In this article, we will answer some commonly asked questions like "should I choose co-ed or single-sex school?" and "How competitive is it to get into my child's dream school?"
How do you know if you’re choosing a Selective School that’s right for your child? In the Selective School Application (which we will talk about in the next section), you must choose 3 Selective Schools.
There are 4 key considerations you may wish to take into account when deciding which 3 schools are the best for your child.
Here is a quick table which demonstrates which Selective School may be the best for your child according to what you might value:
|What you value||Type of High School|
|Academic Environment||Fully Selective|
|Diversity and Cross-cultural Communication||Partially Selective|
|Rural Background/ Agricultural Education||Agricultural High School or Aurora College|
|Musical Creativity||Conservatorium High School|
In NSW, single-sex schools tend to outperform co-ed schools in the HSC. However, whether this is due to a single-sex environment is uncertain. Here are some pros and cons of single-sex high schools you may wish to take into consideration.
|Pros of Single-sex High Schools||Cons of Single-sex High Schools|
Students who attend a single-sex school tend to be more confident in Physics and Maths.
Girls’ schools tend to promote Feminist literature or books written by female authors which may be absent in Co-ed schools.
|Does not promote socialisation between the genders|
|Gender-tailored extra-curricular activities
In most Selective School for Girls, there are clubs like Women in STEM. In most Selective School for Boys, they can join the Army Cadets.Gender-tailored extra-curricular activities
|May not prepare students for the ‘real world’ as they may lack communication skills to communicate with both genders|
|No ‘’distractions’ from the other gender||Lack of perspective from both genders in group discussions|
The end-goal for most parents is for their child to do well in the HSC which would allow them to pursue a wide range of professions at a prestigious university.
Keep in mind that Selective Schools which do the best in the HSC, tend to also have the highest entrance score although there are some exceptions. Chatswood High School, Parramatta High School and Alexandria Park are outliers of this trend where their entrance scores are considerably high compared to their actual HSC ranking. This may be because they are partially selective.
|Selective Schools Ranked According to 2018 HSC||Type||Entrance Score|
|1||James Ruse Agricultural High School||Fully Selective Co-educational||250|
|2||North Sydney Boys High School||Fully Selective Single-sex||234|
|3||Sydney Girls High School||Fully Selective Single-sex||225|
|4||Baulkham Hills High School||Fully Selective Co-educational||230|
|5||North Sydney Girls High School||Fully Selective Single-sex||226|
|6||Sydney Boys High School||Fully Selective Single-sex||229|
|7||Hornsby Girls High School||Fully Selective Single-sex||227|
|8||Northern Beaches Secondary College Manly Campus||Fully Selective Co-educational||217|
|9||Fort Street High School||Fully Selective Co-educational||222|
|10||Normanhurst Boys High School||Fully Selective Single-sex||225|
|11||St George Girls High School||Fully Selective Single-sex||207|
|12||Girraween High School||Fully Selective Co-educational||225|
|13||Sydney Technical High School||Fully Selective Single-sex||198|
|14||Penrith High School||Fully Selective Co-educational||215|
|15||Hurlstone Agricultural High School||Fully Selective Co-educational||207|
|16||Caringbah High School||Fully Selective Co-educational||198|
|17||Smiths Hill High School||Partially Selective Co-educational||194|
|18||Gosford High School||Partially Selective Co-educational||188|
|19||Merewether High School||Partially Selective Co-educational||191|
|20||Sefton High School||Partially Selective Co-educational||197|
|21||Chatswood High School||Partially Selective Co-educational||215|
|22||Tempe High School||Partially Selective Co-educational||189|
|23||Ryde Secondary College||Partially Selective Co-educational||201|
|24||Prairiewood High School||Partially Selective Co-educational||177|
|25||Rose Bay Secondary College||Partially Selective Co-educational||184|
|26||Macquarie Fields High School||Partially Selective Co-educational||179|
|27||Sydney Secondary College Leichhardt Campus||Fully Selective Co-educational||186|
|28||Sydney Secondary College Balmain Campus||Fully Selective Co-educational||182|
|29||Parramatta High School||Partially Selective Co-educational||210|
|30||Moorebank High School||Partially Selective Co-educational||176|
|31||Bonnyrigg High School||Partially Selective Co-educational||162|
|32||Elizabeth Macarthur High School||Partially Selective Co-educational||162|
|33||Alexandria Park Community School||Partially Selective Co-educational||186|
|34||Auburn Girls High School||Partially Selective Co-educational||160|
|35||Karabar High School||Partially Selective Co-educational||160|
|36||Duval High School||Partially Selective Co-educational||N/A|
|37||Blacktown Girls High School||Partially Selective Single-sex||189|
|38||Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School||Fully Selective Single-sex||N/A|
|39||Armidale High School||Partially Selective Co-educational||160|
|40||Blacktown Boys High School||Partially Selective Single-sex||195|
|41||Kooringal High School||Partially Selective Co-educational||160|
|42||Peel High School||Partially Selective Co-educational||161|
|43||Grafton High School||Partially Selective Co-educational||161|
|44||Gorokan High School||Partially Selective Co-educational||161|
|46||Granville Boys High School||Partially Selective Single-Sex||161|
While Selective Schools have no catchment area, you may want to consider how long it takes for your child to get to school every day. Keep in mind that in high school, students can have after-school activities til 7pm. If your child lives an hour away from school, this can take a serious toll on their studies or it might discourage them from participating in extra-curricular activities.
We have included a few maps so you can see which Selective Schools are near you.
Now that you have picked the 3 best Selective Schools for your child, find out how you can apply!
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