Which school is right for your child? – NSW


There are many options when it comes to choosing a school for your child. Schools vary in size, facilities, location, subject options and many other factors.

Choosing a school in NSW can be overwhelming. Your family values and child’s interests will determine the choice you make. There are many different education options available for parents making the decision.

Choosing a school in NSW for children interested in sport

Barker College

In addition to academic activities, sport is compulsory at Barker College. Participation in team sports begins in year 3.

They have opened a new Sports and Learning Precinct in 2020.

choosing a school for your child in nsw. barker college. sports school. sports school in nsw. barker college sports and learning precinct.
Credit: Barker College, Sydney.

Sports Facilities:

  • Courts
  • Strength & Conditioning gym
  • PDHPE classrooms
  • Indoor Aquatic Centre
  • Dance studio
barker college. choosing a school for your child nsw. sports school. sports school in nsw. barker college sports facility.
Credit: Barker College, Sydney

Sports: athletics, cricket, tennis, netball, softball, squash, rugby union, rugby 7s, touch football, Australian Rules, soccer, swimming, surf lifesaving, equestrian, fencing, rowing, volleyball, basketball, hockey, cross-country, taekwondo, water polo, strength and conditioning and modern dance.

Coeducation or single-sex: Coeducational

Location: Hornsby

Choosing a school in NSW for children interested in Ballet, Dance, Music and Performing Arts

The McDonald College

The McDonald College is an independent, non-denominational, co-educational Kindergarten – Year 12 school in North Strathfield.

They offer a range of unique performing arts and elite sports disciplines with an equal focus on students’ academic studies through to the HSC. 

which school is right for your child nsw. acting. acting school.
Credit: The McDonald College

Students have the opportunity to develop in areas such as acting, classical ballet, dance, music, musical theatre and technical production.

which school is right for your child nsw. ballet. ballet school.
Credit: The McDonald College

Performing arts facilities:

  • 9 dance studios
  • Pilates studio
  • Acting studios
  • Music and ensemble rooms
  • 60-seat theatrette
  • Art studios
  • TV and recording studio

Programs available include:

  • Acting (ATYP)
  • Classical Ballet
  • Contemporary Dance (Sydney Dance Company)
  • Commercial Dance
  • Music
  • Musical Theatre
  • Technical Production
  • Elite Tennis (Voyager Tennis Academy) and
  • Rhythmic Gymnastics (Rhythmic Academy of Sydney).

The College can accommodate up to 45 boarders of all genders from Years 7 – 12.

Coeducation or single-sex: Coeducational

Location: Strathfield

Choosing a school in NSW for girls interested in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM)

Meriden School

Meriden school is characterised by its outstanding academic performance and opportunity for girls to grow in the STEM field.

STEM education has something to offer every student. Through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Meriden provides a range of different learning opportunities and experiences to not only educate our young women, but also to inspire and energise their curious minds. From robotics and coding to 3-D printing and design, we provide opportunities for real-world problem-solving, exposure to inspiring mentors, access to the latest technology and a cohesive approach to STEM-related skill development.

Ms Ingrid Schwartz, Design and STEM Teacher, Coordinator of Learning Link – STEM, Meriden.

Specialised spaces for music and STEM learning were added to the Junior School Campus in 2020.

choosing a school for your child in NSW. Choosing a school for girls interested in STEM. girls in STEM. robotics at school.
Credit: Meriden School

Their facilities include STEM learning centres which include 3D printers, virtual reality, coding and robotics technologies and a CDC machine.

Coeducation or single-sex: Single-sex, Girls.

Location: North Strathfield

Choosing a school in NSW for children interested in a bilingual education

International Grammar School

International Grammar School has a vibrant environment which celebrates the diversity of students aged 3-18.

The founder of IGS, the late Professor Reg St Leon OAM, believed IGS students were “the luckiest children in the world” because they were given the opportunity to learn a language from the age of three, and languages are so easy to learn in childhood.

Their values attest to their school motto, “Unity through Diversity”.

Students experience bilingual immersion from a young age learning in languages such as French, German, Italian, Japanese or Mandarin. During bilingual partial immersion from Preschool to Year 6, children’s skills develop as they sing songs, play games and create artworks together. Selected units of the core curriculum are delivered in their second language.

Students may also experience different cultures by hosting or visiting students from partner schools in all those countries.

At International Grammar School, studying a second language is compulsory for all students from Preschool to Year 10. For those entering the School at Year 7, a special beginner class is offered in one, or sometimes two, second languages.

All students commence a third language in Year 7, which may be continued as an elective subject from Year 9. The third language program currently includes Spanish and Chinese (Mandarin). All languages can be studied to Year 12.

Many International Grammar School alumni have gone on to work as global citizens working in business and creative fields.

Coeducation or single-sex: Coeducational

Location: Ultimo

Choosing a school in NSW for girls who want to be challenged

MLC School

MLC is an independent K-12 Uniting Church School. MLC School has encouraged girls to question the traditional perceptions and roles of women for the past 135 years.

Their approach to girls’ education has been ground breaking, pioneering co-curricular achievements including:

  • Holding the first athletics carnival for girls in Australia in 1906
  • Being the first school to present girls for the Leaving Certificate in Physics in the 1920s
  • Became one of the earliest schools in NSW to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program as an alternative to HSC for year 11 and 12 students.
choosing a school for your child in NSW. Choosing a school for girls in NSW.
Credit: MLC School

In 2020, MLB was ranked the number-one IB school in Australia and 39 in the 2021 HSC.

Coeducation or single-sex: Single-sex, Girls.

Location: Burwood

Choosing a school in NSW for children interested in a gifted and talented program

Arden Anglican School

Arden is a Christian-based school that offers a quality Gifted and Talented program.

Students may enter this program if they are already identified as academically gifted or identified as gifted by parents, staff or peers at Arden.

Arden uses these tools to identify gifted students:

  • Raven’s Coloured Progressive Matrices, Australian Research Council General Ability Tests, or Slosson Intelligence Test Results; and
  • Progression through school tests and competitions

The school has many facilities including:

  • Music tuition rooms
  • Visual arts facilities
  • Careers centre
  • Senior studies centre
  • Multi-purpose courts and hall
  • New 5-storey educational facility which includes administration and student services, science laboratories, food technology kitchen, library, technology workshops, multimedia and design laboratories and a creative arts centre.
choosing a school for your child in NSW.
Credit: Arden Anglican School

Despite being a non-selective school, Arden ranked 71st in the 2021 HSC results.

Coeducation or single-sex: Coeducational

Location: Beecroft, Epping

Choosing a school in NSW for children interested in academic endeavours

Knox Grammar School, Sydney

Knox Grammar School is an independent Uniting Church school from K-12 which also boards approximately 200 boys from year 7 to 12.

The school has state-of-the-art facilities with individual academic support through quality teaching.

Boarders also receive academic support from Knox teachers.

Knox Grammar School ranked 30th in the 2021 HSC results.

Coeducation or single-sex: Single-sex, Boys.

Location: Wahroonga

Roseville College

Roseville College is an independent day school with more than 990 girls in K-12.

The schools size allows teachers and staff to know each girl to provide personalised learning and wellbeing care.

Despite being non-selective, Roseville ranks amongst top 50 NSW schools in the HSC. Roseville College ranked 43 in the 2021 HSC results.

In 2020, 87% of the year 12 cohort received university offers from leading institution before completing the HSC.

Roseville has a varied and rigorous academic curriculum but also offers sporting, creative, leadership, personal, service and community opportunities.

Co-curricular activities include:

  • Antipodeans Abroad
  • Tournament of Minds
  • Mock Trial
  • The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme
  • Crusaders
  • Debating and Public Speaking Club
  • Robotics
  • Coding
  • STEM
  • Drama
  • Musical productions and music tuition
  • Student council

Coeducation or single-sex: Single-sex, Girls.

Location: Roseville

Choosing a school in NSW for children interested Snowsports or a unique location

Snowy Mountains Grammar School

Snowy Mountains Grammar School (SMGS) is a K-12 day and boarding school uniquely located in the Snowy Mountains Regions of NSW. The lakeside location in the mountains provides a “natural playground” which is a 2 hour drive from Canberra and just 30 minutes away from Perisher and Thredbo.

Co-curricular programs at SMGS are influenced by the unique surroundings.

Choosing a school for you child NSW. Snowboarding student. snowsports at school.
Credit: Snowy Mountains Grammar School

Sports include: Snowsports, adventure racing, mountain biking, yoga, squash, equestrian, sailing, fitness, Frisbee golf, trampolining, softball, soccer.

The range of opportunities in the outdoor environment is part of the reason SMGS has been the winner of the Innovative Schools Program, finalist in the Australian Education Awards for Best Co-Curricular program, Regional School of the Year and Boarding School of the Year.

Coeducation or single-sex: Coeducational

Location: Jindabyne

Choosing a school in NSW for children interested in unique agriculture

Kinross Wolaroi School

Kinross Wolaroi School (KWS) is a leading independent boarding school in regional Australia.

It is well known for its history of educating students predominantly from rural NSW communities or families seeking an educational spirit.

Their ‘TREE’ (The Regional Engagement Enterprise) program is present throughout the school’s academic and co-curricular learnings to help students connect with local communities and industries.

TREE co-curricular opportunities including the livestock team made up of the cattle team and sheep team which visit wool shearing classes, visits to studs, feedlots and the dairy industry. It also has a Farmers Market Team where students in year 8-11 create their own business selling produce at community events.

The school has many facilities including:

  • 100 acres
  • An indoor, eight lane heated swimming pool
  • Two fully equipped recreation centres
  • Seven playing fields
  • Two on-site agricultures plots
  • 1200 acres of farming land

Choosing a school for your child can be difficult, if you wish to receive further information or learn about all the schools in NSW please see Choosing a School NSW 37.


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