Everything You Need To Know About Selective School

John C Maxwell once said, “the better you are at surrounding yourself with people of high potential, the greater your chance for success.” Each person has the potential to do something. The thing is to recognize it and reshape it for a better future. For this, a selective high school will be the best choice. A selective school is a school that admits budding talents and enhances their capabilities for overall development.

What are selective high schools?

Selective high schools admit children with sharp minds and strong academic backgrounds. They group children with similar abilities and use special teaching methods for them. Selective high schools are unrestricted so that parents can apply from anywhere.

The High Performing Students Team manages Year 7 placement in a selective high school. This is a separate process for applying in schools with specializations like performing arts and sports schools. The Conservatorium High School is a specialist school that uses the Selective High School Placement Test for admission.

Types of selective high schools

There are two types of selective high schools, fully selective and partially selective.

Fully Selective High School: The fully selective high school purely admits students on the basis of merit. There are a total of 21 fully selective high schools located in NSW. Some of them are:

Agricultural high school:

The agricultural high schools are the selective high schools in NSW. They teach students about agriculture. They have the facilities of boarding and day placements. Some of the agricultural high schools are:
  • Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School
  • Hurlstone Agricultural High School
  • James Ruse Agricultural High School
  • Yanco Agricultural High School

Partially Selective High School:

The partially selective high school is a school where one to two classes are selective while other classes are non-selective. Here students in selective classes separately join English, maths, and science classes. They join non-selective students in other classes.
  • Alexandria Park Community School
  • Armidale Secondary College
  • Auburn Girls High School
  • Balmain Campus
  • Blacktown Boys High School

Information for applicants

The criteria for admission to a selective high school are on the basis of merit. There is a separate selection committee for each school to determine the placement of students. Two methods used to determine the merit of the student are:

The aggregate gives the calculated placement score.

The selection committee may ask for previous results of students from parents or the respective current school for academic merit.

Students should have been born between 1 January 2009 and 1 August 2010 to study in year 7 in 2022 of selective high school. If the child does not match the age criteria, then parents must have a valid reason for it. The selection committee might:

If the student is in year seven at the time of the test and wants to repeat it the following year, then full documents supporting the reason should be provided along with the approval of the school principal. The committee will decide by itself whether to accept the student or not.

Application Process

The application process for admission in selective high school are:

Key dates

The last date to apply to selective high school is 17 November 2020, till 11:59 pm AEST. The selection committee holds the right to reject the late application even if it is accepted before. The test will be on 11 March 2021.

The test

Students are advised to go through the sample test so that they could know the pattern of the test. Students should bring with them two 2B pencils, a sharpener, and an eraser. If the date and location are changed, then parents will be informed individually.

A letter named “Authority to sit the selective high school placement test letter” was sent to the parents listing the date and location for the test. It includes;

Now the focus will be on the thinking skills, mathematical reasoning, and problem-solving abilities of the students. The changes are made as per the findings of the 2018 Review of Selective Education Report. The test will be computer-based in 2022, unlike the test in 2021, which will be paper-based.

Test structure :

Answer sheets

The answers to multiple-choice questions will be marked in a separate OMR sheet. Students have to encircle the desired option from the given options with a pencil. No student is allowed to mark their answers in the question booklet unless it’s a special case (for students with disabilities).

Preparation for the test Students can join online tutoring for the test. There are many tutoring services and tuition centers located in Sydney. You can also find a tutor for your child. It requires basic knowledge and general ability to qualify for the test. You can also opt for high school tutoring facilities in Australia.

Selection process

The marking of the placement test will be done out of 100. The raw test scores and school assessment scores are calculated to get the placement score. The entry marks for each school are different for different years. It depends upon the number of students applying and their academic merit. The placement score will be calculated out of 120. The scaling of the marks is done on a state-wide basis.

Selection committee It is a two-member committee that consists of a principal and a parent or community representative. A selection committee is responsible for giving the placement to the student. Each selective school has a selection committee. The selection committee is responsible for the following tasks:

They decide the number of students to be put on reserved lists.

Placement outcome information

The placement outcome was sent via email on 3 July 2020. The placement outcome will give the following results:
  • Whether the student has been placed in a selective school
  • Whether he or she is put on a reserved list for one or more school choices
  • Whether the student is unsuccessful in getting placed or getting a place on the waiting list

The student selected will be provided with a response form with offers. It has to be returned within the due date mentioned in the form. The students will be given the scores information. It consists of raw scores used to calculate the placement scores. There’s no need to have a response form for the reserve list only.

The students who receive an offer and whose names are there in the reserved list will be given a Placement Outcome Information bulletin. It explains the further process for the placement.

Responding to an offer The students have to respond to the offer within the stipulated time, usually 14 days later. The students have to complete, sign and return the response form to the High Performing Students Team. Students who have got the offer by phone have to respond within 24 hours. If no response is given by the student within the due date, then the offer will get lapse. In this case, the next student will be offered his place.

The confirmed receipt of the response will be generated in 21 days. If any student is not able to get the confirmation after 21 days, he or she can email the team.

Withdrawal or lapse of offers The offer may lapse if the response form is not submitted within the due date. The offer will also get canceled if the student does not satisfy enrollment requirements like residency or if a student does not get enrolled at the beginning of the year.

Closing of the Reserve list Those students who have accepted the offer and who have a place in the reserved list will be removed from the reserved list on the last day of the school year. To remain on the list after this day, the student has to decline the current offer. There is no guarantee whether the student will further get any offers. For those remaining in the reserve lists, an offer may be made at the end of term 1 or mid-June when all reserve lists are closed.

Enrolment The students who are admitted to selective high schools will be provided with an ‘Authority to attend’ letter in the mid of January of the entry year. They have to present this letter on the first day of term 1 along with other original documents. This letter officially declares the student as a member of the Selective High School.

If any student provides false documents or misleading information, then this will lead to the cancellation of his or her placement.

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