Although there are thousands of schools, there is always one suitable for you! According to statistics from recent years, taking popular study areas in Australia as an example, excluding special schools, there are nearly 2100 primary and secondary schools in Victoria, and there are nearly 2900 such schools in New South Wales. At this point, everyone can’t help but stop and look around, with so many schools, where should you go?
Understanding the Australian Education System
Before preparing to study abroad, we need to clarify which school systems we are applying to.
The Australian education system is divided into: Primary school (Kindergarten to Grade 6) – Secondary school (Grade 7-9/Grade 10-12) – Higher education
Australian school terms: There are four terms: January, April, July, and October, with January being the first term
Types of Australian schools: Australian schools can be classified into public and private schools based on the type of funding, and by gender, they can be classified into boys, girls, and co-educational schools.
Choose the Right School for Your Child
Not all students of all identities will be accepted by Australian schools. After excluding restrictions such as the grade level, school system, and student status that schools themselves enroll, the actual number of schools available to us is not as many as it seems.
1. School System Types
Before applying to schools, clarify whether the applied grade and school system are appropriate. Primary schools usually recruit from PRE-year 6, secondary schools from year 7-12, and some comprehensive schools (combined) recruit from (PRE-12). Before applying, confirm the enrollment grades of the schools.
2. Gender Types
Australian schools include mixed-gender (mixed) schools, and there are also many excellent secondary and primary schools that are boys’ schools (boys) or girls’ schools (girls). Students whose gender does not match may not be admitted.
3. Student Status
If choosing a private school, the school selection is relatively flexible, and the decisive factor depends on whether the grades meet the school’s requirements; for local public schools, admission is based on residential school district divisions, similar to the “fragmented enrollment” system in compulsory education in primary and secondary schools in China.
4. Special Needs of Schools
In addition, there may be special requirements for admission to schools, such as preferences for international students, restrictions on permanent residents and citizenship, etc.
School Index Positioning
After screening out schools that do not meet our conditions, the remaining schools are waiting for us to review and select one by one!
1. Location Advantage
Although Australia has a vast land area, there are some popular regions that are often chosen. There are five cities with a population exceeding 1 million (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide), and major regional cities include Canberra, the Gold Coast, and Hobart.
In terms of environment, not only consider the population size but also consider factors such as the distance from the city, suitability, and convenience of life, etc. For example, areas such as New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland are good choices for studying abroad.
2. School Nature
Australian schools can be divided into public and private schools. The admission threshold for public schools is relatively low, and admission mainly depends on how students have performed in the past two years. Local public schools can be admitted based on regional divisions; private schools have relatively rich teaching facilities and resources, but the difficulty of admission will also be greater. Generally, students in Year 4 and above need AEAS scores, and some schools also require interviews.
3. HSC Exam Rankings
The HSC (Higher School Certificate Examination), which is the Australian equivalent of the high school entrance examination, is also an important indicator of measuring the educational level and teaching strength of schools. For example, the Victorian Certificate of Education Examination (VCE) is often used as a factor to compare the strengths and weaknesses of schools in Victoria. In addition, the high school entrance examination results of students in each state will ultimately be summarised into a uniform measurement index with equal weight, called ATAR. These rankings on these scores are important factors to consider when choosing a school.
After discussing the quality of education in schools, let’s focus on the quality of students. ICSEA, short for Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage, is used to measure the educational advantages of a school. It is calculated based on students’ family backgrounds, and the national average ICSEA score is 1000. Schools with higher scores reflect greater advantages.
Taking our excellent class representative MLC School as an example:
Its ICSEA score is 1183, more than 100 points higher than the average score of 1000, proving that in terms of student backgrounds and qualities, its index is quite good. The four bar charts on the right represent the lowest, lower-middle, upper-middle, and highest quality students from left to right, with the blue part showing the comparison between the number of students in this category at the school and the average number of students (red square).
5. Consideration of Educational System
If you plan to transition to local higher education in Australia after completing secondary school studies, you need to consider the school’s educational system. The Australian university admission and assessment system can be roughly divided into two categories: the first type of schools assigns weights to state examinations and regular performance, and the final performance is comprehensively judged based on regular performance, for example, in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory.
The second type of schools entirely consider regular performance for admission, including attendance rate, classroom performance, homework, regular exams, mid-term, and final exams, etc., which means that as long as you perform well in daily studies, you will have a grasp of the future. Such schools include the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, Tasmania, etc.