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5 Private School Trends in Australia


According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there has been an increase in growth in Independent private schools over the past 5 years.
As more parents are sending their children to private schools, there have been 5 private school trends in Australia that enhance student learning.

5 Private School Trends in Australia

1. Science and Technology in Private Schools

Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (‘STEM’) skills are becoming crucial for Australia’s changing future.

Technological change is said to advance Australia’s economy. Research shows that STEM jobs in Australia are growing nearly twice as fast as other jobs.

Consequently STEM is a big area of study being emphasised in private schools.

Many private schools introduce opportunities through STEM extracurricular activities or subjects from the very beginning of high school.

In STEM we endeavour to provide a balanced mix of activities that does not only cover the intended curriculum, but also enriches it. For example, we offer coding for Years 7-10 that involves Python programming and CAS calculator TI-Nspire-based programming (which connects to a ‘rover’ that moves). This prepares younger students to understand the ‘tech-active’ component of VCE Mathematics.

   Mr Louis Diamandikos, Head of STEM, Alphington Grammar School.

This is important as the Department of Education, Skills and Employment Australia believes many Australian students don’t understand the importance of STEM ‘until it’s too late’.

Practising STEM from school years allows children to develop workplace skills including critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving.

5 Private School Trends in Australia. children doing chemistry practical in school science lab.

Credit: Alphington Grammar School, Victoria

Many private schools in Australia have advanced STEM facilities available to students.

We are also very fortunate to be using our brand-new STEM labs, which feature state-of-the-art and easy-to-access modern equipment, such as interactive whiteboards and modern electronic safety features. Our enrolment numbers in VCE Sciences have been steady, and we hope that the increased enrolment numbers at junior level will filter into stronger VCE subject enrolments in the coming years.

   Mr Louis Diamandikos, Head of STEM, Alphington Grammar School.

Meriden School in NSW is also characterised by its opportunity for girls to grow in the STEM field.

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.

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

2. Mental Health and Wellbeing in Private Schools

Mental health and student wellbeing is important among Australian young people.

A Headspace report revealed approximately 1 in 3 young people experienced high levels of psychological distress during the peak COVID-19 pandemic.

Private schools are increasingly incorporating education and facilities to provide opportunity for student support.

Ms Deirdre Grealish, Deputy Head of Secondary at Alphington Grammar School explains wellbeing is at the heart of their school.

“Our Exceptionality team (Head of Secondary, Deputy Head of Secondary, Heads of House, Year 7 Coordinator, Head of Learning Support, Psychology Department) meet to discuss specific students who receive additional intervention to support their wellbeing. This work is complemented by weekly Head of House meetings to discuss the wellbeing of the wider student body.

We strive to equip our students with the tools they need to actively maintain and improve their own wellbeing. External programs that the school have selected, such as The Resilience Program, do not just feature during dedicated workshops. Instead, their philosophies trickle through the different strata of school life and it is not uncommon to hear the language of resilience and reflection in our classrooms, hallways, and assemblies. Our Captains and Future Leaders also play an important role in supporting the wellbeing of their peers, acting as mentors for our younger students, facilitating workshops, and performing casual check-ins throughout the year.”

Alphington Grammar School also has its own School Psychologist.

AGS puts the wellbeing of our students and staff at the forefront of all we do.

Mr Maximillian White, School Psychologist

The school’s full-time psychology department offers one-to-one mental health counselling, group wellbeing programs and clinical assessment services.

“AGS also runs a range of school wide initiatives focused on education around wellbeing, resilience, consent, online safety, and positive behaviour.”

The close attention to mental health and wellbeing in private schools is important for children’s school performance.

3. Arts and Creativity in Private Schools

Arts and Creativity is given a new meaning in Australian private schools.

girl doing performing arts in costume. 5 private school trends in australia.

Credit: Alphington Grammar School, Victoria

Private schools offer a range of facilities and technologies to cover every aspect of Arts and Creativity. This may include fine arts, performing arts, design and more.

As technologies progress and improve, the list of methods to create art grow. Being a good drawer is not nearly as important as it once was. New technologies can support the creation of art so it can appeal to more people and expand the pool of potential creatives.

 Mr Michael Gregoriades, Secondary Visual Arts Coordinator, Alphington Grammar School

Research from the Australia Council for the Arts evidenced ‘wide-reaching benefits’ of creativity in education.

Creative learning approaches allow students to build confidence, improve academic education, increase student engagement and enhance social and emotional wellbeing. Including Arts and Creativity in education emphasises a sense of community at school.

Private schools have a greater emphasis on arts in education, which is an indicator of long term student success.

4. Global Connection in Private Schools

Most private schools offer some aspect of global connection for students.

Private school facilities incorporating global connection may include teaching different languages or providing opportunities for student exchange. Many private schools also have ‘sister schools’ overseas, where students connect with other students around the world.

As a school which offers Greek and Chinese language, our Secondary School students look forward to the Global Gateways program they can take part in during Years 9 or 10. Travel to these countries is an exciting and beneficial way for students to immerse themselves in, experience, and bring to life the language and culture taught in the classroom. Our sister school relationships have allowed sharing of projects and reciprocal visits, strengthening language and friendships.

Ms Denise Diakodimitriou, Head of LOTE

Such opportunities allow private school students to broaden their knowledge and perspectives. Connection to the global world allows students to gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of other cultures.

Cultural literacy is a fundamental aspect of many careers, and your child may choose to pursue it in the future.

5. Moving to co-ed

A trend among many single-sex private schools is the transition into coeducation.

Barker’s transition to full coeducation was successfully completed at the start of 2022 and all years from Pre-K-12 are coeducational. It was a project five years in the making and has been enthusiastically embraced by our community and those wishing to join Barker. The world of work, education, employment and leadership has shifted considerably in the 21st century and having boys and girls learning and playing together helps to prepare them for life beyond the school gates.

Melissa Brady, Barker’s Director of Coeducation Transition, Barker College, NSW.

Private schools give parents the option to choose single-sex or coeducational learning.

Private Schools in Australia are adopting trends to equip students with practical skills and experience into higher education and the workforce.

Summary of 5 Private School Trends in Australia

  1. Science and Technology

  2. Mental Health and Wellbeing

  3. Arts and Creativity

  4. Global Connection

  5. Moving to co–ed

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 » Checklist for choosing a school for your child

Checklist for choosing a school for your child


Credit: International Grammar School

Choosing a high school for your child can be difficult with a variety of options available. Consider the checklist below to help determine whether a school suits your child.

1. Learn about the school’s values

Evaluate whether your family’s personal value and preferences align with the schools values or mission.

Some schools have a ‘school charter’ available to read.

You may consider the diversity of the school, whether you want your child to have a religious education and the social justice initiatives of the school.

Speak with your child about whether a coeducational or single-sex education may be beneficial.

2. Immerse yourself in the school culture

When learning about the school culture consider:

  • How do the students interact?
  • How do the teachers and students interact?
  • Observe the attitude of students and staff.
  • What is the schools discipline policy?
  • Does progress get tracked/measured?
  • How involved are parents?

You may wish to discuss communication streams between parents and staff. This will depict how much opportunity for parent involvement is provided by the school.

Dr Mark Merry, Principal at Yarra Valley Grammar suggests taking a tour of the school.

Word of mouth is a great indicator of the health of a school; as too is walking around the campus hopefully on a school tour during school hours. This will give a good sense of how a school feels. Never underestimate the importance of this when gaining a sense of the culture of the school.

3. Extra-curricular offerings

Research the extra-curricular facilities and programs offered by the school. This may help you narrow down schools suited to your child’s interests.

Consider whether your child would prefer competitive sporting teams and fields, creative arts performances and studios, or science clubs and labs.

Ask your child about extra-curricular activities they may be interested in participating in. After school groups and clubs are a great way for students to learn whilst meeting social needs.

freshnam equestrian. choosing a school for your child. extra-curricular equestrian

Credit: Frensham School

Some schools specialise in certain areas. Think about whether your child may benefit from specialising in a particular field such as performing arts or equestrian.

4. Choosing a school that’s practical

Consider the practicality of the school for the family accounting for travel and transport efficiency.

Research whether the location of the school is optimal for drop-offs. If not, discuss with your child whether they are comfortable making the trip back and forth on transport.

Some schools offer private coaches or their own bus service to and from school for certain areas. Discuss with the school or other parents whether this is an option for the area you live in.

Consider whether the school is single-sex or coeducational. You may wish to have all your children at the same school.

You may also consider boarding school during the week or school term if your chosen school is a long commute home.

5. Academic subjects

Find out what electives and subjects are offered for different year groups.

Ask the school about any mandatory subjects, particularly for HSC. For example, many religious independent schools require students to undergo a unit of religion for the HSC.

meriden. choosing a school for your child. science lab students.

Credit: Meriden School

Discuss with your child what electives they would be interested in and potentially their future career. It is important to check whether the school offers subjects your child is passionate about.

6. Wellbeing outreach

High school can be daunting. Ask the school about their wellbeing programs, education and facilities.

Consider whether they have a wellbeing officer or counsellor, guidance counsellor or staff your child can talk to.

If your child has a disability or mental health condition you should discuss with the school how they will be supported.

7. School and class sizes

Many students feel overwhelmed in populated schools, particularly transitioning from primary school to high school.

Have a tour of the school to get an understanding of the campus and class size. Smaller classes may mean individualised attention and education for your child.

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

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Home » Education Advice » Benefits of private schooling

Benefits of private schooling


Credit: Alphington Grammar School

Many parents struggle with the choice between public or private schooling. Private schools can offer resources, facilities and programs that suit your child’s values. Approximately 40% of Australian high school students attend private schooling.

Advantages of private schooling

Parents have more choice

Private schooling enables parents to choose a school tailored to their child.

Parents can choose schooling which focuses on their child’s areas of interest, or upholds values important to the family.

We are very fortunate in Australia to have a variety of choices in terms of schooling with very good independent, catholic and government schools. One of the great strengths of the independent schools is that decision making about ethos, educational and pastoral programs are all done at the school level giving them greater autonomy. This means that parents can make decisions about schooling based upon how the school values align with their own.

Dr Mark Merry, Principal, Yarra Valley Grammar

Specialised private schooling emphasises a particular area of learning alongside the NSW Board of Studies core curriculum.

Exposure to creative and performing arts

Private schools may offer specialised arts programs that allow your child to explore their talents.

For example, The McDonald College is an independent specialist school where students are able to participate in performances throughout the year. They offer classes such as acting, dance, music or musical theatre.

benefits of private schooling. students playing guitar. The McDonald College.

Credit: The McDonald College

Many of these schools have studio and theatre facilities for your child to excel in creative arts.

Exposure to sports

Private schooling often provides extra opportunity for students to compete against other private schools. Many private schools offer ‘Saturday sporting’ and large sporting facilities.

 

private schooling. private school students. Private school students swimming competition.

Credit: Trinity Grammar School

Religious schools

The Independent Schools Council of Australia reports 94% of independent schools have a religious affiliation.

Parents can choose from Catholic, Christian or Adventist schools. This is ideal for parents looking to raise their children with strong religious values.

Many private schools offer a large campus allowing students to experience a range of areas.

Academic Trajectories

Studies show that private school students have better post school outcomes.

Children who attended private schooling had a higher rate of pursuing higher education with a higher employment rate.

Business Manager and Head Tutor at Sigma Education, Ida Ajdari, believes private school children make an effort from a younger age.

Some of them feel a sense of responsibility to excel whether it’s academically or in the sporting world because of the price points of private schooling. I’ve noticed private school students are focused on doing well from younger ages.

She believes academic performance does not depend on public or private schooling but on the teacher.

I’ve noticed teachers from private schools pay closer attention to individual students. Therefore they are giving more tailored homework and put more detail into checking it.

Smaller class sizes

Private schools are commonly known to have smaller class sizes.

Studies show that smaller classes provide benefits for students. This includes individualised attention, and a more relaxed environment.

A lower teacher to student ratio enables more observation and intervention from teachers.

Ultimately, parents must choose a school that is appropriate for their child and the family.

Tips for choosing a school:

  • Research the core values of the school. This will indicate whether your family values align.
  • Determine areas for your child to excel in outside of academic merits. Your child may wish to pursue competitive sports or creative arts.
  • Identify the religious-base classes offered as part of the curriculum.

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 » Coeducational vs single-sex schooling: a guide for parents to decide which option is best for their child

Coeducational vs single-sex schooling: a guide for parents to decide which option is best for their child


Credit: Macquarie Grammar

With conflicting advice on whether coeducational or single-sex schools are better, parents investing in independent education must decide what is best suited to their child.

The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) found children at coeducational schools are learning at a similar or faster rate than students at single-sex schools.

Academic Performance in coeducational vs single-sex schooling

Data does not evidence whether single-sex or coeducational schools perform better academically.

NAPLAN results in 2017 revealed that single-sex schools performed at a higher rate in literacy and numeracy.

However, a recent analysis of NAPLAN data depicted a similar performance amongst single-sex and coeducational students.

Does gender play a role in academic performance?

General wellbeing and socialisation may affect the education of children.

Evidence suggests that girls in single-sex schools may have an advantage. Girls are displaying more confidence in STEM studies in a single-sex environment.

Meriden girls are free to pursue a love of learning and academic excellence in any area they choose including science, technology, engineering, maths and sport without fear of traditional stereotyping. Cocurricular interaction with our brother school, Trinity Grammar, ensures that the girls are given the opportunity to develop a full range of social skills while still enjoying the girl-purposed facilities, teaching and opportunities of this single sex school.

Dr Julie Greenhalgh, Principal of Meriden, Anglican school for girls located in Strathfield.

The study reports that boy’s strong affinity towards STEM-related studies may influence girls’ interest.

Single-sex schools were recommended by 54% of female respondents to promote girls STEM interests. Girls in single-sex mathematics classes also displayed more confidence in their maths ability.

However, this may not indicate a better academic performance.

Post-school qualifications were similar for women who attended coeducational schooling.

The choice between single-sex and coeducational schooling may depend on your child’s confidence performing with peers of the opposite sex.

Teachers will amplify individual potential

Ultimately, a parent’s choice will depend on more than whether the school is single-sex or coeducational.

Barker’s director of Coeducation Transition Melissa Brady believes it is the “visionary leadership and presence of a supportive community of teachers” that optimise a child’s individual potential.

A shift towards coeducation schooling

Only 4% of independent schools on Sydney’s North Shore are coeducational.

coeducational vs single-sex schooling. Boys and girls at school.

Credit: Yarra Valley Grammar

With Australia’s independent single-sex schools declining, research predicts a complete disappearance by 2035.

Some of Sydney’s oldest private schools are transitioning from single-sex education to full coeducation.

Barker College Head, Phillip Heath told The Daily Telegraph, “Life is co-ed. We want to prepare young people for much more than an ATAR or even for life at university.”

Marist College North Shore has also begun accepting female students. They believe the collaboration reflects awareness, motivation, mediation, respect and engagement.

2022 marks 50 years of coeducation at St Leonard’s College. During this time, we have seen our students flourish alongside one another in an environment that is a true reflection of life beyond the school gates.

Pat Kenny, Acting Principal, St Leonard’s College.

Tips for parents making the choice:

  • Identify areas that are important to your child. Discuss with schools what they are doing in these areas. Are your children interested in academic performance, sports or performing arts?
  • Discuss with your child or a professional how they socially perform. Would your child feel more confident in a single-sex vs coeducational setting?
  • Research the schools culture, character and offerings. Decide which school most aligns with your child’s values and the areas they wish to excel in.

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 » The Positive Power of Community

The Positive Power of Community


 

In his book, The Art of Belonging (2014), Australian social researcher Mr Hugh McKay reminds us of the great paradox that new and emerging communication media, while seeming to bring us together, in fact, make it easier for us to stay apart. McKay reminds us that it is how we live that is important, and that strong communities develop our moral sense and build our emotional security. He says that as ‘social creatures’ we can only reach our potential when we engage with our communities. McKay states: ‘a good life is not lived in isolation or in the pursuit of independent goals; a good life is lived at the heart of a thriving community, amongst people we trust, and within an environment of mutual respect.’ 

We witnessed the positive power of community in full force at the Ruyton/Trinity production of The Wiz last week. I think ‘joyous’ is the only way to describe us as an audience as we sat spellbound by the adventures of a girl, a scarecrow, a tin man and a cowardly lion. This power reinforced the ability of the Arts to focus our attention, to marvel, wonder and imagine, and to bring us together to celebrate endeavour, achievement and excellence.

Academic, psychologist, author and champion of grit, Professor Angela Duckworth, has said that children need to understand why sustained and concentrated hard work is such an important skill, and then they need to practise it; and they need to identify something they’re passionate about. She believes that if you want to reach your potential, live meaningfully and make a contribution to the world, then find something you care about, surround yourself with supportive people who will give you honest feedback, and practise, practise, practise. This, according to Duckworth, is the secret to life.

While we marvelled at the performance, we were all too aware of the hours, days and weeks of preparation that enabled this. The performers, staff, orchestra, backstage crew and parent supporters have lived and breathed The Wiz for the past few months – alongside their usual routine. Their shared passion and purpose have enabled them to remain committed through the ups and downs of preparation, to accept honest feedback, to show grit and determination, to overcome setbacks and difficulties, and push towards reaching their potential – and beyond.

The notion of honest feedback is an important one in Performing Arts. A performance doesn’t attract a score, a percentage or a grade. It isn’t for a gold medal or a trophy. Thank goodness. To me, it provides one of the purest forms of feedback, the honesty of self-reflection and audience reaction. Greater creativity results from enlisting enthusiasm and personal best rather than assessment. And a standing ovation on Saturday evening said it all. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

We watch our students take their tentative first steps in Early Learning and Junior Primary performances. We see them hone their talents and grow in confidence from Primary to Secondary productions and plays. Over the years we see individual growth and the emergence of new and undiscovered talent. We see students who immerse themselves in every opportunity, as this is what brings their passion to life. Each year brings a new team together, a new rhythm, a new challenge and new opportunity.

A little magic goes a long way. Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and that Cowardly Lion demonstrated this as they eased on down the road to see the mysterious Wiz and realise their dreams. And Dorothy, in helping her three companions to realise their individual dreams, reminded us that we often hold the key to achieving our own personal best. If we believe in our own ability, find our courage, compassion and creativity we can do it. And the positive power of a supportive community will never go astray.

Ms Linda Douglas, Principal Ruyton Girls’ School

Publish By
Religion Non - denominational
Type Independent
Day/boarding Day School
Boys/Girls Girl
Years Kindergarten - Year 12
Enrolment Approximately 900 students
Fees 12k - 16k Over 16k
From $13,262 (Early Learning Centre) to $33,246 per annum (Year 12)
Phone
03 9819******* 03 9819 2422
Fax
03 9818******* 03 9818 4790
Address 12 Selbourne Road, Kew 3101
Email
ruyton@*******
ruyton@ruyton.vic.edu.au
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Home » Education Advice » Get crafty these school holidays

Get crafty these school holidays


School Holidays are often filled with activities to keep the kids busy. Why not work as a team and create something fun together?!

Craft projects are a great way to teach children coordination, concentration and patience. These sewing kits provide an opportunity to work together with your kids to master the art of the needle. Plus, the final result will ensure your child has a new and unique bag to take back to school!

Winter woolly backpack- $14.95

Step out in style with the Winter Woolly Backpack pattern designed by Theresa Kyne. Perfect for those cold and chilly days, this backpack is made from warm blanket fabrics with pockets and straps in black-and-white chevron. Perfect for winter outings and adventures, and is as pretty as it is practical!

winter-woolly1

Monster and robot kid’s backpacks- $11.95

They’re cool, they’re hip and they are the perfect, fun backpack for kids. The Monster and Robot Kids Backpacks have been designed by Sue Marsh, with growing kids in mind so all the straps are adjustable so the kids can keep using their backpack for years to come.

monster-and-robot1

Embroidered Child’s book bag- $11.95

Natashia Curtin’s From Cover to Cover book bag pattern — a fun library bag for children —features a selection of embroidered book covers to decorate the bag, including “Fall Asleep on the Last Page” and “Never French Kiss a Frog”. This makes a great gift for children and is a large enough bag for holding big children’s books.

embroided-child's-book-bag1

Owl read it to you library bag- $11.95

Any child will love a trip to the library with this super-cute embroidered owl drawstring library bag pattern from Nicole Stark and Sharon Ferrie, with two soft owls sitting atop some bunting with embroidered flowers, tree and bee buzzing past.

owl-read-it-library-bag1

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Home » School News » Learning through projects

Learning through projects


 

The practice of project-based learning is a Reggio Emilia teaching principle, which inspires education with young Ruyton students. Projects provide a rich inquiry-based approach to learning and operate on the notion that children learn best when they are fully engaged and focused. The children are instrumental in deciding the project topics. As educators observe and document the children’s interests, it becomes clear which topics would serve well to investigate. What is important within the project is that the learning is child-led, rather than teacher-driven. This ensures that a project-based way to learning is meaningful and authentic.

At Ruyton Early Learning, the children participated in a variety of projects. Both Kindergarten groups worked collaboratively on their City Project to complete an amazingly detailed city sculpture. In Co-Ed Pre Prep a project about a journey through space was explored. The children created solar systems, alien pictures, their own UFOs, set off some balloon rockets and used boxes to build an alien city. They learnt about space in their French class and were taught the words for moon and stars. The completion of the project was celebrated with an alien-themed morning tea.

The Girls’ Pre Prep are continuing with the Peace Project. This project was initiated by discussions around two books, Little Peace by Barbara Kerley and The Peace Book by Todd Parr. Both books offer very simple but profound ideas about what peace is, through photographs of people around the world and simple phrases. The children brainstormed their thoughts about peace and this documentation is on display in their classroom.

As the children engaged in the classroom projects they used everyday experiences and discoveries to weave magic into their learning. The projects provided opportunities for the children to connect and collaborate with their peers and educators, and to become co-researchers in the learning process.

Ms Teresa Wojcik, acting director of Early Learning

Publish By
Religion Non - denominational
Type Independent
Day/boarding Day School
Boys/Girls Girl
Years Kindergarten - Year 12
Enrolment Approximately 900 students
Fees 12k - 16k Over 16k
From $13,262 (Early Learning Centre) to $33,246 per annum (Year 12)
Phone
03 9819******* 03 9819 2422
Fax
03 9818******* 03 9818 4790
Address 12 Selbourne Road, Kew 3101
Email
ruyton@*******
ruyton@ruyton.vic.edu.au
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Home » Education Advice » Melbourne – The City For Students

Melbourne – The City For Students


International survey affirms Melbourne as a cultural and educational hub

Melbourne’s position as the cultural capital of  Australia has been confirmed and complemented by our ranking as the second best student city in the world and the best city for student diversity.

A recent survey by QS Top Universities gave Melbourne this flattering rating but our area of excellence was for welcoming International Students into our student population.

The fabric of Australia has cultural diversity deeply woven in and this cultural heartbeat beats stronger in nowhere other than Melbourne.

Our student population is a testament to this with the City of Melbourne citing that almost 55% of students living and studying in our city are International.

Paris led the QS Top Universities ratings as the best city in the world to be a student but impressively, Melbourne bumped London from second place.

While we may not have an Eiffel Tower or a thriving crepe industry, Melbourne’s diverse range of universities can offer something for everybody.

A historically interesting building at Melbourne University is as charming as RMIT is innovative and spunky. Meanwhile, Monash explicitly welcomes International Students with a whole day of celebration dedicated to them.

In general, the survey looked at a range of criteria including pollution, safety and cultural tolerance so in general, Melbourne is ticking a lot of boxes.

So whether you are from Australia or abroad, you can feel that little bit better about the university grind knowing that, as Melbournian uni students, we almost have it the best in the world.

Words: Georgina Owen

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Home » Education Advice » Storytelling Spectacular

Storytelling Spectacular


Be amazed by the musical marvel of storytelling and performance that is the 2015 Victorian State Schools Spectacular

More than 3000 public school students will take the stage in the Victorian State Schools Spectacular at Hisense Arena on Saturday September 12.

With the theme, ‘What’s your story’, this three-hour show will include a Steampunk Fairground, a taste of Alice in Wonderland, the groove of Beyonce and Daft Punk’s music and an orchestral rendition of The Great Gate of Kiev.

Students are behind every element of this incredible spectacular from the on-stage performance and set design to the technical backstage elements of lighting and sound.

The audience will be captivated with show-stopping vocals, high-energy dance routines, electrifying special effects, puppetry and awe-inspiring circus and skating tricks.

Since 1995, the State Government of Victoria has brought together students for this performance to give them the opportunity to develop and showcase their talents when this may not have otherwise been possible.

The Voice’s Harrison Craig, Hairspray’s Jaz Flowers and power house solo artist Vanessa Amorosi are just some of the Victorian Spectacular’s growing list of alumni so this is your chance to see students of today become the stars of tomorrow

The Spectacular fosters healthy, active, participatory lifestyles and produces a creative industry environment that complements school education on a scale that is beyond the capacity of individual schools.

This also gives students the opportunity to train with internationally renowned industry professionals and partner with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance to create a not-to-be-missed event by Victoria’s most outstanding young performers.

Come and tap your toes to Taylor Swift and Bjork, see talented student artwork on the large screens, be transported to a hip hop and swing hybrid and witness the vibrant, youthful talent of the Victorian State Schools Spectacular.

For more information visit education.vic.gov.au

Words: Georgina Owen

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Home » Education Advice » Painting the pathway

Painting the pathway


Art in school curriculum is vital in developing Australia’s future

The debate over the necessity of art in education is always prominent. However, the reality is that it helps to develop key motor and cognitive skills as well as emotional expression — all of which are vital for growing minds. Over the past two decades, the style of teaching has significantly changed. From what was previously a very rigid and formalised teacher-directed orientation, there is now more of a focus on individual development which consists of a child-centred orientation. This gives students a lot more freedom and enhances their ability to learn and absorb any information given to them. Furthermore, the link between creativity learned through subjects, in particular art-based ones, has proven to be pivotal in any classroom.

Frank Panucci, Executive Director of Grants for the Australian Arts Council, is a great advocate for schools incorporating advanced art-based curriculums. He says research has shown that students who study in this environment have reaped exceptional benefits as it teaches skills that are required in today’s working environment.

“There’s a range of research, both nationally and internationally, which shows that children who have a rich arts education throughout their schooling actually achieve greater outcomes across their curriculum,” he said. “They also develop a whole range of skills which are crucial to the 21st century, which is about creativity, innovation and working in teams.”

Research is carried out nearly daily on why art is so important for our education system — and the statistics don’t lie. The Australia Council’s Arts in Daily Life, a research group in conjunction with the Council, found that 9 in 10 people believed that the arts are an important part of the education of all Australians, as well as two in three thinking that the arts have a “big” or “very big” impact on the development of children. Not only is having the specific skill sets outlined by Mr Panucci very important, it also allows students to contribute constructively within a classroom environment that consists of a number of other students. This will then translate to displaying positive habits and correct behaviour later on in life.

Art education in Victoria starts as early as kindergarten. Here, children are given the opportunity to learn through ‘play’, making shapes, colours and even sounds. These skills are introduced to children at this time as it sets the foundation for all future learning capabilities later in life. It also aids in helping students excel at other complex studies and subjects, or even just other art-based subjects.

While art is subjective, for many people it is an effective tool for dealing with emotional expression or stress. For young students, art is a great avenue for emotional expression, developing confidence and helping create a sense of identity for themselves. Not everyone is able to articulate themselves effectively through the use of verbal language, so having an alternative avenue to portray their thoughts and feelings is important and should always be encouraged.

All of these elements play a significant role in shaping the future of a young person. Enthusiasm for art shown by any student should always be embraced as the successes that ensue could ultimately be endless.

Words: Simeon Barut

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