I have 2 girls - one at Carey and 1 at Genazzano. Each learn differently and need different environments. I firmly believe "one size doesn't have to fit all". Moral of the story - assess each school based on your child. Ask for a tour of the school (outside of the normal tour hours to get a real feel for the school - no glamourising of a normal day.... they should be willing to accomodate). Its not all about the academics either - its about the a wide range of offerings from music, sport, drama, outdoor education, exchange programs etc etc. I want my children to be able to experience a bit of everything on offer that suits them, and hope they find their way, are challenged and develop their strengths and skills.
Carey is a lovely and caring school but not at all academic - the focus is very much on individual well being rather than high academic achievement. It is much more interested in creating well rounded individuals rather than top academic performers. There is very little pressure applied academically so if this is important to you, then it is best to look elsewhere.
@kathyroussos I just saw this post and thought you might like to see my question I posted on most important factors in choosing a school.
It would be great to know thoughts from others. Knowing the factors important to you will help narrow down the best school for your 11, 9 and 5 year olds.
Is it important they all go to the same school?
My son is at Melbourne Grammar and has loved it. But I have also heard great things about Carey, which if you have all boys might be nice for the co-ed aspect (although Melbourne Grammar is co-ed up to grade 6). But if you have a girl, don't send her to Melbourne Girls Grammar School, although it has some affiliation with Melbourne Grammar, it is not even in the same league and it has quite a poor reputation.
I guess first assumption is you want to go private - there are some great State selective schools. What are your views on single sex versus co-ed - possibly a more pertinent question. We have 2 kids -11 year old boy is reasonably bright, not that creative and participates in sport (though would not call him sporty) and 8 year old girl (smart but not that interested in chasing marks, fairly confident). For good or bad we prefer the private system (though both State primary). We had our son down for MGS and Caulfield - both had family connections but preference was MGS as prefer single sex schooling. Daughter - Lauriston and St Catherines - 2 of many great schools for girls. Whichever school there will be academics and wealthy families - the latter kind of goes with the territory of private schools. Possibly more to the point is will the relevant school teach these kids to respect all people - regardless of whether they are as smart or as wealthy. My honest view is that is more about the teachers on the journey and not the school itself.