2021 NSW, Sydney School Reopening Plans

This information has been public for more than two weeks now. Now that we are less than two weeks from the spring holiday, it is a good time to look at the dates again.

The current NSW school reopening plan is a staggered one from the 25th of Oct to the 8th of November. Year 12 already has limited access to schools.

  • Kindergarten, year 1 and year 12: from 25 October
  • Year 2, 6 and 11: from 1 November
  • Year 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10: from 8 November

There will be exceptions as usual, so any area that comes out of lockdown earlier than the 25th of Oct will be able to have their schools back to face-to-face learning as well.

The reverse is also true that if Covid cases exceed 50 per 100,000 people in any local government area, this will send the local schools back into lockdown.

Given the situation on the ground fluctuate significantly on a day-to-day basis, we can expect many possible changes to come. If the situation does not improve significantly in some areas, then it is possible for many students are not able to return to face-to-face learning for the rest of the year.

Given that this is the ninth week of online learning, for many students in Sydney, we are just over halfway with almost another seven weeks to go. I personally cannot wait for my kids to go back to face-to-face learning, surprisingly my elder one wanted to go back to school as well badly. The young one on the other hand is another story altogether.

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Four More Weeks Of Online Learning For Sydney Students

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.

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When Do You Guys Think Sydney Students Will Be Back To Face To Face Teaching

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.

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Online Learning For Sydney Students For The Next Two Weeks

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.

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St Leonards Health And Education Precinct

A new combined primary and high school will be established in the new St Leonards Health and Education Precinct to accommodate the planned increasing population in St Leonards.

This project is still in the planning stage, so probably should not expect it to complete for another three to four years.

There is no confirmed location of the school, so did some research and guessed the most likely site for it.

I will update again when there are more concrete information available relating to this topic.

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Macquarie Park Education Precinct

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.

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Newly Proposed Public School In Chatswood

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.

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Top 50 Victoria, Melbourne Primary Schools In Map

First I want to clarify, this set of maps is also based on 2019 data released in 2020 which is the most recent one. NAPLAN was canceled in 2020, so there is no data release in 2021, we will have to wait until 2022 for the next set of data releases.

48 out of 50 top Victorian primary schools are concentrated in Melbourne, with only two exceptions that are in or near Geelong.

Following is where all the top 50 Victoria, Melbourne primary schools, as you can see they are mainly concentrated in Melbourne’s central, eastern and southeastern areas with a splash in the northern suburbs. This is to be expected as traditionally in Australia the top public/government schools are concentrated in the affluent and well-established suburbs. In Melbourne’s case, these types of suburbs tend to be near the city center, also to the east and southeastern side. This matches the locations of the top primary schools extremely well.

Melbourne metro area

Chilwell Primary School ranked 34 and Inverleigh Primary School ranked 45 in 2019. I will not further illustrate these two in the image and maps anymore.

The top 10 for 2019 are all in Melbourne’s northeast to south-eastern suburbs with the exception of Preston West Primary School which is located in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. Please note the top 10 are highlighted in red.

  • Beverley Hills Primary School
  • Serpell Primary School
  • Oakleigh South Primary School
  • Glendal Primary School
  • Pinewood Primary School
  • Canterbury Primary School
  • Balwyn Primary School
  • Birralee Primary School
  • Preston West Primary School
  • Brandon Park Primary School

The top 11 to 20 for 2019 are also all in Melbourne’s northeast to south-eastern suburbs. Please note the top 11 to 20 are highlighted in blue.

  • Mount View Primary School
  • Donburn Primary School
  • Doncaster Gardens Primary School
  • Camberwell Primary School
  • Hampton Primary School
  • Wheelers Hill Primary School
  • Laburnum Primary School
  • Clifton Hill Primary School
  • Merri Creek Primary School
  • Burwood East Primary School

The top 21 to 30 for 2019 are all in near central Melbourne, then fan out to northeast to south-eastern suburbs with the exception of Doreen Primary School which is located on the edge of northern Melbourne. Please note the top 21 to 30 are highlighted in green.

Kew East Primary School
Malvern Primary School
Mont Albert Primary School
Doreen Primary School
South Yarra Primary School
Templeton Primary School
Spensley Street Primary School
Camelot Rise Primary School
Kerrimuir Primary School
North Melbourne Primary School

Doreen Public School

The top 31 to 40 for 2019 are all in near central Melbourne, then fan out to northeast to south-eastern suburbs with the exception of Chiwell Primary School which is located in Geelong. Please note the top 31 to 40 are highlighted in purple.

Gardenvale Primary School
Orchard Grove Primary School
Blackburn Lake Primary School
Chilwell Primary School
Glen Waverley Primary School
Mount Waverley Primary School
Mountain Gate Primary School
Hartwell Primary School
Deepdene Primary School
Westgarth Primary School

The top 41 to 50 for 2019 are more evenly distributed around Melbourne suburbs with the exception of Inverleigh Primary School which is located west of Geelong. Please note the top 41 to 50 are highlighted in black.

Strathmore North Primary School
Eltham East Primary School
Glenferrie Primary School
Vermont Primary School
Inverleigh Primary School
Thomastown East Primary School
Hawthorn West Primary School
Auburn South Primary School
Burwood Heights Primary School
Bentleigh West Primary School

In conclusion, as illustrated the top Victorian primary schools are concentrated in central Melbourne and northeastern, eastern, and southeastern part of Melbourne. There is a splatter of top primary schools in the northern suburbs of Melbourne and two near Geelong. The western suburbs got none in 2019.

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Top 50 NSW Sydney Public School In Map

First I want to clarify, this set of map is based on 2019 data released in 2020 which is the most recent one. NAPLAN was canceled in 2020, so there is no data release in 2021, we will have to wait until 2022 for the next set of data releases.

49 out of 50 top NSW primary schools are concentrated in Sydney, with only one exception that is Charlestown South Public School in Newcastle.

Following is where all the top 50 NSW, Sydney primary schools, as you can see as expected they are mainly concentrated to Sydney’s northwest and north shore area with a splash in eastern and inner west suburbs.

The top 10 for 2019 are all in Sydney’s northwest and lower north shore with the exception of Sydney Distance Education Primary School who will be moving into the site of Lindfield Learning Village from next year, so I guess we can just pretend it is part of North Shore as well. Please note the top 10 are highlighted in red.

  • Matthew Pearce Public School
  • St Ives North Public School
  • Hornsby North Public School
  • Sydney Distance Education Primary School
  • Artarmon Public school
  • Beaumont Road Public School
  • Murray Farm Public School
  • Pymble Public School
  • Beecroft Public School
  • Carlingford West Public School

The top 11 to 20 for 2019 are mostly in Sydney’s northwest and lower north shore as well with the exception of Charlestown South Public School in Newcastle. Please note the top 11 to 20 are highlighted in blue.

  • Cammeray Public School
  • Annangrove Public School
  • Woollahra Public School
  • Waitara Public School
  • Epping Public School
  • North Rocks Public School
  • Epping West Public School
  • Lindfield East Public School
  • Charlestown South Public School
  • Chatswood Public School

The top 21 to 30 for 2019 are mostly in Sydney’s northwest and lower north shore again, but we start to see two schools Hurstville and Randwick Public School in this range in Sydney’s east and south. Please note the top 21 to 30 are highlighted in green.

  • Eastwood Public School
  • Hurstville Public School
  • Cherrybrook Public School
  • Warrawee Public School
  • Lindfield Public School
  • Roseville Public School
  • Neutral Bay Public School
  • Oakhill Drive Public School
  • Randwick Public School
  • Gordon West Public School

The top 31 to 40 for 2019 are more evenly spread out and evenly split into the different sides of Sydney harbor. Please note the top 31 to 40 are highlighted in purple.

  • Balmain Public School
  • Ermington Public School
  • Earlwood Public School
  • Lane Cove Public School
  • Kent Road Public School
  • Summer Hill Public School
  • Bellevue Hill Public School
  • Oatley West Public School
  • Epping Heights Public School
  • Greenwich Public School

The top 41 to 50 for 2019 are more concentrated to the north of the Sydney harbor again with a splash in Sydney’s east and inner west again. Please note the top 41 to 50 are highlighted in black.

  • Excelsior Public School
  • Double Bay Public School
  • Mowbray Public School
  • Killara Public School
  • Denistone East Public School
  • Rainbow Street Public School
  • Petersham Public School
  • Northbridge Public School
  • St Ives Public School
  • Kellyville Public School

The top NSW, Sydney public school are concentrated in the northwest, north and north shore area of Sydney. This is to be expected and continued the trend when I started doing this from 2015. There are actually more schools located in the Sydney’s east and inner west suburb now, this is very good to see.

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Proposal to Guarantee All Sydney Students Access To A Coed High School

I have come across this article in SMH recently which you can find at All Sydney students to have guaranteed access to a co-ed high school.

Students living in Sydney’s single-sex public high school catchments will have guaranteed access to a nearby coeducational school under a plan being developed by the NSW Department of Education.

Families in the Georges River area were the first to be officially informed of the change. From next year, students zoned for the Penshurst Girls and Hurstville Boys’ campuses of Georges River College can also choose the co-ed Peakhurst campus.

Other catchments will follow once the department finishes the complicated process of assessing student numbers and re-drawing catchments, senior government sources said on the condition of anonymity because the policy has not been finalised.

SMH

The background of this is that boys schools, in general, have a falling attendance and interest and parents are increasingly opting to send their children to coed schools. It is also important to note that the same cannot be said of girls high school, the enrolment numbers tend to be kept strong. Randwick Boys and Girls High School is a prime example of this.

Similar plan had been proposed previously to merge the Randwick Boys and Girls High School together to better utilize the facilities. While it received strong support from the parents of the Randwick Boys High School’s students, it encountered strong resistance from the parents of the Randwick Girls High School, so the plan was eventually shelved.

I think the outcome will be case by case, not every single-sex school has close-by coded schools with available space. Merging them can also encounter strong resistance from some of the parents. So it may work well in some cases and in others can be very difficult. The process will likely drag on for years as well, so do not expect a quick and clean outcome for this plan.

Overall, I am personally in favour of coed schools and support the move as well.

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