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Opinions on Hunters Hill High School


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#1 skh82

Posted 26 September 2018 - 07:49 AM

HI,

We are planning to buy a house. The High school catchment is Hunters Hill. Can people please share their thoughts/experences with this school in terms of academics , students interaction etc. I read some discouraging material online & wanted to get some feedback.

Thanks
Skh

#2 crankybee

Posted 26 September 2018 - 07:56 AM

It's a normal, comprehensive high school with good and bad. A lot of locals send their kids to the private schools. The catchment area has been significantly widened to take the load of Chatswood High in recent years.

#3 Gumbette

Posted 26 September 2018 - 11:19 PM

Everyone in our street has avoided it, the one exception being the family across the road who sent their youngest (out of 3) there, reason being ‘he’s so into gaming I’m not worried at all that he’ll fall in with drug crowd’.  I personally haven’t looked into it as we’re in a K-12 private school.  However, besides the one comment from that neighbour, I have no idea what’s wrong.

PP’s correct that most end up going private.

Edited by Gumbette, 26 September 2018 - 11:32 PM.


#4 skh82

Posted 27 September 2018 - 06:56 AM

Thank you for the responses. Looks like, I would want to avoid it if I can. I am not sure if we can afford private schooling at this stage. Pardon my ignorance, is it possible to enrol your kid to another high school outside of your catchment area ?

#5 MarciaB

Posted 27 September 2018 - 07:08 AM

The main issues I have heard is from Parents of girls.  Although HHH is co-ed there are very few girls at the school, mostly due to Riverside girls being so close.  I know approximately 5 girls who have moved out of the school for that reason.

The parents of boys I know are happy.

( I have teenage girls so know a lot of local high school age families).

And regarding your out-of-catchment question, it is possible, but school dependent. Some schools just don’t have capacity to take any out of area enrolments.

#6 Lalala4

Posted 27 September 2018 - 07:29 AM

It's definitely on the up. New principal and a lot of new staff. More locals and more girls going, at open day they said they expect to be 50/50 within two years.
I've put it back on our list after talking to some of the families. (Also they apparently filmed Junior Masterchef in the food tech kitchen???)

#7 sarahec

Posted 27 September 2018 - 07:34 AM

View PostGumbette, on 26 September 2018 - 11:19 PM, said:

Everyone in our street has avoided it, the one exception being the family across the road who sent their youngest (out of 3) there, reason being ‘he’s so into gaming I’m not worried at all that he’ll fall in with drug crowd’.  I personally haven’t looked into it as we’re in a K-12 private school.  However, besides the one comment from that neighbour, I have no idea what’s wrong.

PP’s correct that most end up going private.


There’s drugs at private schools too, more than what there would be at HHH as private school kids have money.

I don’t know about the school now, but it was considered good in the past. But always had more boys then girls. That would be even more the case now since Epping Boys changed their catchment boundaries and no longer take local boys.

The other high schools nearby are very popular. Chatswood high and  Ryde Secondary would be difficult to get into out of area. Sydney Secondary Balmain might be easier?

#8 Gumbette

Posted 27 September 2018 - 09:59 AM

View Postsarahec, on 27 September 2018 - 07:34 AM, said:

There’s drugs at private schools too, more than what there would be at HHH as private school kids have money.


OP asked for opinions, and I was just telling it like it was and why families were supposedly avoiding it.

Ryde & Balmain are partially selective.  If you're out of area I'm pretty sure you need to sit the selective schools test.

Edited by Gumbette, 27 September 2018 - 10:02 AM.


#9 Kreme

Posted 27 September 2018 - 10:24 AM

View PostLalala4, on 27 September 2018 - 07:29 AM, said:

It's definitely on the up. New principal and a lot of new staff. More locals and more girls going, at open day they said they expect to be 50/50 within two years.
I've put it back on our list after talking to some of the families. (Also they apparently filmed Junior Masterchef in the food tech kitchen???)

With Riverside Girls on its doorstep and no equivalent boys’ school it is almost an impossibility for it to be 50/50 within two years. Look at Chatswood High School, very popular, has a selective stream and still the most they are hoping for is 60/40 now that Willoughby Girls has closed down its catchment area.

I also went to the open day at HH and the actual quote is that in the short term “we want this to be a viable option for local families”. They are not aiming for anything amazing, just to be in the mix.

The big issue is demographics of the area. Private and Catholic are way out in front. Public is considered last choice and HH is at the bottom of the public list. We are in catchment and nobody on our street goes there. Those at public are in the selective/gifted streams at Chatswood and Balmain, or Riverside Girls.

The other day DH was chatting to a local family whose boys go to Riverview. He was telling DH a story about how some kid at HH got stabbed in the eye with a pencil. My neighbour with kids at elite private loves to tell stories about the awful things that happen at HH. It’s how they reassure themselves that they have to spend money on private or their kid will end up stabbed to death with an HB. I don’t actually believe the majority of these stories btw.

My niece is going next year so I will be interested to see how she gets on. We declined a place in the G&T class for our daughter for next year because of the gender imbalance but we will consider it for our son for 2020. Families with boys there seem to be happy.

#10 Moo point

Posted 27 September 2018 - 10:36 AM

Thanks for posting this, OP, it's something that's on our radar. We are in the zone for HH, but DS is only in kindergarten so a long way off yet. We want to move in the next few years so trying to figure out where to go. DS has additional needs so likely will not get in to North Sydney Boys (where DH went) or any of the other selective schools. I really feel that for a boy like DS our options on the lower north shore are limited. We've never considered private, especially as co-ed suits DS better (he likes girls more than boys, he's a gentle soul).

So hard to know what to do.

Edited by Moo point, 27 September 2018 - 10:45 AM.


#11 Gumbette

Posted 27 September 2018 - 10:39 AM

View PostKreme, on 27 September 2018 - 10:24 AM, said:

We declined a place in the G&T class for our daughter for next year because of the gender imbalance but we will consider it for our son for 2020. Families with boys there seem to be happy.

Are you considering Riverside?  With their push on STEM subjects I'm torn.  I would save a fortune on school fees, and have a 10 minute vs a 1 hour commute each way, but DD would have to leave the friends she's had since kindergarten...

View PostMoo point, on 27 September 2018 - 10:36 AM, said:

DS has additional needs so likely will not get in to North Sydney Boys (where DH went) or any of the other selective schools. I really feel that for a boy like DS our options on the lower north shore are limited. We've never considered private, especially as co-ed suits DS better (he likes girls more than boys, he's a gentle soul).

So hard to know what to do.

DS has additional needs and we currently attend a private co-ed school.  The commute is sapping my will to live, but it's a very accepting school.

Edited by Gumbette, 27 September 2018 - 10:43 AM.


#12 Moo point

Posted 27 September 2018 - 10:40 AM

View PostKreme, on 27 September 2018 - 10:24 AM, said:

The other day DH was chatting to a local family whose boys go to Riverview. He was telling DH a story about how some kid at HH got stabbed in the eye with a pencil. My neighbour with kids at elite private loves to tell stories about the awful things that happen at HH. It’s how they reassure themselves that they have to spend money on private or their kid will end up stabbed to death with an HB. I don’t actually believe the majority of these stories btw.


There's a Google review that a stabbing the eye incident happened at Cammeraygal, supposedly witnessed by the poster's child.

#13 Kreme

Posted 27 September 2018 - 10:52 AM

View PostGumbette, on 27 September 2018 - 10:39 AM, said:



Are you considering Riverside?  With their push on STEM subjects I'm torn.  I would save a fortune on school fees, and have a 10 minute vs a 1 hour commute each way, but DD would have to leave the friends she's had since kindergarten...


She was enrolled at Riverside but I just cancelled it this week as she also had a place at Sydney Girls High and after much deliberation we decided to go for it. If she doesn’t like SGH after trying it for a year or so she will probably go to Riverside. I know lots of girls at Riverside and they are all happy. Great dance program too which appealed to DD. Don’t talk about the commute, Riverside is so much closer argh!

View PostMoo point, on 27 September 2018 - 10:40 AM, said:



There's a Google review that a stabbing the eye incident happened at Cammeraygal, supposedly witnessed by the poster's child.

There you go that just reinforces my view. One incident in one public school and suddenly it has happened everywhere!

#14 Kreme

Posted 27 September 2018 - 11:09 AM

View Postskh82, on 27 September 2018 - 06:56 AM, said:

Thank you for the responses. Looks like, I would want to avoid it if I can. I am not sure if we can afford private schooling at this stage. Pardon my ignorance, is it possible to enrol your kid to another high school outside of your catchment area ?

Things change from year to year in public education. At the moment Balmain High is a possibility. As well as the selective stream they also have a G&T class and an arts class, all accessible from outside catchment. For girls Riverside doesn’t have an enforced catchment right now, but that could happen to force more people into Hunters Hill.

#15 Moukmouk

Posted 27 September 2018 - 11:38 AM

The pencil in the eye was at cammeraygal - it made the news with lots of how it was a student with “special needs that did it”.
Hunters hill is certainly on the rise. Balmain high used to be thought of as dreadful and now it’s desirable. As the catchments tighten more people will consider it. And as more people simply can’t afford the big private schools  then public gets more popular. Marist sisters woolwich is tightening its catchment as well, which may push more girls to HHH.
Riverside is ok, but I know of quite a few girls that transferred out for senior high school, particularly the academic types. More kids are choosing HHH over Chatswood as Chatswood is huge with no space, and if you’re not in the selective stream you can get a bit overlooked. I would do a commute for Sydney girls over riverside, but if HHH was down the road I would choose it over other comprehensive public high schools. And the drug thing...... well, they weren’t growing weed in the roof of the boarders dorms like the boys at Riverview did, were they..?

#16 robhat

Posted 27 September 2018 - 11:42 AM

I have heard good things about Hunters Hill, but admittedly that is from people who sent their kids there 10 or more years ago!

I do know that the area is basically 'snobsville' and most of the people there would send their kids to private schools even if the local public is brilliant. That probably contributes a lot to the general view of the school by locals.

As for out of zone, well, we are nearby and zoned for Ryde. It would be your next closest co-ed and you'd have ZERO chance of getting in out of zone as it's overflowing. There are plans for new high schools in the general area, probably only useful to you if your child is in lower primary now as it'll take some years to get the proposed high schools up and running, if it happens at all! So theoretically you can apply for out of zone, but the area is so full at the moment that realistically no school would have the space. Ryde Secondary is lovely though. We did a tour recently and I think it's brilliant. Maybe try to move slightly west so you're in zone for that one! :D It is partially selective, so if your child is able to make the cut for that, you wouldn't need to be in zone.

#17 Gumbette

Posted 27 September 2018 - 12:02 PM

View Postrobhat, on 27 September 2018 - 11:42 AM, said:

I do know that the area is basically 'snobsville' and most of the people there would send their kids to private schools even if the local public is brilliant. That probably contributes a lot to the general view of the school by locals.


Granted, there's a lot of snobbery in the area, but I'm not sure that's the whole story - our neighbours did public all the way K-12, they just wouldn't touch HHH.   The 2 girls went out of area (neither went to HHH or Riverside).  I don't know how / why HHH became so undesirable.

Edited by Gumbette, 27 September 2018 - 12:02 PM.


#18 Kreme

Posted 27 September 2018 - 12:07 PM

View PostGumbette, on 27 September 2018 - 12:02 PM, said:



Granted, there's a lot of snobbery in the area, but I'm not sure that's the whole story - our neighbours did public all the way K-12, they just wouldn't touch HHH.   The 2 girls went out of area (neither went to HHH or Riverside).  I don't know how / why HHH became so undesirable.

Is it part of the whole school choice thing? I found that even with primary, there is something of a cachet associated with “going out of area”. So you’ve chosen something rather than going to the local. (My kids started local and then moved out of area). It’s easy to get sucked in though, I don’t mind admitting that HH was last on our list for DD and beyond the gender imbalance I’m not sure what was holding us back. Meanwhile my friend who is zoned for Marsden High was desperate to get her boys into HH!

Edited by Kreme, 27 September 2018 - 12:08 PM.


#19 crankybee

Posted 27 September 2018 - 12:46 PM

View PostMoo point, on 27 September 2018 - 10:36 AM, said:

Thanks for posting this, OP, it's something that's on our radar. We are in the zone for HH, but DS is only in kindergarten so a long way off yet. We want to move in the next few years so trying to figure out where to go. DS has additional needs so likely will not get in to North Sydney Boys (where DH went) or any of the other selective schools. I really feel that for a boy like DS our options on the lower north shore are limited. We've never considered private, especially as co-ed suits DS better (he likes girls more than boys, he's a gentle soul).

So hard to know what to do.

Marist in North Sydney is going co-ed very soon, and North Sydney Boys is getting a support unit in 2019. Cammeraygal High is  a good option if you are in area.

#20 Lalala4

Posted 27 September 2018 - 01:18 PM

I think HHH struggled a bit historically because successive NSW governments tried to close it down (to sell off its fabulous harbourside location). Community successfully fought that off over a decade, but naturally uncertainty put people off. Dept Ed has confirmed it is staying put and building works are in place, which is certainly a visible commitment.

Cammeraygal is only 7-10 (supposed to have finished the new senior campus on the other site, but haven't). Quite an academic focus, too new to have all that much extra curricular in place, and no space to run around. It'll be good for some people but not for everyone.

I agree with PPs that catchments are extremely tight.

#21 crankybee

Posted 27 September 2018 - 01:21 PM

View PostLalala4, on 27 September 2018 - 01:18 PM, said:

Cammeraygal is only 7-10 (supposed to have finished the new senior campus on the other site, but haven't). Quite an academic focus, too new to have all that much extra curricular in place, and no space to run around. It'll be good for some people but not for everyone.

There's no space to run around at any comprehensive school around Cammeraygal - Chatwood High, Mosman High or Willoughby Girls! Even Neutral Bay Public have staggered bell times for playground space.

Cammeraygal will definitely have the senior school ready to go when they need it. Work is going hard on it now. They will also have a large gym for students to use.

#22 esme weatherwax

Posted 27 September 2018 - 01:24 PM

I think Hunters Hill High had a pretty average academic record in the past so it became undesirable. This old reputation has just hung around. There is definitely a tendency for people in this area to enrol in private schools, many have valid reasons for doing so but many just do so because that is what everyone else does, it's the "done thing".  I think Hunters Hill suffers unfairly from a very outdated view. I have friends with children currently there in years 7, 10 and 12 and they are all very happy, well adjusted (one heading for great academic success) and have never been stabbed in the eye - or anywhere else!

#23 Kreme

Posted 27 September 2018 - 01:28 PM

One thing Hunters Hill definitely does not lack is outside space! huge oval right on the waterfront. No wonder it was on the list for selloff, the land would be worth a fortune.  

I think Cammeraygal is very popular now. When it first opened quite a few kids from our suburb went there out of area, but I think it’s much harder to get in now.

#24 Moo point

Posted 27 September 2018 - 05:21 PM

View Postcrankybee, on 27 September 2018 - 12:46 PM, said:

Marist in North Sydney is going co-ed very soon, and North Sydney Boys is getting a support unit in 2019. Cammeraygal High is  a good option if you are in area.

Interesting. We are not religious so no Catholic schools for us, but interesting that NS Boys will have a support unit. I assume boys will still need to pass the selective exam so may or may not be an option. Will keep it on the list, thanks. Don't think we'll be in area for Cammeraygal unless we move much further south.

View Postesme weatherwax, on 27 September 2018 - 01:24 PM, said:

I have friends with children currently there in years 7, 10 and 12 and they are all very happy, well adjusted (one heading for great academic success) and have never been stabbed in the eye - or anywhere else!

Great to know kids who are happy and doing well there, thanks :)

View PostKreme, on 27 September 2018 - 01:28 PM, said:

One thing Hunters Hill definitely does not lack is outside space! huge oval right on the waterfront. No wonder it was on the list for selloff, the land would be worth a fortune.  


DS would love this!

#25 Kreme

Posted 27 September 2018 - 09:34 PM

View PostMoo point, on 27 September 2018 - 05:21 PM, said:



Interesting. We are not religious so no Catholic schools for us, but interesting that NS Boys will have a support unit. I assume boys will still need to pass the selective exam so may or may not be an option. Will keep it on the list, thanks. Don't think we'll be in area for Cammeraygal unless we move much further south.


Final entry scores won’t be published until next year but anecdotally I’ve heard that the entry score for North Sydney Boys went through the roof this year. I know someone who got an academic scholarship to a very good private school who didn’t get a place at NSB.




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