Looks like I was spot on with the previous prediction and given that there are only three more weeks of term three after the four-week extension of online learning. I think at this point, Sydney is very unlikely to go back to face-to-face learning until term 4.
If my memory serves me, the last round in the early peak of the pandemic the online learning in Sydney only lasted six weeks, plus the two weeks of the autumn holiday. If my prediction turns out to be right, most of the Sydney students will not be in the school for up to fourteen weeks until the beginning of term four.
Good luck to all the parents and myself included, we are all going to strap down and this is going to be a long ride.
The current Sydney lockdown is currently scheduled to end on the 30th of July. In reality, I do not think even in the most optimistic scenario we will be out of the current lockdown before September.
NSW school term 3 is supposed to end on the 17th of September. So given the current situation, I think there is more than an even chance that we will not see face-to-face learning in school until term 4.
Given what is happening around Australia, many other states are going through similar things as well, let’s hope they will get out of lockdown faster than Sydney will.
Personally, after only six days of online learning for the children, I am already looking forward to the day for them to go back to school.
Victoria is entering a new round of lockdown and students will have to do the online learning again. NSW school holiday had ended earlier this week and will have to spend at least the first three weeks of term 3 this year with online learning.
With what happened previously I think this particular lockdown in Sydney and associated online learning will not likely end towards mid of term 3 at the least.
I just want to do a quick review of online learning with my own children. My elder one is in high school this year in the local government high school. The school in question is very well organized and drilled the students previously on the procedures and what needs to be done in case of a lockdown. All high school students got their own laptop and use it extensively already in their day-to-day schooling, the school is also well organised and required information went out to all students in their email and Google classrooms before the term starts. The schedule pretty much mirrors the in-school one and they perform roll call in the morning and stay in zoom all day.
My younger one is still in primary school and the school in question is also fairly well organized. We picked up a laptop from school on Tuesday morning and relevant information was also emailed to us and the student’s Google classroom as well. The scheduling is a lot less tightly organized reflecting the student’s corresponding abilities at different ages as well.
Both of my children went through online learning last year, so they all got exposure to this routine and are enduring it fairly well. I personally felt a lot easier this time around where last year was very much like herding cats most of the time.
First let me say, the new site for the high school located in the new St Leonards Education Precinct is not definitive yet. I went over the information available and what I marked on the image below is what I think is the most likely site.
The new high school once established will most likely result in the shrinking of the catchment for Hunters Hill, Chatswood, and Cammeraygal High School. There will also be a likely ripple effect to the high schools further out as well. Willoughby Girls High School will not likely be impacted as its catchment is currently overlayed on top of existing schools.
The school is currently in the planning stage and we are not likely to see its establishment for another three to four years at the least.
The site of the new proposed St Leonards Education Precinct from all the information I went through will most likely be where currently TAFE located next to the Royal North Shore Hospital. I marked the spot on the image below, so your guys can have a better understanding of its location and relation to the nearby schools.
There are a large number of residential towers already went up and in the process of doing so around the St Leonards Station. It makes sense to situate a new school near where the population growth will be happening in the near future.
Looking at the location, the catchment of primary school sited at St Lenoards Education Precinct will likely be at the expanse of Greenwich, Artarmon, and Anzac Park Public School. However, when a new school is established, usually schools on the outer ring of it will also be impacted. So Lane Cove, North Sydney, and Cammeray Public School will also likely be impacted to a lesser degree. Chatswood and Mowbray Public School will not likely be impacted by this new school as a different new primary school will be established in Chatswood.
We still at the planning stage, so many things can and will change over the next few years.
The high school catchments around the newly proposed Macquarie Park Education Precinct are a bit of a mess. As you can see from the image below.
Again with the NSW Department of Education’s tendency to use major geographic features of using rivers, parks, and major roads to divide the school catchments, we can make some speculation on how the catchment will look like.
The new high school’s catchment will be at expense of Ryde Secondary College and Hunters Hill High School most likely. Epping Boys and Riverside Girls High School will also possibly be impacted, particularly given the recent moves by the NSW Department of Education that shift schools towards coed.
The majority of new apartments are between Epping Road and M2 Motorway, however, I would expect the new high school catchment will extend south past the Epping road as well. The catchment to the further west and south outside what is mentioned can also be impacted but if so will be to a lesser degree.
Looking at the proposed location of the new Macquarie Park Education Precinct and the catchment of existing nearby primary schools, we can start to speculate the possible catchment for the new primary school.
Given that the NSW Department of Education likes to conform to the major separating features like rivers, parks, and major roads, this means it most likely will be the area bounded by Lane Cove river and Epping Road.
The most likely impacted schools are North Ryde and Truscott Street Public School. Kent Road Public School is also likely affected as well. Changes to catchment of these existing catchment will also likely resulting in changes to the other neighbouring public schools to the south as well.
There is a massive amount of newly build large apartment buildings around the Macquarie shopping center, so a new school is sorely needed.
With the massive amount of residential towers already went up and still going up around North Ryde and Macquarie Park area, it is not a surprise that new schools need to be estabilished in the vincinity.
Macquarie Park Education Precinct will have both primary and high schools on the same site. It is still in the planning stage and originally to be funded in the 2018 to 2019 financial year. However, the most recent NSW 2021 to the 2022 year budget had allocated $16 million to this project, so the project is likely significantly delayed compare to the originally planned schedule.
Macquarie Park Education Precinct will be built on the previous site of Peter Board High School or what was previously called North Ryde High School. The school was closed in 1998 and the site sold off in 2006 by the NSW government for $52 million and school buildings demolished in 2008. It is not known how much the NSW government spend to purchase the site back, but it is safe to assume it is significantly more than what it had received selling the site.
A fun trivia, the current NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian attended North Ryde High School was a former school captain.
The large empty patch of land was the demolished site of old Peter Board High School and proposed the site of the new Macquarie Park Education Precinct. The Ryde Hunters Hill District Hockey Club was built on the former school oval.
Given the recent large scale development in Chatswood, it is not a surprise that a new public school will be build in the area. One important thing to note is that in 2022 significant part of existing Chatswood Public School’s catchment will be handed to Lindfield Learning Village and Roseville Public School.
Currently, it is speculated that the new public school will be sited at dive site for Sydney Metro located at the corner of Pacific high way and Mowbray road. You can look at the 2021 catchment map and see the proposed site marked by X.
Looking at the site, this likely means further reduction of the catchment of the existing Chatswood Public School catchment, possibly extend to Mowbray, Artarmon, and nearby Willoughby Public School as well. These three schools all received recent upgrades, so they are probably not under immediate heavy enrolment pressure. I would guess most of the catchment of this new school will come from the existing Chatswood Public School’s catchment.
However, this will imply very significant changes to the catchment when the new school is established. Given the current timeline, it will be a few more years at least.