Choosing a School for Your Child NSW NSW Issue #36 2020

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.

Universal Wellbeing PTY Limited

in this issue

2 min
from the editor

As I write this editor’s letter and complete this issue, the world and Australian schools have been thrown into a state of chaos with COVID-19, also known as coronavirus. In a very short time, the school experience has changed beyond belief and at an unprecedented pace. Although the various states and their education departments have adjusted to the situation in different ways, many parents are now not only expected to work from home, but also home-school their children using a variety of technologies. Not only are the principals and teachers to be commended for their amazing adaptability, but my hat also goes off to the students and parents as they navigate their way through a new system of learning, in addition to the daily stresses that COVID-19 has brought about. I…

16 min
education 2020/2021: 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 high-quality 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…

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. 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 and a…

11 min
understanding the rosa, hsc and ib: a concise guide

Today’s Higher School Certificate (HSC) offers more than 110 courses, including a range of nationally accredited Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses. Depending on subject choice, NSW students can graduate with a Higher School Certificate, a nationally recognised VET qualification, credit transfer into TAFE NSW courses and/or an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR). The Higher School Certificate (HSC) The HSC is an internationally recognised qualification for students who have successfully completed secondary education in NSW. The HSC is flexible and accessible to all students. There’s a wide variety of subjects to choose from for the HSC. The syllabuses make it clear to everyone what students are expected to learn and be able to do in each course by the end of Year 12. Sample examination questions and marking guidelines help students set goals and…

7 min
inspirational principals

DR JOHN COLLIER, HEAD OF ST ANDREW’S CATHEDRAL SCHOOL AND HEAD OF GAWURA What made you want to enter teaching? From a young age, at primary school, I fell in love with English and History. By senior high school, it became apparent that my passion would be teaching these two areas. What do you like most about working in a school? The students! Often the media and society in general are very critical of young people. I find them wonderful, lovely and encouraging. I am also very fond of the notion of working with staff and parents for collaboration on the great project of educating our youth. What are some of the changes to education that you have witnessed in your time as principal? Schools, as with other institutions, have gone into decline and transformed to…