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Thread: Good schools in Western Suburbs

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    Re: Good schools in Western Suburbs

    Prairiewood High School (Partially Selective)

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    Re: Good schools in Western Suburbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Focus is Key View Post
    This is probably one of the truest things I've ever read on this site, especially considering my experience at a school that half the time doesn't even rank inside the top 500. Basically all bar one (maybe two) of my teachers focused on teaching the content at the most basic level, without giving that exam technique or attention to detail that the high achieving students in the class needed. I got an ATAR above 90 as dux and got mid-high Band 5s as well as one very high Band 6 for my HSC. And guess what? The high Band 6 subject was largely because of my teacher focusing on the top-end of students rather than the bottom end. We covered everything in extensive detail and did lots of exam preparation, which we didn't do very well in other classes. So it annoys me when people say these things don't have an impact and that everyone is equal when in actuality that is complete rubbish. In fact I'm currently beating people in law school who achieved 97 and 98 ATARs who went to privileged schools.
    Quote Originally Posted by mcchicken View Post
    the statements above IR (well, and IR :P ) are so true

    my school was 500+ and in most classes I was just so bored because most teachers would just teach the bare bones of the syllabus - never going into detail, never doing much exam technique stuff because half the students had a hard enough time grasping the content let alone how to properly apply that knowledge into detailed responses.

    I know a lot of people would say "well the onus is on you to go above and beyond to study and teach yourself blah blah" and yes to a degree that is true and I sure could've done a better job of that and gotten better marks but a) I was never aiming high anyways b) I exceeded my expectations anyways so idc and most importantly, c) even though I could have done more for myself, that doesn't change the fact that I was still at a disadvantage by not being surrounded my peers to push me (there were a few but not many, and not all the high achievers were in my classes) and not having many dedicated teachers who cared less about getting kids to pass and more about getting kids to aim for B5/6.

    In fact, the few teachers that really did care about helping students reach their full potential and not just passing were huge inspirations to me and are basically why teaching is a huge passion of mine.

    I realise that this POV may sound rude because some students' full potential may be passing marks but I feel this is untrue for the majority of BoS users of whom I am addressing currently sooo... whatever.
    I was thinking about this today, and I guess really it's a decision/balance that every educator must grapple with. If your policy is 'no child left behind', what if that means no child can get ahead? Like, realistically you'd find it hard to cater for each equally, so how does one make that decision to focus on one end of the spectrum? I'm especially curious as to your thoughts though mcchicken since I know you want to be a teacher (even you as well RenegadeMx lol).

    Really the only solution I can think of off the top of my head is segregating classes based on ability - but that has it's own set of pitfalls and disadvantages.
    Last edited by Nailgun; 23 Feb 2016 at 7:41 PM.
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    Re: Good schools in Western Suburbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Nailgun View Post
    I was thinking about this today, and I guess really it's a decision/balance that every educator must grapple with. If your policy is 'no child left behind', what if that means no child can get ahead? Like, realistically you'd find it hard to cater for each equally, so how does one make that decision to focus on one end of the spectrum. I'm especially curious as to your thoughts though mcchicken since I know you want to be a teacher (even you as well RenegadeMx lol).

    Really the only solution I can think of off the top of my head is segregating classes based on ability - but that has it's own set of pitfalls and disadvantages.
    This is true. My point in that post above was mainly to illustrate the disadvantage I (and thousands of others) have had in my HSC.

    There isn't really a concise, uniform way to address the bulk of the class' needs as well as either of the extremities. I think it depends class to class how to handle this situation. Like in my English class it was "Advanced" so it was a bit easier but my teacher's approach was basically to do the best he could in class and then put so many hours into producing all of this extra content/homework that was basically optional and only a few of us did. In Modern my teacher had a similar approach, except the extra homework wasn't really optional lol although most people didn't do it anyway and tbh I would have liked more frequent/more challenging homework but that class wasn't too bright so I can't blame him. We did a lot of revision in class as well due to that, which I didn't mind (not gonna lie it gave me a big head sticking my hand up for every question haha).

    Other classes were the ones that I felt were more heavily catered to assisting the lower end of the grade spectrum which was also the bulk so that was where I struggled to keep on the level that I wanted to be because I basically had to rely on myself to find other resources online.

    To address your question(?), as a teacher I'd like to adopt the approach of my English/History teachers. Teach the class as best I can and assisting the stragglers or the high-achievers in my/their own time. In cases where the bulk of the class are slackers or high-achievers then I'd obviously spend more class time catering to them.

    Also to your last point, from years 7-10 at my school the classes are segregated, kind of. There was a top class then the rest were mixed. This was good for us in the top classes, but it was so unhelpful for those who weren't exactly topping their subjects, but weren't shit cunts either and yet were subjected to being in a classroom with literal monkeys who did not deserve to even be in a school wasting our time (legit, like 30 people were "signed out amicably" on the ASAP once we started turning 17).

    And yes, the misuse of 'literal' was so necessary. If you knew those people you would understand.
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    Re: Good schools in Western Suburbs

    Quote Originally Posted by mcchicken View Post
    This is true. My point in that post above was mainly to illustrate the disadvantage I (and thousands of others) have had in my HSC.

    There isn't really a concise, uniform way to address the bulk of the class' needs as well as either of the extremities. I think it depends class to class how to handle this situation. Like in my English class it was "Advanced" so it was a bit easier but my teacher's approach was basically to do the best he could in class and then put so many hours into producing all of this extra content/homework that was basically optional and only a few of us did. In Modern my teacher had a similar approach, except the extra homework wasn't really optional lol although most people didn't do it anyway and tbh I would have liked more frequent/more challenging homework but that class wasn't too bright so I can't blame him. We did a lot of revision in class as well due to that, which I didn't mind (not gonna lie it gave me a big head sticking my hand up for every question haha).

    Other classes were the ones that I felt were more heavily catered to assisting the lower end of the grade spectrum which was also the bulk so that was where I struggled to keep on the level that I wanted to be because I basically had to rely on myself to find other resources online.

    To address your question(?), as a teacher I'd like to adopt the approach of my English/History teachers. Teach the class as best I can and assisting the stragglers or the high-achievers in my/their own time. In cases where the bulk of the class are slackers or high-achievers then I'd obviously spend more class time catering to them.

    Also to your last point, from years 7-10 at my school the classes are segregated, kind of. There was a top class then the rest were mixed. This was good for us in the top classes, but it was so unhelpful for those who weren't exactly topping their subjects, but weren't shit cunts either and yet were subjected to being in a classroom with literal monkeys who did not deserve to even be in a school wasting our time (legit, like 30 people were "signed out amicably" on the ASAP once we started turning 17).

    And yes, the misuse of 'literal' was so necessary. If you knew those people you would understand.
    Interesting answer, your insight is much appreciated.

    What do you mean the best you can though, like let's say you have a kid/s that are completely lost as to what's going on, but are making a genuine effort to understand (but are struggling). Do you mean that you'd just kinda speed past them and continue with the lesson for the benefit of the rest of the class, and perhaps try and see them after class and sort something out?

    As in do you adjust to the lowest common denominator, or do you try and address the average students needs?
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    Re: Good schools in Western Suburbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Nailgun View Post

    Really the only solution I can think of off the top of my head is segregating classes based on ability - but that has it's own set of pitfalls and disadvantages.
    How does streaming classes based on ability have any pitfalls at all? I just fail to see any negatives.
    Last edited by Kolmias; 23 Feb 2016 at 7:53 PM.
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    Re: Good schools in Western Suburbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolmias View Post
    How does streaming classes based on ability have any pitfalls at all?
    Well just from mcchicken's post
    "but it was so unhelpful for those who weren't exactly topping their subjects, but weren't shit cunts either and yet were subjected to being in a classroom with literal monkeys who did not deserve to even be in a school wasting our time "

    Plus I feel like it can be terribly unmotivating for someone who has the aptitude for a subject but perhaps hasn't performed to their potential to be put into a 'bottom' class.
    You'd be amazed how many kids can massively pick up their game in yr11/12/some point in the hsc when they realise its legit serious
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    Re: Good schools in Western Suburbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Nailgun View Post
    Interesting answer, your insight is much appreciated.

    What do you mean the best you can though, like let's say you have a kid/s that are completely lost as to what's going on, but are making a genuine effort to understand (but are struggling). Do you mean that you'd just kinda speed past them and continue with the lesson for the benefit of the rest of the class, and perhaps try and see them after class and sort something out?

    As in do you adjust to the lowest common denominator, or do you try and address the average students needs?
    At that moment in class I wouldn't ignore them or anything I'd try to help them out but say if I'm helping them whilst in the middle of addressing the class, I wouldn't spend more than a few minutes at that point in time on them but I'd come back while everyone is writing or at the end of class or something.

    I wouldn't just teach based on the average aptitude at that's that - I'd address the students on higher or lower levels but wouldn't spend say 10 minutes of class time addressing the smaller % whilst the rest are sitting there doing nothing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolmias View Post
    How does streaming classes based on ability have any pitfalls at all? I just fail to see any negatives.
    What I said and Nailgun reiterated

    And also I like history but say they didn't put me in the top class I would stop enjoying it as much and would put in slightly less effort
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    Re: Good schools in Western Suburbs

    Quote Originally Posted by eyeseeyou View Post
    yeah they've got a strict time limit. I think you will do well in Selective school comprehension and writing if you have the high school knowledge and skill (up to year 10 english) which is hard to develop at a year 5/6 level

    Any of your students get in selective and if so which school?
    Yeah I did happen to get a student into a selective school, their parent let me know as well. (They were a family based in Ryde- it was a local school in their catchment area) . There was also a family I taught but unfortunately the kid was not motivated enough. (He has too many distractions i.e cricket, sport) Both of these kids also had Pre-Uni College training in addition to 1-on-1 tutoring from me.

    The other 3 I tutored up until the exam date....all were motivated and pushed themselves because they knew how important it was.
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    Re: Good schools in Western Suburbs

    The kid that got in, said to me his dream school was 'North Sydney Boys', he didn't end up there but he was pretty gifted. I haven't had so much tutoring in selective in the last year or so, mainly because I have put more focus on High School and University level tutoring. (I didn't mention I wanted to tute Selective Schools/O.C tutoring ad in the past year as well).

    I enjoy the comprehension readings, my slight weakness is poetry as I didn't read alot of it in high school. Teaching students in NAPLAN, Selective School assessments has in a way improved my reading ability. I sometimes have to read things two times or three times to pick up the meaning. It is a time pressure exam as well. Maths and G.A I can knock off in a blink of an eye though.
    Last edited by davidgoes4wce; 23 Feb 2016 at 9:28 PM.
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    Re: Good schools in Western Suburbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Trebla View Post
    Without the strength in Maths they would probably rank close to 100.
    I'd say 80ish

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    Re: Good schools in Western Suburbs

    Quote Originally Posted by davidgoes4wce View Post
    Yeah I did happen to get a student into a selective school, their parent let me know as well. (They were a family based in Ryde- it was a local school in their catchment area) . There was also a family I taught but unfortunately the kid was not motivated enough. (He has too many distractions i.e cricket, sport) Both of these kids also had Pre-Uni College training in addition to 1-on-1 tutoring from me.

    The other 3 I tutored up until the exam date....all were motivated and pushed themselves because they knew how important it was.
    I've seen lots of parents spend so much money to go to 3 different tutoring centres/places to do selective trial test because they are that desperate for their kids to get in.

    I think they need to realise that the onus is up to their child not the centre. The child will get in if he/she puts in more effort rather than sending him/her to 3 different tutoring centres for Selective trial test. Lots of primary school kids are lazy and don't want to go to selective and they don't realise that a selective school is their education

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    Re: Good schools in Western Suburbs

    Quote Originally Posted by davidgoes4wce View Post
    The kid that got in, said to me his dream school was 'North Sydney Boys', he didn't end up there but he was pretty gifted. I haven't had so much tutoring in selective in the last year or so, mainly because I have put more focus on High School and University level tutoring. (I didn't mention I wanted to tute Selective Schools/O.C tutoring ad in the past year as well).

    I enjoy the comprehension readings, my slight weakness is poetry as I didn't read alot of it in high school. Teaching students in NAPLAN, Selective School assessments has in a way improved my reading ability. I sometimes have to read things two times or three times to pick up the meaning. It is a time pressure exam as well. Maths and G.A I can knock off in a blink of an eye though.
    If his dream school was north sydney boys, then tell him to stop dreaming and work hard at it because dreams only come true if you work hard at it, not just sit there and dream. If you would like to do tutoring for selective (more often) then I suggest forming a small group weekly tuition thing

    Teaching english would not be easy. I think to improve in english, you'll need to be exposed to everything, even the local newspaper and learn year 7-10 english skills

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    Re: Good schools in Western Suburbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolmias View Post
    How does streaming classes based on ability have any pitfalls at all? I just fail to see any negatives.
    Apologies for reviving this again, but I just had a thought
    In a way, the current system of school ranks does a similar thing to streaming classes but on a much broader scale
    Good students will gravitate towards historically good schools even if there isn't anything exceptional about the school itself (see: James Ruse)
    Naturally then, they will also stay away from historically bad schools, its like a perpetuating cycle. Theoretically, the worst students will end up at the worst schools, and the best at the best. The same problems that arise in segregating classes occur on a school level, where a gifted student will be held back by a 'bad' school just as much as a 'bad' class.

    So really the pitfalls as a result of segregation are something you have already experienced, just on a macro rather than micro level. It's great for those students at good schools that pull them up, not so much for students who aren't. Similarly its great for students at in the top classes, not so much for those in the bottom.
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    Re: Good schools in Western Suburbs

    Quote Originally Posted by eyeseeyou View Post
    If his dream school was north sydney boys, then tell him to stop dreaming and work hard at it because dreams only come true if you work hard at it, not just sit there and dream. If you would like to do tutoring for selective (more often) then I suggest forming a small group weekly tuition thing

    Teaching english would not be easy. I think to improve in english, you'll need to be exposed to everything, even the local newspaper and learn year 7-10 english skills
    Well he got into a selective school (the kid was happy , mum was happy) but it wasn't North Sydney Boys which what I was trying to say. (You know how sometimes when you set the bar high and you don't quite achieve it? You have a backup ....well thats how I felt with this family) His mum was ecstatic that I managed to get him into a selective school. (This was me arriving in Sydney, without having an idea of what a Selective Test meant, about 1 month before meeting this family) I thought the Selective School and O.C tests were a bit of a hit and giggle over here and to be honest I just bought as much prep material from Gumtree and Dymocks before picking up the student.
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    Re: Good schools in Western Suburbs

    Quote Originally Posted by eyeseeyou View Post
    If his dream school was north sydney boys, then tell him to stop dreaming and work hard at it because dreams only come true if you work hard at it, not just sit there and dream. If you would like to do tutoring for selective (more often) then I suggest forming a small group weekly tuition thing

    Teaching english would not be easy. I think to improve in english, you'll need to be exposed to everything, even the local newspaper and learn year 7-10 english skills
    English for the Selective Test is really just basic comprehension, there's really no need for exposure to a wide range of texts. There's very little higher order stuff that requires you to think (I don't remember doing a single poem in my prep for it) and almost everything can be found by just reading the text. The best thing you can do for it is to improve your vocabulary to pick up marks on questions that ask for synonyms to replace words in the text.

    Also in terms of how much an english question is even worth, it's nothing compared to GA or maths so I wouldn't focus on it too much.
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    Re: Good schools in Western Suburbs

    Quote Originally Posted by davidgoes4wce View Post
    Well he got into a selective school (the kid was happy , mum was happy) but it wasn't North Sydney Boys which what I was trying to say. (You know how sometimes when you set the bar high and you don't quite achieve it? You have a backup ....well thats how I felt with this family) His mum was ecstatic that I managed to get him into a selective school. (This was me arriving in Sydney, without having an idea of what a Selective Test meant, about 1 month before meeting this family) I thought the Selective School and O.C tests were a bit of a hit and giggle over here and to be honest I just bought as much prep material from Gumtree and Dymocks before picking up the student.
    I think his parents need to realise it's manily their sons' own hard work, not so much yours davidgoes4wce as you taught and guided the student and somehow encouraged him to do well

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    Re: Good schools in Western Suburbs

    Quote Originally Posted by bobmyself View Post
    English for the Selective Test is really just basic comprehension, there's really no need for exposure to a wide range of texts. There's very little higher order stuff that requires you to think (I don't remember doing a single poem in my prep for it) and almost everything can be found by just reading the text. The best thing you can do for it is to improve your vocabulary to pick up marks on questions that ask for synonyms to replace words in the text.

    Also in terms of how much an english question is even worth, it's nothing compared to GA or maths so I wouldn't focus on it too much.
    In my opinion, english is not easy at all for selective schools test, mainly because of time constrictions and ability to work under pressure. There is no extra time to read and think (doing those is crucial for english) therefore making it hard

    Also, for primary school students who don't bother to learn english properly (as in expose them to a wide variety of things that are "english") it would make it much harder for them to do well in english

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    Re: Good schools in Western Suburbs

    Quote Originally Posted by eyeseeyou View Post
    In my opinion, english is not easy at all for selective schools test, mainly because of time constrictions and ability to work under pressure. There is no extra time to read and think (doing those is crucial for english) therefore making it hard

    Also, for primary school students who don't bother to learn english properly (as in expose them to a wide variety of things that are "english") it would make it much harder for them to do well in english
    If we are arguing on the basis of time constraints and performance under pressure, then other parts of test are far more difficult.

    In english you are expected to complete 45 questions in 40 minutes. For most questions, you won't even have to read the entire text as the questions are designed to target specific lines or words. As long as you can find these phrases in the text, the questions are one-dimensional and simple enough holistic understanding of the text is not needed.

    For GA, there's 60 questions in 40 minutes and the questions in this section sometimes require actual thinking. You are required to be able to very quickly identify patterns and solve a wide array of problems from different areas. Your timing will be easily thrown off here if you have not seen the types of questions in the section before.

    Maths has the greatest discrepancy from what is in the test to what taught at a primary school level. There are questions here involving constructing your own algebraic equations from written problems and what are essentially some basic sequences and series questions. You need to have strong time management here and be smart in your methods to solve problems.

    As for writing, this section is actually insanely difficult to pick up marks at the high end and not worth your time in terms of it's contribution to your overall score. For a year 6 student to be composing a creative writing piece in 20 MINUTES, they need a lot of practice. If you had not prepared for this section, you would be easily blown out. I remember in my first attempt at this section I only wrote 1/2-3/4 of a page. By the time I sat the test, I was comfortably writing 2 pages. Your ideas need to come so fast for this section that there's no real time for planning - anyone not used to the timing here would get destroyed. If I had known what rote learning was back then, I probably would've rote learned a piece.

    In comparison to other sections in the test, reading comprehension is actually quite straightforward. If you went into the test without any prior prep, it would make the least difference in your reading comprehension.
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    Re: Good schools in Western Suburbs

    girra
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    Re: Good schools in Western Suburbs

    Quote Originally Posted by iforgotmyname View Post
    Carlingford high school. . Jks, principal is shit and most people doing general maths are dumb.
    Carlingford is a pretty good school I have a few friends that go there, not sure if that's exactly west tho

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    Re: Good schools in Western Suburbs

    If you're speaking academic wise.

    In the west apart from the ones already mentioned; girra, penrith, sefton, parra

    (These are North West)I'd say Model Farms, Castle Hill, Cherrybrook, St Marys, Cabrra, Fairfield, Canley Vale - but these are academic

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    Re: Good schools in Western Suburbs


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    Re: Good schools in Western Suburbs

    Quote Originally Posted by tofusenpai View Post
    Carlingford is a pretty good school I have a few friends that go there, not sure if that's exactly west tho

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    They ranked top 100 for HSC rankings and are exactly in the same area as James Ruse

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    Re: Good schools in Western Suburbs

    Quote Originally Posted by tofusenpai View Post
    If you're speaking academic wise.

    In the west apart from the ones already mentioned; girra, penrith, sefton, parra

    (These are North West)I'd say Model Farms, Castle Hill, Cherrybrook, St Marys, Cabrra, Fairfield, Canley Vale - but these are academic

    Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk
    I don't think Fairfield makes the list

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    Re: Good schools in Western Suburbs

    Quote Originally Posted by bobmyself View Post
    If we are arguing on the basis of time constraints and performance under pressure, then other parts of test are far more difficult.

    In english you are expected to complete 45 questions in 40 minutes. For most questions, you won't even have to read the entire text as the questions are designed to target specific lines or words. As long as you can find these phrases in the text, the questions are one-dimensional and simple enough holistic understanding of the text is not needed.

    For GA, there's 60 questions in 40 minutes and the questions in this section sometimes require actual thinking. You are required to be able to very quickly identify patterns and solve a wide array of problems from different areas. Your timing will be easily thrown off here if you have not seen the types of questions in the section before.

    Maths has the greatest discrepancy from what is in the test to what taught at a primary school level. There are questions here involving constructing your own algebraic equations from written problems and what are essentially some basic sequences and series questions. You need to have strong time management here and be smart in your methods to solve problems.

    As for writing, this section is actually insanely difficult to pick up marks at the high end and not worth your time in terms of it's contribution to your overall score. For a year 6 student to be composing a creative writing piece in 20 MINUTES, they need a lot of practice. If you had not prepared for this section, you would be easily blown out. I remember in my first attempt at this section I only wrote 1/2-3/4 of a page. By the time I sat the test, I was comfortably writing 2 pages. Your ideas need to come so fast for this section that there's no real time for planning - anyone not used to the timing here would get destroyed. If I had known what rote learning was back then, I probably would've rote learned a piece.

    In comparison to other sections in the test, reading comprehension is actually quite straightforward. If you went into the test without any prior prep, it would make the least difference in your reading comprehension.
    I'm not arguing, I'm just stating my opinion on this. It really depends on the individual (As in which perspective they take it from)

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