Choosing a school for your child (Part 1)

This is something every parents will go through at some stage and there are a lot of things to consider as well. This is a very personal decision for each parent and can be a very difficult to make for some. Some of us maybe content to send their children to whichever state public school they are zoned for, while others may consider private or out of area state public schools.

Some and certainly not all the things to consider as following

  • Private or public school
  • Distance of the school to your home
  • The academic performance of the school in question
  • School’s facilities
  • School’s size, the number and composition of the students enrolled
  • How well the particular school is managed
  • The non academic programs in the school such as sport, music, arts etc.
  • Will your child have friend in the school they are going to and do you think they will fit in
  • The availability of the after school care
  • Family involvement with the school life

I will go in further and discuss all of the above in more detail in following articles.

Five more catchment added to the map in Western Sydney, Girraween, Metalla Road, Ringrose, Parramatta West and Hilltop Road Public School

Some love for the western Sydney, five more catchment added to the map.

  • Girraween Public School
  • Metalla Road Public School
  • Ringrose Public School
  • Parramatta West Public School
  • Hilltop Road Public School

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

Chatswood public school was established in 1883 and is one of the oldest state schools in Sydney. The school’s logo is Latin word “Fortiter” which means strong or mighty in English. In 2014 there were 957 students enrolled in the school and that is an increase of 40% since 2008, this is very common in the north shore area. As a result, the school is extremely over capacity like many of the top state public school in Sydney.

In 2014 students with a language background other than English sits at 80 per cent, this number is really high for public schools in northern Sydney suburbs. It also hosts opportunity classes for year 5 to 6. Chatswood public school has an excellent academic reputation with 50% of Year 6 students accessing Selective High Schools according to the school website.

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The geography of the north shore suburb is naturally divided by the Pacific high way; the land is relatively flat to the east and often falls off with a fairly steep to the west of it. Chatswood public school is very much the case, the east of school sits next to the Pacific high way and fall fairly steeply to the west. You can easily see that in the following images.

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As with a lot of public schools in the old established suburbs, the school is very crowded, the school ground is occupied with a mix of old and new buildings along with obligatory demountable as well. However, there is still a decent amount of playground and open spaces. That being said with close one thousand students, it is still going to be very crowded, it is not likely a lot more can be fit into the existing grounds.

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With the amount of the new apartments being built, the school catchment is likely to shrink significantly in the near future. 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.

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.

Parklea Public School, Caddies Creek Public School and Hambledon Public School Catchment Added

Three more public school catchment map added in North West Sydney growth area, they are as following.

  • Parklea Public School
  • Caddies Creek Public School
  • Hambledon Public School

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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Major update to Carlingford West Public School Catchment and also added Barnier and Quakers Hill East Public School Catchment

Major updates to Carlingford West Public School Catchment, I have redrawn the border of this public school with the latest data from March 2015. There is significant overlap with the surrounding public schools, some could be zones that covered for both school and some maybe due to the surrounding schools have not updated their catchment information yet. This easily qualified as one of the more difficult map to create due to the extreme irregular and random way the particular catchment is. I suspect Murray Farm Public School’s catchment actually shrunk this year with the Carlingford West Public School’s catchment shrunk in the south but expanded in the north towards the Murray Farm Public School.

Barnier and Quakers Hill Public School catchment

 

Two additional public school added and they are as following

  • Barnier Public School
  • Quakers Hill East Public School

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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Artarmon Public School

Artarmon public school in Sydney, NSW was established in 1910 and currently occupy a split site only meters away from west of Artarmon railway station. It had 980 students enrolled in 2014 and only 667 in 2008. In 2014 students with a language background other than English sits at 71 per cent, this number is pretty high for north shore public schools. It also hosts opportunity classes for year 5 to 6.

Artarmon public has a very good reputation academically and consistently rank number one or two in the state. This obviously helped by the OC classes it hosts.

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Like many schools located in the old established suburbs, space is a premium. This is particularly true as Sydney is experiencing a dramatic increase in the number of students enrolling in the state public schools. The increase in a number of students experienced by Artarmon public school is by no means unique in the north shore area. As a consequence what available space in the school is almost fully occupied by the demountable classrooms. Luckily the school is located right next to a park which would have made things much easier.

I took a screenshot in the Google map and circled the school area and as you can see play area would be at a premium here with close to 1000 students. 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.

Overall speaking I’d say Artarmon public school is very good with convenient and easy to access location. It located in the heart of north shore suburbs. However, with the number of new apartments being built up, you can reasonably expect the school catchment to shrink in the coming years. There is just not much more space to try cram more students onto the existing ground.

Artarmon public school building

Also see the follow up article on Artarmon Public School at here.

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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Six more public school catchment in north west Sydney added

Six more public school catchment added in north west Sydney. They are the following

  • Beaumont Hills Public School
  • Ironbark Ridge Public School
  • John Palmer Public School
  • Kellyville Ridge Public School
  • Riverbank Public School
  • Schofields Public School

The Riverbank public school is a brand new one just opened in 2015, its catchment is pretty much taken out from the Schofields Public School’s drawing area. North west Sydney is a popular new growth area with rapid increase in population, it is reasonable to expect more schools will be added in the future as well.

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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Victoria Avenue Public School and Catchment Map Added

One of the user pointed out that I am missing this particular school, I looked up it had just opened in 2015. Unfortunately I could not figure out the exact changes to the Concord West Public School’s catchment. Concord West Public School had to be under extreme pressure with all the apartment buildings going up in the area. So it stands to reason when a new school was created specifically to relieve its pressure there would be significantly catchment changes. I found reference on its enrolment policy saying so; unfortunately I was not able to locate the catchment map it mentioned.

The net result is that the current catchment map of Victoria Avenue Public School is likely to be fairly inaccurate especially on the side of Concord West Public School.

You can access the full map by following the link.

Roselea Public School Catchment Added

Google map missed this public school when I created the catchment map for Sydney. I have mistakenly merged its school catchment with the Epping West Public School’s catchment area. This now has been rectified and the catchment map should be more accurate. However it is to be understanding that Epping West Public is considering shrinking its school catchment significantly probably due to its recent popularity, so the surrounding zones may change again very soon. I will try to keep it up to date as possible.

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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Willoughby Public School

 

Willoughby public school was established in 1863 and is one of the oldest public schools in Sydney. It is situated in the leafy lower north shore suburb of Willoughby. Its school catchment runs across Chatswood, Willoughby and Castlecrag.

Willoughby public school is a very good school with a solid academic result as well.

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Willoughby public school also does not host OC classes so its academic scores are not artificially inflated like some others.

The school is very typical of ones that constructed in the same era with a combination of old and new buildings. The school ground is very decently sized and with a number of playgrounds. There are also three different sets of playing equipment dotted across different parts of the school.

The school had a large influx of student recently and demountable classrooms can be seen in just about all parts of the school. The school has about one thousand students and ten kindergarten classes which are very big in Sydney, there are only a few schools that I know of are bigger. There used to be a public school in Castlecrag which are scrapped a few years ago and its school catchment divided to the other public school nearby. Willoughby also had a lot apartment build recently and with the area being progressively occupied by younger families with children, it is not a surprise that the size of school keeps swelling recently.

Following are a few photos that I have taken when I visited the school a few days ago. You can clearly see the good playgrounds despite the amount of demountable in the school, also the mix of old and new buildings as well.

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A lot of schools in the inner city suburbs actually are very crowded and do not have any decent playgrounds. Willoughby public school despite the number of students still has a lot of good open playing areas.

The school also is located centrally in the suburbs with good public transport which made it easy to get to for the catchment it is zoned for. You can out about the school catchment/zone for Willoughby Public School at following by entering the school name 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 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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