Choosing a School for Your Child NSW Choosing a School for Your Child NSW

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 New South Wales, divided by location for easy reference.

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in this issue

2 min
from the editor

At a recent high school reunion, I was honoured to give the keynote speech. It included the obligatory reminiscences of school days past — of friendships made, lessons learnt, opportunities given, teachers that made a difference, rites of passage moments and more. As I planned what I would say, I reflected that while I hadn’t fully appreciated how crucial those school years were then, they really had been pivotal in shaping who I am today. Not only did my schooling give me the educational grounding necessary for my career, it provided opportunities that helped to make me a well-rounded human being, gave me a sense of community, and helped instil in me values and priorities which I am now thankful for. Preparing my speech had highlighted for me something that my…

17 min
education 2015/2016: the big picture

Education regularly undergoes changes, so it’s important to have a thorough understanding of the current educational curriculum, policy and teaching methods when choosing a school for your child. Here’s an overview of what to expect from your child’s years of schooling. Australian curriculum The national curriculum is produced by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) in consultation with educators. The Australian curriculum sets out the core knowledge, understanding, skills and general capabilities important for all Australian students. It describes the learning entitlement of students as a foundation for their future growth and makes clear what young Australians should learn as they progress through their school years. It is also the foundation for the highquality teaching required to meet the needs of Australian students. ACARA developed the Australian Curriculum in consultation with…

8 min
choosing a school for your child

Schools vary greatly in their emphasis, philosophy, activities, staffing and costs. It’s more than just a choice between private and public schooling, as there are many factors to consider. We are fortunate in Australia that our education offerings are of a very high standard and we have a large range of options from which to choose. Because you want to match the best school with the interests and abilities of your children, this often requires a considerable amount of footwork to visit schools to see the facilities on offer and to speak with staff and principals. When judging schools, you should be persistent, well-researched and have a clear understanding of the New South Wales education system — as well as the choices available — before making your final decision. Ask your child Your child…

18 min
education options in nsw

The choice within the NSW public school system has greatly increased in recent years. Your child is automatically entitled to a place in their local high school, but you can also apply for a place at non-local high schools (such as single-gender, specialist, selective, sports or agricultural high schools). As such, you can potentially take advantage of increased specialisation in the public education system. Some restrictions do apply. Students from outside a school’s designated local enrolment area can be offered a place only if space permits after local students have been accommodated. Additionally, schools such as selective and agricultural high schools have special enrolment criteria based on academic merit. Selective and agricultural schools Currently in NSW there are 17 fully selective schools, four selective agricultural high schools, 25 high schools with selective classes…

3 min
competition on a global stage

“There is no special formula for choosing a school, although there are resources available that assist decision-making. I always suggest visiting schools and meeting the principal to get a feel for the values and priorities of individual schools.” Choosing a school for your child is one of the most important decisions parents make in life. How many barbecues or parties have we attended where school choice is the hot topic, whether it’s starting “big school” or transitioning to secondary school? We are fortunate in NSW to have so much choice in schooling, both within the government and non-government sectors. There are schools that provide fantastic support to students of every ability range, as well as specialist schools for visual arts, creative and performing arts, sport, and gifted and talented students. Students with…

4 min
resilient kids bounce back

Every school day presents challenges for your child. What with sporting events, understanding new concepts, academic challenges, managing difficult social situations, peer pressure, failures and setbacks, your child has plenty to contend with. Your child’s ability to handle these situations will depend on their resilience. Building resilience in young people is vital for good mental health and wellbeing and the bottom line is that resilient kids bounce back. Some children are naturally resilient; their disposition doesn’t allow them to be fazed by disappointments and setbacks. Such kids just get up, dust themselves off and keep going. But what about those children who are not naturally resilient? The good news is that resilience can be learnt and parents can foster resilience in their children. Being resilient doesn’t mean people suddenly lead charmed lives, magically…