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College selection

By leesh101 - 4 June 2010 27

I am having some issues with the choice of a college. 

I am hoping that some fellow RiotACTers will be able to help me out with the choice between Canberra and Narrabundah College. 

I am interested in English and Law and I am your typical A grade student (and I would like to stay that way). 

Any help would be appreciated. 

What’s Your opinion?


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27 Responses to
College selection
Pork Hunt 5:34 pm 04 Jun 10

Waiting For Godot said :

Canberra College is housed in a purpose-built building opposite Woden Plaza and was opened in 1976. Narrabundah College is a converted high school in a poor suburb built in the early 1950s. A no-brainer in my opinion.

What has the age of the school got to do with the quality of education?

According to that logic, places like Cambridge and Eton should be avoided.

Beserk Keyboard Warr 5:02 pm 04 Jun 10

Bundah, no doubt.

prism 4:14 pm 04 Jun 10

I went to Canberra (grad. 2007) and found it fantastic. The stereotypes mentioned by ‘thatguy’ are pretty exaggerated (though I think he acknowledges that). Bundah does seem to have an artier crowd, I personally found canberra more well-rounded, the “sick cars” stereotype more prominent at Erindale.

While Woody Mann-Caruso’s post is interesting, I’ve always thought that the general results of the whole school are more or less meaningless, it’s all about how you apply yourself in the end. I can’t say I saw any discernible difference between how either school lends itself to an academic atmosphere, but who knows? To that end, I’d say either school is fine, and I’d ultimately just pick the one closer to you.

Gungahlin Al 4:06 pm 04 Jun 10

Speaking of colleges, have you been down the main street of Gungahlin lately and seen how the college and library construction is coming along? It is HUGE. Cutting edge sustainable architecture, leading pedagogy design, brilliant new BIG shared library, town square with performance stage (and an Alexander Bunyip statue).

It will become the heart of our town.

GCC has been involved through many workshops, meetings, design working groups, etc and more recently the College Principal selection panel. It has been wonderful to see the realisation grow in the candidates for that position as the shortlisted people did more research and started to realise the incredible facilities they could end up leading. I was not the only person on the panel jealous of the once in a lifetime opportunity the successful person will have to build the most amazing school community in Canberra.

It will be a community asset we will be very proud of, and proud of our role in shaping it.

Black Swan 3:59 pm 04 Jun 10

I live in the Woden area and went to Canberra College graduating several years ago, while I had two siblings who attended Bundha (we all did much the same academically.

I have nothing but praise for my two years at Canberra College. The community atmosphere at the school was great. I had some really great positive teachers, some of whom I still consider mates. Kevin the janitor was a legend. On the social side, I really liked how down to earth everyone was. There were parties every weekend and while there were social groups they weren’t really cliquey.

I recommend going somewhere where you feel comfortable, they should be the best two years of your life, so go where you are gonna have fun. All in all the public college system in ACT is top notch and I think it prepares you better for university than the ‘nanny’ private schools.

CanberraCreative 3:48 pm 04 Jun 10

There’s no competition, Narrabundah is the best option. Consistently in the top three colleges in the ACT. All teaching staff had post-graduate qualifications and many bring a lot of practical experience to the roll too.
The environment is great too, it feels a lot more like a University than a College in many ways.
The scaling of marks too is very aggressive at Bundah which helps a lot in calculating the UAI.

Be warned, it’s not easy to get in. The waiting list is often over 300 students and applications for our of area students require some strong arguments in your favour. The rejection rate is as high as 80% some years. I was one of the lucky ones, citing my focus on law and business as reasons to go to Bundah over Tuggeranong.

thy_dungeonman 1:49 pm 04 Jun 10

I live in Weston creek and chose to attend Narrabundah over Canberra college (partly becuase all the students who picked on me went to Canberra) even though it was two buses away but it really was worth it. I think Narrabundah definitely has more academic atmosphere, with all the separate buildings it’s like a mini university and it’s very light too compared to the concrete castle of Canberra. I would definitely go to Narrabundah for the English classes, there are some great and quirky teachers in that department. It’s a great school if you want to pick up a language they teach a wide variety and there are students from a great number of different countries.

Pommy bastard 1:28 pm 04 Jun 10

Many thanks Lisa B.

Any and all advice on Melba “IB” vs. Hawker “Y12” appreciated.

Woody Mann-Caruso 12:33 pm 04 Jun 10

They’re quite similar. Both have a student population with a high ICSEA of (1143 for Narrabundah, 1098 for Canberra), similar sizes, similar ratios of boys to girls, a majority of students in the top quarter for socioeconomic advantage, less than 10% in the bottom quarter, few or no Indigenous students. Both have International Baccalaureate programs.

Key differences: 100% of teaching staff have postgrad quals at Narrabundah vs 44% at Canberra; more Narrabundah students complete a tertiary package than Canberra (but they were the only college that beat Canberra in this regard); attendance at Canberra is lower than Narrabundah (mid-80% vs low to mid-90%); Canberra has a lower median UAI / ATAR than Narrabundah (74 v 85, but Narrabundah was still only 3rd in the ACT). As always, Narrabundah had the student with the highest ATAR in the ACT.

Do you live outside the priority enrolment area for Narrabundah? While many students get into out-of-area colleges without any dramas (swings and roundabouts), competition to get into Narrabundah is apparently very fierce.

If you’re already a straight A student you can make it anywhere.

hk0reduck 12:30 pm 04 Jun 10
LisaB 12:21 pm 04 Jun 10

I disagree with ThatGuy. I definitely wouldn’t switch to private. ACT public colleges are great at preparing students for university.

I think you’ll be fine at either Canberra College or Narrabundah. My decision would be based on transport and whether or not I’d be distracted by nearby shops and entertainment facilities.

Pommy Bastard – Copland and Hawker are both great colleges. They are very different though, Copland is much smaller and quieter. I’d talk to some of the teachers at Copland about the IB. It’s a great program, but very demanding and I think the drop out rate is fairly high.

Waiting For Godot 11:47 am 04 Jun 10

Canberra College is housed in a purpose-built building opposite Woden Plaza and was opened in 1976. Narrabundah College is a converted high school in a poor suburb built in the early 1950s. A no-brainer in my opinion.

Chupachup 11:44 am 04 Jun 10

Heya Leesh

I grew up out of town in NSW so I did high school in NSW and decided to go to college in ACT.

I’m very into the arts so was attracted to Bundha but being out of area could not get in so I ended up at Canberra College and I have nothing but praise for it.

I graduated back in 2002 so it’s awhile ago now. I did Year 11, then a year on exchange, then year 12 which was a great way to do it, it meant that when I came back my friends had graduated so I ended up working much harder in year 12.

I had a good friend at Bundha so I went there a bit and honestly I think it’s much of a muchness, they both have the same muso crowds, stoner crows, fully sick crew etc. The good thing at College is each crowd stays to itself and doesn’t bother the other crowds (unlike my high school) Canberra college had some really fun english classes and has the bonus of being close to the shops and movies which was good for some long double free periods I had

Like ThatGuy said, check them both out via open days or just by going along and see what you like the feel of. Honestly you could be just as happy at either one

Pommy bastard 11:22 am 04 Jun 10

Ok, Can I throw in;

Melba Copland to do the international baccalaureate vs Hawker College to do year 12?

Not for me, I’m an old dog, no new tricks, but for the daughter.

ThatGuy 9:39 am 04 Jun 10

Are you water pipe inclined and slightly apathetic? Go to Bundah.
Do you have a fully sick car that you like to pump up da base on? Go to Canberra.

**NB these narrow-minded stereotypes were formed in 2000-2002 and may no longer be current.

I would actually recommend considering one of the private colleges/high schools if you can afford it. There’s a bit more one on one support and the teachers are generally switched on enough to not let students slip through the cracks.

Otherwise, Bundah wasn’t all that bad but from what I remember the focus was much more on the arts.

Best thing for you to do is to go to the open days and get as much information as possible.

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