NAPLAN was cancelled for 2020 and it is back on this year. This year it will be divided into online and paper version. 2021 is also the last year that paper based test will be carried out.

2021 NAPLAN online version of the test will happen between 11–21 May.

2021 NAPLAN written version of the test will happen between 11–13 May.

I personally cannot wait for the new data to become available. Unfortunately, I will probably have to wait until early 2022 to get my hands on the 2021 data.

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Changes To 2021 Selective High School Entrance Examination

Significant changes to score composition has been made. Previously half of the score comes from the school mark. In 2021, moderated school assessment score only make up 20 out of 120, which is one-sixth of the total score.

Reading is 25 out of 120, Mathematical reasoning is 25 out of 120, Thinking skills is 35 out of 120 and Writing is 15 out of 120, then plus the 20 from the moderated school assessment, it makes the total score of 120.

Basically thinking skills and writing gains more weight at expense of the Math. These changes should benefit girls a little more. Reduction of the makeup of the moderated school assessment score from half to one-sixth should also make the result more reliable and less disputed.

The questions are completely revamped as well, so 2021 will be a very interesting year for selective high school entry.

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Devices In School

There is a recent article about schools are banning wearable devices in one particular inner west school in Sydney. This is something bothering all parents and schools for the last decade or so. The situation got a lot tougher with all the new wearable devices in the last few years.

The primary school my children are attending ban the use of phones and also any wearable devices with an internet connection. On school trips, students can bring phones without sim card as a camera.

In the early days, smartphones are expensive and took a while before the hand me downs propagated from parents to the children. Girls seem to love social media and boys with games, availability of internet and devices means children are exposed to them at a very early age. I manage to talk the daughter into not sign up for any social media account until she turns 13, how I dread that day.

Most of the parents I know had struggles dealing with this issue. Particular as you cannot use a blanket bane on use of the device, as they need them to actually do their school works as well. With my daughter, I settled on the limit of half-hour a day and additional times as needed. Once they are in high school, they actually need a laptop for day to day work at school as well. I will just have adjust the policy as required.

I also had to set up sleep time on her tablet after I caught her using the tablet 2 am on the morning once. I highly recommend spend some time and set up proper parental supervision on your children’s device, saved me a whole bunch of headaches.

Thirty Schools Evacuated In NSW Due to Threatening Emails

Thirty schools were evacuated on Tuesday and Wednesday, including students that were doing their HSC at the time. For people that are not familiar with the term, HSC is basically the university entrance exam in NSW, so it is a big deal.

Currently, it is confirmed that the emails came from Eastern Europe, so like many things internet, it will most likely be a black hole and we never found out who did it.

Now some personal experience, this happens frequently on both secondary school and university level. Most of the time around the end of the term examination period. I think this alone gives some hint on who benefits most from these type of incidents and the likely culprits.

I have never heard any of these turned into serious incidents. However, in the post 911 era, these tend to be taken very seriously all around the world.

Upcoming 2021 Sydney And NSW Primary Schools Catchment Update

This is just a quick update for the upcoming update to 2021 Sydney and NSW primary school catchments. There are other changes that had been already implemented in NSW. If I get the time in the next few days, I will do an update as well. The plan is to do a proper full update around the beginning of next year.

Some we had reviewed previously already, but I think it is good to put them together and show your guys. I broke them down into areas, they are as following.

Northern Sydney Group, this cluster is caused by establishment of new Smalls Road Public School which result in reshuffling of neighboring schools catchment as well. Schools changed in this cluster are

  1. Smalls Road Public School
  2. Eastwood Public School
  3. Denistone East Public School
  4. Kent Rd Public School
  5. North Ryde Public School
  6. Truscott St Public School
  7. Ryde East Public School
  8. Ryde Public School
  9. Putney Public School
  10. Meadowbank Public School
  11. West Ryde Public School

The next cluster is north western cluster which is triggered due to completion of Northbourne Drive Public School. This result in changes in following neighbouring schools catchments.

  1. Northbourne Drive Public School
  2. Marsden Park Public School
  3. Riverstone Public School
  4. Schofields Public School
  5. Riverbank Public School
  6. Galungara Public School
  7. Hambledon Public School
  8. William Dean Public School

The third group is in south western Sydney which result from completion of Catherine Field Public School. Schools inovled in this cluster are as following

  1. Catherine Field Public School
  2. Oran Park Public School

The last group of change is due to establishment of Estella Public School in Wagga Wagga. Schools with their catchments affected are as following

  1. Estella Public School
  2. North Wagga Public School
  3. Wagga Wagga Public School

I will incorporate everything into the full map for the 2021 school catchment update as well. I will also try to do the overview for secondary school changes for 2021 as well.

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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Controversies At Shore Grammar

A break from the usual depressing Covid-19 related news, we will look at the recent barrage of bad news that the now infamous Shore Grammar got.

It first started with the muck up day list which the detail I do not see the needs of repeating here, one can easily Google it if you want to. Muck up day in my high school days were pretty tame in comparison on what is on that particular list. Eggs fight and graffiti are the most common choice, however, my school crackdown pretty hard on it. So on my year 12, they basically threaten anyone caught doing the nasty on the muck up day will be banned from doing HSC. As a result of this, nothing much happened in my year.

The second article is someone chatted with a couple of kids from Shore and as a result, some suburbs are disparaged on. One thing people not from Sydney have to understand is that Sydney-siders can be very snobby. North shore is family tree-huggers, inner west is where the hippies live, Eastern suburbs are where all the ultra-rich, Western suburbs are all the bogans are, well you get what I mean. While there are some elements of truth to this, but the actual situation on the ground is a lot more nuanced. People love to stereotype and Sydney-siders are no exception to this.

There are also videos on the internet showing the immaculate facilities and the view of Shore Grammar. This is not really a secret, these are all public information. I was in Shore Grammer years ago on events for my kids, the site is truly spectacular, it is what you call million dollar view. Naturally, with the recent happening, many had brought up the question why a school charging more than 30k per students still receives significant public funding when it already has far superior facilities than any public school in Australia.

Taking the rich and powerful down a peg or two is one of the favourite exercises for most Australian and I suppose for many in other parts of the world as well. I would not be surprised to see more similar articles to pop up while this currently occupies the centre of the public’s attention.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – Only Three NSW Schools Closed In Last 10 Days – 15th of September 2020

Things definitely is a lot better in the last week or so. We went from 10 schools closed down in one week to only three in last 10 days. The three school that were closed within last time I updated are as following.

Lidcombe Public School
Kincoppal-Rose Bay School
Blue Mountains Grammar School

This trend is very encouraging and hopefully, we can keep reducing the infection rate.

Australia wide there are a total of 26738 confirmed infections today and an increase of 50 which is equivalent to 0.19% from yesterday. Victoria counted 84% of the new Covid-19 infection for today in Australia.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – Three NSW Schools Closed This Week – 5th of September 2020

Relative good week as far as Covid-19 induced school closure goes. Only three school closure for this week due to Covid-19, they are as follows.

St Paul’s Catholic College
Girraween Public School
Regents Park Christian School

Australia wide there are a total of 26137 confirmed infections today and an increase of 89 which is equivalent to 0.34% from yesterday. Victoria counted 91.01% of the new Covid-19 infection for today in Australia.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – Seven NSW Schools Closed This Week – 29th of August 2020

After the brief calm the week before last, we had seven school closure in the NSW within the last three days. This is a very sharp escalation and roughly kept the trend of last six weeks. We have already easily exceed the total number of school closure in the first four month of the current Covid-19 outbreak. This demonstrate that in there NSW there are very significant and more serious community infection in the current second wave compare to February to June period.

Schools closed this week in NSW

Riverstone High School
Wyndham College
Schofields Public School
Ryde Secondary College
St Gertrude’s Catholic primary school
Double Bay Public School
Homebush Public School

Australia wide there are a total of 25448 confirmed infections today and an increase of 131 which is equivalent to 0.52% from yesterday. Victoria counted 86.26% of the new Covid-19 infection for today in Australia.

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Australian Schools and Coronavirus – Additional Restrictions For NSW Schools – 23rd of August 2020

In light of recent development a bunch of restrictions are placed back onto NSW schools.

* Students must remain within their relevant class or year group to limit mixing.
* Schools must not travel outside their local community or zone, including between rural and regional areas.
* Interschool sport and zone carnivals are restricted to 100 people per venue and must be held in the local area.
* Spectators, including parents and carers, are not permitted within school grounds or at sporting events held during school hours.
* All group singing and or other chanting activities, as well as the use of wind instruments in group settings are not permitted.
* Dance activities and drama group work can continue under a COVID-19 Safety Plan.
* School formals, dances, graduation or other social events are not permitted. Schools may hold a Year 12 assembly at school without parents to recognise the completion of school or consider delaying events until later in the year.

NSW Department of Education

Some personal experience for my own kids, school band practices are back to on Zoom again and school assemblies are still not on as well. Sports are more or less back to normal, the netball is back on full swing, but parents are not allowed on the courtside.

Australia wide there are a total of 24812 confirmed infections today and an increase of 216 which is equivalent to 0.88% from yesterday. Victoria counted 96.30% of the new Covid-19 infection for today in Australia.

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