College selection

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.

Thanks.


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georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 7:48 am 06 Jun 10

Choose a school, THAT is the least stressful to get to.

(maybe I should go back to school).

georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 7:47 am 06 Jun 10

I’d say the results that count, ultimately, is how how the individual performs relative to their own goals. As such, the motivation of the student, and desire to do well, are probably the major factors in how the student performs.

Choose a school is the least stressful to get to.

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 3:32 pm 05 Jun 10

Ps. on that website provided by hk0reduck Girls Grammar did quite well didn’t they? They’re a private school. Oh and Radford came second….that’s a private school…co-ed even.

So are all the private schools that came in much lower on the list. So much for your money equals results theory.

gun street girl gun street girl 12:23 pm 05 Jun 10

Without doubt, one of the best decisions I’ve ever made was to go to Narrabundah. I can’t praise the place (and the wider college system) highly enough.

ThatGuy ThatGuy 11:53 am 05 Jun 10

M Rose said :

Having said that, the teachers at Bundah are fantastic, and it is an amazing environment. This is why I would say NEVER take ThatGuy’s advice and go to a private school, because the environment of discipline and religion is very stifling to the kind of independence and self-reliance you need to get through university. People are right in saying that Bundah is like a little university. They push you hard there, thats true, but if you are a good student you will relish in that environment.

Religion doesn’t really factor into it as, at a lot of the private schools, religion stops being mandatory after year 7. While years 7-10 can be quite strict, there is a big change once you hit year 11 & 12 (college).

As for discipline, well it’s the age old questions – beat it into them now and they’ll keep it or rebel against it? Don’t beat it into them and they will learn for themselves or forever be slackers?

I don’t think you should discount the private schools simply because they have an unsubstantiated stigma of being heavy handed and overly religious. They gots the money, and when you gots the money you gets the power and when you gets the power you gets the wome–oh yeah most of them are single gender schools. Some say this removes distraction.

Ps. on that website provided by hk0reduck Girls Grammar did quite well didn’t they? They’re a private school. Oh and Radford came second….that’s a private school…co-ed even.

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 10:13 am 05 Jun 10

What would postgrad qualifications do with the quality of the school? You would probably find that the majority of the post grad qualifications are actually for teaching qualifications performed after their main degree.

I don’t recall using the word ‘quality’. I simply said ‘differences’. Some people like their history teacher to have a B Classics with teaching as an add-on; others prefer their teachers to have focused on teaching with a B Ed. There are brilliant and awful teachers in both camps.

Kuku Kuku 9:52 am 05 Jun 10

“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.”

Having taught at a couple of unis, my observations were that students from the ACT College system were, on the whole, able to focus, self direct and motivate themselves – they also tended not to go off the rails when confronted with the freedom that uni offers.

Disclaimer: There is no scientific basis of this, just my opinion.

WonderfulWorld WonderfulWorld 12:25 am 05 Jun 10

I’m not sure if anybody has actually added that it depends on the student, their drive, results and desires?
The drama teacher of over 20yrs has left Bunda, not sure if this has left a decline in the way the arts are projected, but worth considering.
My mind- ok the school can offer a lot and different things depending on what they are able to offer, but it all comes down to the type of student and a match between them and the school. I’ve seen sparkies and panel beaters from erindale that have done much better as apprentices because of the time and effort the motor mechanic teachers put in at “philip” Canberra college, which is the same as the time/effort put into the arts at bunda.
Pick your preference and then try your best at whichever school.

bd84 bd84 10:15 pm 04 Jun 10

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

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.

What would postgrad qualifications do with the quality of the school? You would probably find that the majority of the post grad qualifications are actually for teaching qualifications performed after their main degree.

You could go to either College and get the same outcome at both, the main contributor to your academic success in year 11 and 12 is yourself rather than the school you attend.

Looking at practicalities, Canberra College is close to Woden, if you’re easily distracted, you will spend most of your time at the shops (probably the main reason for the lower attendence), if you like easy transport CC will be better. Narrabundah will also be harder to get into if you don’t live in area, CC will let anyone in.

If you like English and Law, look closely at the courses each of the schools offer for those subjects, you may find you like the ones at a particular college will better.

Otherwise, toss a coin. You will get out what you put in.

CanberraCreative CanberraCreative 9:32 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.

That’s funny, because the Cameron Offices were also custom built using cutting edge, best practice design techniques… we all know how that turned out.

The Grounds of Narrabundah are nicely kept, the buildings are in fair condition and a great new library was finished last year. A very comfortable place to be.
Need I point out that large parts of the ANU, Sydney Uni and Melbourne Uni date back a long way… would you therefore advocate choosing the Uni of Southern Queensland because it has newer buildings?

sepi sepi 9:06 pm 04 Jun 10

Unless you want to do a subject that is particulalry strong at one college only (eg – drama at narrabundah), I would just go to the closest one. They are both good – why catch extra buses every day, if you are just doing a standard tertiary package.

M Rose M Rose 8:49 pm 04 Jun 10

I graduated from Bundah in 2007, and have been studying an Arts/Law since. I was always a very humanities based student and I also lived in area from Canberra and Lake Tuggeranong college rather than Bundah, so I hope my experience – being very similar to yours – can help you.

Right now as a year ten student, I am sure the whole bell curve, AST and ATAR and how they are calculated goes over your head a little, but know this – people believe Bundah to be the best college in Canberra, and for that reason, the best students seek places there. So when you sit your AST and all your class mates do very well, it will improve your score. Having had bright friends who went to other colleges and suffered from poor AST results, you should know how important that is.

Having said that, the teachers at Bundah are fantastic, and it is an amazing environment. This is why I would say NEVER take ThatGuy’s advice and go to a private school, because the environment of discipline and religion is very stifling to the kind of independence and self-reliance you need to get through university. People are right in saying that Bundah is like a little university. They push you hard there, thats true, but if you are a good student you will relish in that environment.

My years at Bundah were fantastic. As for Canberra, I don’t have much to say against it. If you were a vocational student, Bundah would be the last place for you, but if you are bright and motivated, it is the place to be.

Also, ignore those drug rumors. Yes, people do drugs at Bundah, but if you’re don’t do drugs than you won’t do drugs , and thats that. It won’t impact on your studies.

Pork Hunt 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 Warrior Beserk Keyboard Warrior 5:02 pm 04 Jun 10

Bundah, no doubt.

prism 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 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 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 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 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 Pommy bastard 1:28 pm 04 Jun 10

Many thanks Lisa B.

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

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