Primary schools have recently sent home an ‘Intention to apply for Year 7 entry to a selective high school in 2020’ letter to all parents. This has many parents thinking and asking questions. Is my child bright enough? How does a selective school differ from a public school? How do I apply? This blog will assist parents in answering these questions.
Why choose a selective high school?
If your child is gifted or has the potential to be a high achiever academically, you may want them to attend a selective high school. Selective high schools provide an educationally enriching environment for high achieving and academically gifted students. Parents apply when their child is in Year 5. There are only 17 selective high schools in NSW; therefore the places available are quite limited.
The Selective School Placement Test:
Selective high schools in NSW accept students based on results from the Selective Schools Placement Test (which is run every year around mid – March). Students in Year 6 sit the test to enter the selective high school of their choice in Year 7. These schools cater to students who are exceptionally gifted and talented, and those who perform well in the classroom and demonstrate high academic ability.
The Selective Schools Placement Test is incredibly competitive, and places at these top performing schools are highly sought after. There are currently 17 fully selective high schools in NSW and 25 partially selective schools, meaning that only some classes and cohorts within the school are selective. In 2017, approximately 14,450 students sat the exam, with only 30% of students being offered a placement. The number of students sitting the test has since increased, hence entry into a selective school has become more competitive.
The exam tests each student’s skills in mathematics, general ability, reading and writing. Practice makes perfect, and the selective school exam is no exception. It includes concepts and questions that students may not have had exposure to in their primary school classes. As such, exposure to higher order concepts combined with self-learning and practice exams can provide immense benefit to a student’s confidence and readiness. Both of which are critical factors when it comes to performance on the day of the exam. Practice helps alleviate nervousness as the students become familiar with exam conditions and the difficulty of the questions.
It is important to note that a third of each student’s marks are also sourced from their primary school assessment results. The results of their performance in Mathematics and English (including writing) from Year 4 until the end of Year 5 is provided by their primary school results. The first step towards preparation for the selective exam is to consolidate and extend skills in Mathematics and English and maintain good academic records in Year 4 and Year 5.
The exam is scored out of 300 and is a combination of a student’s marks from the selective school exam and their primary school assessment results.
The school marks and the selective placement test marks are scaled and combined to give a total out of 300.
How will a selective high school benefit my child?
With such competitive entry marks, selective high schools ensure that all students are surrounded by like-minded peers in an environment that continually nurtures and stimulates them. This results in selective schools consistently ranking in the top 10-15 high schools in terms of the HSC results.
In 2016, the top five best performing schools in the HSC were selective high schools.
With a strong focus on academics and teaching catered to academically gifted students, these results come with no surprise.
With the opportunity to engage in an enriching academic environment with proven results, there is no wonder selective school places are highly regarded. Take the right steps and start preparing for the Selective School Placement Test with our Selective School Preparation Program.
GEA’s Selective School Preparation Course:
Our program is unique as it takes students who are average and slightly above average and converts them to high achievers. Unlike other learning centres, we not only take the top students but also those who believe they can achieve. We work hand in hand with parents and students and support them every step of the way. We believe in a growth mindset.
To find out more, or if you would like assistance with the application process, please click here for course details or give one of our friendly educational specialists a call on 1300-001-GEA.