New Public School For Sydney’s Crowded Northern Suburbs.

There are a number of new public schools has been planned or being completed all over Sydney. The northern suburbs around the T9 Northern rail line had seen a major increase in the population and resulting in many cases where severally overcrowded local public schools.

The new Smalls Road Public School located in the suburb of Ryde is opening next year and accepting the kindergarten class for 2020. It will be accepting all classes from kindergarten to year six in 2021. With the opening of this new school, all surrounding school’s catchment received a major revamp. For year one to six, the current school catchment will stand as it is and kindergarten enrolment will be using the newly updated catchment.

All together all the following public school’s catchment has updated.

Eastwood Public School
Denistone East Public School
Kent Road Public School
Meadowbank Public School
North Ryde Public School
Ryde East Public School
Ryde Public School
Putney Public School
Truscott Street Public School
West Ryde Public School

The existing 2019 school catchment is as following

2019 Northern Sydney Catchment around Ryde Area
2019 Northern Sydney Catchment around Ryde Area

2020 and 2021 school catchment of the new and affected school catchment as in the following screenshot and the updated map.

Smalls Road and Surround Public School Catchment for 2020
Smalls Road and Surround Public School Catchment for 2020

Updated interactive map as following

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

  • 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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Proposed Changes to NSW HSC and Syllabus In 2019

I had done way too much over time (not paid) for my day job recently and late to the party to this issue. There had been a lot of different articles on this topic, I am just going to use one as a reference which is Sweeping changes to HSC and syllabus proposed by government review from smh.com.au

I will quote a few lines to summarize the article to give you an idea of what has been proposed.

The biggest rethink of the curriculum in 30 years also suggests paring back primary school content to focus on literacy, numeracy and emotional development, more minimum standards, and a restructure of the syllabus around attainment levels rather than year levels.

In early years, literacy, numeracy and social and emotional development should be “prioritised over other areas of the curriculum and resourced to ensure every student is on track in their learning,” the report said.

Students in the middle years of school should study and meet minimum standards in a
“specified range of subjects” that would include knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. They should also study a language other than English in primary school.

The primary and secondary curriculum should be restructured around so-called ‘attainment levels’, which would create a series of benchmarks against which students’ long-term progress could be measured, independent of their age or year.

smh.com.au

Let me use my take, this is simplification and refocus of the current syllabus of both primary and secondary level. I will throw in my opinion based on my own experience of the NSW education system.

First, at the primary level, I think a pretty good job has been done on the literacy side of things. There is a lot of focus from the school put in on the literacy in my kid’s school and similar feedback I get from the other parents in other schools as well. I cannot say the same for the numeracy side of things, there are too many comprehension types of questions and not enough basic skills imparted. Math often turns into a difficult subject for many kids were at the primary level this should not be the case.

Also personally I believe by far the majority of the responsibility for the social and emotional development rests with the parents.

Secondly, at the secondary level, there are definitely too many subjects not enough required basic skills imparted. Up to high school, we should be concentrating on teaching young people the fundamentals like math, computer skills etc.

Take math as an example I meet numerous of people at work that after graduating high school who does not know how to calculate GST portion if something sells for ten dollars. Simple things like that may seem trivial and none important, but can actually make a lot of difference in kind of work people do and how efficient they are done.

Lastly, we need to teach kids how to think and judge things on their own. On subjects such as History, we need to teach the kids why things happen the way they do. Judge and consider things scientifically and objectively.

One thing I noted in the current society of the echoing chamber of the internet, just about everybody just searches and read on the things they like and agrees with which is understandable. However, this merely amplifies one’s existing position rather than understand and learn about another side of the argument. Primary and early secondary schools are rare opportunities that we can shape and influence the kids before they get dump into the deep end of the internet.

This is not just for schools, but mostly for the parents as well, we need to pitch in and do our part if we wish for a better education for our kids.

If you have any further questions please feel free to contact me at the About Us page or leave a comment.

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Balgowlah North Public School In-Person

I visited the Balgowlah North Public School in 2016, I cannot believe how long ago that was and do not ask me why it took me so long to write the school up. Balgowlah North Public School is situated in Sydney’s northern beach area. Balgowlah uses to be one of the old sleepy suburbs in Sydney. Thirty years ago if you walk through it, you will find mostly old red brick and weatherboard houses. It is very typical of what you call a working-class suburb. However, if you visit the suburb in recent years, you will find that a lot of the older houses got demolished and replaced by Macmansions and custom build large houses. These days North Balgowlah has an average house price of over two million dollars, it certainly has come a long way from its roots decades ago.

Balgowlah North Public School is situated on the Manning Street in the suburb of North Balgowlah opposite to the bushland. Despite its seemingly bush setting, the school is less than ten kilometres from the Sydney CBD and less than three kilometres from the world-famous Manly beach.

Academically Balgowlah North Public School usually falls between 100 to 300ish and please see the following table for the ranking.

YearNSW Primary School Ranking
2018330
2017174
2016344
2015199
201495
2013211
2012183
2011161

To find out school’s catchment, you can search for a particular school or address in the search box in the top right-hand corner of the embedded map or zoom into an area of interest on the map.

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

  • School Zone
  • School intake area
  • School catchment

In 2018 there are 607 students consist of 318 boys and 289 girls. This number has been fairly consistent for most of this decade. There are 31 full time equivalent teaching and non-teaching staff in 2018. The percentage of students with language background other than English in 2018 is 12 percent, again this number has been fairly consistent and had not seen the dramatic increase that many other Sydney schools had experienced in the last decade or so.

Balgowlah North Public School has a lot of open green space and unfortunately full of demountable classrooms as well. Following are a brief photo tour of the school.

Balgowlah North Public School
Balgowlah North Public School

Balgowlah North Public School when I visited in 2016 has a lot of demountable classrooms as you can see from the photos below. In fact most of classrooms I saw in the school consisted of demountables.

Balgowlah North Public School Demountable Classrooms
Balgowlah North Public School Demountable Classrooms

More Balgowlah North Public School Demountable Classrooms
More Balgowlah North Public School Demountable Classrooms

Balgowlah North Public School has a lot of open space which is rare for a school this close to the Sydney CBD and is very pleasant. A lot of schools I know are so short of playground and open space and had to even have different recess and lunch time for different grades to reduce the crowding.

More Balgowlah North Public School Open Green Spaces
More Balgowlah North Public School Open Green Spaces

More More Balgowlah North Public School Open Green Spaces
More More Balgowlah North Public School Open Green Spaces

If you have any further questions please feel free to contact me at the About Us page or leave a comment.

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Wentworth Point Public School

This page contains the information and the catchment map for Wentworth Point Public School in Sydney, NSW. You can search for a particular school or address in the search box in the top right-hand corner of the embedded map or zoom into an area of interest on the map.

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

  • 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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Interesting Tidbit With Killara Public School

While I was researching for the school introduction piece with the Killara Public School, I noticed something interesting regarding the percentage of students at Killara Public School coming from language backgrounds other than English. If you missed the previous article regarding Killara Public School, you can find them as following.

Alright lets first look at stats first

  • 2008 : Enrolment 219 : Percentage of non English background is 18%
  • 2009 : Enrolment 225 : Percentage of non English background is 32%
  • 2010 : Enrolment 250 : Percentage of non English background is 38%
  • 2011 : Enrolment 272 : Percentage of non English background is 30%
  • 2012 : Enrolment 303 : Percentage of non English background is 38%
  • 2013 : Enrolment 321 : Percentage of non English background is 43%
  • 2014 : Enrolment 360 : Percentage of non English background is 52%
  • 2015 : Enrolment 384 : Percentage of non English background is 53%
  • 2016 : Enrolment 440 : Percentage of non English background is 55%
  • 2017 : Enrolment 447 : Percentage of non English background is 59%
  • 2018 : Enrolment 428 : Percentage of non English background is 63%

The enrolment increase I have already discussed in the previous article. However take a note of the increase of students with non English background, it went from 18 percent in 2008 to 63 percent in 2018. This is very significant changes consider Killara is one of the “old” suburb and established for a long time, also dominated by detached housings until recent years.

Let’s go over this in a bit more detail for those that are not familiar with the public schools in the Sydney north shore areas. All the public schools in Sydney north shore area that I know of all got larger kindergarten cohorts than their year four to six counterparts. For example, the kindergarten can easily have six class compare to two in year six. The class size is smaller in kindergarten level from memory is 20 compare up to 30 in year six. This means that it is not unusual to have double the number of kindergarten students compare to year six.

What happens is many parents often opt for the local public school when the children are young to take advantage of local proximity. When the kids got older from roughly year 3 onwards, a lot will be leaving for the private schools. This is a very common phenomenon in the north shore area.

Now we got that out of the way, let’s do some number regarding this using the fact above. For the students entered kindergarten with the school in 2012, they will be year six in 2018. You will get new students join and some leave, however, the composition do not change as significantly compare to the changes in kindergarten enrolment. If kindergarten in 2012 got 45 per cent of non-English background and in 2016 to achieve the school-wide ratio of 63 per cent, the kindergarten class in 2018 probably has a non-English background ratio of 75 to 80 per cent.

So here is another interesting series of study of Killara Public School. I enjoyed the research and the actual visit to the school. So I wish everyone a happy Sunday and enjoy the sleep in.

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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Killara Public School In-Person

I was actually at the Killara Public School in late 2016 but never had a chance to write it up until now. Killara Public School located in the leafy upper north shore suburb of Killara in Sydney. The school is located at Ridgeland Ave roughly about 20 minutes on foot west of the Killara Station. One thing to note is that west of Pacific Highway, it is a fairly steep downslope. So if you walking towards the direction of Killara station after school finishes, it can be a fairly long trek.

Killara Public School is fairly small by Sydney standard even after it experienced 116 per cent growth in enrolment from 2008 to 2018. In 2011 the school has 219 students. However, by 2018 the enrolment number is 428. This growth is particularly strong when compared to neighbouring schools. In 2018 it also has a full-time equivalent teaching staff of 22.5.

Academically the Killara Public School also performs very well both Sydney or nationwide. The school consistently ranked inside the top 100 in NSW when compare to both government and none government schools.

 NSW Primary School Ranking
201896
201760
201690
201583
201446
2013117
2012185
201134

You can search for a particular school or address in the search box in the top right-hand corner of the embedded map or zoom into an area of interest on the map.

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

  • School Zone
  • School intake area
  • School catchment

The school also is fully of demountable classrooms, this is the consequence of the rapid expansion of the last decade. I visited the school in 2016 and last year eight permanent classroom was added to the school, so there are some welcoming changes recently not included in the photos below.

Killara Public School
Killara Public School

As you can in the below photo the school is very leafy and the playground is well shaded with large gum trees.

Killara Public School Playground
Killara Public School Playground

The semi permanent classrooms in the school.

Killara Public School Classrooms
Killara Public School Classrooms

Very nice and large open green space with the backdrops of the demountable classrooms which is everywhere in the school.

Killara Public School Grounds and Surrounding
Killara Public School Grounds and Surrounding

View of the open space and again you can easily notice the surrounding large and mature trees.

Killara Public School Grounds and Surrounding
Killara Public School Grounds and Surrounding

If you have any further questions please feel free to contact me at the About Us page or leave a comment.

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Update on Willoughby Public School Expansion Progress

I have done two articles on Willoughby Public School previously introducing the school and discuss its expansion plan. You can find both below.

I have recently visited the school again and walked around to take some photos of the expansion in progress for both Willoughby Public School and Willoughby Girls High School. Looking at the progress, it should be ready next year or first half for sure. Both schools were previously fully stuffed with all types of demountable classrooms, so it was really nice to see the expansion happening and on track.

The first photo is the view of the school from the front gate, it is a good mix of the old and new.

Willloughby Public School
Willloughby Public School expansion from front gate

Following image shows the main expansion building for the Willoughby Public School, as you can see it is progressed pretty far already and should not be too long before it is ready.

Willoughby Public School Main Expansion Building
Willoughby Public School Main Expansion Building

Next shows the massive amount of new demountable classrooms brought in to hold over, I lost count but it is around 30. These are shared with Willoughby Girls High School, so not all are only used by the Willoughby Public School.

Willoughby Public School Demountable Classrooms
Willoughby Public School Demountable Classrooms

Rest of the school are more or less the same as before and you can see photos of them from my previous article entry. I am also putting two photos of Willoughby Girls High School here as this is considered as one expansion plan and carried out at same time.

First is the main expansion building for the neighouring Willoughby Girls High School. It takes place on what use to be the tennis court. Demonstration of how tight the space got in some Sydney school, the tennis court where the construction now taken place was taken over by demountable classrooms already. The last photo was where some demountable classrooms use to sit and now a construction site and looks like so far mostly used for storage of material and equipments.

Willough Girls High School Main Expansion Building
Willough Girls High School Main Expansion Building

Willoughby Girls High School Construction Site
Willoughby Girls High School Construction Site

This is certainly exciting times and I look forward to see the expansion when it finishes.

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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Strict enforcement of enrolment ceiling in NSW schools

There were a number of articles that came out in the last few days and I feel this needs to be further discussed. I won’t list all the article, just one as example “‘Heavy-handed’: Schools crack down on out-of-area enrolments“.

To summarise what has been discussed in the articles on why the new strict enforcement is happening

  1. School choice had been great for parents but no so good for student distribution between schools within NSW.
  2. Because of school choice and none strict enforcement of enrolment guidelines with some principles it resulted in some schools bursting at seams with enrolment and others with plenty of classrooms empty.

What will be done to achieve this

  1. NSW Department of Education’s Asset Management Unit will calculate an enrolment cap and will discuss the suggested cap with each principal. This enrolment cap is expected to be finalised by the end of this term.
  2. If the enrolment number exceed this population limit due to out of area enrolment, then no new demountable buildings will be given.
  3. Introduction of 100 point system requirement for enrolment for schools that are in high demand. This is nothing new in my personal experience, some schools currently demand more documents than what you need to open a bank account already.
  4. Students already enroled will not be affected, however sibling not enroled will be.
  5. Schools under the cap will be able to take out of area applications at school’s discretion.
  6. Schools with close to this cap will have to convene a panel and sibling being one of the most important factor in deciding this.
  7. Schools over the cap will not able to take out of area applications and required to reduce the student population over time as well.
  8. In specific circustance principles can request for enrolment of out of area students with the Department of Education’s regional manager.
  9. Academic merit will not be part of critieria for out of area enrolment application.

Technically this is not that different from the current rule, just a lot less discretion on the part of respective principles. I visited a lot of schools and some have virtually very little permenant buildings so it would be interesting to see how this cap are came up. Long term this will have a lot of flow-on effects, particular in the cases where siblings may be forced to be split to attend different public schools.

We will not know exactly how this will affect the actual enrolment of each individual schools until next term and it will be interesting to see how this further developers.

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2019 NSW Selective High School Minimum Entry Score

Please note this is a normalised number not a raw score and it is used for enrolment for 2019 entry. The actual test was done in 2018. Quoting NSW Department of Education.

There are 17 fully selective high schools, 26 high schools with selective classes (partially selective), 4 agricultural high schools2and a virtual selective class provision offering selective placement in Year 7 for entry in 2019.

Number of vacancies: 4,256
Number of applicants: 14,5011

Also, the minimum score in 2019 is a lot higher than the ones in 2018 and given the score is normalised, this must mean there are changes on how the results are normalised. Anyhow enjoy the table and have fun with your weekend.

School_nameRounded_cut_off
James Ruse Agricultural High School250
North Sydney Boys High School234
Baulkham Hills High School230
Sydney Boys High School229
Hornsby Girls High School227
North Sydney Girls High School226
Girraween High School225
Normanhurst Boys High School225
Sydney Girls High School225
Fort Street High School222
Northern Beaches Secondary College Manly Campus217
Chatswood High School215
Penrith High School215
Parramatta High School210
Hurlstone Agricultural High School207
St George Girls High School207
Ryde Secondary College201
Caringbah High School198
Sydney Technical High School198
Sefton High School197
Blacktown Boys High School195
Smiths Hill High School194
Merewether High School191
Blacktown Girls High School189
Tempe High School189
Gosford High School188
Alexandria Park Community School186
Sydney Secondary College Leichhardt Campus186
Rose Bay Secondary College184
Sydney Secondary College Balmain Campus182
Macquarie Fields High School179
Prairiewood High School177
Moorebank High School176
Aurora College (Virtual)172
Bonnyrigg High School162
Elizabeth Macarthur High School162
Gorokan High School161
Grafton High School161
Granville Boys High School161
Peel High School161
Armidale High School160
Auburn Girls High School160
Karabar High School160
Kooringal High School160

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North Kellyville Public School

This page contains the information and the catchment map for North Kellyville Public School in Sydney, NSW. You can search for a particular school or address in the search box in the top right-hand corner of the embedded map or zoom into an area of interest on the map.

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

  • 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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