The Beginner’s Guide to Year 6 NSW Selective Schools
How Selective Schools work can definitely be confusing. We have compiled this guide to help you better understand which Selective School is best for your child, how to prepare for the test and the application process.
A Selective High School is a public school but with more attention given to academic excellence.
To get into a Selective School, a student must sit a Selective School Entrance Test which tests a student’s academic capability. Entrance to a Selective School is competitive. For example, in 2020, 28% of applicants who sat the test were offered a spot.
We have created this Guide for parents to help them better understand Selective Schools and the Selective School Test so you can make an informed decision.
Different types of Selective Schools
There are five different types of Selective Schools in NSW.
Fully Selective High Schools
Partially Selective High Schools
Agricultural Selective High Schools
Conservatorium High School
Let’s have a look at the differences between them.
1. Fully Selective High School
There are currently 22 fully Selective Schools in NSW where all classes are academically selective. The majority are located within the Sydney region.
2. Partially Selective High School
There are currently 24 partially Selective Schools in NSW. Only some classes are academically selective.
3. Agricultural Selective High School
There are five Agricultural Selective Schools in NSW:
Hurlstone Agricultural High School
James Ruse Agricultural High School
Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School
Yanco Agricultural High School
Richmond Agricultural College (partially selective)
These Selective Schools will place some emphasis on the study of agriculture. It is compulsory to study Agriculture in Years 7-10 at these schools.
4. Aurora College
Selective schools are not just for students located within the Sydney region. Aurora College is a virtual high school for rural and remote students in Years 7-10.
5. Conservatorium High School
Conservatorium High School is a public high school but with a specific focus upon Music. The selection criteria for Conservatorium High School includes the Selective School Test as well as a musical audition.
Should I consider Selective Schools?
The simple answer is, it depends.
If you would like your child to flourish in Sports or the Creative Arts, Selective Schools may not be the best choice as they tend to focus more on academic vigour (with the exception of Conservatorium High School).
However, the 2018 NSW Education report found that selective schools have supported gifted and talented students socially and emotionally by providing them with academic opportunities and an environment with like-minded peers.
So, if your child is academically-oriented, a Selective School may be highly beneficial for them.
Selective Schools vs Private Schools
The next question you may be asking is what about Private Schools? How do they compare?
Private schools have also topped the HSC rankings. So, you may also be wondering if more opportunities are available in Private Schools compared to Selective Schools.
While Private Schools are much more expensive ranging from $4000 to $40 000 per year, there are scholarships available which you may wish to consider.
To give you a sense of the similarities and differences, we’ve compared different schools.
For boys, we have compared Sydney Boys High School, Parramatta Marist High School and Sydney Grammar School so you can see the differences between a Selective School, a Catholic Independent School and a well-known Private School:
Sydney Boys High School
Parramatta Marist High School
Minimum score of 217/300 in the 2018 Selective School Test
Creative Arts Tour to Venice, Florence, Paris and New York
Oil painting, watercolours, ceramics, fashion illustration, filmmaking and design workshops
Notable Academic Opportunities
Karl Ramp Debating Competition
Hume Barbour Debating Competition
Partnered with University of Sydney’s STEM Academy
Engineers Without Borders
Macquarie Cup Debating Competition
University of Sydney Union Schools Debating Competition
Design Thinking Projects
Cross Cultural Exchange with 19+ countries
Service Learning trip to Vanuatu, China, Tanzania, Cambodia, Borneo, Thailand, Fiji and Peru
As you can see from the above table, there are plenty of academic opportunities available in Selective Schools. However, international opportunities and sporting opportunities will be limited in schools that lack the resources of private schools.
So, how do I choose the right school?
In the next article, we discuss how to go about deciding which is the best Selective School for your child. We look at the different factors you should consider and provide details of the different schools that you can apply for.
If you think a Selective School may be a good option, read on to find out which Selective School is best for your child!