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Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Picking a High School for DS1

The NSW selective high school entry test results came out last week, and DS1 had scored well enough to be offered a place at his second choice selective high school. That selective school has very good academic results (in the top 10 HSC results for the state last year - comparable to his first selective HS choice, and also Sydney Grammar private school, which he'd also applied to). As the school he got into is only a short direct school bus trip from where we live and has good facilities, we've decided to enrol DS1 there. Sydney Grammar had phoned late last week to offer DS1 an "interview" for a place (based on his entry and scholarship test scores), but as he wasn't being offered a scholarship ("at this stage" - whatever that means), I decided it wasn't worth him even going for an interview. We can't really afford to send him to Sydney Grammar paying full fees for six years. Especially as DS2 would also be likely qualify for entry later on. Paying 12 lots of $25K annual school fees (plus incidental expenses), doesn't seem great value compared to the "free" education available from the local selective high school. Even if money was no object (or if DS1 had been offered a half-scholarship), the extra couple of hours travel time required every day would make the selective high school an attractive alternative to Sydney Grammar. The $25K pa not spent on school fees will mean I can continue making salary sacrifice contributions into my superannuation account, and so I'll be in a much better position to fund post-graduate studies overseas by DS1 and DS2 in ten years time. Or else the money could provide a home deposit for each of the boys, or provide them with start-up funds if they want to go into business for themselves.

I'm now trying to strike the right balance between letting DS1 relax and enjoy the rest of Yr6 (now that the entry tests are all out of the way), and getting him to still do a little bit of extracurricular study so he still has good study habits when he starts high school...

I ordered a copy of 'How to Be a High School Superstar' by Cal Newport, as I've found all his blog posts about uni study techniques and time management very practical. Hopefully DS1 will read through this book and find some tips on how to better organise his study time in High School. The one thing his primary school teachers keep reporting is that he could be better organised.

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