Choosing a School for Your Child NSW NSW Issue#33 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 New South Wales, divided by location for easy reference.

Universal Wellbeing PTY Limited

in this issue

3 min
from the editor

Now that I have two children (just nine weeks old and the other not even three years old), the choice of high school for each of them has become an issue of importance in our household. As I have a son and a daughter, I’m now thinking about whether single-sex or co-ed schools are the best option. While my sister and I each attended the same single-sex school, for my children I now have to consider whether to send them to the same school, or two separate schools The issue of single-sex versus co-educational schools is discussed in our feature by Mr Murray Guest, headmaster of The Armidale School. In 2016, The Armidale School introduced co-education, and three other prestigious Australian schools — Canberra Grammar (ACT), Guildford Grammar (Perth) and Barker…

17 min
education 2017/2018: 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…

4 min
the opportunities of co-education

When the board of The Armidale School (TAS) announced in March, 2015, that after 122 years the school would chart a new course of co-education from 2016, there was much excitement and a good deal of trepidation. While there were many unknowns, what was clear was that the benefits that came with growth provided by co-education would lead to positive outcomes for the current and future generations of TAS students and the health of the school as a whole. It is not insignificant that in the two years since our announcement, three other old and prestigious schools — Canberra Grammar (ACT), Guildford Grammar (Perth, WA) and Barker College (Sydney, NSW) — have also made the decision to introduce full co-education, continuing a trend that is now decades old and reflects the…

3 min
inspirational principals

NICHOLAS SAMPSON, HEADMASTER, CRANBROOK SCHOOL What made you want to enter teaching? The overwhelmingly positive nature of the vast majority of the work. Coming to teaching after employment in other fields, the opportunity — and privilege — of engaging with young minds about things that really matter offered such professional fulfilment and enjoyment. There are, of course, sources of frustration and irritation for teachers, but they form a relatively small part of the educator’s working life. We also see transformation, growth and huge achievement within so many contexts and areas. It is joyous work. What do you like most about working in a school? The magical relationship, in a good school, between teacher and taught — and, of course, this relationship is, at its best, reciprocal. The most memorable and valuable lessons are those…