Best school in Melbourne?

I am looking at sending my kids to school (one boy/one girl), preferably a private one.

It is very difficult to know which ones are best, some friends have said MLC for girls, others Carey as it is mixed.

I'm not sure whether they need co-educational.

Any advice?
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AdamS 2yrs+
I went to Xavier College and I can say it was fantastic. A little bit of bullying, but then again what school doesn't. Bullying was only a problem for about 2-3 people. Awesome for sport as well, Xavarians are very competitive in footy and basketball.
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tommytoy 2yrs+
I went to Trinity Grammar in Kew. Not as big as Xavier but we always felt the education levels were better due to the teacher student ratio.
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PureKrome 2yrs+
I went to Geelong Grammer and think it's an excellent private school. Since i was last there, they have upgraded the facilities big time. If i can afford it, I would send my children then.

+1 would recommend, AA++ [insert ebay recommendation spam here] :)
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AdamS 2yrs+
Yes unfortunately Wikipedia is not the be all and end all of information.

Greatschools.net is a fantastic resource, but is only in America. I'm sure it is only a matter of time before it comes out here in Australia.
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AdamS 2yrs+
um...looks like Xavier college could be off the list:

http://www.theage.com.au/national/xavier-rampage-police-charge-threat-20081021-551d.html

Nah, I still stand by Xavier, sorts out the men from the boys!!!!
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DArgy 2yrs+
"Nah, I still stand by Xavier, sorts out the men from the boys!!!! "

Does it now ??????
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AdamS 2yrs+
hehehe....it takes a few years AFTER school finished, but yes Xavier students do finally become men :)
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DArgy 2yrs+
AJ nature turns every boy into a man regardless where they came from. If you want to relate to people from across the board you have to get off your high horse that Xavier College put you on : )
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Gotta wonder about single sex schools. Does it really prepare them for real life?

I read somewhere that if you invested the private school fees for 30 years you could buy a house with the compound interest! Imagine if you gave your kids the option - work hard in a public school and I'll give you cash of 500k at the end or private school?

Now that might be a better life lesson.
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DArgy 2yrs+
You sound like an accountant !
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CommunityMan 2yrs+
That's a good point about single sex schools - the real world is not segregated so why keep boys and girls separate in school?
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Delightful 2yrs+
It depends, see are you willing to spend $14000-22000 on your child/children?
If yes then I would recommend schools like Lauriston Girls, Presbyterian Ladies' College, Scotch College, Genazzano F.C.J. College. And if your children are extremely smart and talented I suggest that they sit the examination for either Mac Rob Girls or Melbourne High. Though I only recommend these two schools if your child is very smart and can pick up work with no help, as these two schools really only hand out work and don’t spend any time expanding the work or offer a lot of help as the students that are in the school already are extremely gifted and can pick up work quickly. Therefore this is usually why Mac Rob and Melbourne High are the top schools in Victoria (Literally they always get ranked 1 & 2). But this does not necessarily mean they are "the best schools" as they are both selective schools therefore have the best students and are guaranteed high enters that will up the school’s reputation. If you are looking for good public schools I suggest McKinon High, Glen Waverly and Mt.Waverly.. With these schools you actually have to live in the region of the school.
If you cannot afford these private schools and you don’t live in an area where there are good public high schools I highly recommend that your child sits a scholarship exam.
Overall though, I believe if your child is willing too learn and is motivated that it doesn’t matter what school they go to, if they want to be someone they will. But of course going to any private school helps as most have a fantastic education program as if your paying $20,000 you would expect that your child is given a proper education.
Also the fact of co-ed or single sex. If you would go to a co-ed school and enrolled both your children there you would pay less as you would get possibly 25-50% of the second Childs tuition fee.
But then again there’s single sex school which has proved to be good.. But Hailbury has a system where the children are separated during classes but are let to talk and hang out with each other during lunch breaks.
It’s up to you though (:
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DArgy 2yrs+
In other words there are absolutely NO guarantees in life. As parents we want whats best for our child, but what parents think is best and what's best in the mind of a child, which does change as they get older, can be completely opposite. A bright eyed five year old may have dreams of becoming a fireman and then at 10 want to be a musician, only to change his/her mind at 12 and want to be a lawyer like daddy, but at 14 wants to be anything but daddy. Parents should be prepared with this transition and definitely not try to dominate or dictate to their child. Instead of being in competition with your friends and care about where they are sending their kids or how much money they are spending, be in tune to your child and they should grow up to be well adjusted. Not everyone can be highly academic and not everyone will have a positive experience at school. But everyone wants to feel that they are accepted and the people they yearn for that most is from their parents....
So parents please stop paying so much attention to what the school represents and paying more attention to who your son/daughter is and who they want to be......
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AdamS 2yrs+
"Overall though, I believe if your child is willing too learn and is motivated that it doesn’t matter what school they go to, if they want to be someone they will."

DArgy I was going to say something similar to what you touched in, in regards to the above comment. I think a motivated child is a rarity...most kids simply don't know what they want to be. When I think back to my schooling, I got good grades, and ended up in commerce at Monash University. The funny thing is that I almost dropped out of Uni, because for so long instead of being motivated to do what I wanted to do, I didn't really know what I wanted to do, so therein lay the problem.

My point is this: How do you know if your child is motivated? How do you know if you should enroll them in a special school for the super smart? I went to Xavier College, and I think I turned out pretty well. I look back on it and to be honest I don't think it would have made a difference if I had went to Scotch or Trinity or another school. They are all in such high competition with each other, their standards are all pretty good.

Same sex schooling? I went to an all boys school, and I would want the same for my kids. It really does come down to personal preference this one, as a lot of my mates went to co-ed, and they want the same for their kids.

AJ
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DArgy 2yrs+
I didn't say anything about motivation ,Delightful did............. A highly motivated student these days can be a rarity and if you had spoken to as many teachers as I have you will also discover that a motivated teacher is a rarity as well.
AJ you sound like you have a good head on your shoulders and you definitely have the right attitude towards education. You were very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to attend a school that catered to your needs. You had a positive experience so naturally you will want the same for your children.
My point is that your experience won't necessarily be your childrens. In fact studies show that children sometimes are more inclined to rebel against what their parents want .
Believe me there are absolutely no easy answers to this topic and all parents can do is love their children be connected, and have the ability to adjust according to the circumstances they are faced with. This may sound like I'm getting off the track a little with the "what's the best school" but I can tell you that it is all relevant.
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AdamS 2yrs+
I think it's entirely relevant DArgy.

We have some amazing choices for education in this country, some more expensive that others sure, but at the end of the day, what's important is being there for kids, loving them and being a big part of their day to day lives. While every persons experience of their schooling varies, the best you can do is be a good parent. Going to the best school or the second best school will make no difference in the end.

AJ
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DArgy 2yrs+
Well said AJ ! You will make a great dad one day : )
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chalkie 2yrs+
Finding a good school is like 'shopping' around for a car, house or whatever. Just because someone has a BMW doesn't necessarily mean that is what you want or more importantly, whether it suits the needs of your children. What do you want or a looking for when it comes to a school? Look around, shop around, go to 'open days' and above all, get a feel for the place.
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walster 2yrs+
we were totally confused and relying on information from friends/neighb ours etc. given the size of our spend( 3 kids) we obviously had a lot at stake to get his right.

We were referred to a service that specialises in advising parents about private school choice in Melbourne and they were brilliant! I couldn't speak more highly of them and they saved us an enormous amount of time and money.

check them out www.regentconsulting.com.au ..the best money we ever spent
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AdamS 2yrs+
Hi walster,

Thanks for the Tip! Any advice people can get that helps, it more than welcome.

AJ
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walster 2yrs+
Thansk AJ!

I know I was grateful someone put me on to them, so hopefully someone else can benefit from our experience with regent consulting.
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GGW 2yrs+
totally agree with your guys, a happy and motivated child is more important. We have three boys in primary, now shop around for private school, even think about moving in the area with the private school. However, I will rethink over it again, try to spend more time with them and guild them through their childhood. It is not easy to balance life and work. The choice for me is to select boys school or co-ed, I will enrol to those school on waiting list and wait for the time comes. AJ, I was in Commerce at Monash as well, good to see u here, any problems while you were in boarding house? Bullying among boys? which boys school is easy get to by public transport?

thks,
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CutiePie 2yrs+
Private schools are not necessarily the best. Really depends what your kids are like. Are they social, influenced by others etc... I went to a public school and would recommend it to everyone. My daughter is starting Prep next year and i will be putting her in a public school also. Example of a private school Xavier Colledge has been on teh news a couple of times kids selling drugs and fights???? It happens everywhere
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Having gone to a private school I frequently get asked the private vs public school question. It's not an easy one and for many it comes down to dollars. To add to the mix of this post look what Fred Argy said on the University of WA website about education inequalities back in 2007:

"Children in private schools enjoy cumulative advantages by interacting with other children who have well-educated and ambitious parents. Public schools with a high proportion of disadvantaged kids (which applies to most of the smaller schools) offer less favourable peer pressures, school facilities and buildings and have more difficulty attracting good teachers. A recent study found that in addition to childhood IQ and family resources, grade outcomes are greatly affected by teenage peer and school factors. In the increasingly intense competition between public and private schools, there is a vicious circle at work. With a steady exodus of the better students, the public schools are left with a rising proportion of slow-learning, ill-disciplined kids as well as a relatively higher cost per student. Within the public school system, disadvantaged kids are not sufficiently targeted, with only 5 to 10 per cent of government funding based on needs."

Here's the link to the full article http://www.ias.uwa.edu.au/new-critic/five/educationinequalities
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CommunityMan 2yrs+
That's a fairly depressing reality!
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AdamS 2yrs+
@GWC sorry for the late reply, I didn't see you question at the bottom. I never actually boarded anywhere, so I can't comment on that. Public Transport really depends on where you live. At Monash Uni I normally caught the bus from Box Hill all the way out to the Clayton campus. At Xavier, I had no problem at all catching the bus to school. All the private schools in Kew have immediate access to buses and trams etc, so shouldn't be a problem there. In regards to bullying...you are ALWAYS going to find it in schools. I know at Xavier there was some going on, but only a small percentage of boys it was a problem for. You get a pretty thick skin coming out of Xavier, which I think prepares you very well for later on in life. To put it into perspective, I'm going to send my kids there, so it can't have been too big an issue.

@Crissy regarding the drugs issue at Xavier, and them being the press, I can tell you right now that all of that is an immense media beat up. When I was there, kids were doing stupid stuff, but nothing kids at other schools were not doing. Not once was I ever offered drugs at Xavier. I think once or twice a kid got expelled for taking them..it was such a non-issue overall. And I think those kids were generally having trouble with the schooling system anyways, as some kids generally do.

@JVS as Brian says, a depressing reality, but a reality nonetheless. I'm not surprised at all.

AJ
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PureKrome 2yrs+
stop bullying us AJ !!!



*tongue in cheek*
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CutiePie 2yrs+
Exactly that proves that it happens anywhere in a private or public school.
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AdamS 2yrs+
@PureKrome NEVER!!!!
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I'll throw another issue in the mix - Private schools from Grade Prep.

Do kids really need to go to an elite school from Prep - especially with a standard curriculum I couldn't justify the cost with my young one. Until recently Private schools started around Grade 5 but now more are trying to get kids in earlier.
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DArgy 2yrs+
No I certainly don't justify elite schools from Prep, and I'm not even sure its justified in High School but I'll stay out of that one as there are so many factors to take into consideration and I feel I have said enough on that matter.

In my opinion parents these days are being peer pressured to start educating their children from practically birth and pressured into believing that Private is always best. I have also noticed that parents are keeping children in childcare longer and sending them to school later. I am seeing 7 year olds in Prep ! and I am almost certain that that will not always necessarily help the child academically.

I feel parents have a lot of anxieties these days and unfortunately children are feeling it as well. I wish everyone would just lighten up a little and let nature take its course . Be there for your child , don't smother them, don't pressure them and certainly don't be pressured by the Jones' to follow in their footsteps.
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DArgy 2yrs+
@ AJ , you are a great ambassador for Xavier, but unfortunately it isn't the school that it was when you were there.
I went to public school and had the same positive experiences that you had and no I was never offered drugs in high school either......

Bullying, drugs, crime, disrespect, etc comes in all shapes and sizes , in wealthy circles and in poor .
I was raised in a working class family and was able to mix with both wealthy and not so wealthy and I have seen the good the bad and the ugly on both sides......believe me ......
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DArgy so true - let nature take its course.
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CutiePie 2yrs+
Hi Dargy

I agree with u 100%. Dito,dito. I have a good example actually of private school gone wrong. One of my friends which have money put their daughter in a private high school. She hated it. would come home crying and always made out she was sick so she didn't have to go to school. So her parents changed her to a public and i must say it is one with the worst reputation in the area and guess what? She has one student of the year, is an A grade student and loves it. she is now doing year 12 and will be going to Uni to become a Forensic scientist. these people also have a son who is in Primary School and will be in year 7 next year and will be going to the same school as his sister
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CutiePie 2yrs+
Opps should of done a spell check hahahaha :-)
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Timely speech last night from former High Court Justice, Michael Kirby - Australians urged to stand up for public schools.
He said:

"It constantly amazes me that leaders of government in Australia who have themselves benefited from public education go along with inequity in the distribution of public funds for schooling," he said.

"Parents and citizens in public schools have to learn the art of advocacy. They've got to blog, Twitter, text, lobby and argue.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/12/02/2759381.htm
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LisaC 2yrs+
I read with interest an earlier post by Walster. After reading this recommendation, I phoned Regent Consulting, who specialise in helping people choosing private schools. Faced with so many private schools to choose from, we were hopelessly out of our depth and didn't know what to do. It was very daunting! However, I can say that the people at Regent Consulting were outstanding, friendly and were only to happy to assist. It has reduced the enormous stress and tension on our family by a significant amount! Like Walster, I am more than happy to recommend this service - check out their website.
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PureKrome 2yrs+
LisaC, that's an awesome story! Information like this is invaluable, which is why I'm so happy this site now exists and I know about.
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DArgy 2yrs+
Regent Consulting , what a load of rubbish and a waste of money . I'm sure they were able to look into their crystal ball and tell you exactly where your child will be in ten or fifteen years ! Wake Up Australia ! I would hate to be a child today ...... Just let them be ! Lets pay someone to think for us too .... hang on we do ,its called the internet : D
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walster 2yrs+
Dargy..settle down mate.

As someone who has used their service, it isn't a waste of money and they don't try and tell you where your child will be in ten years. To be honest, that is an ignorant comment.

Just because you have an issues with private schools, please don't make judgements about a service which you obviously know nothing about.

They helped us and judging by other comments, have helped others too. Why is that a load of rubbish?

Surely that is up to us whether or not it is rubbish!
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CutiePie 2yrs+
Dargy i have to say i agree with you 100%.There is no way i would be paying for someone to recommend to me what school would be best suited for my child. As a parent of course i want the best for my daughter but at the same time regardless of where she goes wether it is private or public school i highly doubt it will impact her future. Majority of the time i don't even think it is about the money. I could afford to put my daughter in a private school but i just don't want to. That is my choice. I am sorry if Walster finds this also an ignorant comment but we can't all think alike. That is what makes the world go around :-)
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walster 2yrs+
i said it was an ignorant comment because dargy indicated that theri service was about predicting where you child will be in 10/15 years, which it is not. People are entitled to their opinions but calling something "rubbirsh" with limited knowledge of what it is, is well, quite frankly ignorant.
For instance, I would never use a buyers adovocate to buy a house for me...never. But guess what? Lot's of other people use them( they seem to be thriving!) so that doesn't make their service "rubbish" just because I make the judgement it doesn't suit me. At least i know what they do!

Obviously those supporters of the govt schools are very emotive about this and like to have a dig every chance they get. Perhaps it justifies their position ?

I didn't call your decision rubbish so please don't call mine and others who decide otherwise.
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CutiePie 2yrs+
Walster if you read my comment a bit more accuratley you won't see the word rubbish anywhere.Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. i am not quite sure what you are trying to say by "Perhaps it justifies their position". This is a forum about opinions so there is no need to get so offended.
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walster 2yrs+
Cutiepie,
if you read my commments a bit more carefully, you will see that I never referred to you saying rubbish.

I was referring to dargy's origianl post which you were agreeing with "100%", so in essence you agree with the original rubbish comment or your 100% comment isn't accurate!
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AdamS 2yrs+
Hey guys,

First of all, please keep the discussion clean :)

@Dargy @CutiePie why the opinion towards Regent Consulting? I don't see the big deal? Of course your opinion is your own, and that's the beauty of forums such as these, but I think it's also very important to discuss every aspect of your opinion and be open to other opinions.

People every day ask others about what to do, whether it be "How should I go about selling my house?" to "How should I plan my wedding?". Yes your circle of friends and family can help with such questions, but ultimately sometimes people just want 'expert' advice. And so in the above case, people would hire a "Real Estate Agent" or a "Wedding Planner" to help them. In this case, why is it any different to hiring an expert to help you with choosing a school? What about people who have moved to Melbourne and have no idea about areas, locations etc? Surely such services would be good for these people?

I will one day send my kids to Xavier, because that's what I know, and that's what I loved. But what if the experts can tell me the pros and cons of other schools, regardless of private or public? I think that's a great service, and a great option to have up my sleeve.

@walster are you able to tell me the process by which Regent took you through? Some of the questions they asked? Did they at all recommend public vs private?

Again, please keep the discussion healthy guys :)

AJ
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LisaC 2yrs+
Well, there seems to be plenty of passionate debate since my post.

Dargy, I’m not sure how this could be defined as rubbish. Have you called them to find out what they offer? I didn’t ask them to predict where my children will be in 10 or 15 years. I asked them to assist me with the choice of a private school based on their needs.

No one has forced you or anyone else to use them or any other service. I simply thought I would let everyone know about my positive experience with Regent in the hope that it might assist others who are in a similar position.

Speaking from my own experience, I can guarantee that the choice of school does impact futures. Putting the education itself to one side, schools are where habits are learned, life-long friends are made, skills developed, etc. I’ve seen many cases where the square peg/round hole scenario has applied and the people involved have been miserable. I’m of the firm belief that we as parents have the responsibility to arm ourselves with as much information as possible to make educated decisions for our kids.

My original posting was not in any way meant to cause problems or angst for anyone. Hope everyone has a great day!
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walster 2yrs+
walster are you able to tell me the process by which Regent took you through? Some of the questions they asked? Did they at all recommend public vs private?

Aj, they ahve a very thorough process. They have their own questionairres, they do two face to face meetings and they write you a comprehensive report, usually with three recommendations. The report contains statisitcs and heaps of valuable information.

AJ, do you have some interest?
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DArgy 2yrs+
What an emotive topic this is ! Ok since I added a little fuel to the fire let me explain myself....

Firstly Walster my so called ignorant comment about the agency was a little sarcasm on my part ( if you read between the lines ) Of course they can't predict in 10 years time, no one can so they shouldn't claim to be able to "wave their magic wand" and find the perfect school for your child. What position exactly do you think I'm justifying ? I'm certainly not the minister of public schooling . I'm not against private schools at all, in fact I think there are some great ones , just as there are some great public schools.
The rubbish comment wasn't intended for you Walster, I'm sure you are a concerned parent wanting the best for your child, my apologies if you thought that was the case. It was intended for agencies such as Regent Consulting that take advantage of parents vulnerability and anxieties .

Lisa C I have many years of experience myself so I believe myself to be a well informed individual that is also willing to listen to views and opinions that maybe I don't agree with, but I always love a good debate .

No AJ they only deal with private schools and receive commission.......
I wonder if they mention the wonderful achievents of Macrobertsons Girls, Melbourne High and Balwyn High which by the way are all public schools.
Aj you can't compare someone choosing a school for your child with someone planning your wedding or buying a house. Personally I think realestate.com.au is fantastic , that's how I found my property. We are talking about your childs future here and where they will be happy.

This morning on 3AW there was the exact debate on , public versus private schools and a University student summed it up well . She said that the main difference between the two are the facilities, if a child wants to learn then the teachers are there for them, if a child doesn't want to learn then the teachers can try but learning can't be forced upon an individual whether they are at private or public school.

And finally in my opinion parents play the biggest role of all . Look, listen, learn, read and most importantly be connected to the most important beings in your life.....your children.
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GGW 2yrs+
Hi, nothing should be personal. We all share the past experience with different circumstance. W
I want to give my kids a go to private, but it is up to them getting most out of it. I would not regret if they fell to achieve. I am thinking about Carey, it might be to late to enrol. Any benefit if I move into the area? I like mixed rather than boys, a bit colour of life.
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AdamS 2yrs+
@LisaC well said, and thanks for sharing.

@walster no I don't have any personal interest in the service, I just think it would be valuable to certain people, so better to have the service than not. I'm pretty much locked into Xavier College for my kids.

@DArgy you're so passionate about these things ..I LOVE IT :) Such a great debate we are all having. SO now my two cents - in regards to:

"It was intended for agencies such as Regent Consulting that take advantage of parents vulnerability and anxieties"

I don't think this is the case at all. I don't think the head of Regency Consulting thinks "hey, there are some vulnerable parents, let take advantage of them". That's a far stretch IMHO.

"I wonder if they mention the wonderful achievents of Macrobertsons Girls, Melbourne High and Balwyn High which by the way are all public schools."

Well clearly they wouldn't because after reading their website in more detail, they are advocates for Private Schools. Nothing wrong with this at all.

"Aj you can't compare someone choosing a school for your child with someone planning your wedding or buying a house. Personally I think realestate.com.au is fantastic , that's how I found my property. We are talking about your childs future here and where they will be happy"

Of course you can!! I would consider which place to live is a MAJOR factor in someone's future, well on par with sending a child to school. Remember, both are environmental, and both extremely important. I also think there is a little contradiction in what you are saying. You clearly think this is a very important decision, as we all do. So wouldn't you want all the available information on schools, both private and public. Are there any services that do the same, but only for public schools?

Great debate here guys!!

AJ
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walster 2yrs+
Well said AJ!

The thing i will say is that you must remember that McRob and melbourne high are SCHOLARSHIP schools, so every single kid who goes there has to go through an extremely competititve process to get in. It is'nt hard to produce great outcomes academically when every single kid has to go through an exstenive, competitive process to get in and many, many others are excluded due to the lack fo academic capability.

The private schools go through no such process and hence has kids of all academic ability rather than an academic elite which melbourne high and McRob have

So for Dargy to rabbit on about "their wonderful achievements", really shows a basic lack of understanding of the amke up of these selective and elite schools. All the students are tested and hand picked!
Kind of ironic isn't it, that these governement schools are elite!
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DArgy 2yrs+
Thanks AJ but I think sometimes I'm too passionate for my own good : )
Ok I get that it could be a service that some may find helpful, I guess I'm always a little critical of services that are one sided....
Walster , I am very aware of the process to get into Macrob and Melbourne High , I'm really not as ignorant as you think..... Your the one who "rabbited on " about Regent Consulting in the first place. Why don't you tell us how they improved yours and your child's life instead of being so vague. It sounds to me like you are promoting them, not that there would be anything wrong with that if you were honest about it.
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walster 2yrs+
Dargy,

If you were aware of the process of getting in to macrona nd melb high, then it seemed a little strange for your to rabbit on about theri "wonderful achievements" given well......they aren't so wonderful but rather expected outcomes given the elite academic nature of their students. It is a very carefully selected elite student body Can you explain your comments about wonderful achievements in light of that?

I have already explained how regent consulting were extremely helpful to us and for fear of "promoting" them any further, i will refer to earlier posts.
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DArgy 2yrs+
You really are beginning to bore me........

Everyone here knows where I stand , I believe in both public and private schools depending on each individuals circumstance.......Amen
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walster 2yrs+
OK..

So in other words, you can't explain your comments about their( the elite, selective sholarship schools)) wonderful performance?

As i said earlier, kind of ironic that these givernment schools are so elitist.
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DArgy 2yrs+
what exactly do you mean ? the kids aren't robots ! Yes they are selected, yes the school takes pride in their achievements. Not all public schools have an entry exam, eg Balwyn High and they have a wonderful reputation. Are you seriously naive enough to believe that private schools don't encourage low performance students to leave around Year 10-11 so as not to bring down their VCE results ? I know MANY examples of this , but I won't start "rabbitting" on about it !

Your argument seems to be more against public schools and promoting services like Regent than anything else. I can see pros and cons of both sides..........
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What does it cost these days to send kids to private school? Say a Xavier/MLC/Scotch/Carey style.

Anybody know per annum?
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walster 2yrs+
Pros and cons of each side? Now that is a laugh from someone who called the advisory service rubbish!!

Yep, real balanced view there.

Allegedly encourageing kids to leave( i would love to see you name some schools that do this!) and making every single student pass a minimum academic requirement to get in are two different kettle of fish.That tired old argument has been trotted out by the lefty/chip on shoulder public schol advocates for years. I will believe it when i see some evidence.

I am not trying to be balanced as i am a believer in private schools, which i am entitled to be.
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DArgy 2yrs+
"That tired old argument has been trotted out by the lefty/chip on shoulder public school advocates for years. I will believe it " - quote Walster

Now you are showing your true colours...........

"Education. That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding " -quote Ambrose Bierce
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walster 2yrs+
I didn't realise i was hiding my true colours? Must hvae missed that bit!

You are the one trying to claim you are balanced despite your rubbish comment( which I noted you ignored again!).

Nothing worse than someone trying to pretend they are the moral conscience of society and that they present a "balanced" view!

AMEN!
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CommunityMan 2yrs+
Opinions are good, but I remind everyone to be nice - play the ball not the person!
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LisaC 2yrs+
Hi everyone,

I hope I'm not the culprit who has caused all these stirring words. I only wanted to pass on my thoughts about the wonderful service I had with Regent and I certainly didn't want to cause any trouble. Please accept my apologies if that's what has happened.

Have a wonderful and safe weekend everybody!!
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walster 2yrs+
No worries Lisa!

Your thoughts have been greatly appreciated and thanks for sharing your positve experience with Regent Consulting.
I hope it may have helped somebody.

Merry Xmas!
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c1c2c3 2yrs+
I am a parent of 3 kids. I completely agree with "Delightful" - based on my very own experience. For me, I willing to invest in my kids education. However, I cant afford to send 3 of my kids to private school from prep. I did some research, by asking a few parents opinions, find out more about the school that I intend to send them to, update education news. I decided to send them Prep-Year6 in "good" public school (meanwhile home educate them well, & enroll them in other activities ie. piano, LOTE, swimming, etc that they may interested in and beneficial for them in the future), Year7-Year12 to private school ie. you may refer to VCE result published by the Age, find out which schools remain in top rank in the past 10 years, e.g. PLC/Scotch. During primary years, public or private probably wont make much different in terms of the curriculum & facilities provided. However, secondary, I personally believe these are more crucial years, a step ahead to decide which path they want to go when they are in Uni, you would also see alot difference in terms of curriculums & opportunities that being offered. However, if my kids are smart enough, it would great to have the scholarship, or go to Mac Robertson/Melb Grammar. If not, at least they have to try their very best to perform well in their study. Knowledge, skills are one of the most important foundation to do well in life.
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DArgy 2yrs+
Yes knowledge is a great thing.....life skills are usually gained after school and whether you do or don't do well at school isn't always a foundation for success.
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walster 2yrs+
I don't even know why we bother going to school!

IT appears to make no diference!
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Question for the passionate Melbourne school experts and any teachers out there.

I have noticed a growing trend of merging different classes into "composite" classes. My son has moved from Grade Prep into a class with a mix of Grade 1/Grade 2 kids. And so on up the years.

A number of parents I have spoken to are concerned - the Grade 1's are now involved with older kids (not that this is a always a bad thing, but they do miss being with their friends) and I'm sure the Grade 2 kids parents are concerned about being slowed down by the younger students.

What's the deal?
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Lunaa 2yrs+
If anyone is really interested in taking the entrance exam to macrob or melbourne high then they should send their kids to cram school. It helps a lot !!
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Duncan 2yrs+
Does anyone know about the Knox School? We are looking at starting at prep 3/5.
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dufcoz 2yrs+
Hi Duncan,
I am also thinking of starting prep 3/5 at Knox school but not sure if its worth it, I can't find anything on the Knox school.
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Duncan 2yrs+
I haven't been able to find out much but those who do know it say it is a very good school. We will be sending in the enrollment now for our son who turns three this month (to start next year) and our daughter who turns three next June (to start next year).
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mpa 2yrs+
Hey
I went to a public school from year 7 to 10 before switching to a private school in year 11 to complete my VCE. I applied and sat a couple tests for scholarships during year 10 and ended up getting offers from Xavier, St. Kevins and Penleigh and Essendon (PEGS). In the end I chose PEGS due to a couple of factors including travel. In relation to the public vs private I really enjoyed my VCE experience at a private school (except for the excess work during VCE), whereas I had found my particular public school very isolating. It had a good academic reputation, however this was distorted by the 'acceleration program' kids and high proportion of international students who worked very hard. This sort of hid the fact that there was a high drug presence at the school and funnily enough the teachers there hardly cared half the school was on something. They didnt really cater for students who didnt fall into either of these categories. It also had less opporunities for extra curricular activites e.g. sport. So in the end I would say if you are willing to pay for your kids to go to a private school, choose carefully, but there will be a lot more on offer for your kid to experience in a broader sense. Having said that though, make sure your kid keeps a clear view of broader society and its dynamics.
With primary schools though, I would definitely send my kids to a public primary school. Its a personal opinion, but I think having gone to a public primary school with rich multiculturism I learnt a lot more looking back on it.
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Nikki832 2yrs+
Hey, this is a great discussion!

Any opinions/ reviews on Ruyton girls school? I like smaller schools, and they seem to be quite good on the academic front. But I haven't heard much else about them. Most people I ask would rattle off PLC or MLC as a good private girls school, I suppose because they are bigger and more well-known.

Also, any recommendations on good public primary schools in the Donvale/ Doncaster East area?

The debate on public vs private could go on forever! My opinion is that a good public primary school can be just as stimulating to the child as a good private school. (The hard part is finding out which are the good local schools!) Any comments?
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I can definitely recommend St Gregory The Great in Doncaster (on Manningham Rd near Doncaster Shoppingtown) and I know a lot of parents raving about St Charles Borromeo in Templestowe (small school great teachers). http://www.scbtemplestowe.catholic.edu.au/

Both are public.
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Nikki832 2yrs+
Thanks JVS! I will certainly check them out. =)
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walster 2yrs+
sorry JVS, the schools you reported are catholic schools not public schools
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Thanks Walster, you are right. Both are catholic primary schools - you don't pay any where near the fees that are on private schools.
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walster 2yrs+
correct.. no you don't pay the fees but they are not public schools
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knoxman 2yrs+
The Knox School is excellent. The teachers are really passionate and my child is doing marvellously well.
Their website is http://www.knox.vic.edu.au
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Haileymen 2yrs+
Parallel education, Haileybury adopted this method of teaching few years back and has been a proven success. (biological studies found that females brains mature in many different ways to males especially through puberty, hence its best to keep the two sexes separated during education but together during recesses, lunchtime and social school activities for the benefit of life training) I went ot Haileybury in Keysborough. Fantastic school. From my findings, articles and results, top school in Vic at the moment. Thumbs up to Parallel education.
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IKT 2yrs+
Great discussion topic ... given it's still going after 2yrs !

In my opinion, private schools are being run more like companies these days. One only needs to attend an open day and watch a presentation from the likes of Rosa Storelli, Prinicipal at MLC, pitching the values and benefits of her school, over the competition, to see how professional they have become. This is big business. I would love to know what MLC's annual turnover and profits are .... I suspect it would be the envy of many CEO's. She did a good enough job to sell me, with my daughter starting Yr7, in 2015. ( she attends a public school now ).

For those interested, there was a great article last Fri in the Age about the frustrations many parents have about the process of having to put your children's name down at so many private schools in Melb, just in order to have a good chance of getting your first, second or even third preference, depending on how early you apply, or, sibbling/family connections. Clearly, if you want a high quality boys only school, it is a more daunting process. Here it is if you would like to read ...
http://www.theage.com.au/national/education/anxious-parents-play-the-waiting-game-20100730-10z6e.html

A question I have for the forum is, whether any of you have either recently attended, or, currently have boys at either Trinity, Carey, Scotch, St'Kevins, or Camberwell Boys Grammar and if so; can provide me with any feedback on how well these schools cater for a child who is neither overly sporty, or, strong academically and also provides a high nurturing, albeit well disciplined cultural care learning environment ?

I have had applications in at both Carey and Camberwell Boys for my son, who is now in yr 2 at a local primary school. I attended open days at both schools a couple of years ago before putting the applications in and both were impressive for different reasons. I have recently been reconsidering these options, with his sister now enrolled at MLC and was also considering the other schools mentioned above, albeit that my chances of getting a place now for yr7 at Trinity, Scotch, or, St'Kevs have decreased significantly, with recent enquiries.

btw - the main motive for a reassessment of options is a change in personal circumstances and logistics. I was living in Camberwell and now in Glen Iris. A school closer to MLC, with similar public transport routes would be helpful.

Any views and opinions based on first hand experiences with these schools would be much appreciated.
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Lilly101 2yrs+
Our daughter started at Ruyton from pre-prep and i feel that it was a fantastic school, would highly recommend it. It has a very good academic and athletics record, with the majority of my daughters graduating class received 90+ scores for VCE. Being a slightly smaller school, as opposed to PLC or MLC, i feel students were given many more opportunities to participate and also received greater individual attention. The only issue you may wish to consider is that Ruyton is a lot less diverse in terms of student demographics/background than larger schools such as MLC, however we did not feel this was a major issue.

In terms of sending your child to a private school from the beginning, it depends on the family and the child. Both our children (son and daughter) have attended private schools since pre-prep and i feel it was a great investment in their education. However i understand that this is not a feasible option for many families and as long as you feel the child suits the school and it provides a good learning environment, primary schools can be just as good.
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walster 2yrs+
As i mentioned in an earlier post,we used a service which helped us enormously with this issue, Regent Consulting.
A number of my friends have also since used them and they have helped them as well. I think their website is well worth a look before you commit to such a large investment
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WiseOwl 2yrs+
Let us put this into perspective. Sending your child to a private school - sounds fantastic. However, there is a huge financial burden on the family and this changes the dynamics greatly. Those people who are putting their kids into schools because of prestige are slightly out of kilter. I have done both public, private for both children. I noticed there is a huge amount of pressure on this VCE number. From my experience with children in the private sector at top schools there a lot of unhappy young adults. The pressure changes their perspective and with that the whole family dynamic changes from two points: financial pressure and performance pressure.

You need to be looking at your child's stress coping abilities, flexibility and a whole spectrum of coping skills to navigate through the educational tunnel to allow your child to come out a well balanced individual.

My son attended Air Force Cadets, this put him in great stead to attend to pressure, group dynamics and the stuff the world is made of - he went to .... at St Kilda and managed a VCE score of 82.

Suicide was on the cards twice by two different boys and this is obviously a pressure point. Another student obtained a VCE score of 99.9 - however, is a defined alcoholic at 25 now.

Parents: think of your children and their ability. Not what the school offers. Because there is a fine line between bringing up a balanced individual, under stress and pressures that they would not welcome.

These schools are run like companies. Sadly the profit is the bottom line and achieving a score that is quite ridiculous in the scheme of life.

I have two beautiful kids, both happy and content - I have seen plenty of kids with brilliant VCE scores but on drugs, alcohol and dependancy issues because of coping skills.

Do not sign you kids up to a program they cannot cope with.

Regards, It's About the Children, Not the VCE score !
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moth 2yrs+
Hi. I too am looking for a school in Melbourne as we are considering moving from the UK (husband is Australian)

Our son is currently in a private, selective boys prep that is highly regarded and has a reputation for sending boys to Eton, Harrow, Habs etc once they turn 13. We'd be looking at the equivelant in Melbourne. We're not interested in fashion or social connections. Only academic achievement and results. We've had the following recommended so far for primary:

Christ Church, Melbourne Grammar, Camberwell, Trinity, Wesley...

We also realise MacRob & Melbourne High are the top performers and these are state secondarys. We've had all sorts of mixed responses, including "it's easier to get in if you're from overseas", "it's harder to get in if you're from overseas", "state primaries are better than privates", "private primaries are better than state", "you'll only get in if you have an 'old boy' family connection" and so on. Apparently, the private schools in Melbourne are all about time spent on waiting lists and nothing to do with assessment, which is astonishing.

We have no 'old boy' networks whatsoever. The only possible "card" is that our son's Grandfather was a former elite sportsperson (very well known) and also involved in politics at a high level. I'm sure nobody would really care much about that.

Anyway, I've read this thread with interest - any other thoughts would be appreciated!
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Canuk 2yrs+
Moth, if you are looking for schools the equivalent to ones in the UK that get your child into Harrow, Eton etc then the two schools in Melbourne that would be equivalents would be Geelong Grammar and Melbourne Grammar. beyond that Scotch College is great. Camberwell, Trinity and Wesley are all good, but in "access" leagues (if they still count) they ,along with Ivanhoe, Xavier, St Michael's, Yarra Valley (or whatever it's now called), Brighton, Assumption College and Geelong College, offer really great alternatives depending on the individual child and I think importantly, geography. If you intend that your son Board, then i'd go for Melbourne Grammar. If I had my time again I'd send my two boys there, they boarded at Canberra Grammar and while that was great and they both were really happy, given the amount I spent I think I would have been better to insist on Melbourne.
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moth 2yrs+
Thanks Canuk - we've definitely got Melbourne Gramar on our radar, although we are aware it will be a tough call to get a place. Indeed, Trinity, Wesley are all on our list as well. Hopefully we'll be able to secure a place.

I've heard great things about Canberra Grammar too - friends of my husband went there.

Thanks again - this is all very informative advice.
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Canuk 2yrs+
quick follow-up; if you think that your son will board AT ANY STAGE mention this prominantly!!! It will open doors magically!
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To the private school experts out there, from what age do I need to book my girl into school?

I have heard of people booking kids in from birth? And how many schools should I book her into to be sure of a place?
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IKT 2yrs+
Moth, I think you would find that if you were to move to Melbourne, you would have a plethora of choices of great schools; the real challenge will be which one ('s) you might be able to get into, given most parents get their children's names down at a number of optional schools from around the time of birth to be assured of an enrollment opportunity.
One idea might be to try firm up your research of potential target schools and then ask the Principal at your son's existing school to send letter's of introduction and request for application/enrollment at a few schools, to attempt to " jump the que " given you will be well behind in terms of waves of applications going out ahead of your own. The more prestigious schools ( like Scotch and Geelong Grammar ) often have connections with overseas schools and especially in England. Worth a try ... good luck !


JVS - I am no expert on this issue, but my recommendation would to try narrow your target schools down to 3 and then send applications out as soon from birth as possible, given that it appears that the option for enrollment is dependent on how early your application was submitted.
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I have studied in Victoria University, Well it is necessary to chose the school where you children will be comfortable enough.^^
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Maddi 2yrs+
Help - I have a similar issue - does anyone know whether Kew Primary School is any good? I have been offered places for prep at Ruyton and Trinity and MLC. We have 1 boy and 1 girl. Not sure we can afford private from prep and wondering whether it is worth it? Also on the waitlist at Carey for both and Camberwell Boys for son. If we turn the places down now will we miss out later?
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Clare85 2yrs+
I attended Camberwell Girls on a scholarship from 1998-2003 (there was no way my parents could afford to send me to a private school no matter how much they would have liked to). Prior to that Boroondara Park Primary School (public co-ed). Both were excellent schools. I was also offered a place at MLC but chose Camb Girls over it due to size and boy was I glad I did. Although not really gifted at anything besides academia, I was able to participate in pretty much everything I wanted - sport, music, drama etc - as there was not SO much competition (600 girls vs 2000 girls makes a huge difference!). The diversity of opportunities and experiences I had were incredible. I loved high school, and it was one of the happiest times of my lives. Not many people can say that I don't think! Older friends who are just starting to have kids are having to enroll their kids from birth at the private school of their choice - I think it costs around $200 to do so. Sitting for and obtaining scholarships bypasses that waiting list ;). I would definitely recommend attending some sort of training college prior to sitting scholarship exams at age 12, I attended EdWorks in Camberwell for most of the year as an 11yo and this certainly gave me an advantage. I sometimes wonder if the co-education thing would have been good, and believe I would have been happy at Carey if I had instead gone to a co-ed school. Friends of mine boarded at Geelong Grammar and had a fabulous experience there too, if that helps.
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vickee 2yrs+
Carey is a great co-ed school. I love co-education, and carey is a true co-ed school with the year 7, 2007 being the first year of 50/50. I love going there - everyone is really friendly and there is no 'bitchiness' at all which is pretty hard to find in a school. It also builds well rounded people - Not only intelligent, but people who have great social skills and can communicate with others and the world around them in a way that is thoughtful and seeking.
Yes, in the papers it isn't one of the 'top 10 schools', but that is because about 75 students do the International Baccalaureate Diploma instead of the VCE, often the top students. Last year at Carey,20 students were 'scholars of the school' (enter of 99+) and over 3/4 of IB students get over 95 as their enter.
Carey is definitely the best co-ed school in melbourne, but I would say Caulfield is good too. As for wesley, they have a reputation for being very full of drugs and is apparently the only APS school that takes people who have been 'expelled' or 'asked to leave'

As for the best school in melbourne - I would say Melbourne Grammar.
The best schools (co-ed schools and male schools) are the ones that form the APS, a prestigious group.

I don't think Lauriston is a good school - They selectively pick people in middle school and senior school on their grades, and kick anyone out that doesn't get Bs or higher. Ruyton has a rep for being the school where the 'precious mummies send their kids' and it's a relatively new school so it doesn't have that prestigious reputation.

I have been at Carey since kindergarten and I think the kindergarten was very good (from what my parents said), junior school was really good (They have lots of exchanges such as robinson river in NT in yr 6 to England,Hong Kong, New York, Canada and South Africa. I apsolutely loved middle school (yr7-9) and senior school is great too (yr10-12)
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walster 2yrs+
some interesting and provoctive comments there from Vickee!

It wil be interesting to see how Carey go with a new Principal.
No mention of St Kevin's? Perhaps she needs to re visit theri results for the past 5 years or so, where they have been beating the likes of Scotch and Melb Grammar.

AS we have discussed on here ad nausum now, it really is about what is the best fit rather than what is the best school, hence why so many people find a service like Regent Consulting provide, so useful.
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lixon 2yrs+
Does anybody have any information on public/private schools in Altona and surrounding suburbs? Im new to area and need to find primary and secondary schools!!
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TeacherJo 2yrs+
I went to Carey and thoroughly enjoyed it. A well-rounded school with great teachers and support, plus a variety of programs. Lixon, try websites as follows:
http://services.ais.vic.edu.au/ebiz/customerservice/schoollocator.aspx (for independent schools)
and
http://www.education.vic.gov.au/findaservice/Home.aspx (for government schools)

I know that Westbourne Grammar and has an excellent reputation and my nephew goes there - he seems very happy with the school as are his parents (current principal is Lauriston's old principal) and it is about 15 odd minutes from Altona. Lauriston is a leading private school, so the school is in good hands it seems :).
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AnonHelper1 2yrs+
I went to presbyterian ladies college and academically it can do very well. majority of girls there are hyper stressed and hard working 24/7 and are all perfectionists and want to achieve a top score (a lot aim for vce score of over 99 and consider anything under 98 to be inferior). If your child is ambitious, hard working, super competitive and not prone to crack under stress then plc is the place to send your girl and it offers ib and vce. The teachers are not overly great - you only get one or two really fantastic teachers n each subject but you are not gauranteed to get them, some of the teachers are really lazy. Also, only a small group of plc girls will have a great social life - most of the girls dont have a proper social life because they study instead. So it is definitely not the school to send if you want your child to be good at socializing (it is a more important skill as you get older). Also, if you want cultural diversity, majority of plc is asian like 75% (dont let the billboards fool you - the photographer only takes photos of white people).

Other girls schools i recommend: I hear camberwell girls grammar strikes a great balance between social life and academia, fintona girls is small but academic, mlc is too big/pretentious for my liking. Best choice would be camberwell girls :)

Boys schools:
- Scotch is by far the most prestigious boys school, boys who go there come from very rich families. The campus is probably the nicest school campus in melbourne - it has exquisite grounds (scotch is plcs brother school), some boys do very well academically and it is well-rounded education with great opportunities.
- Camberwell boys grammar: is probably the second most prestigious boys school in melbourne, its located in the inner eastern suburbs and boys there do very well academically. And in general, people tend to find camberwell boys to be more approachable than scotch boys (there is a stigma that scotch boys are daddy's boys).

Those are my recommendations, hope it helps (it gives you a more accurate description of what the schools are really like as a student as i just graduated in 2009)
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revillug 2yrs+
One of the problems sending your child to a private school is when they get into university and cannot cope because they have been spoon-fed throughout secondary school. They have not learnt the skills to manage their own time and research capabilities. Ask any university lecturer who copes the best!
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revillug, being private school educated, it was very difficult adjusting from being micro-managed to having to become proactive with teachers not enforcing attendance or daily workloads. If you didn't do the work lecturers didn't care - they just failed you. I did see quite a few private school kids get kicked out of university early on.

Having said that, I will still be sending my kids to private school.
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CAY 2yrs+
I have enrolled my son at Wesley College for Year 7 beginning in 2012. I'm an old Wesley boy myself having completed with the last all boy form to pass through the school in 1986. Can anyone shed any light on the school culture there in the last few years as I've had nothing to do with the place for many years. I hear many conflicting things about bullying, standards and so on. Any insights would be very much appreciated.
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AdamS 2yrs+
Looks like Xavier is at it again! Do you think Xavier is unfairly scrutinised by the media?

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/xavier-prank-goes-awry-20110824-1jaax.html
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JamesAdder 2yrs+
I'm a current student at Melbourne High School, in year 11, but I have experienced both sides of the Public/Private school systems. I attended a public primary school until year 6, when I switched to a private school (Mentone Grammar School, Co-Ed). I would have started at this school in year 7, but I received a scholarship, and I (or rather, my parents) decided to send me there early. I also received scholarship offers to Brighton and St Leonards, and was on the waiting list for Hailerbury, however, due to past family members attending Mentone, its facilities, friends planning to attend and its relative proximity to where we lived at the time, I decided on MGS. I had a fantastic time at Mentone, and I think it set me up really well for life. However, in year 9 (not year 8 as usual), I sat the entrance to MHS just to see where I was at academically. To my surprise, I got in, and I decided to move there for year 10, due to the better academic standards, more challenging curriculum and, an obvious factor, the much lower fees. I enjoy MHS a lot, and don't regret my decision at all, but it is quite a high-pressure environment. You are expected to do well, and the teachers hand out work as such. MGS was more like an 'old boys club', or something along those lines. Plenty of help, a lot of fun, and low-pressure. At MGS you can excel, but they won't push you to work hard, unless you genuinely show interest in achieving a high score in VCE. Very different experiences. I also miss the Co-Ed aspect, as MHS is single-sex, however I still see girls outside of school, and at parties etc. so it isn't too bad. Anyway, those are just my experiences, but to be honest, as has been said multiple times so far, it all comes down to the student. Unless my child (i'm looking a good 25-30 years ahead here ;) ) is extremely academically minded, I would certainly send them to a private school, as they are a much more 'comfortable' experience than public schools, although this all comes down to your personality. Hope this helps :)
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Bex Hinton 2yrs+
Cornish College (www.cornishcollege.org) is a fantastic Co-Educational Private School (ELC, Primary and Secondary) situated between Mentone and Frankston around the Bayside region of Melbourne.
It has an international reputation as an exceptional school, gets rave reviews its pupils and parents (check out the reviews on Google!), and their teachers have won teaching awards galore...and it is priced at about 40% less than other Tier 1 independent schools. Definately worth a look!
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larriewhite 2yrs+
No, Westbourne Grammar is quite a poor school. Wouldn't recommend it.

Source(s):
I was an exchange there for a year.
I went to a few schools in South Australia, so much better.

Lots of overseas students from mainland China are of very low quality as rubbish students in both academic and character aspects. They are rubbish students originally in their own country. These guys said they came in Australia on fake academic records. It is not a secret. The school must know it. What a big shame to be their schoolmates!
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s.k 2yrs+
SK

Does anyone have any knowledge on University High School? I am thining of sending my son there in year 9
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Canuk 2yrs+
University High is selective and weight is given to residents so I am not sure it is simply a matter of "deciding" to send your son there. That aside I have heard nothing but good about the school. It is very intense and demands a lot, so if your child is that way inclined, go for it!
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s.k 2yrs+
He's been offered a place for 2012. Thanks for the advice
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s.k 2yrs+
How does University High compare to a private school? I also have him on a waiting list for St Kevins. Not much mention of St Kevins in the discussion.
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ariesred 2yrs+
I sent my son to The Melbourne Rudolf Steiner School. I would have enjoyed this school when I was his age. He is a well rounded confident male who values everything
about his life to date!
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FHT 2yrs+
Some years of experience across a range of independent Schools:

Carey Baptist Grammar: my child is currently a middle school student here - relocated from another school. It is outstanding, very happy. I had been a real advocate for single-sex education (boys/girls) but an a complete convert to co-education. The school seems to have an excellent mix of values and academic education - it's not all about marks but being a whole, robust person. A large school with a good mix of "average families", not just wealthy ones (although it is a very expensive school!)

MLC: a very large school with an incredible range of options that draws students from all over Melbourne. It has its fair chair of "rough" elements however the school is so big that is seems most girls can find their own "group". Some students seem to get lost in the "machine" that is MLC, but in the main a very good school. Have a very wide range of students - special needs, deaf programs etc.

Laursiston: the "white loaf" version of school: every slice is consistent in size and type, but lacks much flavour or variety. A "factory" for Malvern/Armadale girls who all turn out much the same. Anyone with an independent character would struggle here. The full year away at Howqua is far too long and creates problems for many students being away from their families for a whole year at a critical age (year 9). For those who "fit the mould" it is a good school that does achieve good academic results.

Ruyton: The previous Head stripped all the character out of the school and it is now a marks factory using scholarship students and fast tracking to hot house students and get top results - although they don't always do so! Extremely "social" but not in a good way - lots of aspirational parents who are trying to buy their way into society.Very cliquey with bullying problems at some levels.. New Head shows much more promise - watch this space! Very good sports program esp cross country but also across the board- a school that punches above its weight in sport. Talk of many parents leaving in the senior years and crossing to other schools esp MLC and Carey.

Melbourne Girls Grammar: Hit "rock bottom" a few years ago, difficult transition with a new head who has tried to bring in many changes but with some difficulty. On the road to recovery now - odd middle school set up, Years 5 to 8 - seems like an incompatible age range.

Korowa: was a fabulous school but has run down and become more mediocre over the past few years.

St Catherine's: Has been through a difficult era but the current head has brought it round. However, she is well past retirement age - indeed she HAD retired from her previous school. Wonder what the succession plan is? Very tightly tied to the Toorak social scene: parents not rolling in dough may find themselves feeling like paupers. Nice school spirit with lots of participation.

Trinity: terrific boy's school, with great mix of teaching and values education. A "modern" boys school of a very high calibre. Parents there are always very happy to recommend Trinity.

St Kevins: on the up and up, has gone from being the "poor cousin" to a thriving school community with good sports and academic results

Xavier: cannot seem to leave its bully-boy past behind and reinvent itself for the modern era
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FHT 2yrs+
Further on independent schools, without prejudice (I hope) or any science, this is generally how I perceive Melbourne's "top" senior schools are tiered in terms of prestige and status (if this is what matters to you...) and I guess, fees!

Top of the tree:
Boys - Scotch College, Melbourne Grammar School, Xavier, Brighton Grammar, Melbourne High School
Girls - MLC, St Catherine's School, Lauriston, Ruyon, Melbourne Girls Grammar School, Loretto Mandeville, Firbank, Mac Robertson High School
Co-ed: Carey Grammar, Wesley, Caulfield Grammar, Geelong Grammar

Next rung down, but still high up:
Boys: Trinity Grammar, St Kevins, Camberwell Grammar, Ivanhoe Grammar
Girls: PLC, Korowa, Camberwell Girls Grammar, Shelford, Fintona, Strathcona, Tintern, Ivanhoe Girls, Genazzano, Lowther Hall, Mentone Girls Grammar, Toorak College
Co-ed: Hailebury, Yarra Valley Grammar, Geelong College, Mentone Grammar, Peninsula School
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FHT 2yrs+
And finally, to send your child to a "top of the tree" school expect fees of $22,000 p.a. plus (2012 rates)
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s.k 2yrs+
How do you see University High School?
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ariesred 2yrs+
University High, St.Kevins, whatever school is no guarantee your child will succeed in life per se. Try tuition while yachting around the globe as a family. Probably too difficult for most parents. Maybe all could learn from the experience. The treadmill turns them into Doctors and Lawyers. How dull our Jack and Jill......
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FHT 2yrs+
I have heard University High is a very good government school - I employed a student from UHS about 4 years ago in a school holiday position, he was extremely bright and scored and ENTER of about 98.5. He was also extremely musical - he loved the school. I think it is a bit unique in terms of being an "inner city" high school in a part of Melbourne that would attract a lot of slightly left of centre "intellectuals and creatives" with money in the pocket . So without any direct experience (I have never been to the school) the "word" is good on Universtiy High.
PS: I agree that the choice of school is no guarantee of success. But having gone through the experience of having a child at a school that didn't "fit" well for them, and then finding a school that does fit, I will say that choosing a school that fits your child and your family helps them enjoy school and be confident in who they are.
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FHT 2yrs+
s.k: I note you have your son down for St Kevins (further back in the posts): I have several friends who have been VERY happy with Skevs. The school is very definitely on the rise and is going great guns academically and in sport. I believe their values program is good too.
So, I think you have two great, but quite different options. Some advice, for what it's worth:
- Location: the two schools are in different parts of Melbourne. Being close to school is not essential but I would always choose a school a bit closer than one far away. This is not just about practicality but also about friendships - it's easier for your son to develop friendships if he lives in the same part of the city as his classmates.
- Single vs Co-ed: both have advantages and disadvantages. I think Skevs, like MGS and Trinity Grammar, does boys education well, however it is a different choice to co-ed. We have gone from single sex girls to co-ed in Grade 8 and it has been fantastic.
- Community: While Skevs is definitely quite a "laid back" school community and not one of the "old" eastern suburbs schools with all the toffiness and cliques this can bring, it is still located in Toorak and it is certainly aligned with the eastern suburbs of the city. If you don't live in that "world" you may find it isn't a great fit for your family, and visa versa with University High.
Co-curricular: if your son is very into creative/arts subjects, Uni High may be a better choice, as while Skevs does of course have such programs, Uni High has a very good reputaiton in this area. If you son is very sporting and this is important to him and you, you'll find that an independent school will offer opportunities that few govt schools can. Skevs is in the APS network and competes against all the big name boys and co-ed schools in a range of sports, including rowing.
Hope this helps!
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FHT 2yrs+
(sorry the following post didn't appear_
I have heard University High is a very good government school - I employed a student from UHS about 4 years ago in a school holiday position, he was extremely bright and scored and ENTER of about 98.5. He was also extremely musical - he loved the school. I think it is a bit unique in terms of being an "inner city" high school in a part of Melbourne that would attract a lot of slightly left of centre "intellectuals and creatives" with money in the pocket . So without any direct experience (I have never been to the school) the "word" is good on Universtiy High.
PS: I agree that the choice of school is no guarantee of success. But having gone through the experience of having a child at a school that didn't "fit" well for them, and then finding a school that does fit, I will say that choosing a school that fits your child and your family helps them enjoy school and be confident in who they are.
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ariesred 2yrs+
Yes, yes definately, all of the above
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melbournefan 2yrs+
Awesome information FHT!

I am looking to get my girl into a private school, she's only three years old now but I hear you need to get in early.

How many schools should I apply for at once - also note some require a $1,000 non-refundable deposit.
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FHT 2yrs+
Melbournefan - if you're looking for a girls' school you are in a much better position than co-ed or boys: at three years you would already be in strife with a boy! Yes, you do need to get in early, however because there are so many girls schools there is generally much greater scope. If you plan for junior school entry however you will need to get her down within a few years - for senior school entry you'd want to have her down by at least 6 or 7 yrs.

I would suggest you enrol in three schools minimum: you will receive newsletters and communication from those schools in the years following your enrolment which will help you get to know the school and can inform your decision.

I would be surprised if many girls schools would require a $1000 deposit, usually it is around $150 - $250 to get onto the books, and then when your enrollment is confirmed you pay a $1000 deposit which is credited to you when your child leaves the school. The high profile boys schools definitely do want a big deposit which you don't get back!

If you were thinking of a co-ed school, get in ASAP. I know people who didn't get in for next year's Grade 7 intake after having their applications lodged before their child's first birthday :(
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FHT 2yrs+
PS on my list above, I note I missed St Michael's Grammar: another well regarded co-ed school in first of second tier (St Kilda).
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melbournefan 2yrs+
Thanks FHT, great advice.
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walster 2yrs+
FHT..going ok till i read St kevin's not on your "top of the tree" list but Brighton was.
Dear oh dear.

I would love to know the basis of that given they(Brighton) haven't held a candle to St Kevin's for many years by virtually any criteria.

I did like your girls summary though
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FHT 2yrs+
Very happy to defer to your judgement on that one Walster! I don't know much about the Bayside schools, so scrap Brighton from the top of the tree list!

St Kevins is definitely on the rise - while once a "poorer cousin" to Xavier in the Catholic School hierarchy, they are shooting up the tree on a number of bases: more contemporary approach to educating boys; strong line with anti-bullying; excellent results; great sports outcomes. One thing of interest to note on Skevs - not sure if this has happened this year, but up until now Skevs adopted a Year 7 entry policy of interview and offer. Unlike other schools the "order on the waiting list' was not the key criteria. This actually meant that Skevs could take the pick of the crop of boys who had missed out on getting into Scotch as well as other schools , so they have successfully recruited top notch kids. Having said that they haven't made the error of some girls schools in seeking out academic high flyers only, they seem to have achieved a good mix.
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FHT 2yrs+
Walster - so, for the record, your assessment of the Bayside schools would be a great addition to the resource here!
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walster 2yrs+
not so sure you have it right about the order of the waiting list comment , as it is offically part of their policy and on their website. I think you will find people choosing it over Scotch and other schools now as they perform just as well academicaly, better sporting wise and charge 10k less, so not so sure they pick up the ones who missed out on other schools. I think you wil find ST kevs is actually harder to get into.
What does a "more contempory approach to educating boys" mean?

I don't have a great knowledge of bayside schools in general-sorry!
How do uo know so much?
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FHT 2yrs+
Re Walster:
a) As I have said, without prejudice, however I can absolutely 100% tell you that getting into Scotch requires enrollment within one month of birth or you miss out. Scotch is a school with long family connections and a large proportion of those who send their sends their went their themselves, as did their fathers. I am not implying for one second that Skevs is in any way inferior - I have praised them considerably above as you will see. For some people the perceived standing and traditions of Scotch will outweigh any other choice and be their first option. Thus, demand for schools such as Scotch and MGS will inevitably outweigh that to all other schools.
b) It means understanding the ways boys can best be educated in a modern style: many boys schools are doing this, Melbourne Grammar is a very good example of a school which has transformed form an "old English" boys school style to a school. This means understanding how boys learn and what sort of values creates "good men". MGS, Trinity and Skevs stand out as schools that are adopting such an approach.
c) i: I worked within a leading private school in a role which involved me with other schools; ii lived in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne for 20 years; iii been a parent/step-parent at three leading independent schools; iv have spent literally hundreds of ours discussing schools with friends and have friends with kids at pretty much all the eastern suburbs schools. Does this make me qualified to speak? Not sure but just hoping my advice might help someone....
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walster 2yrs+
thanks for the context-
I wasn't questioning your qualiifcations to speak but rather just questioning some of your judgments(opinions!). You soudn like you are more than qualified.

With all due respect you did say/infer Skevs were inferior by not including in your top of the tree schools(although indcredibly brighton made that list!) yet you had Scotch on there. You have since repeated that they "on the way up" which obviously indicates they are not there yet but on the way. By what criteria?
They have been in the top three APS schools for VCE results for the past 7 years(1st three times) and have won countless sporting titles in that time and charge 10k lesss(approx)

This is all subjective of course and i am not sure you are completely up to speed with their(skevs) enrolment policies or indeed to actual length of the waiting lists.
I repeat, your analysis of the girls schools and their respective cultures , was very informative.
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walster 2yrs+
ps. I think all this healthy debate just shows how damm hard it is to make a decision and how subjective this process is
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rachelha 2yrs+
i hear PLC is a very good school and regularly achieves top results, but thats not always the most important thing of course. a close friend went there and she did very well, got over 95 and was a house catpain and highly involevd in sports and school,life and organising formals and everything and she loved it. said it was a greta place to experience lots of different things and not snobby like many other girls schools. not bitchy either apparently for a girls school which is rare.
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mother_of_2 2yrs+
No need to stress/worry about registering a girl for a private school as it is far easier to move a girl & to get a girl in. Boys need to be registered at birth for Scotch & Melbourne Grammer. Just because you already have one son in Scotch doesn't guarentee a spot for a younger sibling. Not particular impressed with the likes of PLC or MLC unless you want to be a number in the system, plus there are way too many Asians (not being racist here either).
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wei 2yrs+
We are moving to Melbourne in a year. I am impressed by the very large amount of good schools to choose from. I am somewhat of a traditionalist and would like my daughter and son (currently in year 5-twins) to go to a school that well, without wanting to sound one dimensional, still teaches manners and imposes some form of discipline. Of course, the cane has long gone from schools however I have observed some excellent teachers in the modern school who have the know how to teach children to become responsible adults and future leaders. For example, I worry about a school such as Xavier and wonder what could be going on there that students feel bullying and shoplifting are good activities to be doing in your idle hours. Any schools that have traditional values yet with a modern approach? Thankyou
Wei
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Lilly101 2yrs+
Maybe have a look at Ruyton for your daughter. I know they taught the girls basic etiquette (i.e. how to sit properly, shake hands and greet people etc.), something which I believe is still important, even in our 'modern' society.
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walster 2yrs+
As i have said on here before, we got independent advice from a consultant and it was very helpful and well worth the money.

Wei, given you are new to Melbourne, I would seriously consider using regent consulting who helped us
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wei 2yrs+
Thank you for your comments. I agree Lily Friends in Hong Kong have informed me that the western society does not teach manners to their children. This is of course rumour and not always true. .
We wish our children to be succeeding but not in aggressive bullying way and to work hard. Have the consequences for actions in traditional way, with cane if necessary. I do not suppose this is happening in schools in Victoria?
We shall look at Ruyton though, thank you. My language is not English first, I apologise if I seem too forward with questions..
Thankyou Walster we shall certainly look at website for the good boys school.
Wei and family
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Clare85 2yrs+
Wei I think camberwell girls had good but fair discipline when I went there. The teachers were strict but kind and we highly respected them. Dress code, punctuality etc was strictly enforced and school community spirit was strong.
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Forminime 2yrs+
FHT, I have been enlightened and now feel up to speed on the private school sector. However, I would like to know if you can give me a review on public girls schools? I would dearly love my daughter to attend a private girls or co-ed school but I am not in a financial position to provide this. We live in the inner eastern suburbs (Hawthorn East) & I am tossing up between Melbourne Girls College or Canterbury Girls. You may be able to even suggest a highly regarded & reputable private school with low fees.

I know many friends have enrolled their sons into St. Kevins because it is the cheapest private boys school with a good academic reputation but there doesn't appear to be a girls school in the same price bracket with the same attributes.
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FHT 2yrs+
Forinime: I know many people with daughters at Melbourne Girls College and they are extremely happy with the School. I know less about Canterbury Girls but have one friend with a daughter there and she is happy with it.

Schools in the Catholic Education system do generally have lower fees, I am not sure what current fees are at Genazanno. Siennea College is not too far from you, and would have lower fees, but given your closeness to MGC I don't really think you could go wrong with it. Cheers!
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FHT 2yrs+
PS: If your daughter is academically oriented she could also try for a place at Mac Robertson College (yr 9 - 12) the Selective State School for girls, which is easily the most succesful girls school in Victoria in terms of academic outcomes. A lot of girls from MGC to gain entry to Mac Rob. Good luck!
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walster 2yrs+
well, mcrob should be the best performed academic school-every single student is screened as it is a totally selective school.

Given every student is handpicked and has to pass an exam, I actually reckon their results are disappointing
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Church 2yrs+
Can anyone give me some insight into the student culture at Merton hall ? I am told that in the past bullying was a problem -has the current headmistress managed to change that ? One comment mentions that mgg hit rock bottom a while back , any more info on that would be useful, thanks
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FHT 2yrs+
Re MGG: I have limited up-to-date knowledge but know of two girls who experienced extreme bullying - one had to leave the school - however in both instances this is more than five years ago.
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I'd also be very interested in hearing more about Merton Hall / MGGS as I'm considering sending my daughter there - although the fees are very high, more expensive than similar schools eg Ruyton. Are most of the girls from Toorak? I get the feeling most of the families are very affluent "establishment" society people, although the admissions staff assure me it is reasonably diverse. The new Principal is quite impressive and is obviously making a lot of changes.

Also - any comments on Lowther Hall? It seems nice, academic results are very good & fees are reasonable (in comparison to MGGS anyway).

Thanks everyone.
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sprice76 2yrs+
I have looked at MGGS as I have a good friend who went their herself... she said it was a good school but definitely had that "establishment" society- although the range of girls who go there is more diverse than a Lauriston/ St. Caths etc.I am looking for an independent school for my child to start prep and one that I really liked and am seriously considering is Melbourne City School which is in the CBD- it only opened up a couple of years ago, but is the city campus of Eltham College (an independent school) which seems to have a really good repuation- both academically and in other areas.. They seem to have a very modern educational philosphy- eg they follow a traditional curriculum but in a really relevant and engaging way- they have a lot of connections with businesses/ facilities in the city so the opportunities there seem quite varied and interesting. Also, because the school is quite new, it is very small which I like... it is currently a p-9 school, but as it grows I think the plan is to extend it to to year 12.. I also like the fact that they offer 7am-7pm extended hours program- I am based in the city for work as is my husband, so if I chose Melbourne City, it would be very convenient for us both to work- love the idea that my child is so close to me. Apparently parents are welcome to pop in for lunch etc., which makes me think it is a very welcoming school also. I don't think a lot of people have heard of it- although I would be interested to observe the repuation that it gets as it becomes more established- seems to have a lot of potentital.
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Hi all, I've read all of the above with great interest and may I just congratulate everyone on keeping this going for so long!! My husband and I have recently found ourselves potential victims of the waiting list merry-go-round and would be most pleased for comments and/ or advice on the following situation.... We have three young children, our first born is a boy who will start prep in a couple of weeks (he's 5), the next two are girls aged 3 and 1. We did all our school applications (for year 7 entry in 2019) for Caulfied, Carey, Wesley and Trinity (we weren't positive where we would be living come 2019 so we spread our applications out across the major co-eds and included Trinity as husband is an Old Boy) just as our son turned 2 and our first daughter was born in 2008. We are yet do our second daughter's as we stupidly assumed she would just get in on sibling preferences. Each school accepted our enrolment fee (of course!) and sent us all the relevent info about their processes for offers when the time comes etc. Having heard from a friend that there was absolutely no hope of a place at Carey I called to enquire myself given that is currently our closest co-ed school and our kids will be attending a local primary. Well, that was quite the conversation!! Having been informed that our son "has no priority" and they will "not have a place for him" they suggested we TRY getting our youngest in at Prep (2015) and "IF she is accepted" the others would (probably!) get in in year 7 on sibling preferences. Obviously this is standard operating procedure for many schools but my husband and I do not wish to seperate our children for three years during their primary education and have thus begun to just FREAK OUT!!! As I am an old Wesley student I have been assured by the school that there will "be a place" for my children there. I have to say I absolutely loved my time at the school and participated in so many fantastic opportunities offered across academia, sport and drama and would feel very lucky to have my children experience the same.....BUT all I ever hear about is drug problems!! I'm hoping someone might be able to offer some insght into the real culture there at present. When I was there (20 years ago - ugh!) of course there were drugs about, but it wasn't like a ramapant drug-fest that everyone seems to make it out to be. In fact as students we used to feel (perhaps with our rose coloured glasses?) that Caulfied and Carey had more of that than we did. Anyway, after ALL that, my question is - what is it really like?? Has Weslesy turned into a privately funded Woodstock or is the truth that drugs are everywhere in society, in all schools, private, public, and out of school as well?? I realise that again I am looking at the current culture of a place I knew 20 years ago, and which my children will not enter for another 7, but any info on Wesley, and/or advice on the whole waiting list saga would be gratefully received. Thanks!!
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Alltoostressful - I know several people who currently have children at Wesley and are very, very happy with the school. One family has three children, who are very different in personality and strengths, but all three have found their niche there and love it. The common theme seems to be that Wesley is great at drawing out the individual strength of each child, and is flexible and willing to adapt to the individual. If we go co-ed (I have two daughters) it is definitely my first choice.

I accept that Carey has good results and is a good school. However I think it is actually dishonest of them to solicit and accept money from people for applications that they know full well cannot be successful, and this practice reflects very poorly indeed on the school. We did go on a tour of Carey, and I found them to be very smug! They just went on and on about the waiting lists. I asked why they spend so much money on advertising when the waiting lists are so full and the Principal said it is because of the school's "business model". Not impressed. We did not apply. On the other hand, the staff at Wesley were very warm and friendly and the kids seemed happy and engaged.

I think that Wesley suffers from a reputation based on incidents 20 years ago, which has persisted and does not reflect the current reality. In fact Carey has had a number of recent undesirable drug incidents (do a google news search). In truth, probably every secondary school has drugs in it to some extent, and it is how the school deals with this that matters. I note that Wesley have a comprehensive drug policy (available on their website), which is strictly adhered to.
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Thanks so much Mrsmugglewump, you've made my day!! Based on your account it sounds as though Wesley is still as it always was in terms of the diversity of expeience it can offer. Funnily enough I believe I may have been partly involved (innocent bystander of course!) in at least one of the 20 year old "incidents" you refer to above. I dont think I could be living a less controversial life now (suburban housewife anyone?) so if that's all it is I think we will all be ok!! I'm sorry I can't offer you any insights into MGGS - unfortunately all my knowledge of schools is based on what I knew of the people who were there 20 years ago which is obviously totally irrelevent now. Similarly I realised last night that not one child who attends school from 7-12 now will be there when my eldest reaches year 7 so current problems anywhere can be taken with a grain of salt at best. I've seen a local primary school go from Hero to Zero in under 3 years due to issues with a Principal so you really never know what's around the corner. Thanks again Mrsmugglewump for your insights and best of luck with your search for the right school for your girls. Any other feedback from anyone still very much welcome.
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goodschools 2yrs+
As an old boy of one of Melbourne's highly regarded, disgustingly privileged, absurdly state-subsidised APS private schools, I think that these so-called "elite" private schools are a disgusting example of how the rich and privileged try to close out the great unwashed from the fruits of education, to the long term disadvantage of our country. The "elite" bellow about paying tax, they whinge about sharing their good fortune with other Australians, yet they accept middle class welfare towards their "elite" schools without a word. In my view the best schools in Victoria are Melbourne High School and MacRobertson Girls High School. They aren't for everyone (all students are in the top 5% academically therefore miles ahead of most private "elite" pupils), but the school's values are exactly what most parents should want. It's a meritocracy requiring an exam pass to enter in Year 9. Merit doesn't depend on the bank balance of the pupil's parents, bullying is unknown (compare that with every "elite" private school, especially dinosaur institutions like Xavier ), it's cool to be smart rather than adhering to the institutionalised stupidity that has infected nearly all private schools, and your kids actually get to meet real Australians (including - shock horror - "Asians") rather than the colourless denizens of the leafy, boring, white bread inner eastern and southern suburbs like me. Our children went to so-called leading private schools and then entered MHS/MacRob after passing the entrance exams. The MHS/MacRob educations beats the private school examples hands down.
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walster 2yrs+
well balanced poster...chip on each shoulder!

All people with money have no merit according to goodschools but totally selective govt schools are ok.

No asianin private schools? Gee, not sure what rock you ahve been under.
Perhaps you shouldconcetrateon the leadership battle within your party.
How about we don't fundany private schools and let's see how much more it costs the average Australian. Obviously economics not your long suit
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FHT 2yrs+
"Goodschools", I agree, MacRob and MHS are pretty much the best you can get - you are very fortunate your children were able to pass the entry examinations. I can only imagine they had wonderful educations. I guess you might call those schools "intellectually elite". A different type of elitism, but elite nevertheless.

While my daughter is pretty bright, she's not at the level of being able to gain entry to MacRob. So, I'm a single mum who is working two jobs to send my daughter to an independent school. I don't complain about it, $25,000 after tax is a lot to find, but it's what I do.

Why? I was lucky enough to also attend an independent school. Rather than giving me a sense of elitism, I actually think it gave me a very strong sense of social responsibility, justice and respect for others around me. Perhaps not all private schools do that, but mine did. My daughter's first independent school didn't, and so she moved to another which is more than delivering on that primary goal. I believe the options available to her are greater, particularly in areas which are her passion. I pay not only for the moral and intellectual framework but, yes, for the equipment and facilities that support her learning. I do not believe that the Government contribution to my school fees is middle class welfare. I pay my taxes, I do not complain, but I expect that my child's compulsory education will be supported similarly to any other child's, regardless of my willingness to sacrifice holidays, cars, furniture and even re-painting my house, in order for her to experience the school she attends.

It's funny that you talk about meeting real Australians and refer to Asians - clearly you haven't been in many independent schools lately, they are absolute cultural melting pots, because so many families who have chosen to come to Australia from Asia, India and other parts of the world seek out an independent education for their children. The "colourless denizens" are no more. All strength to it, I say. As well, independent schools are no longer the playgrounds of "old money". Indeed they are increasingly filled with the children of hard working ordinary people who aspire to provide their child with more. Are they seeking to buy "social cachet"? Perhaps, I don't know, but either way, it is breaking down the old systems of class and privilege and making private schools far more reflective of the normal world.

I also ask if you have also explored the other alternative - the government schools beyond the elite selectives - before delivering your commentary? As examples, have you visited Kew or Hawthorn High Schools and assessed their offerings? Sure, Balwyn and University High are great, but have you really sought to understand the other side of things, the side you might have faced had your children not had the academic capacity to gain entry to selective schools, nor you the financial ability to fund private education?

Elitism has many definitions....
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FHT 2yrs+
PS and yes I don't understand Walster's allusion to political parties either...very odd. For the record, I am ALP all the way. So what?
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Lulubel 2yrs+
My first post hasn't surfaced so I'll start again.
I attended The Geelong College, a school I'm sure most would know little about and probably wouldn't consider though there were kids travelling from Melbourne or boarding. It is one of the founding members of the APS and was founded 150 years ago and has a good balance of sporting and academic results. It's not selective, doesn't "kick out" poor performers and has none of the snobby rubbish Melbourne private schools seem to suffer. Not sure if it's really "second tier" as FHT but I guess it is subjective.
I too am interested in the Melbourne City School however after research I think the lack of inter-school sports program within the area (you have to travel to the Eastern suburbs), sort of defeats the purpose of being located in the city.
We're located in the University High catchment (it is not selective as others have said, just zoned) however I'll be putting the kid's name down at Wesley where their cousins attend and St Kev's where their father attended as a back up in case Uni High doesn't suit them.
Any other ideas? They have a cousin at Lauriston but baulk at the thought of having to deal with the elitist attitude - is it really as bad as others make out?
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RJOB 2yrs+
Sophia Mundi is worth looking at if you are after a broad, liberal Steiner Education, in an amazing location at the Abbotsford Convent. It is a small single streamed independent school, that is now offering the IB Diploma for years 11 & 12 - only the 3rd school in the world offering a combined Steiner and IB curriculum. It may not have the resources of the larger private schools but it does have a soul and a great sense of community amongst parents, teachers and students.
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alovingmum 2yrs+
Xavier is a fantastic school. My son has been at the school for 2 years. He has previously lived all over the world and Xavier has welcomed him in as a new kid better than any other school he has been to.
I went to a country high school, my husband to another APS private school. Both of us are in AWE of the wonderful ethics, team work and morals the school promotes.
I particularly love how they encourage many layers of support for the students. Every kid has at least 20 people who are there for support, encouragement and to lend an ear.
Its a great school and I am Very proud to see my son wear the red and black.
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Aarhe 2yrs+
Hi, anyone have any views on Camberwell Grammar and it's culture?
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BBK 2yrs+
FHT or anyone else who may know.....
Is there some form of informal listing of what each school specialises in. I have two sons and one daughter. At the moment, both sons are expressing interest in maths, science and building with one (10yo) wanting to be an aircraft engineer and the other (9yo) wanting to be a builder but is also sporty. I've heard that Trinity specialise in maths and science, but a lot of elite schools (Xavier and Scotch ???) concentrate a lot (maybe too much) on sport (heresay only). My daughter (7yo) hasn't developed any particular interests at the moment, but she needs a firm hand (I actually thought about boarding school for her) even though I live in metro Melbourne.
By the way FHT, I have found all of your comments VERY informative and helpful. Thank you for taking the time to respond to everyone's questions. You're a wealth of information.
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mona64 2yrs+
Not so keen on balwyn high school--although real estate ads seem to always mention being 'in the zone' no one i know sends their kids there, prefering kew high school over balwyn high school-- things have changed and there is not a lot of diversity and kids have left there feeling like an outsider, the school is now trying to address this by accepting kids outside of the zone. From the real estate ads, if you can afford a 1.5 m house, you probably are not going to send your kids to bhs. From a kids perspective, i was told that bhs is 'dodgy' when i asked for more details --over 85% of kids are asian background so academically results are good, but such a strong academic push from students and their parents creates problems, and the other kids, according the kid i asked, are prone to a active drug culture.
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FHT 2yrs+
Hi BBL, your question is extremely valid, and incredibly hard to answer.
While some schools do have particular strengths, I believe that these are less likely to be strategic or intentional, and more dependent on the areas of interest, or academic preferences, of particularly strong individuals within schools - Principals, Heads of Senior School, Department Heads and so on.
I've known schools who have been outstanding in particular areas: French; Art; English; Drama; Choral Music; particular sports; and only a few years later - with a change of staff - have lost that strength - often to the confusion of students and their parents who have sought out, or attracted to, that subject.
My own experience is a perfect illustration: I selected a school for my daughter which had a reputation as being creative and spirited, with a strong focus on performing arts. This was when she was 3. By the time she attended at 9 yrs of age, the Principal who had provided that influence was well and truly retired, and the school was changing. By the time she was 13, the school was excelling in maths, and the budget for performing arts was slashed - Year 12 Drama was terminated, but the maths results were incredible. All due to a change of leadership - not right, or wrong, just a shift.

Melbourne is not big enough to support dedicated "specialist" schools, and indeed the way schools are funded by governments in Australia means that schools are compelled to be generalist and cover all areas of the curriculum, at least in principle.

If your son is both sporty and has a maths/science brain I would suggest he will thrive at ANY boy's school. He sounds like a perfect candidate for boys-education. If he is not down for a school yet, you may struggle to find a place, but you will find excellence in both areas at any of the schools you name. I become more keen on St Kevins by the month - check it out, I am hearing such great things about that school.

For your daughter, give her time, they do get better by about 11 years of age~ I know it was said in part in jest, but just for the benefit of the forum, I feel that Boarding schools today [and I await the attacks which will come from the next line] are largely focused on the international market, and not at all like they were in earlier years, and certainly not an option for discipline.

I would strongly recommend against anyone living in Melbourne considering this option before year 8. At that point, Geelong Grammar: Timertop/Corio provides an amazing opportunity to experience a a school life which is boarding-centered, and I loved by most who attend. It will, however, set you back about $50K p.a by year 12!

Again, I await the attacks, but I have serious concerns about Lauriston's Howqua campus. For those unfamiliar, the entire Year 9 cohort is removed from Armadale to a remote campus at the foot of Mt Bulla for a fully year, and work to a 7 day a week timetable. They visit home in school holidays and once every four weeks for a weekend. The campus was established in 1993, and frankly, I reckon if the school could get rid of it they would. It is simply too extreme. Removing girls for so long at such a critical point in their development from their families and the wider world - and providing them with a largely peer-guided moral framework - is downright dangerous. I have heard of many girls who have gone entirely off the rails, or lost connection with their families, after their Howqua year. By contrast, MLC's Marshmead experience - just one term - is outstanding!

In closing, BBK, enrol, enrol, enrol. Sign up to every school you have the slightest interest in - pay the $100 or whatever it is to do so; it's nothing compared to the $25,000+ p.a. fees that lie ahead. Maximise your choice, and even when you accept a place, keep the other enrollments deferred and active. My daughter's first school did not work out, but her next one is worth every single penny - and more!! Good luck to you.
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FHT that's very interesting. Are you willing to share which was your daughter's first school and her current school?
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debg 2yrs+
The Academy in fitzroy is very good and Melbourne Girls College has 90% to university. Fraction of the costs of a private school and even offers rowing as situated on the Yarra Boulevard. Aerobics and Dance also winners at MGC.
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Eurolie 2yrs+
ThanKs all for your interesting comments. I am looking at Melbourne girls boarding schools as we live in a rural area with difficult access to the closest high school. As i'm not from Victoria I would love to know any feedback people have on the schools from a boarding perspective. Thanks so much in advance!, I am completely in the dark!
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FHT 2yrs+
Latest word about town: Grimwade (Melbourne Grammar Primary School, which is co-ed) is having issues with bullying and pushing parents.
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FHT 2yrs+
*pushy
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FHT 2yrs+
Eurolie, what is your annual budget? That will guide your choice in the first instance. Boarding is extremely expensive!
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Eurolie 2yrs+
hello FHT, yes the costs frighten the life out of us but where we live we have little choice. We are also looking at country boarding schools - Ballarat and Clarendon has a great reputation - which are still incredibly expensive but i suppose that when the time comes we just want to be sure that we have made the right decision for our three daughters, when we are sending them to live somewhere else. Our son will go to Ballarat & Clarendon. So it's just working out what to do with the girls ( a daily question really!). And hoping they somehow get a scholarship or bursary to help pay for the boarding side of things.
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Aarhe 2yrs+
Hi, could I please get some feedback on the culture of Camberwell Grammar please..? We are considering it for our eldest child who is quite shy and sensitive.
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LisaC 2yrs+
Hi everyone. I've been away from this posting for a while but I see there has been some really great discussions about this topic. As I have mentioned some time ago in a previous note, those of you who are wanting questions answered could do worse than contacting Regent Consulting. We engaged them and they were extremely helpful. Lisa C
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mona64 2yrs+
I think there is some connection here which seems to go beyond just wanting to make a recommendation. The questions here relate to people's personal experiences, or what they have heard, etc....I think people rely too heavily on percieved experts anyway and would prefer to hear about people's own experience. On this note, i have taken my kids--easier to do this with girls due to ease of getting into schools --to the schools--and have them make the decision with me, based on their perceptions of what they see, think and feel.
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walster 2yrs+
Gotta say I don't think I agree mona. I believe the exact opposite-getting someone emotional and at times, biased opinion of theri own experiences, can be quite misleading. people will always want to justify their decisions and their experience (and kids!) could be very different to yours. I would an indepdendent third party . Just my opinion though(obviously).
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FHT 2yrs+
Over the past 13, I've experienced four schools directly parent, and a fifth as a step parent. My experiences have suggested to me that it's really, really hard to judge a school until you are fully "inside it". This doesn't make choices easy! My advice: 1) ask everyone you can about their experiences. No consultant can really know a school, they can only judge it on results and subject range (which you can discern from the prospectus, the school's website, and online information on results . 2) spend a lot of time at the schools you are chosing from, especially at fairs, concerts, plays etc - get a sense of the vibe of the school; 3) whatever decision you make, have a fall-back position - a second choice, perhaps quite different to your first - if things don't work out!
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FHT 2yrs+
Sorry so many typos in that previous post! I can't edit it, hopefully it makes sense!
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walster 2yrs+
The people we dealt with had all spent significant time in the classrooms at many of the schools we are talking about, so they had been on the "inside" and provided us with extremely valuable information not found on websites. So, they were able to provide cutting edge information that wasn't based soley on their personal experience as parents and they are also educators, with a keen eye for curriculum matters etc.
Each to their own but we were happy to listen to education experts who had been on the inside as educators(and as parents as well!) as they proved very useful to us an indpendent voice. I agree with you about having plan B -a lot of people don't!
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FHT 2yrs+
Yes, reflecting on your world Walster I can imagine that at a curriculum and delivery level a good consultant could deliver defininted advantages - I do admit I have been surprised to find holes in some programs delivered at all five schools mentioned above, and particularly for families with a student who has a particular interest or strength it would be very important to ensure the priority areas are being delivered strongly in comparison to other schools, so I defer on this issue!
Yes, Plan B is vital: I didn't have one - I just assumed our carefully made choice would be right - and was just very lucky to be able to find a great alternative and secure a place. This is getting harder by the year as all schools now seem to have massive waiting lists. My advice to all my friends choosing Senior Schools this year has been to defer enrollments at their second and third choices until the next major intake year (9 or 10): it generally costs no more to do so, and means there is hopefully a place available if things don't work out!
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sacredheart 2yrs+
Hello anyone knows of Haileybury Girls College Keysborough? Thinking of sending DD there. Are the teachers good? How is the atmosphere of the school? Thanks so much!
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pierde 2yrs+
My sons been offered sports and general excellence scholarships to Geelong Grammar, Caulfield Grammar, and Essendon Penleigh Grammar for year 10 next year, he sat the Melbourne High entrance exam and got accepted but we decided not to go as he has been travelling with us for most of this year and assimilating to a new school wouldve been a hassle,
anyway, what is everyones opinions on geelong grammar and caulfield grammar? they havent been spoken about much on this thread
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FHT 2yrs+
@sacredheart: My only direct experience of Haileybury is through a close friend who moved their daughter from Melbourne Girls Grammar to Haileybury in Year 8 (she'd been at MGGS since Kindergarten) and were absolutely delighted. She had a wonderful school life and ended up as a house captain. However, I should note that this particular student wasn't all that academically inclined, but that isn't any reflection on the school. I think they felt she achieved well within her skill set. Do note that Haileybury is not a girls school but a co-ed school which practices parallel education in the senior school.
@pierde: comparing Geelong and Caulfield is a bit like apples and oranges: Am I assuming your son would be a boarder? Geelong is a "whole life" approach as the majority of students are boarders and even day students spend their whole day at the school going home only at night. If I had to have a child board, I would definitely lean towards Geelong for this reason - the boarders don't feel "left out" but are the centre of the school. I recently observed some groups of Geelong Grammar School students at several sporting events and they seemed like fine, lively and very "real" young people. Geelong for many years had a reputation as being a school which bred independence and character, rather than a strength in academic achievement, but I think this may have changed over the past ten years. There is no doubt that Geelong is favoured by extremely wealthy families but, again, I suspect this is less than 30 years ago when it was considered among Australia's most "elite" schools. At $40,000 p.a. tuition+boarding, it's not going to be a viable choice for many families!

Caulfield has had an excellent reputation for many years, although I have recently heard some rumbles of discontent from current parents that the school has become too large and impersonal.

If I was considering boarding schools, I would definitely want to visit and explore the balance between international and Australian-based students: a mix is great, but an overbalance towards students whose families are outside Australia can be a consideration.I have no idea of the current status of either school in this regard.

If your son is not a boarder, than you have a different issue to consider between boarding and not boarding, and that is much more about your son's personality and needs, as well as that of your family.

Hope this helps.
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pierde 2yrs+
thanks for the response, but no, my son wont be boarding, we live in the inner west, he would either be day boarding at geelong (leave at 8:30 every night), or standard schooling at caulfield.
I'm liking what i hear about geelong grammar, and the fact that it has the international baccalaureate is great because my son is looking to follow in my footsteps uni wise and aim for yale, but geelong would be about an hour or so longer then caulfield to commute every day, and he wont be getting home til 11ish every night, whereas at caulfield he could be home at 5 on days that he doesnt have after school activities, do you think its worth the extra effort to go to geelong? and is caulfield comparable to schools like scotch and melbourne grammar?
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sacredheart 2yrs+
Thank you FHT for your input re Haileybury Girls College! Actually we like the idea of parallel education. Our family doctor's son graduated from Haileybury and now a doctor and highly recommended the school. He is very polite & well-rounded and we think this is very important. Have a great weekend FHT and thanks again!
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mona64 2yrs+
Ive just go very old info about geelong grammer from a family members experince-about 25 years ago--awful, critical teachers, huge bullying environment with toxic sexual behaviour bordering on criminal, lots of very well off kids sellling designer clothes to fund drug taking binges and with some middle class neglect going on. My only fond memory of the school is a little chapel with a inscritption stone for a student who was eaten by a shark..
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BBK 2yrs+
@pierde...don't you think a child having to travel 3 hours to school, then spend 12 hours at school before travelling 3 hours home is a bit excessive. If you're really sold on Geelong Grammar, I think the fairest thing on your son would be to put him in weekly boarding - travel to school Monday morning and return home Friday night. I just feel that the poor kid is going to be so exhausted at the end of each week that he won't be able to function probably and give his all come time for exams etc.
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Eurolie 2yrs+
Thanks to those who are commenting, for someone new to Victoria this thread is invaluable in trying to sort through the marketing to see what schools are really like. FHT is it possible to tell why your friend moved their daughter to Haileybury? Only if you don't mind. And with boarding, there was a mention that at Geelong Grammar the boarders feel "the centre" of the school. Are there other schools like this or conversely that boarders definitely feel like an afterthought? The boarding side of the overall school culture is really important as that is what our children will have to do.
All the boarding schools we have looked at seem to be in the same range pricewise, so that is what we will have to pay. Thanks in advance everybody for any thoughts.
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pierde 2yrs+
@BBK; we looked into that but for senior school at corio that wasnt an option, he might do full boarding , but he wants to be back home on the weekends. we're still thinking about it. Thanks for the input guys !
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FHT 2yrs+
@Eurolle: The girl moved from MGGS to Haileybury due to bullying, however that was in year 7 and she finished year 12 two years ago, so her experience at MGGS is ancient history really. In terms of your boarding question, Geelong Grammar is unique in Victoria as far as I am aware, in that the vast majority of students board. If my child had to board - and I could afford it! - I would seriously consider Geelong. I think Mona64's painting of the situation at GGS 25 years ago was pretty accurate for many (I have relatives who attended the School in the same era) but I do understand the school has worked hard to counter that culture: not sure if it's been entirely changed, but I do know several families whose children have gone through in the past decade and they have been very happy with it. I'm really not sure about boarding at other schools as few of my direct experiences have been with schools who still offer boarding. I do have some insights into St Catherine's (Toorak, girls school) from a few years ago. They did a pretty good job trying to integrate the boarders into the life of the school, and there was a lot of care and compassion, however it was certainly clear that life for boarders was much more constrained and restricted than for day girls. Plus the boarding house had over 50% students from overseas, which again created a sense of "difference".
@Pierde: I have to agree with BBK, I can't imagine that any school would make the sort of travel your son would be facing worth it. It would be very hard for him to cope with the usual Year 12 workload with that kind of travel demand. I am pretty sure Caulfield Grammar's academic results are better than Geelong Grammars also...
In terms of the IB, there is a lot of misconception around this program. While it is indeed a good program, the VCE will deliver exactly the same outcomes in terms of admission to overseas universities as the IB, as it is recognised worldwide. Most importantly, while the IB is good for all-rounders, it not so good for those who have particular areas of strength (eg: maths/ science/ humanities) they want to pursue, as the IB forces the student to study within each learning area, as well as undertaking community service and a "major project". Some say IB students achieve a better ATAR result during the conversion of the IB result into an ATAR, I'm not entirely sure this is true either (and the ATAR may have no relevance for an overseas university anyway. So, make sure you've really researched the IB, as this might also influence your thinking.
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Aarhe 2yrs+
FHT, Thanks for your comments above, you really are a wealth of information. We are considering Camberwell Grammar, MLC, Carey and Camberwell Girls Grammar for our two kids ( a boy and a girl) Not having gone through the education system here, I'm finding it difficult to navigate my way around these schools. We think we will have a place for our daughter at Carey, MLC and Camberwell Girls although our son may not get a spot at Carey.We are looking at Camberwell grammar for him and hope it is a good fit and a nurturing school. You've talked about Trinity and St Kevins being schools that teach boys well, how does Camberwell fare in your opinion? My daughter would like an acedemic school with a strong arts focus. What are your thoughts?
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mona64 2yrs+
We have a few years current experience with mlc, and have been pleased overall--it is academic --few girls crying at getting 97%, but overall healthy approach, with a good arts program --daughters grades have improved and she is motivated without being too hard or perfectionist about it. We were going to camberwell girls grammer but pulled out at last minute and later i relised that it felt like we were all pretending we were in england and it felt a bit 'old'--- later we got told that teachers are pressured to do the same cirriculum and not mix things up or create new learning. Mlc is not in my opinion, and have seen girls leave who are intraverted or very shy - the schoo is big although they work hard to overcome this, but most girls are from local area.
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Aarhe 2yrs+
Thanks mona64, the size of MLC does concern me a little but their subject choice on offer is impressive and they do seem to have a handle on class sizes and teacher/student ratios. I have also heard good things about the Marshmead program. How does your daughter find being in a single sex school, especially in the secondary school years? I hear mixed reviews about Carey and would love to hear more about it.
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BBK 2yrs+
I've recently heard that the current Principal at Trinity Grammar is leaving. I'm hoping this is not going to be at the detriment of the school's fantastic reputation. Any more thoughts or information on this one?
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SKW 2yrs+
Hi, i want to apply my three year old daughter in the best school in melbourne. I have read through but still need some assistance with what schools are classified the best... I am interested in the co-ed but have an open mind for all girls. what are the recommendations at the moment?
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rhartP 2yrs+
Hi,
Prue here, our family are moving from New York ( with 1 boy and 2 girls) We want our children to attend the best schools and are looking at private schools. We have been impressed by a number including Trinity and Ruyton, however a friend of mine said something to me quite shocking about independent schools in Melbourne. She said that some of these schools still practice corporal punishment! I smirked, thinking that surely in our civilized era such medieval practices would not be taking place. However, she gave me a link to an education forum where, sure enough, a deputy principal of a school insists that corporal punishment is still allowed and practiced at some independent schools. I couldn’t believe my ears! I felt shocked that something so barbaric could be practiced today. Before we take our enquiries beyond the initial stages can anybody confirm that there are schools in Melbourne that still use the cane? This is really very important that I know as my husband experienced abuse at school and does not want to put my children through it. We shall have to send them to Kings in Sydney which I believe boards and where these things are not done.
Thankyou kindly
Prue
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Hi Prue
Corporal punishment is illegal in Victoria. Under the Education and Training Reform Act, the VRQA may not register any school (state or independent) to operate if that school permits corporal punishment. If this did occur, the school would be closed down.
I have heard that this is not the case in Queensland and that some schools which subscribe to a particular view of Christianity still use corporal punishment there (hearsay only). But I can guarantee it would not happen in Melbourne.
I think you could not go too far wrong with Trinity or Ruyton. All the best for your move.
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PureKrome 2yrs+
Hi Prue :)

wow! You found some evidence that Corp-Punishment exists here in (at least one) private school in Victoria and/or Melbourne? I'm both shocked and embarrassed.

I'd love to see the link to this :(

For context, i'm assuming you mean Corp-Punishment == using a cane and wacking a child over their buttox or legs or some for of physically hurting the child.

I would have thought this is actually illegal, to be honest?

Lets google this: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=is+corporal+punishment+legal+in+australia

and ...

it's illegal: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_corporal_punishment#Australia

Wow. So it is illegal in NSW and ACT but in Victoria is illegal for public (govt schools) but -legal- for private schools!

Now I'm embarrassed to be a Victorian :(

I went to (the private school) Geelong Grammar School and throughly recommend it. I'm pretty sure there's no corp punishment there (defiantly not when i was there in the late 80's and early 90's - ouch, i feel old, now.). Quiet the opposite now - they have a Centre for Wellbeing for sport, physiotherapy and councilling.

I'd love to hear about other private schools that
1) Allow Corporal Punishment
2) Allow and have actually enacted CP in the last 5 odd years.

Finally Prue - please don't think badly of Melbourne private schools because of this. This is the first time since .. well .. ever I've heard anyone mention this (which was why I had to google for this). I can't wait to raise this question with my friends who happened to go a private school down here.
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PureKrome 2yrs+
@mrsmugglewump Can you please comment on that Wiki link I mentioned to Prue, which says that it's -legal- in Victoria (and some other places).

reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_corporal_punishment#Australia

(and yes, i know that wiki is not a source of 'fact' but a good starting point for references)
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Lulubel 2yrs+
I think you'd be pushed to find any private school in Victoria using their legal right to punish using corporal punishment. We were always aware (late 80s, early 90s) that it was legal for our school to use this method of punishment but obviously it was never used - the outcry would be enormous! It is apparently still used in some schools in Queensland and WA and there is no law in NT regarding corporal punishment.
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FHT 2yrs+
My responses to a range of comments above:
@Aahre: For your daughter, don't be afraid of MLC's size. I have experienced exactly the same concern. I myself attended a small girls' school and thought this would be my preference, but my daughter's experience proved me very wrong. The smaller the school, the more cliques and bullying seem to occur - sadly they occur at every girls' school I know of to some exgtent not because of any fault of the school, but I believe the incredible pressures on young women in society generally. I know many families who are thrilled with MLC and find the size in senior years, especially, is an absolute bonus not a negative. MLC is both academic and creative. I have only good things to say about Carey too - a school that nurtures a sense of social responsibility and individualism. My experience is personal, and for us, it has been absolutely outstanding - beyond my wildest dreams! However, that is because it is an excellent fit for the student attending. There have been issues in the past with a bit TOO much freedom, however the new Principal is stamping down in this area and bringing new discipline to the school. While this is ruffling some feathers, I expect it will be a good thing in the long term. Camberwell Girls is relatively traditional and "inside the box": A fine school, but for my money no comparison to MLC and Carey. Just visit the schools as often as you can, feel the vibe, and pick the one that best matched your daughter's personality. For your son - Camberwell Grammar is a fine school, although along what I would call "traditional" lines. If your family are looking for a more nurturing, creative environment, it might be wise to keep looking....
@BBK: yes, Trinity's Principal is retiring. He has been a great leader, and as for any school change in leadership can bring... change. So, there's some risk, but the school is faring very well and one can only hope that a new leader will keep up the good work. The changeover will occur at the beginning of 2014.
@SKW: the best school will be the one that fits the interests and personality of your child the best! Sadly there are no short cuts, you simply have to do the legwork and get the feel for the school that matches your family! Melbourne is blessed with many, many good schools, and it's important not to choose a school for your child simply because it has "high status" - it's unlikely to succeed for her.
@rhartP: I have not ever heard of a student being caned in a Victorian School, at least not for over thirty years. I am pretty sure it simply does not occur. Absolutely and definitely Ruyton and Trinity, which I am both very familiar with, do not.
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thesilentgun 2yrs+
Under the new inspection regime which is to be fully implemented later this year the anomaly of the 'right to use corporal punishment' will be finally extinguished. From what I understand , there is not a single elite school in Victoria which does use it today. So you should be perfectly safe. In our city today , and with the emphasis we properly put on the rights of the child , there would be hell to pay if this were still going on .
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FHT 2yrs+
OK, so who are these schools: I have direct knowledge of nearly every "big name" boys or co-ed school in Melbourne, the Peninsula and Geelong and I have NEVER heard of such a thing since the 1970s. Rubbish I reckon.
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FHT 2yrs+
TROLL ALERT TROLL ALERT - DO NOT follow the link posted by "DJMB" (who just so interestingly joined only this forum as a user only just now) . This is to a perverted page that links corporal punishment to sexual fetishes. Clearly the entire conversation is designed to derail this authentic forum we have here, and I suspect "Prue" was a plant to this end as well.
So.... let's all just ignore it entirely and let these fantasists nick off and enjoy their dreams of the headmaster's study and the sound of willow on flesh by themselves.
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DJBM 2yrs+
Hi Prue,

I advise you tread with extreme caution. Whilst I have no doubt those who say there is no corporal punishment (CP) in Melbourne schools are writing in good faith, I fear they might have been deceived. According to a character posting on a forum called School Corporal Punishment and who claims the be a Deputy Headmaster of a private school in Melbourne, a few private schools in Melbourne, including his, still frequently canes boys. He even goes so far as to claim being caned is good for them!

There does not appear to be any evidence to support his claims so he might (probably is) a complete fantasist but I would not want to take the risk with my children. He claims that, despite parents overwhelmingly supporting the use of CP, these schools are very secretive about their practices, which accounts for the total absence of evidence to support his claims. He says that parents are informed but only some considerable way through the enrolment process, after they have already invested time and effort into finding a school and when it is possibly too late to back out without incurring some loss.

To be safe, I advise you ask the question right at the outset and get the answer in writing.

Another point I would make is that, although CP will be totally banned by next year by the new registration requirements, do you really want to send your children to a school that believes in beating them? The abolition of CP will not alter the school's opinion so it is very likely that such a school will attempt to find an equally barbaric practice to replace it.
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thesilentgun 2yrs+
EHT I work in the education field, though not as a teacher,and am aware of the activities of this individual and the site mentioned by DBJM. I posted above to make it absolutely clear he is a fantasist and this sort of thing does not go on in our independent schools. However, I don't think you should attack Prue, or make any assumptions about her, because this man's postings have before created for people overseas a totally false picture of our schools here in Victoria.This because his sick drivel has been 'parroted' as 'true' on other quite reputable sites. A risk of the internet
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DJBM 2yrs+
FHT.

If you actually looked at the link I provided, you would see that there are some serious discussions there. Admittedly some perverts do appear there now and again but they don't last long.

I did just join this forum because I wanted to warn Prue to take care when selecting a school. As I said in my post, that character could just be a fantasist but, especially where children are concerned, it is far better to be safe than sorry. Would you not agree?

As you have direct knowledge of nearly every boys' and co-ed. school in Melbourne, you might be in a position to put the claims of that person claiming to be a Deputy Headmaster to rest. He claims his school is associated with a girls' "Sister" school. Do you know of any such associations between boys' and girls' schools?
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DJBM 2yrs+
Hi Silent Gun,

You and I are of the same opinion regarding "that character". I am almost certain he is a fantasist but there remains a little doubt. He is doing considerable harm to the reputation of Melbourne's private schools so it would be good to prove beyond doubt that he is lying. It was my search for some evidence to totally refute his claims that brought me here

I mentioned the name of the forum he infests simply so those here could confirm what I said about him. Some might even spot some small clue in his writings that goes some way to proving he is a fake.
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FHT 2yrs+
@thesilentgun: point accepted; yes it was probably a long bow to drag Prue into a conspiracy theory. Happy to give that post the benefit of the doubt.
@DJBM: I have indeed looked at the link you provided - in between the lurid flashing spam and "titilating" terminology. So, you mysteriously found this random forum in the good intentioned desire to help Prue avoid the willow-wielders that await her son? Astonishing! What you are proposing is nothing other than drivel - Murdoch's Herald Sun would have this stuff on the front page every day if even a skerek of it were true. No, I do NOT believe that it's better to be paranoid: Melbourne's schools are NOT caning boys, and that is an absolute fact.
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AdamS 2yrs+
I removed the link guys - while it may have had some valuable information, there was also some very questionable information posted there as well.
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FHT 2yrs+
@AJ Thanks for that clarification - I frankly can see nothing but perverted nonsense on that appalling site. My point remains that Melbourne's independent schools are under constant scrutiny by a scandal-hungry press brigade who like nothing finer than a headline beginning with "exclusive private school". I suggest that if even a small twig was waved in the direction of a student, the media-hounds would be baying at the gates in minutes. I don't know where DJBM appeared from, but I can only propose it's nowhere nice.
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DJBM 2yrs+
FHT,
Sorry, I forgot about the spam content of that site. I have an extension to my browser that blocks it so I don't usually see it. I did NOT, as you claim, mysteriously find "this random forum in the good intentioned desire to help Prue avoid the willow-wielders that await her son." I you read what I wrote, I found this forum whilst searching for evidence to refute "that character's" claims. I then saw Prue's post so decided to advise caution in light of what "that character" has claimed. When it comes to safeguarding children, I would rather be cautious and be wrong than throw caution to the wind and be wrong - but I don't expect you to agree.
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FHT 2yrs+
Right-oh, DJBM, I'll leave the readers of this forum to make their own assessment. Just as a matter of interest, I'd love to know the search thread you entered to find Prue's post less than 24 hours after it was made; and also, WHICH post in the hundreds of disgusting threads, including images I would like NOT to have glimpsed, are you actually referring to? I frankly was not prepared to troll through the grimy filth on that link to find the "Deputy Headmaster". And just finally, why don't you the school you think all this refers to, so we can all be safe?
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FHT 2yrs+
^"OUT" the school
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FHT 2yrs+
And very finally, if you are truly searching for evidence to refute "that character's" claims, why aren't you accepting the claims of me and the other posters above that this is utter nonsense, verging on the perverse? Surely you should be asking us to sign up to your campaign..... just a thought.
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DJBM 2yrs+
FHT.
I didn't find Prue's post directly, I found this site and, once here, scanned the page for "corporal punishment", and landed on Prue's post. I didn't even find this site directly, I arrived here via a series of links.

The character on the site I referred to has made several posts along the same lines. I would out his school if I could but I don't even if it really exists, never mind which it is - that is what I am attempting to ascertain. As I said, he claims such schools are very secretive about their barbaric practices, which is why I advised Prue to ask the question at the outset.

I accept your claims that CP is not actually used in Melbourne schools but, viewed impartially, your claims are no more valid than his. The fact that CP remains legal in private schools means his claims, however unlikely, could be true.
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FHT 2yrs+
DJBM, the key point here is that schools can be as secretive as they like, but kids and parents are generally pretty noisy.... if someone got the cane in a Melbourne private school, we'd ALL know about it.
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mona64 2yrs+
I dont believe that there is corporal punishment at melbourne schools, despite being very tempting at times, however HS and the like seem to have different standards of reporting what goes on in melbourne schools--curious why sexual relationship between student and teacher was reported with public secondary school named, but similiar issue at a exclusive girls school was effectively gaggged as 'girl' could have been identified...
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PureKrome 2yrs+
@Prue -> has any of this conversation helped you make a decision in any way, be it in a positive or negative light re: Melbourne Private Schools?
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rhartP 2yrs+
@forum
I am deeply sorry I didn't mean to cause any arguments here. I hear loudly and clearly that this barbaric practice is no longer committed in Victoria. Thank God. Thankyou for FHT and DJBM I didnt mention it however I too felt deep down that there was something odd about my friend's claim.
We shall continue our search for a good Melbourne school now, safely
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SPF 2yrs+
We live in Perth and will be moving to Melbourne at the end of the year. My son has been offered a scholarship at Trinity and St Kevin's which is fantastic news. Looking at this website both schools seem to be of a high academic standard. My son is creative, loves music and sport and is of a gentle nature so I am trying to find the right fit for him. I wanted to understand the teaching philosophies of the schools and what their strengths are to enable me to make the best decision I can for him.
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FHT 2yrs+
From my understanding (not directly as a parent, but through close friends at both schools) both are excellent and similar. Both schools are of course founded on a Christian philosophy: you may want to give thought to whether the Catholic or Anglican slant on that fits best with your family. Other than that, over to others for further comment....
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MelodyC 2yrs+
I am a MLC girl, but have chosen to send all my kids to Wesley College
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Edson 2yrs+
Hello, we have three kids: 2 boys and a girl, and are deciding between three primary school options. They would most likely stay at these schools for secondary school as well. I'd love to hear your opinions and recommendations. We're deciding between -

1. Grimwade house, then on to Mel Grammar and Mel Girls Grammar
2. Carey
3. Scotch and Ruyton / Lauriston (we're unsure on whether Ruyton or Lauriston would best suit out daughter)

Thanks in advance
Edson
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PureKrome 2yrs+
@Edson - do you have any particular specialities that you would like your children to go after? eg. arts or sports, etc?
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Edson 2yrs+
Hi PureKrome, no not really at this stage.
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PureKrome 2yrs+
I have no intel on Melbourne Grammar / Melbourne Girls Grammar. :(

I knew some families that did go to Carey and to Scotch and also Ruyton. They all had no problems with either of them all. I never asked any specifics, like .. was there bullying or were the teachers old and mean, or were they progressive, etc.

I've generally found Scotch to be more traditional / old school compared to Carey. Melbourne Grammar and Scotch are generally compared to the Melbourne equivalent of some UK schools like Eton, etc. (Don't forget Geelong Grammar or Xavier, but that's not in your list).

Carey is Co-Ed. For me, that's a (personal) important issue. Scotch and Mel / Mel G are not.

Mel Grammar is Anglican. Carey is Christian and Scotch is Presbyterian.

Also, Scotch and Mel Grammar have boarding facilities.

What were some of the factors you are looking into, but unsure about?
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Nikki832 2yrs+
Have you considered Presbyterian Ladies' College? I have heard good things about the junior school from someone who currently has two daughters there. They have a good music program and her daughters are quite happy there.
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walster 2yrs+
Long time since my last post!
Been watching this discussion for a long time now, Very interesting.

As I said on here before, this was all so overwhelming for us and we didn't want to try and navigate the mindfield so we hired someone to help us and they were fantastic!

I am so glad we are not going through all this stress again!
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FHT 2yrs+
My first question is, where do you/ do you intend to live? Proximity should not be under-rated in the choice of school: there is a big difference in location between Grimwade and Carey, for example. At Junior level you will pay the price of distance doing drop offs and pickups, at senior level your children will do so with public transport routes. Closer is better, in my book.

The second comment is, the schools you list are all good academically, but enormously different in terms of school and community culture and "vibe". You need to spend serious amounts of time at School events (open days, sports days, fairs, plays etc) and get the feel for the place: there is simply no 'one size fits best' option. Plus, co-ed and single sex are enormous choices you need to consider. (Plus, how about the local primary school for the first few years, dare I say it?!)

Good advice above from PureKrome. Good to see waister is still out there :)
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Edson 2yrs+
Thanks everyone for your replies!
I agree FHT, closer is better and I think we'll rule out grimwade house for that reason. We're also looking at the local primary school but have had several friends unhappy with it and withdrawn their kids from it which is why we're considering private options. But we will still go to the open days and make our own assessment. It would be a lot cheaper!
Ideally we prefer co-ed for primary and close to home, so I think we're leaning towards Carey, as long as we get the spots. They certainly seem to have more spots for girls, but hopefully our sons will get sibling preference once our daughter gets in.
We are trying to get to the open days as well as talking to current parents. So far I've heard nothing but positives about Carey. Although their results on My School aren't fantastic compared to Scotch and Ruyton/Lauriston. However I'm not sure how much credence I should give these.
Thanks again for your responses and if anyone has any personal experiences about these schools I'd love to hear them.
Thanks and kind regards
Edson
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I can definitely recommend going to a local primary school, then entering private school from Grade 5. I did this as a kid and have booked my kids in from Grade 5 to Xavier. I really can't justify the expense from Grades prep through 4. The local primary school makes it easy to drop the kids off and from Grade 5 they catch a bus to school. It can be tough taking your kids out of primary school from Grade 5, most don't want to leave their friends behind.
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FHT 2yrs+
Edson, I personally can only highly commend Carey as well. Carey's results don't compete with the academic pressure cooker schools because of the breadth of programs offered including VCAL etc, however have no doubt that those who are academically oriented achieve great results. Having said that, results aren't everything. For my money a personal sense of responsibility for ones self and others, a global view of the world, and the chance to engage in learning (not be spoon fed) outweigh any Year 12 mark. I'm not sure either of the girls' schools you list there would deliver that....

One thing I am noticing as we move to the "end" years of school is the comments from parents whose children attended the same school all the way through, that 13 years at one school is too long. Is it too personal to ask which is your local primary school? They do differ enormously, and unfortunately high demand means it's almost impossible to
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FHT 2yrs+
....to get into a school outside the defined zone, so it can be problematic if yours isn't performing.
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PureKrome 2yrs+
@walster : without naming companies or names, can u elaborate about this 'service' that you hired? I've never heard of this 'schools-finding-service-thing' before. Costs and time would be interesting too :) Also, the hardest thing about primary schools I've found is that it's all -distance- based (from your primary residence). So I'm living in Ivanhoe. We're about to move into another house, in the same suburb of Ivanhoe. The closest P-School to this new house is actually in Heidelberg (next suburb)!! This means we don't have automatic entry into any of the 2 Primary Schools in Ivanhoe because of distance! Luckily (and i mean LUCKY LUCKY LUCKY!) we haven't moved yet, so we enrolled and have been accepted into one of the two. *phew* It's insane how hard it is to get into a public primary school that is not automatic entry thingy.
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Edson 2yrs+
Thanks FHT and PureKrome. FHT, I completely agree with your points on a well-rounded education rather than just marks focussed. We went to the carey open day and really liked the school, the students we met and the overall vibe. I was also concerned about 13 years at the one school. However I did think that we could move them in yr 7 if things weren't working out for whatever reason.
I do prefer the idea of going to the local primary and being part of the local community. I feel bad criticising our local school on this forum so am hesitant to name it. I am just going by what others have told me about it and some who have taken their kids out of there. But as PureKrome says, it's hard to get into any school that's not your closest, which is why we're looking at private options.
We have heard fabulous things about Camberwell Primary and have even considered moving to get into that zone, however it mean moving from a spot we love. Trade offs!
I have also heard great things about Fitzroy Community School. But that would be a real hike for us to get to, and I want somewhere close by.
Thanks again for your thoughts and opinions.
Kind regards
Edson
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walster 2yrs+
: without naming companies or names, can u elaborate about this 'service' that you hired? I've never heard of this 'schools-finding-service-thing' before. Costs and time would be interesting too :) Also, the hardest thing about primary schools I've found is that it's all -distance- based (from your primary residence). So I'm living in Ivanhoe. We're about to move into another house, in the same suburb of Ivanhoe. The closest P-School to this new house is actually in Heidelberg (next suburb)!! This means we don't have automatic entry into any of the 2 Primary Schools in Ivanhoe because of distance! Luckily (and i mean LUCKY LUCKY LUCKY!) we haven't moved yet, so we enrolled and have been accepted into one of the two. *phew* It's insane how hard it is to get into a public primary school that is not automatic entry thingy.

The compay we used only do private schools and their costs vary think from case to case. We had virtually unlimited time wiht them to ask them key questions and as I said, found them very , very good.
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gigiandme 2yrs+
Hi - am new to this conversation/site - am looking for some advice on private melbourne schools - we have 3 daughters, our eldest is in grade 6 at a large primary school in inner melbourne and we have only a short period of time to decide on where she is going next year -we have considered lauriston, MLC and Caulfield Grammar (co-ed option), and looked through each - they all seem pretty ok in different ways...

I hear great things about MLC, with the only negative being that the girls are just a 'number' in the system, and unless they are extraordinary at something, they can slip through unrecognised....what I do like about it is the term at Marshmead, excellent subject choice and that there are so many girls to choose their friendship groups from - and girls being girls - potentially bitchy etc, then this can only be a good thing right? Lauriston appeals for the size, feel and Howqua year - although have heard 1 too many stories about anorexia/cutting/self harm at Howqua....and it concerns me that perhaps it's not broad enough with the 'gene' pool that attend - ie. all from same/similar area/similar backgrounds/not enough diversity. In my old school, the 'cool' group were established very early, and remained so throughout secondary school - I always felt a certain level of 'inferiority'.
Caulfield Grammar also appeals, however I'm not convinced about their 'mentoring' system of teaching - 30 odd students in a class with a teacher and a mentor.....and the fact that if you are not brilliant at sport or other, then you slip through and aren't noticed... ie. if you're in B/C grade sports, then you get a lesser coach, less consideration etc. The other issue I have is that the boys and girls are all 'getting it on' (quote from a student!) in year 7 onwards...uuugh..... but boys will be boys, and girls will be girls...The other negative I've heard is that it's still really a 'boys' school with girls in it...

So much to consider...am totally bamboozled and need to make our decision soon. It's doing my head in!

Would really appreciate any comments/advice.
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Hi gigiandme. Don't want to throw a spanner int he works but are you sure you can get a place for your daughter for Year 7 next year? I know that MLC do their Year 7 offers when the students are in Year 5, ie a year and a half earlier.
In relation to the choice you have, I would personally go for MLC out of those three. My reasons being 1) diversity and breadth of peer group/social options, as you've identified above. 2) I don't like the Howqua year idea, I think a year is too long to be away from home & the comfort/influence of parents at such a sensitive stage of adolescence. 3) I've heard a number of stories about very nasty bullying and snobbery at Lauriston. Although of course they are all hearsay. 4) I personally prefer single-sex education for a girl, but that's a choice you have to make for yourself, there is no easy answer. That said, I have a colleague whose 2 daughters are at Lauriston, they are not a particularly wealthy family and they love it. He said he would never send a kid to MLC because its too big! So each to his or her own. All the best with this tough decision.
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PureKrome 2yrs+
I went through Co-Ed and totally loved it! After all, isn't the real world, co-ed? I think there's more fear about kids 'getting it on' etc than what is healthy and actually happens. Next - not sure of the Howqua thing .. but if it's a year away from school (and the Howqua sounds like a river up in the Mansfield area, north-to-north-east of Melb) .. then I would promote things like that if it's -anything- like Geelong Grammar's Timbertop program. I went to Timbertop and I honestly believe it's one of the best years of my life. A year away from home (well, i was boarding anyways .. so I was already out of home) was great. We were constantly challenged and the entire year (200 boys and girls) all came out better/harder/stronger at the end. I sincerely wish that I can send my kids there. But that's just my own experience and opinions. Best.School.Year.Ever.
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gigiandme 2yrs+
Thanks Mrs M and PureKrome - FYI, we have been offered a spot at Lauriston, and are on the waiting list for MLC and Caulfield - fingers crossed we do receive an offer from MLC in the coming months - we were actually offered a spot there last year and deferred it to Year 9 - duh.... huge regret... I really feel it might be the school for us, and will accommodate 3 daughters with differing personalities, however I am trying to source as much information as I can about the school at the same time!!!
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gigiandme 2yrs+
Me again - does anyone out there have any 'personal' experiences with MLC? Our eldest daughter is slightly more reserved and not a girl who will push for attention. She is a very diligent student, and quite good at her sport - netball/basketball - but not amazing - more 'average' I'd say - my concern is that at a big school, she will not get the sporting opportunities a smaller school might offer (all I hope for is for her to make a team!), however would love to hear from someone's own experiences.
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alovingmum 2yrs+
My daughter is at Mlc and loves it. She thrives both socially and academically
She has always topped the class I her previous schools then came to Mlc and was one of many. At first this was a blow to her ego. But quickly she realised the benefits of support , motivation, inspiration, skill, challenge, conversation and education of such a talented group. Now she doesn't top the class but she tops the state
If we are the sum of the 10 closest people to us. Mlc has a great 10 people.
Not all my daughters friends are academically focused. Some plan to go down the artistic or sporting direction. Whatever is your passion Mlc will have it or find it for you.
My daughter loved marshmead and came back excited , awakened and matured.
She started at Mlc in year 9.
It's a big school but that's why it offers so much. They teach the girls to own their education and grab all opportunities. So it's no wonder they graduate confident motivated and focused young ladies
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gigiandme 2yrs+
Thank you 'a loving mum' - so beautifully written. You have given me much to consider. Does anyone have first hand advice with regards to Caulfield Grammar and girls?
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alovingmum 2yrs+
Oops I forget to tell you about sport at Mlc
My daughter plays netball. She plays more for fun, social opp and some exercise than serious competition. There are 4 or 5 teams catering for all sporting abilities. From state level players to beginners. Anyone who wants to play will get a game.
Many Other sports are also on offer. Mlc is all about offering it all and you grab it if it is for you.
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mona64 2yrs+
Our experience is a different; daughter missed out on netball team due to sheer numbers. Probably wouldnt have happened at a smaller school. Daughter is of the exercise is fun mode, but mlc does have a liking for supporting girls/teams that are going to bring in a 'medal', so daughter has done a few sporting things but often gets earmarked for competitive stream and doesnt enjoy that,
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alovingmum 2yrs+
Funny that you feel MLC is all about the competitive teams only - because that is not our experience at all.
My daughters team (being the 5th team in their age group) hasnt won a game yet, they all just have a run and some fun and MLC supports them with a coach, training, a uniform, newsletter appreciation and no pressure to step up competitively.
Also in my daughters age level if you want to play there is a team and place for you.
I .would add that some of my daughters friends who are at smaller schools are pressured to play because they dont sometimes have the numbers to field a team. This i guess in one way this could be a good thing in that it forces the girls to be involved. MLC leaves the choice with the girls and some girls dont choose to play any sport. But for the girls who do want to play MLC being a big school allows girls to play with girls at a similar level. and not have to play above or below their ability or competitiveness
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gigiandme 2yrs+
Hi again - further to my earlier post, just wondering if anyone has any first hand experience in sending their daughter to Caulfield Grammar (Caulfield Campus?). How does the mentoring program work for girls who aren't vocal? Do they tend to get overlooked? Is it just a school for the more outgoing/sporty types? As mentioned above, my daughter loves her sport but is not a rep player - intermediate I would say. Academically she is sound, but is not a 'loud' girl - slightly more reserved. Thanks.
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Strontium 2yrs+
I am now 2 years out of Trinity Grammar, can tell you that it was a privilege to attend and was the best thing that ever happened to me. I went from a heavily bullied and outcast boy with a low self esteem to a school prefect, a member of the 1st Rugby side that took out a Premier division title and a member of a proud, upstanding and supportive year 12 group. I was privileged to have been to New Zealand, America, Arnhem Land (with the schools indigenous affairs program), Canada, and best of all England/France to a technology competition which we won (representing Australia) and earnt myself a scholarship at a prestigious Technology University in the UK.

The stories about Richard E. Tudor (Headmaster since 1999) are absolutely true. He strives to extraordinary means to get to know each boy and their interests and is genuinely engaging. He (and the school's culture) push boys to be MORE THAN ENTER SCORE MACHINES (despite our high results). He has put an emphasis on turning boys into true, honest, kind men which does wonders. Unfortunately he is in fact leaving and its sad to know that my younger brother will only have him for 2 years of his secondary schooling.

To put this into perspective, I come from a family which is on ones side completely Scotch obsessed (every boy as far as I can remember went there) and the other side the same but at Scotch College. I went to a very affluent, public primary school which is very well known to be a top 'feeder' school for Melbourne Grammar and Scotch College. I was accepted to Carey, Camberwell Grammar, Xavier, Scotch and Melbourne Grammar but after very careful consideration my parents chose Trinity. In fact they had to have a meeting to plead with the headmaster to get me in (the made a place as I was the first person on the waiting list cut off).

I HIGHLY consider giving Trinity a thought!
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Strontium 2yrs+
*Apologies I meant Melbourne Grammar as the other school my family was heavily involved with*
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alovingmum 2yrs+
Let's remember to focus on specifics and not brand a whole school based on one bully
Not only am I a parent of children at 2 wonderful schools but I am also a relief teacher who works at many schools across the eastern suburbs. And I can tell you that most schools are wonderful. Full of similar children and good, bad, inspired and indifferent teachers and principals . All schools have their highlights and bully's , problems, etc. ALL SCHOOLS!!
And being Aboriginal does not automatically make a child a drain on a class nor a bully. Being aboriginal comes in many types just like any other demographic Bullys come in all sorts. Rarely do I teach a class without a child causing disruption. That's teaching and that's kids.
I am sorry for an child bullied. And I know all schools strive to support and improve this issue.
Please everyone focus on specifics and don't bag out a whole school that is mostly full of lovely,kind ,motivated kids. It's not fair on the people who are rightly proud of their school.
Play nicely everyone!!!
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FHT 2yrs+
I find it interesting to note two recent examples of an entirely new poster to this forum making a fairly extreme statement, which within hours is followed up with another extreme response from another entirely new poster.

We saw it in the rather peculiar "CP Exchange" in July, and now some big views being expressed about Trinity. The period from original post to follow up isn't even long enough for Google to have picked up the topic.... just seems an unusual coincidence.....
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FHT 2yrs+
@gigiand me: it's a shame no one on the forum seems to have direct, current knowledge of Caulfield Grammar, and I am sorry but I am the same. So, I can only thrown in my two bobs worth on the other schools you mention.

My friends experiences of MLC do seem very divided. Some love it, some not so much. While this will be true to some extent for all schools, I've noticed more division in experiences. Perhaps it's a school that either works really well, or not so well at all! In the main, though, I hear more good than bad about MLC and I think the odds must be in your favour there.

As far as Lauriston is concerned, I would view this as an insular and rather exclusive school. I have heard many bad experiences from the Howqua year. I don't think it's the school's fault: I think the IDEA of sending a whole year level of girls away to the bush for a year is misguided. It's different to Timbertop, the majority of these students have already boarded at Corio, and it's co-educational which (while it may pose certain risks of a different kind!) reduces the intensity of the teenage-girl issues. I gather that if Lauriston could get rid of Howqua, or reduce it to a term program, they would, but it represents a huge investment and, of course, works well for some girls. Personally, I reckon a year is far too long away from not only the influences of family, but also of the wider community, and myself did not consider Lauriston because of Howqua (although there are certainly days when my teenagers push me to the limit and I feel I would like to have them on a bus to a far flung location in the blink of an eye!!!).
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SadReality 2yrs+
Strontium, I congratulate your parents on sending you to the Trinity Grammar Senior school. Interestingly, (assuming they had the funds) I think they wisely chose not to send you to the junior school. I agree with you (and many many others), Mr Tudor is a superb Principal and was one of the main reasons we considered Trinity despite it having less facilities than other schools. His speeches could be truly inspirational. Sad to hear he is retiring. I wonder if some enterprising school board might try to lure him out of retirement, even for just a few years to give their senior school a boost.
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walster 2yrs+
The company we used only do private schools and their costs vary think from case to case. We had virtually unlimited time with them to ask them key questions and as I said, found them very , very good and their insights were invaluable.
I find reading the posts on here fascinating but it I feel it somewhat reinforces to me that a lot of the stuff is "Car park gossip" and based on individuals experiences. The most recent discussion has been interesting to say the least!
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FHT 2yrs+
Ah Walster, but if only I'd listened harder to the car park gossip I wouldn't have made the mistake I did with sending my daughter to a school that wasn't right for her - or us. I was told, but chose not to listen!!!!

Why don't you name the company you used - you have more than validated your authenticity on this forum, so no one would accuse you of "promotion". It sounds like a valuable resource I am sure many would benefit from it.
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gigiandme 2yrs+
FHT your comments about Lauriston are not the first time I have heard this - apart from the Howqua year, do you consider there to be many differences b/w St Catherines and Lauriston, and the girls they attract in general? Does anyone else have any first hand experience with either school?
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SadReality 2yrs+
I cannot recommend sending your boys to Trinity Grammar junior school. In my opinion they have poor discipline. Significant discipline problems probably began with the current junior school head. They offer full scholarships to a certain ethnic group. To receive the scholarship the student does no have to be good in the slightest academically. One would have thought however to make the program work for everyone, the school should have made sure that these wonderful darling boys were not the worst behaved in the classroom or in the yard or towards other tudents (like my son). Of course no school has perfectly behaved students. And I hope I would not be so stupid as to brand a whole school or even the Trinity Grammar JUNIOR school based on the behaviour of one student or even 100 students. My criticism of the school is based on the behaviour of the SCHOOL. That program was badly set up by the school and then badly handled by the school when problems arose. I’m only reporting the tip of the iceberg when it comes to poor discipline at the Junior School.
We changed to Scotch. I can recommend Scotch if you’re not Catholic and MLC for girls, my daughter has had 9 O.K. years there so far. Scotch handles poor behaviour by any student I think satisfactorily. (I hope this gets through the censors. LOL)
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FHT 2yrs+
Hi gigiand me. I have direct knowledge of St Caths and my view is they are very different. St Caths is immersed in the very "heart" of monied Melbourne - tucked away in a side street of Toorak. It has a long association with old money families (Myer, Baillieu) and very much regards itself as playing in a different league to other schools. Having said that, old money families are often much more gracious and less snobby than new money families (of which there are many at schools like Lauriston and Ruyton). The School is small, it has a "family" feel, and a sense that this is a special place. My experience of the girls is that they are sporty, encouraged to participate and have a go. Over the past 6 years or so the school has achieved stability under its current head after a long period of instability, and has addressed the issues it had with low grade facilities - it is a great looking school with good resources. The head must be due to retire soon (she had retired before she came to St Caths, indeed) and I don't know what their succession plan is. I like St Caths - the only catch is your daughter/s may be in a cohort with many kids who have serious money - SERIOUS money. I'm not talking chalet in Hotham, I'm talking chalet in Switzerland. I've known families who are by all standards well off feel like they are living in poverty in comparison to their kids' friends.
St Caths has a sense of life, spirit and vitality that I find entirely lacking in all my experiences of Lauriston. I know a lot of people who live near Lauriston, and know not ONE current student at the school. I myself lived close to it for some time but never even completed an enrollment form. Happy to hear the other side from someone else, but for me it is an image of a rather hard edged, cold school which has little variety and little spirit.
@gigi: the BEST advice I can give you, regardless of the choice you make, is to keep any enrollments you have rolling on after your child starts at the school you choose. You will never really know until you are on the inside, and moving schools is not the end of the earth - we did it and survived!

Best of luck to you!
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gigiandme 2yrs+
FHT - thank you for your views....how like minded we are...all i can say is that personally I have experienced the full gamut of emotion over the past year with regards to making a decision to my three daughter's secondary education. I have been down the large school path, co-ed path, medium sized school path, and the smaller school path. One minute - large school is the clear winner, the next, co-ed and the next medium size school....and then, who knows...perhaps all 3 will end up at 3 different schools??? All I can say is that for us, at this time, the smaller school has come up trumps and I should have listened to my gut instincts a year ago...St Catherines has brought tears to my eyes and emotion in my heart that I didn't know was there - yes, it is in the middle of Toorak and yes, there are families there with wealth that I can only dream of, however it has a heart, a soul and the most beautiful 'feel' for our family that for me at this time is perfect.... Lauriston is fabulous for some families, but it is not for us. MLC is fabulous, but it is not for us. And I could go on. This journey is such a personal one, but when you find the right place, you just 'know' - and you shed tears on the registrar's shoulder (well I did...). What a joyous experience. The stars have aligned for me and I am happy.
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ACF 2yrs+
I sympathise with you SadReality. We had something similar at our school. I will not name the school partly because I am not as brave as you are, but mostly because we are still at the school and it happened quite a few years ago. At the time if it were easy to change we would have. The parents of two girls did pull them out of the school. I remember one mother saying “we’re paying for a Mercedes and they’re giving us a Holden”. Schools bring in changes and new programs and poor classroom teachers are budened with them and under pressure to make them work. Things rarely go smoothly at the start. Our children are the guinea pigs and often the casaulties. Schools will always bring in these changes in the earlier years. They wouldn’t dare risk upsetting the students in the last couple of years of study. The all impotant final year results might be compromised. Unfortunaly the parents that support the school with fees and donations and volunteer work for many years are the ones who all too frequently end up with a raw deal. While the parents who can only aford (or sometimes are too cheap) to send their children for all but the last couple of years can say what a wonderful school.
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gigiandme 2yrs+
Here I am back again...back to the drawing board...my husband adamantly 'refuses' to send out 3 daughters to St Caths - he thinks the school is too small for 3 sisters - the older 2 are 20 months apart (but 2 years apart at school) and their younger sister is 3-4 years younger. Any thoughts anyone?
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gigiandme 2yrs+
Further to my post above, my husband and I are clearly having issues on agreeing with a school for our girls - eldest is in year 7 next year, so this is really a matter of urgency...she has a spot secured at lauriston, but I really don't want her to go there (once again, it's a personal thing..). He is refusing St Caths - my other option would be Mandeville Hall (Loreto) as I am catholic....any direct experience from anyone? I am getting desperate.
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jotoma 2yrs+
With so much demand for private schooling it amazes me we don't have any "new" private schools being setup these days. In fact I'm surprised property developers haven't setup private schools as a way to create new suburbs. Are there restrictions on private enterprise setting up a school?

Everybody wants to be near them and they drive property prices through the roof! The cost of private education is just getting to be the realm of millionaires.
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PureKrome 2yrs+
-Very- good question, Jotoma! There has to be a possible new market here. I'm 'guessing' the issue could be trying to source enough land for a private school. But maybe if a person makes a private school out in the edge of Melbourne (where you would assume there is spare land and at a reasonable price), it's not the right market (eg. the people buying out there probably wouldn't be interested in going there?) I wonder what the start up costs would be like, also? You would think that with population growth there also needs to be school growth ... and part of this would be private schools, too.
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sacredheart 2yrs+
Surprised that not many mentioned of selective schools at all....because of their locations?Or?
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SMH78 2yrs+
My daughter attends Ruyton, prep this year after attending the Early Learning Centre, and I agree that it is an excellent school and I cannot fault the standards amongst the teachers. I do, however, have a major issue with the behaviour of many parents. We have been really put off by the dangerous aggressive driving in the vicinity of the school by Ruyton parents and the inconsiderate behaviour of parents and pupils alike. Tall poppy syndrome is alive an well in Australia and many people see those who attend schools like Ruyton as being very privileged and are only too happy to see their view that the girls [and their parents] are selfish and lacking in consideration for other members of the community proven. Certain members of the Ruyton community would do well to remember that how they behave in public reflects on the school. I frequently remind my daughter that she must show consideration to others when moving in public spaces like public transport and even on the pavement. It is a shame that other members of the Ruyton community show such little regard to the need to be considerate of others. While ostensibly good values are taught at the school and pupils are encouraged to be involved in public service, this means absolutely nothing if you do not take the lessons you learn and apply them in your daily life.
At the beginning of the year I had hoped to become more involved in the Ruyton community. I have by now come to the conclusions that the Ruyton community is dead for me and I want nothing to do with many of the parents whose children attend the school.
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SMH78 that's very interesting.

Gigiandme, how are you going with your 2013 dilemma? Did you check out Melbourne Girls' Grammar? I thought it was a really nice school, it was one of my runners-up. Maybe since its a little larger than St Catherines your DH might think it suitable?
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FHT 2yrs+
My only comment on Ruyton is.... hmmmmm.
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mona64 2yrs+
interesting media coverage on rosa storelli at mlc. It can go both ways--we initally did not consider mlc as 14 years ago she seemed to be too much the face of mlc, and i have a friend who feels it is all a bit narcissistic. There also seems to be a camp that says she is so great that any overpayment issue should be dismissed. Another report that says all the girls are distressed--my daughters are fine and their only stories about rosa involve her telling them off about uniform issues! I do find that she is a dynamic speaker and obviously uses media extreamly well--im struck about how she usually is incredibly styled and now perhaps using her plain appearance and no makeup as a media device now? The other issue is that mlc usually keeps scandels out of the press--in the last year same sex relationship went on despite several months of exrpressed concern and then only reported as 'girls school' where by another school in melbourne got named. The school has enough structure and good teachers so i think it will weather this storm
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Can anybody give me some guidance on enrolling at Genazzano please.

What is the best year to enrol your daughter - Grade 5? Year 7? I know that they offer from prep but I cant justify the expense from prep to 5. I know with many of the boys schools Grade 5 is the best year as that's when most kids start.

Many thanks!
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melbournefan 2yrs+
Is Naplan a good way to compare schools? Do we have any teachers here who can give us an opinion on the testing?
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Brownie01 2yrs+
Comparing and contrasting two schools can be easy when you have a child going to each. We have a boy and a girl close in age. Both are in the last couple of years of Junior school; the boy at Trinity and the Girl at MLC.

One thing that really stands out between the schools is the amount of information that is given to parents. MLC has an excellent level communication, Trinity poor.

At Trinity they won’t tell you what class your child will be in the following year. They do this so that parents/students don’t ask to change classes so as not to be in a class with a particular student. It makes for a less smooth class transition for children. They still have a sham of an orientation day. Why bother?

MLC reports results of the externally conducted Parent Satisfaction Survey. Sure, MLC put a positive spin on the the results but that’s to be expected. Trinity reports nothing. (Are their results that bad? Who knows?)

With the ICAS test results all students are meant to get a certificate and a detailed report (ICAS tell you in their web site). MLC supplies everything. Trinity censors the detailed report and supplies only the certificate. (Why? I think Trinity just has a bizzare culture of secrecy.)

There was controversy recently at Trinity about the election process for junior school captain. Many parents thought the process was secret and deliberately corrupt. A special meeting was organised with invited parents and the head of junior school to try to improve the process. In a Trinity newsletter comments from other parents about the election process were asked for. The problem with this was they didn’t tell us what the election process was, so it’s difficult to comment. And naturally enough (for Trinity) the school hasn’t told us what has changed. (Less that positive information has tricked through by gossipping parents. Is the information correct? Who knows?) MLC has no such problem they tell you all you need to know and more.

It feels like MLC junior school is confident enough that they have no difficulty keeping parents fully informed. At Trinity Junior school it feels like the senior staff are sneaky and secretive thinking bliss is an ignorant parent. I would even go so far to say Trinity Junior school have a dysfuntional relationship with parents. (In fairness to Trinity teachers, they are just as good as MLC teachers but they are I think, given bad directions to follow from above)

Another difference with Trinity and MLC junior schools is how they recognise academic achievement. With the ICAS tests we are fortunate that both our children get distinctions and high distinctions. They have also achieved highly in other academic areas. At MLC a senior member of staff presents the high achiever with their certificate at assembly. My daughter comes home very proud and primed for study. (They also list their names in the newsletter)
At Trinity my son is lucky if his name is read out quickly at assembly. It barely registers as anything positive with him. With this treatment of good students perhaps its no wonder Trinity often/always does worse than MLC at VCE. There may need to be a cultural change at TJS from the top down.

Would we change school? No, something really bad would have to happen for us to even consider it. We have all made too many friends. BUT with the benefit of hindsight we probably would have chosen a different school. I am told that the senior school at Trinity is much much better. Looking forward to that.

What are other people’s experiences? Do other schools do it better/worse? Am I unfair on TJS? Too easy on MLC junior school? I’m sure new parents would like to know. I am certainly very curious too!
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Brownie01 2yrs+
Also, while I remember, let me add a comparison of how each school handles programs involving challenged children.

At MLC they have deaf girls attend the school as regular students, only with additional assistance, like signing teachers. From my daughters point of view (and I believe for most/all students) I can say it has been a positive experience. She has learnt a huge amount of signing (I think so anyway) and a better closer understanding of people with challenges.

At Trinity Junior school they have brought to the school challenged boys from a particular Australian group. My son has had little if any interaction with these boys but I have heard directly from parents whose children are more closely involved (as you may have read in an earlier post) that it is not going well.
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Classy 2yrs+
Yes Brownie I would say you are fair with your criticism of the TJS, brutally fair. With heavy emphasis on brutal.

I have a copy of the Junior house captain election procedure. It’s clear from this that the teachers at a meeting decide which students get what positions. No prizes for guessing who dominates the meeting. A teacher would have to be brave (or stupid) to vote against the wishes of their boss.
The thing that really irks me is that they maintain the deception that it is their fellow students that elect them. That is a load of CROCK. A student candidate can get 99% of the student vote & if that is not who the senior staff want he does NOT get elected. I repeat a student can get 99% of the student vote & NOT get elected. I feel for all the poor students that think they have a chance. They work hard to get support from their peers but are dead in the water before the process has even started. They are not the pre-chosen. The process IS corrupt. Is this a good life lesson?
The effect this deception can have on future actions, thoughts or confidence is like a blemish or bruise that might fade, but never really disappears.
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PureKrome 2yrs+
Be pretty awesome if a parent led group forced for re-election and they did the vote counting :)

Drop an email to Jon Fayne on ABC 774 .. asking him to call them to 'please explain'.
The 'copy' is clue to unravelling this ;)
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Edson 2yrs+
Hi everyone, back again from earlier in the year, now with another quick question that I'd love your feedback on. We've decided to go with the local primary school however we are deciding between Fintona and Strathcona for a pre prep year for my son (as he is young for his year having an April b'day) and 3yo and 4yo kinder for my daughter. Does anyone have any experience with either of these ELCs?
From what I've read Strathcona's pre prep program is specifically designed for kids who've already done 4yo kinder which appeals, but being a Baptist school i wonder how religious it is? And I think a lot of it will come down to the quality of the teachers.
So if anyone has any experience or has heard about either school's ELC and pre prep program I'd be very grateful for your feedback as we have to pick one soon.
Thanks!!
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Helen1 2yrs+
Hi everyone, I am new to this discussion and what an enlightening discussion it is!
I am hoping to receive some opinions and/or advice regarding which school to send our son to for year seven- Scotch College or Melbourne Grammar. He will be entering as a boarder in 2015. (I realise that these schools are sporting and academic rivals but any and all opinions would be appreciated)
Thank you in advance
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MMO 2yrs+
Hi I am new to the forum and we just moved in from oversea to Melbourne. I have an 11 years old daughter and we are looking out for her secondary school next year. We have got offer from Carey adn ahve approached Camberwell girls grammar also. but my girl is pretty much interested in Preshill. Anyone has any knowledge about that school? And she has been invited for a scholarship interview next week at Camberwell. What advise can we give her for her to go through the interview successfully? Many thanks in advance.
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Clare85 2yrs+
Hello MMO, best of luck for her interview next week. I just had my 10 year reunion there last night actually - the school has changed SO MUCH since I went there! The facilities are incredible. Back in the day I was on a scholarship there too and sat the interview just like your daughter did. The main advice I have is to tell her not to be shy, to answer questions and expand on them (not just yes and no answers), and be herself. Also, it is a good idea if she has some questions to ask them too - maybe regarding her special interests - so for example she could ask what the school's swimming program or music program are like if she has interests along those lines. I remember at my MLC interview they asked me about some issues that we would face in the future (at the time I discussed technology and its rapid changes) - I don't remember any of the Camb specific questions from back then. Good luck to her, and all the staff are lovely, so as long as she is a good communicator she should be just fine :)
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FHT 2yrs+
Hi MMO, the schools you list are extremely different from each other.
If your daughter is very much a free spirited and creative individual, Preshill would be fantastic for her. By Melbourne independent school standards is it quite "alternative" and I know many families whose kids have found a place to express their individualism there, and done very well. However would need to be very clear on understanding the school before committing to Preshill as it doesn't suit everyone.
Carey is a large co-ed school with a strong values system, focusing on building resilience and a sense of social responsibility in students. I can strongly recommend it.
Camberwell Girls is a very fine girls school more in the traditional model - smaller and a lot more structured than Preshill, and more contained than Carey.
With the very wide range you've listed I would strong recommend you spend a bit more time at each school so you understand them more fully before making any commitment.
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FHT 2yrs+
Helen1 from December. My pick would be Melbourne Grammar every time.
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MMO 2yrs+
Thank you all for your valuable comments and advices. We are hoping she would get a scholarship either with Carey or Camberwell girls grammar. Thanks.
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Helen1 2yrs+
Thanks for your reply, FHT. I appreciate you taking the time to respond. Do you mind telling me how/why you have formed this opinion? We don't have family connections with either school so are relying on 'gut feelings' at the moment, which ultimately may be of no merit. It would be good to hear from someone who has some background knowledge of the two schools.
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MACSS 2yrs+
Interesting, where have the two comments re the alternative school gone??
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BBK 2yrs+
Interesting MACSS. Considering other very reputable schools on here have copped a fair bit of backlash, it hardly seems fair that other no so reputable schools have their critical comments removed.
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MACSS 2yrs+
Agree, find it quite unfair that they have been removed and would like to know why as it is based on actual experience NOT "car park gossip". In my opinion a happy child in the right school environvment will flourish and good teachers make all the difference public or private!
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PureKrome 2yrs+
@MACSS & @BBK - I'm guessing those comments were moderated because they might have been considered defamatory? Or maybe it seemed too opinionated without providing evidence? I'm not too sure.

One thing is for sure - it's really, really REALLY hard picking a good school! I remember how I really enjoyed boarding school while others hated it. It's such an important (parental) decision to make and it's sometimes really hard to make :( One year, the teacher(s) might be great. By them time it's your turn (with your children), those teachers might have moved on and things are different.

Hmmmm...
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MACSS 2yrs+
Exactly...............that's what happened to us. Went on a waiting list 4 years prior to attending, did lots of research, visited the school numerous times, spoke to happy parents, our "gut feeling" was good. Fast forward, its our turn and things are no longer same. Yes, its one of the hardest decisions to make and sometimes you still can get it wrong. Good Luck to one and all.
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FHT 2yrs+
@Helen1: I have not been a parent at either school (daughters only!) but some of my closest friends have had sons at both schools, and one of my best friends is a senior staff member at MGS (who chose that position after being offered a senior position at both Scotch and MGS). I have spent a fair amount of time at both Schools attending co-curricular events, and had a lot of feedback - both good and bad - from parents at both school.
While I believe that the current "new" (no longer new, but not the previous incumbent Dr Donadlson) head at Scotch has brought excellent and important changes to the School, Scotch remains - and will always do so - a very "traditional" school. Its pastoral programs are average, and while it has some extremely talented students, there is a massive divide between the intelligentsia and the rest.
MGS of course is also steeped in tradition, however I believe it's academic and pastoral programs are both contemporary, carefully thought out, and designed with a modern take on boy's education. While family links are of course also significant at MGS, I have found them to be less so than at Scotch.
For my money, MGS is one of the best schools in Melbourne (boys, girls, co-ed) and if I had a son I would send him there.
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FHT 2yrs+
@MACss and @BBK - weird. These posts are rarely removed: very odd.
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MACSS 2yrs+
Yes, it is odd considering its not the only school on here to receive some negative comments? Maybe I could name it again and see what happens!

That school is Preshil, consider it with caution atm, did not meet our expectations or was it like what was "sold" to us at time of application.
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Helen1 2yrs+
@ FHT-Thank you so much for sharing that: I shall add it to the pros and cons list. As our son will be attending his future school as a boarder we really need to ensure that his 'home away from home' is a good fit.

Thanks again, wishing you and your girls well.
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MaggieQ 2yrs+
@ FHT - my daughter has been offered a spot at MGS Grimwade House. But I found that boy:girl ratio at Grimwade was 2:1 and it gets worse at Y5 to Y6 as many girls gradually transfer to girl schools. The academic results at Grimwade also concern me a bit as the school seems "behind" many similar private schools (Caulfield Grammar and etc) or even public schools of same size (Auburn South Primary, Camberwell Primary).
What's your view? Thanks
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PureKrome 2yrs+
@MaggieQ : do you have link to the Grimwade academic results that you are referring to?
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MaggieQ 2yrs+
http://bettereducation.com.au/school/Primary/vic/vic_top_primary_schools.aspx

@PureKrome: The above link was the top 100 primary school in Vic based on NAPLAN 2012 results only.
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Hi my eyes have gone googly from reading the above 100+ messages. We currently reside overseas, I have two boys, 6 and turning 8. We are planning to move to Victoria in 3 years, I have not enrolled them in any independent secondary school and am freaking out! In case it's too late to get them into private schools, what are the suggestions for public secondary schools (not including selective schools)? I think University High, Kew High and Balwyn High popped up some time before, what are those schools like nowadays (apart from academic results)? My boys are active, creative, the older one loves maths, the younger one I am not too sure yet.
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MACSS 2yrs+
Hi mumfreaking out I am not too sure about other schools but I know that unless you live within the "Zone" of University High it is highly unlikely you will get a place as it is a highly sort out public school. If you are lucky enough to get a child in, there is no guarantee of a place for a sibling. Some get in on special circumstances like music or academic excellence. I live within 6 km and was rejected twice over the last 3 years due to no places for "out of zone" applicants. You may need to make decisions based on your place of residence being in the school zones. Good luck with your search.
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Thank you for your reply MACSS.
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mumfreakingout, what suburb are you planning on moving to? We might be able to recommend some schools or get feedback on them.
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FHT 2yrs+
@maggieq: have hard nothing good about Grimwade for years in terms of girls. Would avoid.
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FHT 2yrs+
*have heard!
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FHT 2yrs+
@mumfreakingout: agree with comments above. There are good govt schools - many- however you will need to be living in their zone to secure entry. Depending in where you plan to live you may find outer lying independent schools (eg Haylebury, Yarra Valley, Knox) have shirts waiting lists. The first step is where you will be living.
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@JVS: we have not planned where to live yet. It may largely depend on what schools they get into (it's like the chicken/egg question). I would prefer the Eastern suburbs as I have close relatives in Boorondara area. However, happy to know what good public schools are out there as where to live is not definite. We have asked Melbourne Grammar, Trinity Grammar, and Camberwell Grammar, all have long waiting lists (now I am recommending anyone that has interests in sending kids to private schools to put their names down at birth).
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@FHT: Thanks for your reply!
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MaggieQ 2yrs+
@FHT: Thanks for your kind reply. We have zero connection with MGS, so the only chance to get a place for my younger boy was to enrol his older sister at Grimwade House which "guarantee" a place for sibling. I did raise my concern(s) with the school when I first toured Grimwade last year regarding "how successfully the girls moving into other co-ed or single sex schools" & "how the school balance off the education/extra curriculums when boys are doubled the number of girls?". The teachers said girls from Grimwade House are sought after. But when I step back and back out all the "selfish" reasons, i.e. gaining a spot for her younger brother, it has become crystal clear that the school does not seem perfect (or good enough) for my girl. (1) she will eventually move to girls schools (most likely) where she may need a fair bit catch up in terms of academics (2) Grimwade girls often feed to MGGS and Lauriston. I don't have good impression with either of them.

I am now turning back to single sex school for my boy and girl. I live at Hartwell (Camberwell) and am very impressed by Strathcona. Do you or anyone in the forum have any insight of this school? Thanks for all open discussions on this forum.
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Brownie01 2yrs+
Trinity Junior school is now bleeding good experienced teachers and they seem to be leaving in not the happiest of ways. I’m a little shocked but not totally surprised. If parents aren’t happy for what I believe are good reasons (see my earlier post) then why should top teachers who can usually get better employment elsewhere be happy? They too I bet don’t like having to put up with Trinity Junior school nonsense.
Classy & PureKrome 11-21-12 I know everyone associated with TGJS is concerned with what goes on at TGJS and I wouldn’t want to discourage anyone from sharing this information with Jon Faine or anyone else in the media. I can’t help but thinking however that this would be of little to no interest to anyone outside of the TGJS community. Just my opinion. What I think parents want with the captain issue (& just about anything else) is three things, Openess, Honesty & Fairness. They preach such high ideals one would have thought it would happen naturally. I personally having such low expectations of the junior scool would settle for two out of the three. The current zero out of three should be acceptable to no one.

Having said all that allow me to share some rumours that usually carry at least some truth.
The change that parents & teachers are hoping for might be happening soon. So if you had crossed TGJS off your school list because of thigs you’ve read or heard please hold off. I will let you know as soon as it happens. (If it happens)
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Brownie01 2yrs+
Having said all that allow me to share some rumours that usually carry at least some truth. The change that parents & teachers are hoping for might be happening soon. So if you had crossed TGJS off your school list because of things you’ve read or heard please hold off. I will let you know as soon as it happens. (If it happens) ......................... (Everything was just bunched together so I repeated this part for those with an interest)
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FHT 2yrs+
Am I imagining things, or are there MORE recent comments relating to Preshil that have been removed???
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MACSS 2yrs+
Wouldnt surprise me FHT as my earlier comments on Preshill were removed! I believe the school is struggling and "alleged "internal conflict causing some staff exits. I am aware that the last 3-4 years have had a number of staff movements. Although the school and community will deny this and say everything is " rosy". As a parent with a child who attended this school our experience was not positive and moving on to another school was the BEST thing for us. The school also has a pattern of senior students moving on to other schools to complete their final year, we know of least 5 in the last 12 months. Our experience is based on the Senior School, so cannot comment on the primary school but I believe there are so many other good primary schools, including public, so save your money. If you are wanting to "invest" into the senior school, you may not get your money's worth, we certainly didnt. (PS. FHT let's see how long this post stays up)
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MACSS 2yrs+
Correction on above post for Preshil:
The school also has a pattern of senior students moving on to other schools to complete their final years - at year 9 or 10 level
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MACSS 2yrs+
I know that this school is not in the area but if anyone has any info or advice re Penleigh and Essendon Grammar (PEGS) it would be appreciated. Looking at the senior school, starting Year 11 next year. They have a fantastic new building, co-ed and very academic. Our child is not very sporty but co-curricular sport is compulsory at the school. Is the school known to "let go" of students if they dont fit in or are they flexible and supportive?
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SoonHongGoh 2yrs+
Hi,
Our daughter just received offers from PLC and MLC for Year 10. we find it difficult to decide which school for her. She is an average student and we want her to enjoy learning and not to be under a too stressful environment. we note that PLC scores well in the VCE exams and MLC is a all rounded school. hope to get advice. tks
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giller10 2yrs+
hi
am moving from perth to Melbourne with my kids next year, they are in year nine now-but iasked around at McKinnon high and they said my kids would have to repeat year nine in Melbourne as they would not be allowed to go straight to year ten. does this seem correct?

as thought that you would just continue on--year nine in perth and then at start of next year drop straight into year ten in Melbourne---can any assist me please--very confusing
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mona64 2yrs+
about mlc or plc; there is some resistance to 'new girls ' in year 10 at mlc so some preparation for that should happen; this reisistance doesnt seem to be an issue for year 9 or year 7 although some parents move their daughters in year 5 to get around this issue completly. we have had a good expernece at mlc; but i wouldnt recommend it for shy or girls lacking self confidence as the sheer size and girls who attend who are socially very confident and self assured is a bad mix in my opinion. know of families who insist on sending their girls there and there are issues;they really should consider smaller schools with strong personal support -think kowora and the like. plc is less known but quite far out in terms of suburbs that mlc draws on -typically balwyn, kew and hawthorn. onlly from schoolyard talk do i hear that 'old' plc girls are not sending their daughters there as the school demographics have changed dramatically since they were there;
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SoonHongGoh 2yrs+
Thanks. We heard that PLC emphasis a lot on studies and has more international students than local students. We hope our girl can cope as she is an average student. Frankly, what wld be your considerations in choosing the school.
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mona64 2yrs+
i think most private schools cater for a range of abilities
i took my daughter so she decided and you can get a good feel for places
also i would go local -it is a hassle otherwise in the long term or think bus tram and rail routes-there are buses that go direct to schools too
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La 2yrs+
What does anyone know about Dr Michael Davis? he's just been appointed headmaster of Trinity Grammar to replace Rick Tudor start of 2014.
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Belle72 2yrs+
As someone with two boys planning a move to Melbourne, can anyone give me feedback on De La Salle College in Malvern. Apologies in advance if this is a double post, I'm new to this forum!
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pubvspriv 2yrs+
Have a son in grade 6 who has been offered a place for next year at both Scotch College and the Acceleration program at University High School. Both have advantages and disadvantages that i am finding hard to weigh up. In particular we dont really have a feel for the culture of the acceleration program at Uni High. Son is a bright cookie but not exactly hard working. We like the idea of him being challenged academically and encouraged to try harder, but don't want a pressure cooker type environment. Can anyone assist with information please ?
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fluro57 2yrs+
We have a 5 year old son who is enrolled at St Charles Borromeo Templestowe commencing in 2014. However in the past 12 months there has been a new principal and 8 new teachers. Can anyone provide any feedback as to the current performance of the school and its teachers.
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FHT 2yrs+
@pubvspriv: You are considering two entirely and completely different environments here from a school-cultural perspective. Are these choices limited by the challenges in finding quality placements for boys? A choice of Scotch is entering a deep and complex cultural context- highly conservative and steeped in tradition. It can be a pressure cooker too, although there are a lot of very average students at Scotch who will succeed in life through connections not results; University High meanwhile has a very different cultural context at the other end of the political/social spectrum, plus places great value on its accademic acceleration. I once employed as a holiday worker a barely 17 year old graduate from Uni High: he'd achieved and ATAR (or the equivalent of the day) of 99.85 or something equally stellar but he was cocky, immature and not in the slightest bit ready for University: the other slightly older employees thought he was frankly full of himself.
When it comes to acceleration at any school I always as "why"? Why is it necessary to speed things up, to move faster than your age cohort elsewhere (or in the next classsroom); to do year 10 subjects in year 8, or year 12 subjects in year 10? It all ends up at the same place - we all end up 30 one day, and often the pressure cooked kids are doing far less well than the school of hard knocks street smart ones.
Can your so do a standard program at Uni High rather than the accelerated stream: it's a great school in many ways?
If you do choose Scotch, make sure you REALLY understand the cultural/social context.
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FHT 2yrs+
@Belle72 De La Salle would be classified as a "mid level" Catholic School for boys. It is in the midst of a high-end socio economic area, however it draws a very wide range of boys from many parts of Melbourne so it is not "snobby". It's very close to the main Malvern/Armadale shopping area and has good tram access and not too far to trains.
St Kevins in Kooyong would have higher "status" within the Catholic Ed hierarchy, and has better facilities and resources, but is more expensive.
De La Salle is a bit "caged in" on its limited site and it not among the wealthier Catholic Schools. Some years ago "DeLa" boys had a reputation as being rough and tumble but I think this has been addressed.
I personally know two DeLa graduates very well - both in their early 20s now: you'd struggle to find finer young men. Both had creative leanings and these were well accommodated by the school. Spend some time checking it out but I suspect you would find it could be a good choice, depending of course on the style and interests of your son.
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Lulubel 2yrs+
@pubvspriv. Totally agree with FHT regarding Scotch vs Uni High. I will add that at Uni High you will not get the diversity of subjects or extra-curricular activities that you can at Scotch. Uni High is extremely academic even though half it's students are not (due to catchment zone) and they have limited creative streams or sport (which I feel is an important aspect of schooling).

We live in the Uni High catchment and I'm not sure if it will suit our son (creative type) so will probably send him to his father's old school St Kevin's or Wesley if Uni High doesn't suit either of our kids.
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Belle72 2yrs+
Thanks so much for your comments FHT - this is exactly the kind of thoughtful local insight I was hoping for! My eldest son is very maths/science oriented, so your comments about De La Salle catering for creative types were extremely useful - he might do very well in a mid-level school but I might also be better off looking for a more academic school for him. I've seen St Kevin's cropping up a few times on this and other pages so I will also investigate that. If you or others have any further thoughts on suitable schools I would love to hear them! One issue I haven't yet thought about tackling is waiting lists - some of the most sought-after schools in Canberra have long waiting lists, are they likely to be an issue in Melbourne?
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pubvspriv 2yrs+
FHT and Lulubel - many thanks for your comments. Yes we are limited for schools because of where we live. Uni high is closer to us though and that is a big plus. I agree with your assessment of scotch culture - but would think that it too has its immature boys not ready for university and others that are full of themselves because of their perceived status in the world. Acceleration has its pluses and minuses - but the uni high program has been changed so that you can be in the accelerated program and do your high schooling in 6 years. You do years 7 - 10 in 3 years and then spend 3 years doing VCE and enrichment studies. I agree re sport Lulubel and we would need to ensure he kept up some sport outside of school if we went with uni high. In the end though we are trying to determine whether there are any "deal breaking" risks associated with uni high that might make it unsuitable and for me that would be if the kids in the program were all super competitive and did nothing but study.
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FHT 2yrs+
@Belle72 I hear extremely good things about St Kevins and know many families who are extremely happy with all elements of the school's program. If you are looking for a boy's school within the Catholic Education system I don't think you could do better by all I hear. However..... waiting lists in Melbourne are horrendously long, especially for boys. What year would your sons be entering - note that some schools will be more helpful for families entering from interstate, but whatever your situation, act ASAP.
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fluro57, regarding St Charles Borromeo Templestowe, as a parent of 2 kids that attend I can say the changes have been great. The new headmaster Greg Thomas (and the new teachers) have brought lots of fresh ideas and the changes to parents have been very smooth, it is a small school which is the big appeal to us.
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morningcloud 2yrs+
We are new comers from overseas. We plan to have my son to start his study in Melbourne from next year. Can anyone give some solid advice as what's the realistic choices for my son to be enrolled into a good private school? It seems all good private schools have to be registered at ealier stage and have references, which we don't have. I found some schools enroll new students in Year 4 and some in Year 5. My son will be 9 years old by end of this month. He's smart. He plays piano and French Horns and is the member of the school band. His maths is very good, but English as the second language still need to be improved.
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morningcloud 2yrs+
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in adance.
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vfehlberg 2yrs+
We were a bit lost looking at all the choices ourselves - everyone has a different opinion. We are living overseas at the minute too, so the investigation was not easy. In the end we looked to a schools consultant (Regent Consulting - Paul O'Shannassy was our contact) - and got some great help working it out. Lots of info we otherwise wouldn't have been able to get access to, and they helped us sort out what our real priorities were. We were really happy, and now have the kids in to schools that we think are going to be great for them. This isn't supposed to be an ad, but we were really glad we went to them! http://www.regentconsulting.com.au
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Here's a list of private school fees (made some updates), very interesting to see the variance http://www.streetadvisor.com.au/melbourne-greater-victoria/questions/private-school-fees-in-melbourne---prices
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caspar 2yrs+
sorry I just signed up to streetadvisor. I'm trying to decide between a few private schools for my 5 year old daughter. FHT, I noticed you have had experience with MGGS, St Catherine's and MLC. What would you recommend out of those 3 schools? I went to St Catherine's for senior school, but it has changed since I was there. I am struggling to find the right fit. Has anyone else had direct experiences with these schools?
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Natt 2yrs+
vfehlberg - Thanks so much for referring Paul from Regent Consulting. I am an expat living in Australia for the past few years. I had very limited knowledge about the schooling system in Victoria and I was not confident to make the decision for my 3 YO. Paul brought in all the experience to the table - (exactly what I was expecting) and at the end he loaded me with all the stats and facts that help me make my decision. Now I definitely feel confident that I am making the right decision for my child. To be honest I didn't even know that there is such an amazing service offered to help people out.

This is just my experience and I thought I would share this so that it could help people like me. If you would like to know more feel free to write to me on [email protected].

-Nathan
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vfehlberg 2yrs+
Natt, no worries. Glad it helped! We were really happy. Feeling like the kids are down for schools that work for them (and us) is a real weight off! Best. Verran
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Are any parents here seriously considering NAPLAN score as a measure of a schools quality? An article in the Age today mentions that private schools are no guarantee of higher NAPLAN scores but wasn't sure how much weight is given to these stats.
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JiteshChheda 2yrs+
Can anyone share their views on Caulfield Grammar. my son is 4 months old now and I was interested in putting his name down on their waiting list. We live in Glen Iris and I have short listed this school along with Scotch college and Camberwell Grammar.
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Emmmmmy9 2yrs+
I've been a student at MLC for over 10 years and have never had any real issues with bullying or had concerns about the quality of my education. While it is a large school, I don't feel as if students do get lost. I am a quiet and reserved person and I have never felt any disadvantage due to that. Most of the student population is very welcoming - the only issue with students is the 'popular' group. They are generally nice to everyone, but they do engage in risk taking behaviors such as drinking, but that is to be expected at any school. There is a lot of diversity and many students are not as wealthy as you'd expect - many students have middle class families who work hard to afford a private school education, or are scholarship students. There is a strong focus on academics, but this is in the later years - Year 10 and above. Many sporting, drama, music and academic opportunities. Large range of subjects to chose from and IB, VCE and VCE-VET programs. From my experience, I would definitely recommend MLC.
Negatives - expensive! Year 12 tuition for the 2014 school year is close to $25000 + laptop and other fees
Note on other schools:
Ruyton - I know many girls who were educated there in their primary years, and many have told me that it is very cliquey and that they didn't enjoy it.
Carey - Nice students and a good balance between academics and extra curriculars. Offers IB also.
PLC - Very academic oriented and location wise a bit further out of the city. Nice students, from what I've heard.
Korowa - Significantly smaller, but still strong academically. I had a friend transfer from Korowa to MLC and she was ahead academically, but that may have been due to extra tutoring.
Scotch - Some seriously amazing facilities and very high academic results. High standards and grade boundaries.
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Wow, thanks Emmmmmy9 for the honest feedback. At this time I am contemplating a girls school for my 3 year old and had only considered Genazzano. This will give me some options. Any thoughts on Genazzano?
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Emmmmmy9 2yrs+
Hi JVS, from what I've heard, Genezzano is a very good school and has excellent facilities. The people I have met from the school have all been lovely and have had nothing bad to say about the school. From what I've heard, I think they do have a slightly more religious focus than some of the other private schools (students have to take religion as a VCE subject, I believe), but I don't think in any way it affects the education your child will get.
Just choose the school that best suits your daughter. The schools in the area are all very good and will provide your daughter with an excellent education. Good luck!
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PureKrome 2yrs+
@Emmmmmy9 Nice! Great info in there :) Really really helpful.

Thought - if the children at Genezzano have to take Religion as a VCE subject, that means they miss out on learning another subject (say, another science or arts subject)... correct? which could mean .. for many .. a wasted subject (assumption: religion-subject won't help them after school, unless of course they go into the clergy or some religious-related field, which again i'm assuming is a tiny proportion of students).
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Having been to a private Catholic school I never found that Religion affected my VCE studies so I can't agree with you PureKrome. (And starting a new topic on the merits of religious vs non religious schools could get messy!).

Emmmmmmy9 I'd like to thank you for your comments on the various schools, it has helped me open my mind to other options. I will be visiting Genezzano soon, will let you know how my tour goes.
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passat1990 2yrs+
I'm an old St Kevin's boy and although I am still a believer that schools like St Kevin's, Caulfield, PEGS, Camberwell and Scotch are great boys schools, I have now come to the realisation that they just aren't as high of a standard as Xavier College and Melbourne Grammar. For mine, I was always jealous of Xavier boys, they had better reputation, higher grades, better opportunities, and always were the most competitive on the sporting field. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Skevs, but again, we were just not up to the standard of Xavier and Melbourne, and still aren't. My Wife went to Genezzano, the sister school of Xavier College. She says that Genezzano doesn't in fact have to complete a religious subject as part of their VCE, but instead, does internal Religion classes, which although comply with the school ethos, do not in any way contribute to a VCE students mark, unless of course they choose to do a VCE religion subject. I feel bad that Xavier gets a bad wrap in the media, because a lot of the claimed behaviour reported about is blown extremely out of proportion, and its sad that the media, through what seems like jealousy, has to tarnish the name of such a great school. I know I am a Skevs boy at heart but, if I ever have a boy he will be going to Xavier, without a doubt.
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CVH68 2yrs+
I love that this forum is still going. They chose their school six years ago guys!!! lol. anyway…
Public vs Private. I'm a teacher and I can tell you that as such I will be sending my children to public school in PRIMARY school. There are so many fantastic schools out there, there is absolutely no need to look at private schools for that reason. No matter where you live in Melbourne your child should be able to receive a great primary education.
Secondary is a different story. In inner-suburban Melbourne you will find quite good public schools, but it's harder the further out you go. That's not to say ones further out aren't good. I just don't know a lot about them. However, I would like to send my own children to PRIVATE high schools not because of the standard of education, but because of the options available to them in private schools. I went to a public school and I always envied the private schools with fantastic performing arts programs or language programs or visual arts programs. I envied the sports they got to learn. I wish I had had those opportunities in life (small public high school education for me!), because I may have chosen to live my life later on differently. I have a very creative bent and am quite academic so a school like that would have truly benefitted me.
However, a private school education would have been wasted on my brother, who is much more happy with a hammer in his hand than a book. He dropped out in Year 11, which was definitely the right choice for him. He's now a qualified carpenter and doing very well for himself. I guess you have to look at what your kid's loves are and then decide. While academics are extremely important, it is just as important to give them opportunities to be the best WHOLE PERSON they can be, which means cultivating their talents, strengths and interests. THAT is the advantage private schooling has.
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CVH68 2yrs+
Oh, and on a different note, but related to my statement above:
I have found through my own experience as a child and as a teacher, that parents strive to recognise their children as individuals, as they most definitely should. But sometimes parents strive too much.
Like I said, my brother and I are very different. My parents recognised and celebrated our differences. I was artistic and musical; he was fantastic at any sport he put his mind to. Just one word of warning however: my parents failed to notice that my brother was also good at singing and art. It's just that I already had that title, so he looked to other things he enjoyed. It wasn't until recently (he's now 23) that we realised that he has all these other talents that weren't nurtured when he was young.
So for parents I say this: Celebrate your children's differences but also celebrate their similarities, and make sure that encouragement and celebration are equal for each child in an activity, no matter what they put their mind to. You never know how they might surprise you when they have the confidence.
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Ghe33 2yrs+
Ok. A cautionary tale here. I was a student of Xavier College in the late 80s to early 90s. I went to the Burke Hall junior school too. When I entered, I was a bright optimistic A-stream student. When I left in Year 12, I was suffering from anxiety and depression including social phobia. It took me ten years to recover from it. I almost failed subjects in the VCE.
Xavier was the most verbally abusive environment that I have ever been in, before or since. I don't know why it was that way but it started when I walked in the gates at Burke Hall in grade 5 and ended after Year 12. Not everyone had a bad time there as I did. But many did.
On paper, it is a very impressive school. There are many sports ovals, a rowing shed by the river, music rooms, and a number of electives to choose from. Many have done well academically on gone on to the medical, legal or engineering professions.
The teachers do dot the i's and cross the t's and the majority of them were proficient.
The trouble was that it was a cold, heartless environment awash with sneering and predatory behaviour. In hindsight, I think that the way to get through it was to keep quiet and stay below the radar or join in and pretend it was all a bit of harmless fun. But why bother? There are better schools which do not have these problems at all. Why risk your children's mental health in the first place?
I do believe that even those who feel that Xavier was ok are actually unaware that they have poorer communication and behavioural skills that leave them vulnerable to negative life events such as divorce and loneliness.
I entertain the possibility that the place has changed since the 90s; I hope so. Here's a tip that I hope is of use to you all. I believe that you can determine the positivity of a school by observing the body language of students at bus stops as you drive by. It was something I noticed when I saw a group a Xavier students compared with a group of university students. Hunched backs, cowering, nervous looks, forced smiles - is bad. So too is hands-in-pockets, snarls, effected swaggers or trying to hard. On the other hand, happy students are more natural. They smile, have open arms, pat each other on the back, wave, etc.
I feel sad when someone describes their schooldays as fun or "a blast". I missed out on all of that and had lots of issues to deal with afterwards, to boot. Since then I've had the good fortune to be a part of many different groups where the people are warm and open and welcoming and made great progress (albeit belatedly) in my life. I hope this information is useful to you.
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Ghe33,

It is amazing how everyones experience can be markedly different. I attended Xavier in mid to late 80's and it was an fantastic experience for me with lots of great memories and life friends. I also have younger brothers who attended early to mid 90's and they had a similar experience. I now have my son attending Burke Hall and while its only early days he is very happy and commented on the numerous activities (lots of sport, music, camps), the quality of teachers, the programs you just don't get at your local public schools. It is expensive for sure but justified my decision to send him to a private school.
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MelbourneH 2yrs+
Hi Everyone,
Just wondering if there were any thoughts or anyone with experience of Wesley - particularly for primary ed.

I have just finished reading what is certainly a fascinating mix of comments about the public / private school options in Melb. It really does seem like the tide can turn either way for any school but of course some entrenched cultures are likely here to stay. We are moving to Melbourne in January 2015 and like many are facing the difficult task of choosing a school that will be a good fit for our boy and girl (entering Yr 2 and Prep). We were more than happy with public co-ed primary in our zoning in our original home state but life has taken us on a little adventure and the next stop is Melb (indefinite period). We did have the kids wait-listed at private schools in our original state and were originally thinking Yr 7 entry but because we are not listed in Melbourne we are likely heading towards private school entry in Primary partly in order to secure them a spot. Anyway, we are thinking about Wesley as it is co-ed, seems to have reasonable pastoral care, exposure to IB PYP, continues to yr 12, good music / sport / drama options and is close to work, albeit coming at a price! We would love to hear from anyone with a recent experience of Wesley.

Many thanks!
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LD 2yrs+
As a current student right now here is the run down of what is the general reputation regarding a few schools:
Wesley and Haileybury: used to be seen as good schools but are now seen as something of the opposite. Not sure how true these rumors are, but many people seem to think there are drug related activities at these schools. Their VCE rankings have also gone down in the past few years but that is not to take away from their excellent array of subject selections, facilities and co-curricular opportunities. A lot of football players have come from there, and generally scouters will go to schools like these.
Sacre Coeur: is an excellent school. I know plenty of people who've gone there and have had a fantastic experience, not only scholastically but in all areas of school life. Very good teaching faculty.Same goes for St Kevin's, Genazzano & Loreto Mandeville Hall.
Xavier College: generally okay reputation these days. It is no doubt excellent facilities wise, but in terms of their students I am not so sure. Whether it is a lack of discipline or simply the wrong crowds being enrolled, but in the past few years Xavier has seemingly gone down.
Caulfield Grammar, PEGS & Carey Baptist: probably the best private co-ed schools. Whilst they are pricy I would say they're worth it. They have such polite kids and again very broad options in all areas of schooling life. Good pastoral programs.
Lauriston: is supposedly very clique-y and there is a lot of divison amongst students in terms of social ranking. Have met quite a few snobby girls who went there. Same goes for Fintona.
Ruyton & Trinity Grammar: again excellent schools. Have upheld very good reps and academic standards over the years.
Geelong Grammar & The Geelong School: not sure if they are worth the money, to be quite honest.
PLC & MLC: as others have said, they are quite large schools but I doubt you will get lost in the crowd. Many of my relatives have attended and said they loved it.
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KateB1 2yrs+
Can anyone shed any light on Kingswood College in Box Hill? It's fees are pretty high but there has been no mention of it on here at all. Looking for co-ed but have boys so I know I have no hope of Carey. Also, I have always been warned against Southwood, but now it has completely merged with Tintern, is it a better option, as they offer IB?
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UkM 2yrs+
Hi All- so good to see this post and comments. I am currently torn between choosing South east and Western suburbs as a long term alternative to ensure good housing at reasonable costs . While South east is very flashy and has a lot of good schools the homes at these suburbs are very pricey . West seems to be good cheaper alternative with infrastructure issues . To top the confusion I have a confirmed admission at 3Year old ELC at Wesley College Glen Waverley for my son who is 3 now . I have also put him is Westbourne waiting list in the west where he can start only when he is 5 years anyways . Any suggestion ? Which is better Wesley Glen Waverley or Westbourne Trugannia ? I find Wesley has a huge leagcy and very heavy weight alumuni and understand they give excellent all round exposure . I observed that Westbourne also has similar facilities but not a great alumuni ? Any suggestions please help ... If I choose wesley I might have to settle long term here aroud Wantrina or nearby
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Lulubel 2yrs+
A school friend sends her children to Westbourne and the school community sounds shocking! Quite a vacuous, nouveau rich bunch. I'm sure Wesley Glen Waverley would be a lot more down to earth and a better school overall.
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AtsA 2yrs+
Study Score Calculator is a mobile application that functions as a genuine, accurate and legitimate Study Score predictor for Year 12 students and teachers. It is use to ensure the correct ranking of a student in a certain subject. To know how this application works, read more about the Study Score Calculator here: http://bit.ly/UO6fsp
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MelH2 2yrs+
hi any thoughts on Scotch vs Camberwell grammar vs Trinity? thanks
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MariaE 2yrs+
Hi. here is my take on the private schools. I ahve had my son (now 10yrs in grade 5) on the waiting list for Caulfield Grammer since he was 2 months old, on St kevins since he was 6 yrs (grade 1) and Huntingtower since he was 8 yrs old (grade 3) and I ahve now been knocked back at all 3 schools and I'm shocked. I ahve been told the spots have been taken by kids of parents who have attended or from others on waitinglist before us. What are the chances of getting into StKevins (this is my first preference)? Apparently when they do their scholarships there will be more spots available but I don't know how many (apparently my son is in the top 12 waiting list). Can anyone help with my diilemma? Do more spots go out the year before?
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