 7 and one from Year 9 — travelled to Sydney to compete at the National Finals of the da Vinci Decathlon, with both placing first in their divisions. The college’s success has continued in the 2017 competition, with two Year 7 teams qualifying for the State Finals. In an exceptional performance, one team placed first in Victoria and secured a spot at the National Finals, to be held later in the year. The da Vinci Decathlon is an academic competition designed to challenge and stimulate the minds of gifted students. Teams of eight students work together to complete challenges across the 10 disciplines of art and poetry, cartography, philosophy, creative producers, science, mathematics, general knowledge, English, code breaking and engineering.…