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Kindergarten - Sydney Grammar or Local Primary


13 replies to this topic

#1 chloe8

Posted 06 April 2017 - 04:06 AM

To our surprise our son has been offered a spot at Sydney Grammar in the Edgecliff Preparatory school in kindergarten next year. On a whim we thought we'd let him attend the assessment in February and we have just heard that he has been accepted. He is on a wait list for other private boys schools on the North Shore for year 5, so not guaranteed a spot. We had always planned that he would attend out local co-Ed primary which is very good and equal to Grammar in what it can offer in terms of support, stimulation etc, however this opportunity and the increased chance/certainty that he has a place at a preferred high school (as opposed to uncertainty of being wait-listed at others) is very tempting.

Looking for any insights that may help us decide - particularly from current or previous Grammar mums. If we had a secure place at a preferred private school in Year 5/7 then we would definitely just send him to our local primary. The thought of him going to a single sex, academically focussed school so young does worry us a little but as mentioned the other pros are giving us much to think about.

TIA.

#2 kim11

Posted 06 April 2017 - 04:16 AM

Sorry, I can't reply about Sydney Grammar specifically. But I did find a benefit to going to our local primary school to meet kids in the neighborhood. I have friends who did not go to the local school and they mentioned their kids didn't know anyone in the area and they always had to drive a distance to playdates. Being a part of your local community is one benefit you might want to consider.

#3 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 06 April 2017 - 06:41 AM

I'm guessing you are on the north shore, as you mention other high schools there?  

My close friend's son started K at Grammar so she could ensure he got in for secondary.  She has been very happy with the school but they ended up moving to the eastern suburbs because she couldn't stand the school run over the bridge.  

FWIW I'm very happy with DS local primary school and really value being able to walk there

#4 Caribou

Posted 06 April 2017 - 06:59 AM

I understand the concept of putting them in the private now to secure a spot for high school, which is exactly what we did for DD. the high school had a wait list where the primary less so.

In the end we decided to put her in private at kinder than at high school so the learning expectation was the same level through the years, as well as friendships stemming from primary school.

We have found the work is more challenging in kinder private compared to public, but for DD, it's good for her, she thrives well on being extended, something we couldn't be guaranteed in public.

Money wasn't an issue for us, but if it is for you, that should be a deciding factor, you need to be able to be comfortable without over extending yourselves. If it's better to save all you have so you have savings while your ds is in high school, then do that.

Also consider if you have any other children, if you can afford to send them in later or you'd only budgeted for high school only.

#5 lizzzard

Posted 18 April 2017 - 09:44 PM

I have actually never heard of someone not being able to find a spot in one of the elite private schools in Sydney. There is alot of hype about it, but I think some of it is created by the schools themselves to protect their revenue pipeline ;) As a piece of anecdata, our kids weren't down on any lists. We contacted one of these schools in December asking about spots in Yr 3 and 5 when we were due to return to Australia in April. They were apparently 'looking full' in the Yr 5...but miraculously by the end of the first phone call when I said we were sure we wanted the spot and were ready to pay the enrolment fee, space became available! So, I would hesitate to sign up to an extra 6 years of private school fees on the basis of securing a spot in Yr 5...

Edited by lizzzard, 18 April 2017 - 10:03 PM.


#6 Holly298

Posted 18 April 2017 - 10:05 PM

Not Sydney Grammar but my DS is in primary school at an all boys private school in Sydney that goes all the way to year 12, he and we love it and the bonus is high school is already sorted! He plays sport for a local club plus he has lots of local friends we still see outside of school so don't worry about that - I specifically wanted a single sex school and our school obviously teaches to the boys as I honestly believe boys and girls learn differently, I have friends with kids in public and catholic schools the same age as DS and the difference in what and how they learn is astounding so for us it was the best decision we've made sending him from kindergarten
- I know quite a few people who couldn't get their kids into year 7 at some private schools , especially as more and more people are choosing private over public

Edited by Holly298, 18 April 2017 - 10:06 PM.


#7 Kreme

Posted 18 April 2017 - 10:32 PM

With Grammar the earlier you start the easier it is to get in, because there's not as much competition. So if you're very set on him going there that's something to consider.

If your DS is on a few lists there is no way he won't get a place elsewhere. There is only one boys school in Sydney where you genuinely won't get a place if you haven't applied at birth. Many parents are like you and apply at several but obviously can only accept one, so there's a lot of movement on the waiting lists.

#8 Moonl!ght

Posted 19 April 2017 - 07:47 AM

Congrats to your son on getting into Grammar.  FWIW I know a boy that didn’t get accepted to Kindergarten at Sydney Grammar in St Ives (however I know a not so bright boy that did, but has “high society” parents).

With the exception of St Aloyious, Sydney Grammar and Abbotsleigh, I agree with Lizzzzard and have never known anyone not to get into “elite” Sydney private schools.   These schools market themselves on exclusivity and “limited places available”, but somehow manage to rustle up a spot.

If money was no object I would be considering the following:

Travel time
I know four separate families that have children at Sydney Grammar, St Ives and none of the wives\mums work as they spend their time ferrying their children to St Ives from locations like Balgowlah, Willoughby and Killara passing a lot of decent Public schools on the way.  There is a bus service, but most don’t use it until at least year 3.  What distance are you from Edgecliff and will the travel to school and back fit in with your lifestyle?

Co-Ed
I would prefer my boys attend a co-ed for primary school.


If you would benefit from saving money on school fees for a few years and would prefer less travel and co-ed I really don’t think you will have trouble getting into other elite private schools later.

As for Sydney Grammar you could always try again later in Year 3 or 5 (which are easier years to get into than Year 7).

You could do co-ed, public & local now, and Grammar later (as an example I know a boy that didn’t get into St Aloysius in Y3 but got into Grammar).

Edited by Moonl!ght, 19 April 2017 - 07:51 AM.


#9 hunter4

Posted 19 April 2017 - 08:14 AM

Just as one more piece of anecdota, but my nephew was refused entry into one of these private schools coming in from another country, and that was with three generations of the family having gone there before him, so I wouldn't assume auto entry at all.

Personally I'm remaining in another country in order to avoid having to send my kids to one of the private schools (As DH wants) so I'm probably no help with your actual questions as I'd say local public all the way.

#10 MarciaB

Posted 19 April 2017 - 08:27 AM

View Postlizzzard, on 18 April 2017 - 09:44 PM, said:

I have actually never heard of someone not being able to find a spot in one of the elite private schools in Sydney. There is alot of hype about it, but I think some of it is created by the schools themselves to protect their revenue pipeline Posted Image As a piece of anecdata, our kids weren't down on any lists. We contacted one of these schools in December asking about spots in Yr 3 and 5 when we were due to return to Australia in April. They were apparently 'looking full' in the Yr 5...but miraculously by the end of the first phone call when I said we were sure we wanted the spot and were ready to pay the enrolment fee, space became available! So, I would hesitate to sign up to an extra 6 years of private school fees on the basis of securing a spot in Yr 5...

I completely disagree.  I know of MANY boys who were unable to secure a spot at "elite" schools in Sydney.  And at my daughters school - I know of 2 girls who were not able to secure a spot until Year 8.

However, that is in Year 7 intake.  There is usually spots available if you are happy to take an earlier or a later entry.

I personally would do anything I can to avoid excess travel in those primary years - so would take the local primary option.

#11 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 19 April 2017 - 08:41 AM

Agree with others Lizzard that returning from overseas/interstate can produce other results. I know from family experience. I also know from family experience that children can miss out on preferred schools (including girls) even though name down from birth.

I may be in Melbourne but am originally from Sydney with all family from Sydney.

We did local primary until end of grade 2 then transferred to preferred K-12 school at grade 3. For one child it was an intake year (special intake), but for the others it has been an extra fill in spot (managed to find balance between showing we were very interested in getting a spot and being an annoying stalker).

The K-12 school is also very local to us so many of the kids in the lower grades are relatively more local than in grades 5+.

Edited by Veritas Vinum Arte, 19 April 2017 - 08:46 AM.


#12 Gumbette

Posted 19 April 2017 - 10:57 AM

DD has 3 students in her class (Y3) that had to go to their local public from K - 2 and then swap over when vacancies became available at our small (definitely not elite) private school .  Not all waitlists are fabrications. Ours is K-12 and guarantees a spot in the high school for all children enrolled in Y6.

Edited by Gumbette, 19 April 2017 - 10:59 AM.


#13 Cimbom

Posted 19 April 2017 - 11:53 AM

Don't underestimate the commuting aspect not just for the school but also for doing anything with friends, sports and other activities. You will be doing it for 13 years (more if additional children obviously). I have a colleague who does an opposite direction commute to the OP and he already complains about it after only 2-3 months.

#14 mylittlemen

Posted 19 April 2017 - 12:08 PM

We did coed for the first few years then moved to all boys. I was insistent on coed. I wish I hadnt been as the boys school they are now at just gets how boys learn and everything is tailored to that. They have the luxury of not having to worry about girls but can totally focus on how boys tick. For us, this has been such an amazing change.

And I know lots (well 5!) of boys that missed out on spots at schools - having had their names down since birth AND some of whom having been offered a kindy spot but deferred with the "ok" of the school only to be rejected at a later date. Not at Grammar but at boys schools in the eastern suburbs of Sydney.



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