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Tell me about Australian High Schools! (1 Viewer)

addictedtobubbletea

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I think last year. Not all subjects but the main one's math, English, the sciences. Some questions from past papers will be relevant but not all. Btw in Singapore, how is the education there? When does school start and end for you?
I see. Guess the new textbooks will be pretty important for reference then, since a lot of existing resources would be outdated or incomplete

singapore education is pretty stressful with a whole lot of exams but we're used to it haha. By start and end, I'm not sure if you're referring to school hours or the school year, but the school year is pretty similar to Sydney's (Beginning of January to end of October) while actual school hours are typically from 7.30-2.30/3.30 with sport/music/dance/drama/etc after school about 2-3 times a week from 3.30 to 6
 
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addictedtobubbletea

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Correct me if I’m wrong and sorry if I sound a bit rude but can international students apply for selective schools?
Ah I was able to apply because I am an australian citizen! I just used the term international because I've technically never lived in sydney. I believe you can only apply if you're a citizen or PR, but I may be wrong.
 

Cherrybomb56

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I see. Guess the new textbooks will be pretty important for reference then, since a lot of existing resources would be outdated or incomplete

singapore education is pretty stressful with a whole lot of exams but we're used to it haha. By start and end, I'm not sure if you're referring to school hours or the school year, but the school year is pretty similar to Sydney's (Beginning of January to end of October) while actual school hours are typically from 7.30-2.30/3.30 with sport/music/dance/drama/etc after school about 2-3 times a week from 3.30 to 6
oh nice.
 

seremify007

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Wait, did you go to the Australian international school in Singapore then? Or did you enrol in one of the other privates since presumably you wouldn't have gone to the local schools?

Whilst I never studied in Singapore (but I lived there for a couple of years), my understanding is the curriculum and way of teaching is substantially different. Culturally and society's focus on academics is also very different.
 

addictedtobubbletea

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Wait, did you go to the Australian international school in Singapore then? Or did you enrol in one of the other privates since presumably you wouldn't have gone to the local schools?

Whilst I never studied in Singapore (but I lived there for a couple of years), my understanding is the curriculum and way of teaching is substantially different. Culturally and society's focus on academics is also very different.
I’ve lived in Singapore my whole life so I go to the local schools! My parents are Australian and I was born in Sydney, hence the citizenship. Yep you’re right all that is very very different so I’m anticipating a bit of culture shock, although curriculum-wise the syllabus is pretty similar for the subjects I’m talking at least, so hopefully it won’t be too big of a change :”

Super cool that you’ve lived in Singapore before! How long were you there?
 
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seremify007

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I’ve lived in Singapore my whole life so I go to the local schools! My parents are Australian and I was born in Sydney, hence the citizenship. Yep you’re right all that is very very different so I’m anticipating a bit of culture shock, although curriculum-wise the syllabus is pretty similar for the subjects I’m talking at least, so hopefully it won’t be too big of a change :”

Super cool that you’ve lived in Singapore before! How long were you there?
I am pretty sure the curriculum is more different than you think at least based on my anecdotal comparisons with my cousins there particularly for maths and science streams. Whilst we have parallels with A and O levels, there’s a stronger focus on English and creative/arts subjects here and certain topics are taught earlier in Singapore.

Probably the bigger differences though will be the culture shock eg relationship between students and teachers here vs Singapore. I felt there’s much more respect for teachers and the profession in Singapore, and then in addition the general culture of obedience and respect vs challenging or speaking up.

To answer your question though, my company sent my (then) girlfriend (now wife) and me to our Singapore office for a couple of years. We lived in the east :)

ps. Be prepared for the staggering costs of food and drink here, and just general life. The only thing cheaper will be alcohol but given your age I will assume this was unlikely to be a large component of your budgeted expenditure ;)
 

Time&moretime

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I’ve lived in Singapore my whole life so I go to the local schools! My parents are Australian and I was born in Sydney, hence the citizenship. Yep you’re right all that is very very different so I’m anticipating a bit of culture shock, although curriculum-wise the syllabus is pretty similar for the subjects I’m talking at least, so hopefully it won’t be too big of a change :”

Super cool that you’ve lived in Singapore before! How long were you there?
Australian schools Vs Singaporean schools (you probably know this already...)
  • There is a difference between country schools and city schools. Schools in the city tend to yield better academic results than country schools.
  • There is a difference between HSC mark and ATAR. Students here use the ATAR to apply for further study in universities. The ATAR is a rank.
  • The whole moderation process and alignment can be found on youtube. Most do a pretty good job in explaining how these two processes that influences your internal mark which is 50% of your total HSC mark. But if you don’t wish to bother about this whole moderation and alignment process all you need to do is to rank first in your internal assessment and be enrolled in a competitive school. (I know it sounds terrible but its common knowledge and a real pain if you don’t come first in your assessments.) You can find extensive information and grievances in this forum posted from students about this whole ranking and moderation issue.)
  • Since you have schooled in Singapore and I presume you are a good student. You are going to top the class here in Australia. You might probably get all band 6, E4. The Cambridge GCE A and O levels are rigorous in Singapore.
  • There is a new syllabus in place since last year. 2019 HSC sitters are the first cohort who recently sat for the HSC which tested content on the new syllabus (NSW). Maths is the only subject that has been held back therefore 2020 HSC sitters are the first cohort to be tested on the new Maths syllabus. So... choosing textbooks may be a little tricky. Past papers even tricker.
  • Sports is pretty important in the country. It is a way to socialise. I know someone who went for a scholarship interview at a particular university and the topic of conversation was dominated by rugby. (Personally, I’m a league follower.)
  • Final note: You are going to be fine and would love it here. Singapore is too stressful. Best of luck.
 

addictedtobubbletea

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I am pretty sure the curriculum is more different than you think at least based on my anecdotal comparisons with my cousins there particularly for maths and science streams. Whilst we have parallels with A and O levels, there’s a stronger focus on English and creative/arts subjects here and certain topics are taught earlier in Singapore.

Probably the bigger differences though will be the culture shock eg relationship between students and teachers here vs Singapore. I felt there’s much more respect for teachers and the profession in Singapore, and then in addition the general culture of obedience and respect vs challenging or speaking up.

To answer your question though, my company sent my (then) girlfriend (now wife) and me to our Singapore office for a couple of years. We lived in the east :)

ps. Be prepared for the staggering costs of food and drink here, and just general life. The only thing cheaper will be alcohol but given your age I will assume this was unlikely to be a large component of your budgeted expenditure ;)
Initially I also expected the syllabus to be pretty different but after checking the NESA website there were surprisingly more similarities than I thought. Yes some topics are taught earlier here especially in maths, but for bio and chem they were pretty close. As for English and creative arts it’s probably going to be a lot more challenging but I’m looking forward to it, I’ve always been more of an artsy person myself anyways :p

I’m actually pretty excited to get to experience a culture of challenging and speaking up. Singapore is too rigid x)

Thanks for the note on cost of living, will mentally prep myself hahahah

p.s I live in the east too wow!
 

addictedtobubbletea

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Australian schools Vs Singaporean schools (you probably know this already...)
  • There is a difference between country schools and city schools. Schools in the city tend to yield better academic results than country schools.
  • There is a difference between HSC mark and ATAR. Students here use the ATAR to apply for further study in universities. The ATAR is a rank.
  • The whole moderation process and alignment can be found on youtube. Most do a pretty good job in explaining how these two processes that influences your internal mark which is 50% of your total HSC mark. But if you don’t wish to bother about this whole moderation and alignment process all you need to do is to rank first in your internal assessment and be enrolled in a competitive school. (I know it sounds terrible but its common knowledge and a real pain if you don’t come first in your assessments.) You can find extensive information and grievances in this forum posted from students about this whole ranking and moderation issue.)
  • Since you have schooled in Singapore and I presume you are a good student. You are going to top the class here in Australia. You might probably get all band 6, E4. The Cambridge GCE A and O levels are rigorous in Singapore.
  • There is a new syllabus in place since last year. 2019 HSC sitters are the first cohort who recently sat for the HSC which tested content on the new syllabus (NSW). Maths is the only subject that has been held back therefore 2020 HSC sitters are the first cohort to be tested on the new Maths syllabus. So... choosing textbooks may be a little tricky. Past papers even tricker.
  • Sports is pretty important in the country. It is a way to socialise. I know someone who went for a scholarship interview at a particular university and the topic of conversation was dominated by rugby. (Personally, I’m a league follower.)
  • Final note: You are going to be fine and would love it here. Singapore is too stressful. Best of luck.
Thank you so much! With regards to sports, would you recommend that I do an extracurricular sport on top of representative spot? Also how do Bands work? What is a Band 6 / E4?
 
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Cherrybomb56

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Thank you so much! With regards to sports, would you recommend that I do an extracurricular sport? Also how do Bands work? What is a Band 6 / E4?
Yeah you should, it's good for taking your stress out. Correct me if I am right but I think there is different structures for different subjects based on scaling and stuff.
 

Zyphronic

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Thank you so much! With regards to sports, would you recommend that I do an extracurricular sport? Also how do Bands work? What is a Band 6 / E4?
Doing an extracurricular activity will definitely help. I personally have quite a few musical commitments but that's what keeps me from burning out. In regards to your question on Bands, there are 6 bands. Ideally, you would want to add for Band 6. Each of the bands have an allocated a mark range:
  • Band 6 (90-100)
  • Band 5 (80-89)
  • Band 4 (70-79
etc.

In regards to E4, it is similiar to Bands but these apply to extension subjects.
Similarly, E4 has an allocated mark range as well:
  • Band E4 = 45 - 50 mark Band
  • E3 = 35 - 44 marks

etc.

I would recommend visiting this website for more clarification: https://arc2.nesa.nsw.edu.au/page/faq
 

seremify007

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Extra curricular also helps significantly when it comes time to apply for a scholarship or other program (eg cadetships)... or just a job in general.
 

Time&moretime

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Thank you so much! With regards to sports, would you recommend that I do an extracurricular sport on top of representative spot? Also how do Bands work? What is a Band 6 / E4?
One sporting activity could be enough to satisfy ‘a sporting requirement’. If you can make time for public speaking or debating, the better. It’s really a juggling act because one has to make time for school assessments and the HSC (top priority), sport, extra curricula activities and family. And for students who wish to apply for medicine, you need to make time for the UCAT ANZ which is another task on the list. In summary, you would need to imagine your resume and what it would contain. The HSC is a competitive process, the same goes for scholarships. Something to ponder during Christmas holidays.
 

seremify007

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Keep in mind that whatever extracurricular activity you do whether it be sports, debating, chess, or whatever, it's not so much about the rank or result but rather what you learnt from the experience... or what it says about you as a person.
 

Time&moretime

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Keep in mind that whatever extracurricular activity you do whether it be sports, debating, chess, or whatever, it's not so much about the rank or result but rather what you learnt from the experience... or what it says about you as a person.
True.
 

addictedtobubbletea

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Doing an extracurricular activity will definitely help. I personally have quite a few musical commitments but that's what keeps me from burning out. In regards to your question on Bands, there are 6 bands. Ideally, you would want to add for Band 6. Each of the bands have an allocated a mark range:
  • Band 6 (90-100)
  • Band 5 (80-89)
  • Band 4 (70-79
etc.

In regards to E4, it is similiar to Bands but these apply to extension subjects.
Similarly, E4 has an allocated mark range as well:
  • Band E4 = 45 - 50 mark Band
  • E3 = 35 - 44 marks

etc.

I would recommend visiting this website for more clarification: https://arc2.nesa.nsw.edu.au/page/faq
I see thank you!
 

Drdusk

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An interesting article on education standards which compare Oz with Singapore (and others) > https://www.smh.com.au/education/alarm-bells-australian-students-record-worst-result-in-global-tests-20191203-p53gie.html
Makes sense in countries like Singapore and especially Asian countries education is heavily emphasized and teachers are taken from the top percentile of students unlike Australia where you can get a 60 atar and become a teacher. Teachers are also highly respected there.

Not surprised as a country were falling behind tbh.
 

seremify007

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Makes sense in countries like Singapore and especially Asian countries education is heavily emphasized and teachers are taken from the top percentile of students unlike Australia where you can get a 60 atar and become a teacher. Teachers are also highly respected there.

Not surprised as a country were falling behind tbh.
another interesting article including comparisons and experiences from Singapore!

 

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