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Non-religious private schools in Canberra?

By Listers_Cat 27 November 2009 46

Howdy folks,

Can anyone tell me if there are non-religious private schools anywhere in Canberra? I’m a bit worried about poor resourcing in Canberra public schools, but don’t want to send my child to a school that has a religious bent.


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Non-religious private schools in Canberra?
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logicalchoice 12:03 am 20 Jun 10

Red Hill was excellent for our kids. Absolutely no religion at all, and lots of different ethnic groups. The IB is great for inquirey based learning and if you more around the world like we do, they tend to fit into an international school better.

lonefighter 9:18 pm 09 Dec 09

I went to girls grammar and had a horrible time being bullied and when I told the teacher they said that it was my fault. I tried to get one teacher fired because she was bullying me but they didn’t get rid of her. I went to Brindabella Christian College, its a great school but they are a bit OTT with the God and religion. Orana doesn’t except people with learning difficulties- I tried to get in there but because I have ADD they would accept me, also they have weird rules like you can’t read until you have lost your first tooth. Montessori is great I went to the public preeschool which is in Yarrulumla, they take 3 year olds and it goes up to when they are 6. Just thought I’d say my bit

KidKenosha 2:12 am 08 Dec 09

AstralPlane said :

Some people think it is religious education, but of the new age, nutty, ‘I just made it up myself’ kind…

As opposed to…?

housebound 5:14 pm 01 Dec 09

And the obvious plus for private schools – they’re harder for the Minister to close.

sloppery 3:09 pm 01 Dec 09

As an interesting converse to this story, are there any religious public schools around?

huwr 1:04 pm 01 Dec 09

astrojax said :

and if i am not wrong, excellence in a child’s results is attributed to a great extent to be driven by the engagement of the parent, not solely the education provided by the schools…

It’s worth logging in to state my agreement with that point.

trevar 8:53 am 01 Dec 09

I-filed said :

Were your kids at a “private private” school, or just a non-government school? There’s a HUGE difference. I doubt whether any “Private private” schools in Canberra are less well-resourced than a public one.

I really don’t know what you mean by a private private school. Is there a public private school? Or a private public school?

All I know is we paid fees to send them there, and the resources are better at the public school where they are now. There are certainly better-resourced private schools, but these are both elite and elitist, so not the kind of place I’d send my kids to.

indigoid 7:35 am 30 Nov 09

I-filed said :

It was, though, a school where ALL the pupils had masses of cultural capital and books at home.

I hadn’t thought of it that way, but you’re 100% right. Even the most exorbitant school fees can’t buy that kind of environment. Sure, you can buy heaps of books, but that’s only part of the battle. My arts/photography and English teachers (Brian Latham and Judy Day) there were unquestionably the best I ever had, ever. I only wish I’d listened to them more 🙁

I-filed 10:19 pm 29 Nov 09

indigoid said :

As an attendee of AME School (RIP) in Weston I can assure you that the significant fees charged by fully private schools certainly do not in any way automatically result in greater resources. Good money can still be squandered by bad management.

My sisters have both attended public schools. They have been offered a far richer education than I was, and due to their own diligence (yep, that good old personal responsibility thing!) are getting plenty more out of it.

AME had fantastic resources – AME put its money into I think from memory a one to six teacher/pupil ratio. That’s the best resource you can have. AME had cool eco-buildings, brilliant teachers, committed parents and yes, late in the day, poor management. The music art, drama and film tuition was fantastic, and the curriculum way ahead of its time. It was, though, a school where ALL the pupils had masses of cultural capital and books at home. The ideal education would be a cross between Grammar’s scholarship and AME’s emotional nurturing.

junkett 7:18 pm 29 Nov 09

S4anta said :

‘Atheists’ for mine, are just helpful as born again non-smokers.

As an atheist and never having been a smoker, I find no credence in what you said – but I will defend to the death you’re right to be overly opinionated.

The boss and I are more than happy with the standard of government education provided. Yes, small amounts of “high school discipline” such as uniforms (or “six of the best” when they really play up) would be nice, but it’s not the be-all. Govvy schools have far less students per class and provide just as sound learning with the aid of those parents who take interest in what their kids do at school. As an added bonus, the money you save from non private education will help you set the kids up for some of the “luxuries” we enjoyed. They will need a trust fund these days even to buy a car, pay of their hex, or even dream of a home. You’re on “the right path” if you don’t let the notion of god complicate things.

indigoid 6:52 pm 29 Nov 09

As an attendee of AME School (RIP) in Weston I can assure you that the significant fees charged by fully private schools certainly do not in any way automatically result in greater resources. Good money can still be squandered by bad management.

My sisters have both attended public schools. They have been offered a far richer education than I was, and due to their own diligence (yep, that good old personal responsibility thing!) are getting plenty more out of it.

georgesgenitals 5:18 pm 29 Nov 09

Be careful of schools where kids are whipped in order to get high marks. At uni I found the kids from the top private schools actually struggled more in the harder degrees than the self starters who made it from public schools.

A generalisation I know, but still something to keep in mind when planning your kids’ schooling. High year 12 marks don’t count for anything once the kid is in further study.

S4anta 1:24 pm 29 Nov 09

‘Atheists’ for mine, are just helpful as born again non-smokers.

I-filed 10:23 am 29 Nov 09

trevar said :

Ironically, we’ve recently taken our kids out of a private school and sent them to a public school because it was better resourced.

Were your kids at a “private private” school, or just a non-government school? There’s a HUGE difference. I doubt whether any “Private private” schools in Canberra are less well-resourced than a public one.

A lot of parents refer to their kids attending “private” schools as if there’s some sort of cachet in attending a non-guvvy, or that any old non-guvvy is in the same league as the private schools. In fact, across much of the system, the poorer church schools – including the catholic ones – are often less resourced than a good guvvie – so it’s no surprise you’d consider the latter.

Clown Killer 11:38 pm 28 Nov 09

The religious component of the syllabus at Canberra Girls Grammar is fairly low key. Our kids go there and, as parents – we would have to be amongst the least religious people we know. Unless learning about Christmas and Easter worries you you’ll be right. The high proportion of Jewish, Muslim and Hindu parents in our kid’s years probably speaks volumes for the absence of fanaticism present in the curriculum.

trevar 3:47 pm 28 Nov 09

Ironically, we’ve recently taken our kids out of a private school and sent them to a public school because it was better resourced, particularly in the field of technology. I have since found out that the reason for our public school being better resourced than the private school is that the P&C have been very active in providing those resources.

Governments universally have no concern for education; I think it might be a prerequisite to get into the major parties, but the resourcing of a school has little to do with the sector it belongs to, but more to do with the level of interest parents show (or in the case of elite private schools, the depth of parents’ pockets and the length of their arms).

lizw 6:39 am 28 Nov 09

Despite the fact that government schools don’t get great funding, they do provide, especially in the ACT, a fantastic education. In fact, there are public schools that are actually drawing people away from private schools.

Please don’t do the usual ignorant thing that most people do who head to private education, and write off the public school system without doing some serious research into both your local public school, and the private schools you are considering. Talk to parents and children who attend both. Make appointments to visit the schools. Walk around the environments, visit the classrooms, look at the websites. You may be surprised what what you learn, both good and bad, about both public and private schools.

And, did you notice on WIN News last night, it was a public school teacher in the ACT who took out a national education award? In fact both ACT awardees were from the public sector. The other was at Jervis Bay.

Dolorosa 2:47 am 28 Nov 09

As other posters have said, it depends on the age group of your children.

razzle said :

Red Hill Primary runs the IB program, where the curriculum is structured so the students base all their work around a topic of ‘inquiry’. I.e. all curriculum subjects are based around the one unit, so if the inquiry unit is water, they will write about water, do some form of maths around water and so on so forth. Its a very good program and a great example of a public school!

Narrabundah College also runs the IB (International Baccalaureate) as an option for its Year 11 and Year 12 students. (They also have to obtain the ACT Year 12 Certificate.) Because a large proportion of students in the higher level classes tend to be IB students, those classes tend to have an IB focus and so non-IB students benefit from the IB curriculum.

As other people have said, children’s success at school depends more on the abilities of the children, the engagement of the parents and the quality of the teaching than whether a school is public or private.

cleo 11:32 pm 27 Nov 09

I think it all depends on the child, if they have the brains, not all students, adults who have attended a private school have the best jobs, as one would expect, I went to a public school, and often met people who attended a private school, and said to me you turned out alright considering you went to a public, SNOBS! mind you I did the same job as them, so go figure, lol

AstralPlane 10:48 pm 27 Nov 09

A while ago there was some debate about bringing Steiner principles into State schools in Victoria. There’s a good intro into that from the religion report on the ABC here (you have to click the ‘show transcript’ button:
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/religionreport/stories/2008/2120792.htm

Some people think it is religious education, but of the new age, nutty, ‘I just made it up myself’ kind, which includes a belief in the actual existence of fairies and gnomes. It’s not in the link I posted, but some of the debate I heard covered not only that it has religious qualities, but that Stiener intructed teachers not to call it that so that it wouldn’t scare people off, which sounds a pretty sneaky.

So I guess you should investigate before you include the Steiner schools in the (short) list of secular private schools. Come to think of it, if there’s only Montessori maybe it’s not a list.

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