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Home » Education Advice » A parent’s guide to starting Primary School in Australia

A parent’s guide to starting Primary School in Australia


Starting primary school in Australia is a big milestone for children and families. It can be an exciting or a challenging time.

When does Primary School start in Australia?

Primary school is usually from Kindergarten (or ‘Kindy’) till year 6.

Whilst the correct age to start primary school varies by state, children usually begin at the age of 5 or 6.

To attend primary school, the child needs to be 5 years old before the cut-off to attend school.

Current cut-off dates in Australia

New South Wales (NSW) – 31 July

Victoria (VIC) and Australian Capital Territory (ACT) – 30 April

Queensland (QLD), Western Australia (WA) and Northern Territory (NT) – 30 June

South Australia (SA) – 1 May

Tasmania (TAS) – 1 January

When should I send my child to Primary School?

If your child is born before the cut-off date of a state, they have the option to be one of the older kids in the grade or one of the younger ones.

For example, if Jayden is born on the 24th of April, he can start school in NSW at the age of 4 years and 9 months. Jayden may also attend school the following year at the age of 5 years and 9 months where he will be one of the older students.

So which one is a better fit?

Selecting the right year of entry into primary school is a difficult decision for parents. There is no correct answer.

You may wish to consider the following when deciding whether your child is ready for big school:

1. Notice your child’s development

Most of the decision should depend on your child and how they are going.

Knowledge and cognitive ability

Think about your child’s cognitive skills.

When starting primary school in Australia your child should have a basic understanding of numbers and counting.

Have a conversation with your child and gauge whether they can understand stories and demonstrate thinking and reasoning skills. You may consider their ability to complete puzzles, sort and match objects or identify colours and shapes.

starting primary school in australia. puzzle pieces.

Another recommendation to look at is their ability to wait their turn and share toys and equipment.

Maturity level

Your child should be at the level to manage their emotions at school. This includes focusing on tasks, following instructions and being in the new primary school environment.

Your child should be able to understand the rules and interact with teachers correctly.

Language

It is important your child is able to talk and listen to adults and other children when beginning school.

Make sure they are able to speak clearly to communicate their needs.

A good rule of thumb is to review whether your child can understand and retell simple stories.

Independence

Your child is going to be away from you for new and long periods of time.

If they are looking to start school, they should be able to manage their belongings, eat and drink and go to the bathroom without your supervision.

2. Speak to your child’s preschool teachers

Your child’s preschool or early learning centre teachers will have an understanding on where your child sits for the above skills.

Speak with them about your child’s development and whether they may benefit from waiting another year.

Checklist for starting Primary School in Australia

First day of Primary School bag essentials

  • Packed recess and lunch that is easy to eat and open

  • Pack water bottle

  • Stationery (ask the school to provide a list of required equipment)

  • Spare underwear, socks and clothing

Tip: Give your child a tour of their bag and explain where everything is. Otherwise, try and get them to help pack their school bag.

Attending the first day of Primary School

  • Give your child confidence and allow them to dress themselves if they can

  • Tie your child’s hair out of their face securely

  • Apply sunscreen

  • Make sure you have an area to park/wait so you are not late to pick them up

  • Let your child and their teacher know who will be picking them up

After their day in Primary School

  • Communicate with care and kindness

  • Ask them how their day was

  • Ask them to recall school events throughout the day

  • Validate their feelings and experiences

  • Ask them about any friends they made

  • Ask their teacher about their behaviour and development

How can I ensure a smooth transition for starting Primary School in Australia?

‘Preschool’ is a great way to prepare your child for ‘big school’.

A great way to ensure a smooth and easy transition into primary school is to send your child to early learning at their ‘big school’.

Alphington Grammar School, Victoria, has an Early Learning Centre (‘ELC’), for children aged 3-5 to develop and grow.

At Alphington Grammar School, our youngest students develop the building blocks of learning in our dedicated ELC. Inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach, our ELC teachers use spontaneous learning experiences and intentional teaching to scaffold and extend learning.

Throughout the week the children participate in school events and specialist programs including physical education, music, dance, library, Greek language immersive learning and bush adventuring. Active participation built on children’s curiosities ensures a solid foundation for a lifelong love of learning and a smooth transition into their Primary schooling journey.

Ms Danielle Munro, Early Learning Centre Leader

Preparing for Primary School at home

There are lots of activities for parents to try out with their child before starting primary school in Australia.

The NSW Government’s E-book recommends practicing the following 3 skills:

1. Speaking and listening

This is important so your child can socialise, make friends and participate at school.

  • Have conversations with them

  • Ask your child to recall events that happen throughout the day

2. Reading

Children mostly learn to read at school. However it is good for parents to show their child how books work:

  • Read to your child

  • Choose books they will find fun with ‘silly’ or rhyming sentences

  • Ask them to engage with the book (For example, “The cat is hiding behind the chair”. You may like to ask your child, “where is the cat hiding?”). This will help engage their comprehension skills.

3. Drawing and writing

  • Ask your child to draw or write about things they like

  • Help them draw or write something for a friend or family member

starting primary school in australia. fathers day card.

Remember to take care of your own wellbeing!

Being a parent is hard work. Remember to take time to practice self-care during this transition period for the family.

Need help finding or enrolling in a school?

Choosing a school for your child can be difficult, if you wish to receive further information please see Choosing a School NSW 37 or Choosing a School VIC 34.

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Home » School News » Schools in NSW trialling extended hours

Schools in NSW trialling extended hours


The New South Wales government is trialling extended school hours. Eight schools are participating in the trial aimed to suit the needs of parents and students.

The extended school hours aim to offer greater support to working parents managing their commitments.

“The reality is that the traditional school day, like the 9 to 5 workday, is a 20th century concept which may not be the best model for 21st century families, schools and the community”, said Ms Mitchell, Minister for Education and Early Learning.

Are NSW school hours extending?

The schools in NSW trialling extended school hours will not impact class time for students.

“What we are doing is finding ways to better support students and make it easier for working parents to manage their commitments.”

Premier Dominic Perrottet announced the schools will partner with community organisations, local businesses and sporting clubs.

school sporting  club

Photo by Adrià Crehuet Cano on Unsplash

Kids will have access to ‘a range of high quality activities’ outside the standard 9:00 am to 3:00 pm school day.

Why are schools in NSW trialling extended hours?

Mr Perrottet aims to provide options outside of standard school hours for working parents balancing family life.

“We want to offer greater support and comfort to parents, knowing that their kids are safe and happy taking part in a homework club in the school library, a dance class in the school hall or soccer practice on the school oval.”

Current extended hours in schools

Many schools currently offer extra curricular activities to meet parent needs.

Schools are reinventing the traditional school day through breakfast clubs, homework and study facilities, or sport and arts programs existing outside of school hours.

“This research pilot will give us a better understanding of what schools are already doing, and how we can expand on or implement effective practices at similar schools.”

Ms Mitchell, Minister for Education and Early Learning

The trial is particularly aimed at school sites that are under utilised.

When does the trial extending school hours in NSW start?

The trial will run in Terms 3 and 4 for 20 weeks.

The 8 schools in NSW trialling extended hours are:

  • Cawdor Public School

  • Hanwood Public School

  • Hastings Secondary College

  • Kentlyn Public School

  • Matraville Soldier’s Settlement Public School

  • Orange High School

  • Spring Hill Public School

  • Tacking Point Public School

Summary of schools in NSW trialling extended hours:

  • 8 schools in NSW are trialling extended hours.
  • The extended hours do not change classroom hours. They aim to provide parents with help outside of the 9:00 am to 3:00 pm school day.
  • The trial will take place with the help of community organisations, local business and sporting clubs.
  • The trial will run in Terms 3 and 4 for 20 weeks.
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Home » School News » Governor-General Presents Barker College Redbacks with Prestigious International Robotics Award

Governor-General Presents Barker College Redbacks with Prestigious International Robotics Award


The Barker College Redbacks’ induction into the FIRST Hall of Fame, has been recognised and honoured by Their Excellencies, The Governor-General and Mrs Hurley at a special presentation event held at Admiralty House, Kirribilli on 11 May.

In awarding the Hall of Fame Clock to the team, the Governor-General, congratulated all team members, their mentors, Alumni and staff, on the significant role played in the success of the Barker Redbacks in the 2021 and 2022 FIRST Robotics Competition.

“It is an impressive set of skills: decision-making, planning, research and development, organisational, oral and written communications, ability to work as part of a team, and perseverance,” his Excellency said.

“The skills that enabled you to be successful at FIRST Robotics are the same skills that will serve you well for the rest of your life.”

In the 33-year history of the Competition this is only the second time an Australian team has won the award and the first time for an Australian high school team.

In his address to the guests, Mr Phillip Heath, shared how proud he was of what our students have achieved.

“Character and capacity to learn and solve challenges together is beginning to trump knowledge and content as markers of readiness to engage in post school education. The Barker Redbacks have achieved all their accomplishments as volunteers in a co-curricular activity that sits outside our academic program. They are the creators, not the consumers, of the future,” Mr Heath said.

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Home » Education Advice » The importance of sports in education

The importance of sports in education


Many parents and children overlook school sports from a certain age. However, physical activity and sports is a fundamental element of education.

Your child’s sports participation in school can provide many benefits outside of physical health.

At Barker, we are committed to providing appropriate, diverse and challenging sporting programs to all students at the School. The reason for this is simple. Involvement in sport not only assists students physically and mentally; it creates opportunities for students to develop character, values and lifelong skills such as time management, teamwork and communication.

Mr Cam Anderson, Head of Sport at Barker College

Why do we need sports in education?

Sports in education can effectively contribute to your child’s weekly physical activity. Participating in sports at school has many other associated benefits.

Wellbeing

Participating in physical activity is central to your child’s emotional and mental wellbeing.

Playing sports between 1 and 3 times a week is reported to reduce psychological distress by 34%, whilst participating in sports 4 or more times a week reduces psychological distress by 47%.

Physical activity increases self-esteem and reduces stress and anxiety.

Sports in education will also help your child:

  • Sleep better

  • Improve their concentration at school and throughout the day

  • Boost their energy levels

Australia’s physical activity and sedentary behaviour guidelines provide physical activity recommendations for different age groups.

Children and young people are recommended to participate in at least 1 hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day. At least 3 days a week, children and young -people are encouraged to participate in muscle-strengthening activities.

Many are offered in sports at school including football, basketball, swimming, netball or running.

Providing balance at school

Students at school have different interests and strengths.

Sports in education may benefit children who do better in sports than the classroom.

“We believe by providing an extensive sports program we are actively promoting a healthy lifestyle and a nice balance between schoolwork and physical activity. This is imperative for the wellbeing of some of our students who thrive on the sports field a little more than they do in the classroom.”

Aaron Ayre, Director of Sports at Caroline Chisholm Catholic College

Sports in education provides your child with skills to become more well rounded.

“Overall, we believe that the opportunities we provide in our sports program aid students in becoming well rounded people who are able to juggle school commitments as well as sports passions.”

Children can develop and grow without sitting in a classroom all day. Research shows that schools which offer more sports have higher test scores and graduation rates amongst students.

Team Building and unity

Teamwork amongst children allows them to strengthen their cooperation and social skills.

For these students looking to socialise outside the classroom, team sports provides a network.

Teamwork is a very important life skill for children to carry outside of the sports field. A 2009 study revealed 57% of business leaders attributed their career success to participation in youth sports.

Similarly, sports in education allow for unity amongst students. Students from different backgrounds and social groups have the opportunity to work towards a common goal.

“We aim to provide a way for every student in the school to participate in sport across the year to not only promote a healthy lifestyle but also help build our school spirit.”

Aaron Ayre, Director of Sports at Caroline Chisholm Catholic College

Cognitive Development

Childhood and youth is an important and sensitive period for cognitive development.

Research demonstrates a correlation between sports participation and cognitive function in children.

sports in education. sports field. fencing at barker college.

According to Brain Boost from the Government of Western Australia, different studies show:

  • On average, academic achievement of children with extra physical education is higher

  • Participation in sports resulted in improved reading comprehension

  • Physical activity led to improved children’s maths scores

  • The cognitive benefits of physical activity were maintained over time.

In fact, children ‘can spend less time on academic learning, and more time being physically active during the school day without affecting their academic success or progress.’

Discipline

Sports in education also help enforce discipline amongst children by:

  • Providing a physical outlet

  • Self-discipline to achieve goals and physical challenges

  • Requiring a dedicated time to train and play

Research reveals children who played structured sports were better at ‘following instructions’ and ‘remaining focused in the classroom.’

Sports in the curriculum

Mandatory sports in education are incorporated in the NSW and VIC teaching and learning curriculums.

Many schools offer an option of competitive/representative school sports and sports at school.

“We compete in the SACCSS sports competition against other Catholic Colleges in the area which forms our school representative teams. While these teams are based on a selection process, we also provide House sport opportunities for all students to further facilitate increasing participation.

Volleyball, Soccer and Basketball are the most popular sports however there is also a growing appetite for Badminton, AFL and Table Tennis.”

Aaron Ayre, Director of Sports at Caroline Chisholm Catholic College

Does my child need to play sports outside of school?

In Victoria, only 6 out of 10 children between 5-14 participated in sport outside of school.

Sports in education is a great way to achieve physical activity, however there is no harm in carving out time for extra activity during the week.

Whilst some sports schools provide specialised training, many private schools encourage independent sporting as well.

“Our training sessions and games are played within school hours or shortly after school, enabling students to travel to other sporting clubs for training. This allows for students to actively pursue their own individual sporting goals and opportunities outside of their College life.”

Aaron Ayre, Director of Sports at Caroline Chisholm Catholic College

Many schools also run or host sport workshops in the school holidays.

Choosing a school for your child can be difficult, if you wish to receive further information please see Choosing a School NSW 37 or Choosing a School VIC 34.

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Home » Education Advice » 6 Practical Tips for Moving Schools

6 Practical Tips for Moving Schools


Whilst moving schools is quite common, it can be a big change for families. Parents, children and families all need to settle in when it comes to moving schools.

6 Practical tips for moving schools

1. Put together a collection of your child’s relevant documents

The NSW Department of Education suggests putting together a ‘student portfolio’ for teachers at the new school.

This may include recent reports, recent transcripts (such as the most recent NAPLAN data), samples of their work and other relevant information and other relevant information.

Having this all put together allows the new teacher(s) to gauge your child’s abilities and understand the work they have been doing to ensure a smooth transition.

2. Take a tour of the school

A great way to understand the culture at your child’s new school is to take a tour or have a trial day before your child officially begins.

Visiting the school beforehand allows families to get a feel for the students, teachers and campus.

Your child will also have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the new campus.

Things you may ask the school during a school visit:

  • If you are unable to take a tour of the school beforehand, ask the school for a map.

  • Depending on your child, you may ask if there is any way for your child to meet some classmates before the school. Alternatively, you may ask to arrange a ‘buddy’ on the first day of school.

  • Ask if there are any online parent platforms or in-person groups you can join.

  • Ask if the school offers any extracurricular activities for before and after school.

  • Ask for a school calendar with a list of the events.

  • Ask the school if your child will be receiving their timetable before or on their first day.

  • Ask about homework expectations and homework clubs or study sessions the school provides if your child needs help.

3. Arrange your child’s before and after school routine

Discover school facilities or programs available

If you are working during the weekday, do some research about after school facilities near the school or after-school programs or extracurriculars the school may offer.

Speak to your child about whether any of these interests them and what the new routine might look like.

Organise transport arrangements

Alternatively, you may seek transport arrangements for your child.

Build a new routine together by looking at buses, trains, potential drop-off points or the school’s private transport service.

Tip: Ask the school if they have their own pick-up and drop-off points for parents.

4. Make sure your child has the support they need

Make sure you ask the school about any specific support your child requires so they can make appropriate arrangements.

It is a good idea to let the school know if your child:

  •  Has learning disabilities, physical disabilities, mental health issues or is an ESL student.
  • Has had past difficulties settling in and making friends.
  • Any dietary requirements or allergies if you have not been given the opportunity to disclose this.

5. Make sure you have purchased all the new school supplies

Ask the new school about textbooks or workbooks your child may need for class(es) and make sure you have them ready by the first day.

school supplies. 6 practical tips for moving schools.

Remember to order the new school uniform in advance.

Tip: It may be helpful to ask the school for a list of supplies your child will need to have for their first day.

6. Helping your child cope with moving schools

Prepare them before moving schools

  • Discuss the move as early as possible

It is important to begin discussing moving schools as soon as you can. This allows your child to have more opportunity to process the event.

This is particularly important as many children are reluctant to change.

  • Understand their concerns

Since children spend the majority of their week at school, moving schools can change their whole life.

It is normal for your child to have concerns. They may be worried about making new friends, leaving teachers they like, or navigating the campus.

Take some time to hear and acknowledge their worries and concerns.

  • Get the family excited about moving schools 

Get excited and enthusiastic for moving schools and try to avoid dwelling on your concerns.

Discuss with your child what they can look forward to at their new school.

Ask them to consider what they are excited about. They may be excited about having a fresh start, having a different school uniform or new extracurricular opportunities.

  • Get them involved 

If you are still in the process of choosing a school, let them join in!

You may wish to compare different schools and see which one best suits your child and the family.

Private schools offer many niche electives, programs and facilities in NSW and Victoria.

  • Don’t isolate them with the community they’ve created 

Make a list of your child’s school friends and their contact details. Try to make an effort to arrange visits with their old friends after they move schools.

Ensuring they will have the opportunity to see or contact their friends will make it easier to move schools.

Check to see if they are settling in after moving schools

  • Get in touch with the school 

Contact your child’s teacher or year coordinator a few weeks after to see how they are fitting in.

If they are not adjusting to the change as expected, ask the school to provide tips to help.

  • Have another discussion with your child

Have another discussion with your child and see how they are going after the move.

Take time to acknowledge worries and concerns they may still have.

How much say does my child have in moving schools?

Parents may be concerned if their child may be severely upset about moving schools.

“I certainly think it’s important to get their input, not necessarily have the burden of the decision put on them.”

Dr Andrew Greenfield, Child and Educational Psychologist, believes some younger children may not be able to come up with any real advantage to moving schools.

“From year 3 onward I think it’s important to have their input because they’re the ones who have to live in that environment. The problem is they don’t know what it really is gonna be like a lot of the time in a new school and environment.”

When is the best time to move schools?

Families often have a major need or good reasons for moving schools. However, if you do have the luxury of deciding when your child should move schools, Dr Greenfield suggests the middle years when other kids are moving schools.

“More often than not it’s done in year 5 or year 7 because there are kids moving schools around that time. Obviously year 7 because lots of kids change schools then anyway, so it’s a new experience.”

Choosing a school for your child can be difficult, if you wish to receive further information please see Choosing a School NSW 37 or Choosing a School VIC 34.

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Home » School News » Roseville College’s Learning Festival 2022

Roseville College’s Learning Festival 2022


Roseville College’s annual ‘Learning Festival’ will be returning in 2022. Roseville College’s Learning Festival provides parents and families with the wonderful opportunity to visit Roseville College and see learning in action and experience the warmth of their community.

What is the Learning Festival?

The Learning Festival is an open day where prospective families have the opportunities to visit the Roseville College campus and meet the students and staff.

Parents can learn more about Roseville College’s approach to K-12 learning with an interactive and festive day on campus.

From music to drama, science to art, sport to history, food and coffee stalls, and a petting zoo there will be lots to see and do.

Things to do at Roseville College’s Learning Festival

Join a student-led tour

At Roseville College’s Learning Festival you will have an opportunity to meet their Registrar and join a student-led tour of our campus!

Their Registrar will be available on the day to answer any enrolment enquiries you may have.

Where to go: Visit the Registrar’s tent for more information.

Meet the staff

Roseville College wants to help families discover more about the College and the breadth of opportunities it has to offer.

The team welcomes the opportunity to speak with you and answer any questions you might have.

So where’s our invite?

Roseville College invites you to visit them for the Learning Festival on Saturday 21 May from 12pm – 4pm at 27 Bancroft Avenue, Roseville 2069.

roseville college's learning festival. invitation to open day.

To learn more about what to expect, visit Roseville College’s website.

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Home » Education Advice » When to send your child to private school

When to send your child to private school


Private education can be a big investment for parents. Deciding whether to send your child to private school from primary school is a big decision for families.

Dr Andrew Greenfield, Child and Educational Psychologist believes it could go either way.

“A lot of parents think from a foundation’s perspective that primary school is where they need to put all their effort in and send their child to a private school.

But a lot of parents believe the opposite when they think…it’s high school where children are developing a lot more skills in a lot more areas, so therefore they value high school.”

Nevertheless, Dr Greenfield believes the early years are ‘incredibly important’.

“That’s when they are learning basic skills, literacy and maths skills so that’s incredibly important.”

Factors to help decide when to send your child to private school include:

Your child’s learning ability

Dr Greenfield believes this would certainly benefit children with learning difficulties.

“Private schools are a lot more beneficial for children who have learning difficulties, language issues or attention issues or any sort of developmental difficulties because private schools obviously have smaller classrooms.”

Private schools may also have more resources available to benefit children with learning difficulties.

Attending a private school from a young age may also benefit children who excel in their learning.

“They could be bright and gifted; they’ve also got resources available as well, like gifted and talented programs and resources.”

Consider your family values and background

Many parents choose private or independent schools, to instill values that align with home from a young age.

Private and Independent schools offer education through a variety of different backgrounds.

Parents may wish to send their child to a private school from a young age to learn about religious or other values.

You may wish to send your child to a single-sex school for a range of reasons. Many private schools cater to single-sex learning, whilst only a small portion of public schools do.

Does your child have a niche interest or skill?

Private schools have programs and resources for students and families interested in different areas or skills from a younger age.

For example, students at International Grammar School (IGS), students are taught in many languages from the age of 3. Whereas in the public school curriculum, bilingual education generally begins in high school years.

when to send your child to private school.nternational Grammar School. school kids learning languages. independent schools in Australia.

Credit: International Grammar School

Public education in primary or high school provides a well-balanced education. The Australian curriculum allows children to experiment in different interests.

However, if your child is interested in a specific interest, private schools may offer more programs, facilities and extracurriculars from a young age.

For example, your child may be interested in performing arts and wish to attend a school with an acting studio and theatrette. Alternatively, your child may wish to pursue snowsports at school from a young age.

Private schools offer many niche electives, programs and facilities in NSW and Victoria.

Fitting in at School

You may consider how well your child is fitting in to decide when to send your child to a private school.

“I guess once the child has already been established academically or socially, then obviously the child doesn’t really want to (move) for a whole lot of reasons.”

Dr Greenfield, Child and Educational Psychologist.

Is it better to have your child in the same private school from kindergarten to year 12?

“Kids are changing all the time so it is nice to be able to have the same group of friends but it’s not absolutely essential. It is nice to have but there are a lot of factors that go into that.”

Dr Greenfield, Child and Educational Psychologist.

Parents of children with an age-gap may prefer sending their younger child to a private school from a young age so they attend the same school.

This may be valuable to parents to help keep up with school policies and information, and make drop-offs easier.

Ultimately, when to send your child to a private school is a parent’s decision.

Choosing a school for your child can be difficult, if you wish to receive further information please see Choosing a School NSW 37 or Choosing a School VIC 34.

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Home » Education Advice » How to prepare your child for NAPLAN

How to prepare your child for NAPLAN


What is NAPLAN?

‘NAPLAN’ (National Assessment Program for Literacy and Numeracy) was introduced to measure and track literacy and numeracy skills of students across Australia.

Students complete the NAPLAN in year 3, 5, 7 and 9.

The annual tests include reading, writing, numeracy and language conventions.

The 2023 NAPLAN changes also include a plan to gradually introduce subjects including Science, Civics and Citizenship and digital literacy.

The test includes multiple choice questions and constructed response item formats.

Is NAPLAN different from other assessments?

NAPLAN is not part of the Australian curriculum and is generally separate from what your child learns at school everyday. This means preparing your child for NAPLAN, is different to preparing them for end of term tests.

“The important thing to understand about NAPLAN is the focus on numeracy and literacy so it’s not necessarily a focus on what the students have been doing in class.

As a consequence, studying for it is not the same as studying for a written class test where you would be tested in part on the knowledge you’ve acquired.”

Dr Selina Samuels, Chief Learning Officer at Cluey Learning

Dr Samuels believes the NAPLAN assesses longer term skills that your child may not have encountered recently.

What is NAPLAN for?

NAPLAN offers valuable information to schools and parents about what skills need to be improved.

While it is not the be all and end all, your child’s NAPLAN results may influence decision-making and learning choices at school.

If your primary school child is moving schools or transitioning to high school, you may be asked for a transcript of past NAPLAN results.

Should my child prepare for NAPLAN?

“It’s better to have the skills than not to have the skills.”

Dr Samuels believes that writers of the NAPLAN assessment have decided “key, foundational skills” that students need in order to progress or learn at a higher level.

pencil sharpening. prepare your child for NAPLAN.

“If we help students to prepare for it, they are not going to forget those skills the minute the test is over. There is no harm to the student in helping them prepare for the assessment.”

 Many children, particularly year 3 students, are nervous and anxious for NAPLAN. Dealing with exam stress may affect their performance.

Choosing to prepare your child for NAPLAN may also alleviate stress and anxiety.

“One thing that we hear from parents a lot at Cluey is that students are actually there because they have not encountered the time limited segments in any form before. So they need to be told how to manage time and how to manage multiple choice questions.”

Dr Samuels believes the skills to managing NAPLAN questions is not innate and needs to be learnt.

It is useful to prepare your child for NAPLAN by:

  • Familiarising them with the layout of the tests; and

  • Familiarising them with tactics and techniques to approach the question.

“That would help calm them and show what they know so they don’t run out of time and they don’t panic.”

How to prepare your child for NAPLAN

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), recommends the following tips for parents to help their child prepare for NAPLAN:

  • Encourage your child to simply do the best they can on the day.

  • Avoid excessive cramming or coaching in the lead-up to NAPLAN

  • Speak to your child’s teacher if you have questions about how you can help your child prepare for NAPLAN.

Dr Samuels encourages parents to employ the following practical skills:

Read with them

Practising reading and reading comprehension teaches your child how language works and how to write.

Dr Samuels encourages parents to read with their children, but also to take it a step further and talk about the text.

 “This way you are developing your children’s literal ability to understand the piece of writing truly – what happens, who does what, who says what but also to develop inferences from understanding the texts.”

Look at word-based numeracy questions

Many students can make mistakes over word-based numeracy questions. It is important for parents to help their kids prepare, even if they have strong mathematical skills.

“Help them to unpack what a question is actually asking them to do.”

There are many past test papers and answers online. Parents and children can attempt some of the questions, set time limits and experience the format of the paper.

How do I interpret my child’s NAPLAN results?

Reach out to the school

Many schools provide a valuable explanation with NAPLAN results for parents. If you do not receive anything, reach out to the schools to provide this.

Alternatively, set a time to speak to your child’s teachers about their results and what they mean.

Look for trends in results

Dr Samuels suggests comparing your child’s results to their previous NAPLAN results.

“Have there been any changes, maybe that they’ve dropped off in any key skills, areas where there are gaps that weren’t evident before.”

If you are concerned about your child’s NAPLAN results, it may be worthwhile to have a conversation with their teacher.

“If you feel that there’s been a change over time and that they’ve definitely tracking lower than they were in the previous NAPLAN, that’s the thing that you need to be looking at.”

Tips to prepare your child for NAPLAN

Don’t cram!

The ACARA discourages ‘excessive cramming and drilling’.

Dr Samuels from Cluey Learning agrees.

“I certainly don’t advocate cramming in fact, I don’t think you can cram for it.”

Avoid putting too much pressure on your child

It is important for parents not to put too much pressure on their children for the NAPLAN.

“It shouldn’t be the only measure of student achievement.”

Research shows parents putting excessive pressure on their children may hinder their learning and lead to increased stress and anxiety.

Reduce anxiety

Give your child the tools to reduce stress and anxiety during the NAPLAN.

This may include making sure they take breaks, assisting with their nutrition and wellbeing.

A great way to reduce NAPLAN anxiety is to alleviate the unknown and prepare your child using the above.

Don’t worry if they receive an unexpected result

There are many reasons your child may not perform as well as they expected in the NAPLAN.

Here is a guide for parents, if your child receives disappointing exam results.

Choosing a school for your child can be difficult, if you wish to receive further information please see Choosing a School NSW 37 or Choosing a School VIC 34.

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Home » Education Advice » What are Independent Schools in Australia?

What are Independent Schools in Australia?


Independent schools are non-profit institutions that cater to a variety of communities and students with unique values. Independent schools are a great option for parent’s looking to personalise their child’s education to values at home.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, enrolments to Independent schools increased by 3.6% in 2021.

Independent schools make up approximately 1,187 of the 9,679 schools in Australia.

Independent Schools Australia’s School Choice research report in 2021 revealed that many parents are seeking education further to academic results.

“They are looking for schools to play a part in their child’s personal development, prepare them for employment and provide skills that will be used throughout life.”

Independent Schools Australia School Choice: A Research Report 2021

What is the difference between private schools and independent schools in Australia?

A private school in Australia is a non-government school. Independent schools are diverse non-government schools for a variety of communities.

There is some overlap between private and independent schools. In Australia, independent schools make up a percentage of private schools.

Around 17% of students attend independent schools in Australia.

Different Types of Independent Schools in Australia

Denominational Christian Schools

Many independent schools offer a religious education.

Independent schools affiliating with Christian denominations include:

Seventh-Day Adventist

Seventh-Day Adventist schools are often owned and operated by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

Adventist Education is the largest protestant schooling system in the world.

Adventist Education is offered at a range of different schools throughout Australia.

Catholic

In NSW, one in five students have a Catholic education.

The official role of Catholic Schools NSW, is to ‘support the Bishops of NSW in bringing to life the Church’s evangelising mission through Catholic Schools.’

Visit here, to find a school in New South Wales.

The Catholic Education Commission of Victoria educates approximately 207,000 students within Victoria.

Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne offer the best education possible, equipping our young people with the knowledge, skills and hope to flourish and enrich the world.

Our holistic approach to education enriches the intellectual, physical, spiritual, and emotional lives of students, which research has shown adds an average of six points to tertiary admission ranks and leads to higher average household income.

Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools

Visit here, to find a school in Victoria.

Anglican

Anglican education refers to education services provided by the Anglican Church of Australia.

The main difference between Anglican and Catholic schools is that Anglican schools are established by the Church of England.

There are approximately 155 Anglican schools in Australia, educating around 155,000 students.

Uniting Church

The Uniting Church in Australia synod’s oversee schools committed to ‘upholding and articulating the ethos of the United Church’.

MLC School’s culture and expectations have long been informed by Christian spirituality and values fostered through its Methodist roots, now strongly reflected in its close alignment with the Uniting Church in Australia.

The School prides itself in its multicultural, multilingual as well as multi-faith environment.

MLC School, New South Wales

In the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania, there are 12 schools.

  • Schools within the Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania

In NSW and ACT, there are 9 uniting Church schools providing education to approximately 10,000 students.

  • Schools within the Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of NSW and ACT

Greek Orthodox

Most Greek Orthodox educational institutions operate under the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese emphasising their Orthodox Christian religion and values.

Orthodox education aims to guide students into the mystery of Jesus Christ, through teaching the whole person; mind, body and soul. Through learning, one naturally draws nearer to Jesus Christ, the source of wisdom. Loving God results in loving and serving one’s fellow person and respecting God’s creation. Serving our fellow human person is an expression of the love of the Holy Trinity.

Fr Peter Mavrommatis, Principal, St Euphemia College

Visit here, for New South Wales schools.

Visit here, for Victoria schools.

Presbyterian

There are a few schools of the Presbyterian Church of Australia which encourage students to develop a Christian worldview.

The Presbyterian Church in NSW operates two schools in Sydney and five schools in regional centres, each with its own unique style and designed to serve the needs of their communities. Our schools are committed to distinctively Christian beliefs, values and educational practices in a way that educates the whole child and prepares them for a successful future. This Christian foundation is our motivation to integrate faith, learning, work and service to honour God with excellence in all that we do.”

Presbyterian Church of Australia in the state of New South Wales

Non-denominational Christian Schools

Christian Schools were established by Protestant Churches and parents to provide students with education delivered from a Christian worldview.

“Our schools were established by parents to ensure their children would receive a quality education in a nurturing Christian environment. Our schools model beliefs and values that are consistent with the Christian faith, whilst adhering to the national curriculum. Our schools are low fee, independent and are accountable to their parent and school communities. Our families are from a wide range of backgrounds but recognise the great benefits of Christian education.”

Australian Association of Christian Schools

Islamic schools

Islamic schools commit to the education of Muslim children whilst fulfilling their spiritual and educational needs.

Islamic schools in Victoria:

  • Australian International Academy King Khaled Primary Campus (AIAKKPC)

  • Australian International Academy Melbourne Secondary Campus

  • East Preston Islamic College

  • Ilim College of Australia

  • Minaret College

  • Mt Hira School

  • Islamic College of Melbourne

  • Darul Ulum College of Victoria

  • Al-Taqwa College

Islamic schools in NSW:

  •  Arkana College

  • Australian International Academy (AIA)  Sydney Campus

  • Australian Islamic College of Sydney

  • Al-Amanah College

  • Al Hikma College

  • Al-Noori Muslim School

  • Al-Sadiq College

  • Al-Sadiq College

  • Al-Zahra College

  • Al Faisal College

  • Bellfield College

  • Green Valley Islamic College

  • Iqra Grammar College

  • Malek Fahd Islamic School

  • Qibla College

  • Rissalah College

  • Unity Grammar College

  • Western Grammar School

  • Salamah College

  • Sule College

Jewish schools

Jewish schools in Australia seek to uphold Jewish values alongside education.

To find a Jewish school in Australia, click here.

Grammar schools

In Australia, many grammar schools are independent. Grammar schools typically select students based on academic merit or interview.

“At International Grammar School (IGS), students are taught in many languages from the age of 3. IGS celebrates the values of diversity, vibrancy, authenticity, connectedness and personal achievement.”

International Grammar School

International Grammar School. school kids learning languages. independent schools in Australia.

Credit: International Grammar School

How are independent schools in Australia funded?

All schools in Australia, including independent schools, receive government funding.

According to the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment, sources of funding in the Independent sector are:

  • Australian government funding 39%;

  • State government funding 11%; and

  • School fees from parents and contributions from the community funding 50%.

Choosing a school for your child can be difficult, if you wish to receive further information please see Choosing a School NSW 37 or Choosing a School VIC 34.

 

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Home » Education Advice » Is VCAL over? The 2023 changes to Senior Secondary Study in Victoria

Is VCAL over? The 2023 changes to Senior Secondary Study in Victoria


Victoria is changing to a new senior secondary certificate in 2023, which will be fully integrated in all Victorian schools by 2025.

The changes combine the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL). The new senior secondary school certificates aim to ensure every young Victorian receives the education for their desired career.

“We know not everyone wants to go to university so we’re making sure every young person has every opportunity to choose the career path that’s right for them.”

Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria

How do the 2023 changes to Senior Secondary Study in Victoria work?

From 2023, VCAL will be replaced with the new ‘VCE Vocational Major and Victorian Pathways Certificate’.

The transition process is taking place through two main stages.

Stage One: 2023

VCE Vocational Major (VM)

From 2023, Intermediate and Senior VCAL will be replaced with the new ‘VCE Vocational Major’ (VM).

The VM is a ‘vocational and applied learning program’, within the VCE.

This will provide students with flexibility to pursue apprenticeships, traineeships, further education and training, non-ATAR university pathways or enter straight into the workforce.

Specific studies will include:

  • Literacy;
  • Numeracy;
  • Work Related Skills;
  • Personal development skills;
  • 180 hours of VET;
  • Choice of other traditional VCE studies; and
  • Time in the workplace.

Victorian Pathways Certificate (VP)

Foundation VCAL will be replaced by the new ‘Victorian Pathways Certificate (VPC)’. This is designed to help students transition into the VCE Vocational Major or entry-level VET employment.

This is suitable for students who have had disrupted schooling experiences and are at risk of disengaging from their education. This may include students who have missed significant learning or students with additional needs.

Stage Two: 2025

These changes will amount to a fully integrated ‘senior secondary certificate’ by 2025.

Most non-government schools have begun preparing for the transitioning process.

The Catholic and independent sectors have shown a strong interest as non-government schools are encouraged and supported to provide the new certificates.

What do the 2023 changes to Senior Secondary Study in Victoria mean for parents?

The Victoria State Government announced that the changes may save Victorian families up to $1000 in ‘out-of-pocket’ costs.

Students are no longer required to pay for VET studies learning materials.

cetteup-IC5sX-7PRN8-unsplash

Why are the 2023 changes to Senior Secondary Study in Victoria occurring?

Increased demand for Trades and Services

The Victorian Budget is investing $277.5 million to cater to the increased demand for careers in trades and services.

Careers in trades and services are just that – careers – with good pay, and secure jobs. And they’re the jobs we need people doing.

Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria

Providing an opportunity for kids to work towards a different pathway.

The real-life experience equips students for an understanding of potential future career pathways.

“We know not everyone wants to go to university so we’re making sure every young person has every opportunity to choose the career path that’s right for them.”

Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria

The Minister for Education, James Merlino believes the pathway has the same value as other post-secondary options.

“Study towards the important jobs that build and care for our state has the same value as any other education after school – and more young Victorians than ever before are pursuing careers in booming trades and services.”

 

Faster pathway to apprenticeship and jobs

The new program allows students to complete their senior secondary study whilst learning vocational skills.

Students will no longer have to wait till after high school or drop out to prepare for career pathways after school.

Transitioning into the 2023 changes to Senior Secondary Study in Victoria

Students in 2022 are not subject to the changes to the existing certificate. They are still able to enrol in the VCAL or VCE.

Current students undergoing VCAL units may receive credit for the VM or VPC in 2023.

Summary of the 2023 changes to Senior Secondary Study in Victoria

  • The Victorian Government is transitioning into a new senior study certificate in 2023.
  • The new senior study certificate phases out the VCAL by combining the VCE and VCAL.
  • VPC will replace the foundation VCAL.
  • Intermediate and Senior VCAL will be replaced by the new VM.
  • The changes aim to be fully integrated into Victorian Schools by 2025.
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