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Category Archives: Sydney Public School Information

East Hills Public School

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This is the school catchment map for East Hills Public School in Sydney, NSW.

The most common name used by NSW Department of Education is called “catchment” which refer to that students resides in particular area are guaranteed position in specific schools. When discussed from prospective of a particular school is often referred as one of the following term.

  • School Zone
  • School intake area
  • School catchment

As usual contact the school in question or Department of Education for the final confirmation and you can also access the full NSW and Sydney Public School Catchment Map by following this link.

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Panania Public School Catchment Map Update

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This is the school catchment map for Panania Public school in Sydney, NSW.

The most common name used by NSW Department of Education is called “catchment” which refer to that students resides in particular area are guaranteed position in specific schools. When discussed from prospective of a particular school is often referred as one of the following term.

  • School Zone
  • School intake area
  • School catchment

As usual contact the school in question or Department of Education for the final confirmation and you can also access the full NSW and Sydney Public School Catchment Map by following this link.

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How hard it is get into selective high schools in Sydney and NSW

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I have come across this interest information on the NSW Department of Education website. There are tonnes of good information and rather interesting one as well.

First on where this score coming from by directly quoting the NSW Department of Education.

Entry into these schools in Year 7 is determined by the students’ results in the Selective High School Placement Test in English (including reading and writing), mathematics and general ability, together with their primary school’s assessment of their performance in English and mathematics. Other evidence of academic merit may also be considered.

Second some quantitative information, there are 17 fully and 26 partially selective high schools in NSW with majority of them located in Sydney which is not surprising given that most of the NSW population resides in Sydney. In additional to those schools, there are also 4 additional agriculture high schools which are also selective high schools as well. There is also a virtual selective high school as well. In 2016 there were 4215 vacancies in all selective schools and 13118 applicants, so basically only 1 in 3 applicants got into the selective school.

Selective High SchoolMinimum Entry Score at 13/04/2016
James Ruse Agricultural High School239
Baulkham Hills High School231
North Sydney Boys High School225
Sydney Girls High School214
Hornsby Girls High School212
North Sydney Girls High School212
Sydney Boys High School212
Fort Street High School211
Girraween High School210
Normanhurst Boys High School210
Northern Beaches Secondary College (Manly Campus)204
Hurlstone Agricultural High School (Day)200
Penrith High School200
Chatswood High School195
St George Girls High School195
Parramatta High School192
Caringbah High School191
Sydney Technical High School191
Sefton High School189
Ryde Secondary College186
Smiths Hill High School186
Blacktown Boys High School182
Merewether High School182
Gosford High School180
Tempe High School180
Blacktown Girls High School179
Sydney Secondary College (Balmain Campus)179
Sydney Secondary College (Leichhardt Campus)179
Macquarie Fields High School174
Alexandria Park Community School170
Virtual selective school (Aurora College)170
Moorebank High School167
Bonnyrigg High School166
Prairiewood High School166
Rose Bay Secondary College164
Kooringal High School163
Elizabeth Macarthur High School161
Armidale High School160
Auburn Girls High School160
Duval High School160
Gorokan High School160
Grafton High School160
Granville Boys High School160
Karabar High School160
Peel High School160

Not a surprise which schools sits at top of this list. I probably will do another follow up blog entry to go into details on some of the specifics. Anyhow I thought this is something fun and interesting to share with everyone.

Just a tidbit for thoughts, do your guys think your local school in Sydney reflect the population that lives around them?

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I read this article “Competition for the best school zones changes suburb demographics” on Sydney Morning Herald today. I think it is a wrong conclusion to draw from what is happening at schools in  Australian wide and particular in Sydney.

Follow is the main reason the article think why your local school in Sydney no longer reflect the population that lives around it.

And that’s not only a result of parents in socially disadvantaged areas sending their children to private schools, but also parents moving house, renting or lying about where they live to put their kids into popular public schools.

This article reference the study “Uneven playing field: the state of Australia’s schools”, I have not had chance to read that through yet, however it looks to be very interesting and fits what I understand is happening with the Australian education system right now.

Yes, I agree that your local public schools in Sydney no longer reflect the population that lives around it. However the main reason is the private and public education system in Australia rather than anything else. The flow of most advantaged students to the private schools happens all around Sydney. This is not limited to the socially disadvantaged areas, it also happens with a rampant fashion with the public schools in the most affluent areas in Sydney as well.

One interesting tidbits that you can not easily see from just looking at the Myschool data is the number of students break down per year. Public schools in North Shore is a good example, these suburbs area among the more affluent areas in Sydney. The school enrolment number actually shrunk dramatically from year three on wards. A typical public school in the North Shore area may have five classes at Kindergarten level, however at Year Five at Six, this can easily shrunk down to less than three, less than half of the Kindergarten enrolment number. You get no prize for guessing where those students went, private schools.

Public schools in all areas of Australia and especially in Sydney are left dealing with largest proportion of socially disadvantaged students. It is not a wonder that plenty of parents shell out millions to buy into catchment area for particular schools. The main reason why a school perform well are the education and social economical advantage of the parents, school itself only play relative small role in this. Parents that go through all those trouble to place their children into a particular school tend to be the more involved type and most of time are solid middle class in my experience. You gather all those kids with the particular parents into any school, it will almost always guarantee to turn it into a good one.

Currently with how the Australian education system works, I am not surprised that well off parents send their kids to private and other schools to avoid their local public schools. I am a big supporter of Australia Public Schools, we really need to rethink and how we approach education to make it work better.

 

 

School Parenting Experience Entry #3 (First Term School Holiday Summary)

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Now that school holiday is over, I think it is time to go over what happened during that. My wife had met the teacher and brought home a stack of holiday work. We got stacks of home reading book enough for two weeks. There are also items such as number sheet, letter and word pronunciation sheet. New sight word as well, this time is blue word. I also got the task of practicing writing A to Z as well.

I made good progress with the blue sight word before the holiday, so started on green words with him as well. He is doing well with this set and he got all done already as well before the break finished. I started on the red words as well, this set feels more difficult to me and probably will take a while to for him to get it down pat. What I found useful in learning sight words is reading books with the particular words in them, this seems to help a lot.

I made reasonable progress with the rest of tasks, I have been trying to at least get 15 to 30 minutes each day going over the items described earlier. His writing is still pretty weak, he can write them, but not too pretty to look at. In comparison my daughter at same age already writes decently, I guess I still have a lot of catching up to do. Wife is planning to start the son on piano next week, I am sure how well he takes it.

School Parenting Experience Entry #2 (First Term Summary)

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I regret that I had not through about document this experience earlier. However that being said, better later than never I guess. First term for the first few weeks, I basically tried to teach my son how to read and pronounce letters and do the daily book reading. I was and still do the daily book reading for my son every day, he enjoys them greatly.

He got handed his first set of sight words which is called Golden Words. This is a set of twelve words together consist twenty five percent of total English words used. I had a lot of trouble help him through this set of words. Pretty sure it took me about four or five weeks before he remembered them. The second set got twenty words in them, despite more words this set was much easier for me. This set took my son about three weeks to pass the test. The third set was called blue words and consisted of only ten words. This took me about one week to teach my son, however he had not got a chance to get it tested with his teacher. So with the onset of school holiday, I have started teaching his Green words which is a set of twenty words. This set feels harder for me and may took me a while and I will try to get it learnt before school starts back up again. For comparison most of kids in his class are already towards end of twelve word set before the conclusion of first school term.

Also every week students in the class will have their turn to present an item called news week. This could be their favorite lullabies, what festival they celebrate etc. There are also other activities like Easter Parade etc as well which is fun for both students and parents to attend. There are also weekly assembly meeting which students gets present awards they have received, I have attended a few, these are pretty good as well. Often they will have various of performance such as music bands etc as well. My wife and I usual taking turning attending the events where possible, both of us work full time so it is about the best compromise that we could make.

School Parenting Experience Entry #1 (Introduction)

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I have two school age children currently enrolled in one of the public school in Upper North Shore Sydney area. The elder one is in year 2 and young one just started Kindergarten. My wife handled most of after school parenting relating to the education aspect for my eldest children. With my youngest who is a boy entered into Kindergarten, I have been handling his after school educations.

I think what I will do is blog about what I have done and progress every few days or whenever there is important events happening. This entry will be an introduction and just going over the background.

First it is very common in the North Shore area for the parents to hold back their children one year to enter the school even if they already met the entrance age requirement. My son’s birth is close to the to middle of the year and we did not choose to delay the schooling, he is by far the youngest in his whole class.

My children’s experience with Kindergarten is that school concentrate on their reading, writing and oral, primarily English skills. There are also many other activities, like painting, computer class etc. There are usually English for second language (ESL) teachers in Sydney public schools that after assessment when entering school, he or she maybe placed into additional ESL classes to reinforce their English skills. My son is doing two one hour ESL class each week.

With Kindergarten the pattern goes learning the sight words, starting from Golden to Lemon words, in total twelve sets. This is accompanying by incrementally more complex daily book reading. What I will do is to try and keep a sort of progress report on this. I am sure I am missing some stuff, but the details should improve once I start with better record keeping.

 

A bit of fun work comparing Epping Heights, Epping West and Roselea Public School

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Since I recently did the blog entry on changes to the Epping Heights, Epping West and Roselea Public School catchment for 2016, I thought it would be fun to do a quick comparison between these three public schools.

First let’s look at distribution of the students over each quarters with each other and Australian average for the year 2014. I feel this is a good representation of how well the students in a school is doing without having to delve deeper into the stats. I also felt indication how well a school is doing is not only at top, also at the bottom as well.

 Bottom quaterLower middle quaterHigher middle quaterTop quater
Epping Heights Public School1%6%23%71%
Epping West Public School1%4%19%75%
Roselea Public School7%18%30%46%
Australian Distribution25%25%25%25%

Now let’s look like some miscellaneous stats about these three schools for the year 2014. ICSEA score for those that are not familiar with the term means “Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage”. Attendance is also actually a good indication of school performance, in general better attendance of the school more likely it will perform better academically as well to the lower attendance counter part.

 ICSEA ScoreLanguage background other than EnglishAttendance(2013)
Epping Heights Public School115857%96%
Epping West Public School118380%97%
Roselea Public School109854%97%

Some more fun stuff, enrolment number from 2008 to 2014 for these three school. As you can see enrolment number for Epping Heights Public School increased by 22%, Epping West Public School increased by 33% and Roselea Public School actually decreased by 26% over the same time period. With these number it is not a surprise that in the most recent catchment changes Roselea got a significant increase to its catchment at expense of Epping west and Epping Heights public school.

 2008200920102011201220132014
Epping Heights Public School346333326339359371421
Epping West Public School640617628659688790854
Roselea Public School414396365360341320306

You can see the new 2016 catchment map for these three public school as following.

Epping Height, Epping West and Roselea Public School 2016 Catchment Map

As usual contact the school in question or Department of Education for the final confirmation and you can also access the full NSW and Sydney Public School Catchment Map by following this link.

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Chatswood Public School expansion plan

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I was not feeling well for the last few days and basically spend the nights sleeping. I want to share something that I came across while researching on the Mowbray Public School. We all know Chatswood Public is severally overcrowded and enrolment had increased by 40 percent from 2008 to 2014. Also with the completion of new multi level apartments in rapid succession, this is just going to get worse in a big way. What this proposal wanted to do is build 12 demountables and refurbish the existing ones on eastern side of Chatswood High School to accommodate 300 students form year 3 and 4 to alleviate the pressure on the Chatswood Public School. More detail can be found on Chatswood Public School website by clicking this link.

Chatswood Public School Expansion plan

I also agree with many that this really is a rob Peter to pay Paul situation. Public Schools at secondary level are just as crowded. How short sight of State governments to close and sell off all those public schools, now they had to scramble to find and open new schools at great cost in today’s much inflated real estate price.

However with the opening of Mowbray Public School’s expansion in 2016 and Lindfield West Public School in 2019, I think it is very likely that large section of Chatswood Public School Catchment to the west will be partitioned off and handed to those school. This will allow Chatswood Public School some room and space to deal with increase in enrolment that the new constructions around station will result in. It is unlikely after all the new apartments in Chatswood are built and occupied that Chatswood Public School in its current state can handle the influx, so something really has to be done about it.

As usual contact the school in question or Department of Education for the final confirmation and you can also access the full NSW and Sydney Public School Catchment Map by following this link.

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How to rank public schools (Part 2)

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First it is no surprise that schools with higher Socio-Educational advantage do significantly better than average. However even with schools that got similar ICSEA (Social-Educational Advantage Score), some schools do better than others.

First Wahroonga Public School, the 2014 NAPLAN result as following taken from Myschool website.

Wahroonga Public School Public School NAPLAN 2014

As you can see it does significantly better than the Australia average and about on par with similar schools.

Then you look at Epping West Public School, its 2014 NAPLAN result as following taken from Myschool website.

Epping West Public School NAPLAN 2014

As you can see Epping West Public School has significant higher score for all categories across the board even when compare to similar schools. Also I purposely picked these two school because none of them play host to OC classes which pollutes the result for year 5 and makes it impossible to do a straight comparison. This will artificially make some public schools rank higher than the others because they have a concentration of more talented students in the OC classes. List of public schools that will hosts the OC classes in 2016 can be find here.

Using the raw scores between school it is possible to compare schools directly with academically. It is difficult and very hard to measure other aspect of different schools. However ranking them will be hard as there are different categories through different years, how do you weight and compare the these?

When selecting schools, if test score if the main thing you value, then what Myschool website will provide everything you need as long as you understand how to interpret the data available. I will not go into too much detail on the topic of choosing a school for your child as they have been already covered in detail with the following articles

And finally if you ask me what is the different between these two school that with similar ICSEA score have such a difference, I think Epping West Public School just got more tiger mothers.