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  1. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Adelaide Australia
    Posts
    575
    I'm a Pom trying to get my head around the Australian schools system.

    I went to my local state village school from 5 until 11, there was a philosophy that we didn't need teaching, we'd figure out the whole thing on our own eg the maths cards had the answers on the back and we could just do the easy ones again and again as the teacher didn't mark them, our natural curiosity would make us want to discover maths for ourselves, spellings weren't corrected incase creativity suffered. I was illiterate until my mother taught me to read aged nine, then she worked nights to pay for my private secondary education which I the reason I am currently employable. But I am still missing those basic skills and I'm currently leaning my times tables for the first time to try and help my two year old...

    I am looking at a lovely Catholic primary school in walking distance of home but I want an all girl's school for secondary so that Hamlet in the school play, the Physics prize winner and the one kid who can fix the computer are all girls, in mixed schools I see a lot of girls studying arts and boys. I want my girls to know they can study chemistry of the non-romantic kind. And yes, I'm a total hypocrite who would send boys to a mixed school for the civilizing influence of other people's daughters.

    I think private schools tend to have a more individual character and ethos and more answerable on the whole illiterate-nine-year-old but if there was a great free option for secondary I'd rather not pay. What I am finding difficult to judge in Australia is how academic the schools are, there's lots of talk about which are socially smart or have great sporting facilities but nothing to answer my question 'where are my daughters most likely to end up going to medical school?'.

    I hope you find a great school for your child whichever system you opt for!
    Thrilled to be mother to @gnes Ei1ish Madeline and Fe1icity Bridget Be@trice

    If we'd had boys the list was: Godfrey, Seamus, Alexander, Michael, Felix, Peter, Ignatius & Sebastian.

  2. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    112
    @Sarahmezz, perhaps you can answer this question. The private schools in Australia that I've seen all seem to be affiliated with a religion/church. Is it just the morals of the church that are taught, or do the kids have to go to a religion class?

    I would love to send my future daughters to an all-girls school. I attended a public/state co-ed school from Kindergarten through high school, but I went to an all-women's university and absolutely loved it. I definitely think the environment nurtured and prepared me better for the world than a co-ed education would have done. However, my husband and I are not religious at all. The only experience I have with a church-affiliated school was the small one in my town, where kids had to take religion (which was reading the bible and singing hymns--not looking at a variety of religions) and their science textbooks taught creationism. (This is in the US, so I suppose I expect it a bit more... just hoping Australia is different!)
    Writer. Name lover. Dreamer.

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  3. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    2,532
    @northernlights - Yes, most private schools are affiliated with churches, but some are more religious than others. I believe they all require students to do religious education classes up to roughly Year 10, but some require those classes to Year 12. As I said, some schools are more religious than others. I can't really think of any private schools (in the city where I live) that aren't affiliated with churches, but, like I said, there's varying degrees of religiousness, if that makes sense! Even in very religious schools, I've never seen creationism taught in a science class!
    TTC #1

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  4. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,128
    Quote Originally Posted by sarahmezz View Post
    Here's a link to an article about girls performing better in single sex schools. It's an article from a British newspaper. Couldn't be bothered finding an Australian version or a link to a study, but I'm sure they're out there!:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...s-gcse-results
    Thanks for linking that. Interesting article. Couldn't find one for the boys though. Actually, I found the opposite but I came across it quickly- I'm not doing mega-research into it. I think we can agree to disagree overall You are in Oz after all, and a teacher too, but I just wanted to add my thoughts from the British education system.

    "There is very little space for gender in the classroom to make a difference. Where it apparently has an effect it relates to other factors, such as the aspirations of the parents who want their daughter educated in a single-sex school. But if this is true it will change our understanding."

    I have to agree with this guy. Perhaps it's just my part of the country, but the single-sex schools seem very dominated by the middle classes. They were always a bit posh to us oiks in peasant school I went to a brilliant local primary which taught kids from all economic backgrounds- poor kids, 'average' kids, the children of well-off doctors & lawyers etc. By year 6 it did seem like the well-off parents were pushing their kids to take the 11+ and go to the all-girls/all-boys grammar schools.

    Of the 5 girls that did go, 3 came back because they hated it so much! Another girl got a scholarship and went off to a prestigious college then came back because she'd got great grades (near identical to her old friends in my school actually) but sorely missed her friends. I'm sure she said at the time that she couldn't be bothered with the hassle of getting there when she could do the A Levels she wanted on her doorstep.

    Sorry- another friend story. I have a girl friend who lives up in Glos. and is studying at one of the best secondary schools in the country (in terms of results). She's still doing her GCSEs and is going to get amazing results but she doesn't half complain about it being all-girls. Suppose that's teen girls for you! There is a twin school for boys in the area, but according to her they hardly ever see each other and none of her friends have BFs. I think her mum's thrilled at the brillo results she'll get, but the girl herself would rather be roughing it with boys every day in a co-ed school.

    So you can see how these personal experiences have shaped my view on the matter I generally view single-sex schools as less than great.


    On another note, how do people feel about results/school in general? Let me phrase it better- I know it's every parent's prerogative to make sure their children are doing well in school. Not a parent myself, but I'd want the best for my children and for them to get good results. But what if you did pick a fee-paying school, spent thousands of pounds/dollars on education then your kid turns round at 16/18/21 and says they want to be a farmer/milkman/postman/fisherman/bin man/[insert less favourable job here]? Just wondered what a parent who'd paid out for an education (perhaps with the hopes of their kid becoming a doctor or lawyer or businessman etc) would feel in that situation.

    Don't know if that came across right. It's just that I know a man who walked out of school at 16 and is now earning a mint as a plumber -happy as larry- and I know of kids that got the most brilliant exam results but who are bloody miserable with life. So, are results everything?

    Lastly, this woman made me laugh out loud! -

    Sue Dunford, headteacher of Southfield School for Girls in Kettering, said: "It's a question of confidence in the way girls develop. It's cool to be very good at anything in a girls school - maths, sciences or physics. No one will ask why you're doing a boys' subject. Girls who lack confidence can thrive more in girls-only schools. We don't have boys competing and distracting, so girls can really go for it."

    Yeah, because girls don't compete or distract each other. Never in my life have I thought or been told that maths and the sciences were "boys' subjects" or not "cool"!

    @goldielocks Good luck with whichever you pick for your little 'un! Looking at all the different schools sounds like a good idea
    Last edited by charlieandperry1; April 28th, 2013 at 08:37 AM.
    William ♠ Thomas ♠ Peter ♠ Henry ~ Rose ♠ Alice ♠ Ivy ♠ Lowenna
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  5. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    104
    Quote Originally Posted by charlieandperry1 View Post
    On another note, how do people feel about results/school in general? Let me phrase it better- I know it's every parent's prerogative to make sure their children are doing well in school. Not a parent myself, but I'd want the best for my children and for them to get good results. But what if you did pick a fee-paying school, spent thousands of pounds/dollars on education then your kid turns round at 16/18/21 and says they want to be a farmer/milkman/postman/fisherman/bin man/[insert less favourable job here]? Just wondered what a parent who'd paid out for an education (perhaps with the hopes of their kid becoming a doctor or lawyer or businessman etc) would feel in that situation.
    Thank you for you opinion!

    Obviously I have no idea where Bugsy will end up but if we do chose a school with higher fee's and our son decided to fulfill any of your listed occupations listed above then I will have absolutely no problem with it! I want my son to have the best education possible at a school that I feel meets his needs, where he is exposed to the widest range of opportunities, and can choose whether he wants to be a Doctor or a Lawyer or a Farmer like the rest of his family. What he becomes in the future is not relevant to me at all, as long as he does his best and finds a fulfilling career where he is content then I'd consider it money well spent.

    I don't consider any job completely unfavorable, of course I wouldn't love to collect rubbish cans but it takes all kinds of people and occupations to make the world go round! My family have been Farmer's for a hundred years and they are just as successful as your everyday business man/doctor, they just get to live in the most magical place in the world!
    Last edited by goldielocks; April 28th, 2013 at 09:08 AM.
    Mama to Bugsy William and Jem Richmond.

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